Recession Opportunities to Achieve Improved Margins

March 9, 2009 by  

While the global recession has curtailed hiring, business travel, and capital investments, I have been getting calls for studies to develop re-engineering processes for immediate reductions in cost, to improve sagging margins from depleted sales- one as aggressive as a 30% target.  And, they want minimal investment and immediate results! While this is a tall order, such results are achievable, by applying lean six sigma based strategies, and common sense re-engineering process improvement techniques. A team needs to be pulled together, and led by an experienced professional that has the wounds and stripes from leading such cost reduction projects.

Another call was to develop a business plan and schedule to consolidate two plants. The plan was to include dramatic improvement in space utilization, which I have had precious discussions at each plant. While this is tough on many of the staff, these plants are inclose proximity, allowing transfer of the top performing staff (and weeding of low performers).

My message is that this might be a good time to take advantage of the slow down to tighten operations expenses through re-engineering and process improvement. Don’t be afraid to spend small monies to achieve significant and capture able savings.

Neal Chamberlain
Director, Supply Chain Consulting