restructuring

The #1 Secret to Success for Private Companies

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In the 1937 comic farce, “Topper,” a young Cary Grant portrays George Kerby, a playboy attending the board meeting of his family’s bank: Bank Chairman (reading in a droning tone of voice): “Bullion abroad and in transit, thirteen million, two hundred and two thousand, eight hundred and fifty-four dollars and no cents.” George Kerby, (reclining, […]

What CNBC’s ‘The Profit’ Gets Wrong

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A few years ago I received a call from a television producer who wanted to verify that I was, indeed, a well-known turnaround consultant. This took me back because “well-known” was not necessarily in my marketing vocabulary. But I figured if someone from TV wanted to talk to me, I could at least become “less-obscure.” […]

Restructuring, Government and Respect

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If there is one cardinal rule of restructuring, it is that the person in charge must respect all the constituents. It is a sure sign of an amateur to blame the employees for the changes that must take place. I know this from my own, early missteps. It only takes one disparaging remark about an […]

The Turnaround Assessment Test

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In 1968, Edward I. Altman formulated a simple, path-breaking scoring mechanism that could predict, with high confidence, the probability that any one corporation would enter bankruptcy within two years. He called the mechanism the Z score and, by publishing in academic journals, allowed it to enter the public domain. It has been, for many years, one of the most-studied […]

The Guaranteed Middle Market Employment Stimulus Plan

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Further stimulus of the economy is required. The 9.2% national unemployment rate, leaving 14 million able workers at home, demands it. But there is no appetite to revive the Obama administration’s fiscal stimulus, which apparently intended to give states block grants to keep doing what they were doing, or to provide nimble political ear-markers with […]

Intern-ist

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My son has a great manufacturing internship. He really enjoys it. In many ways, he is living the life that his Wisconsin schooling prepared him for. He sent out four e-mails requesting a spot, and got an offer after a few weeks. The family-owned company that made the offer is doing well, so they agreed […]

What it REALLY Takes to Turn a Business Around

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I have been doing turnarounds for over twenty five years, and along the way, I’ve accumulated certain prejudices about what types of businesses are easiest to fix. Wholesale distribution and retail/restaurant chains are among my favorites, because there are usually enough profitable parts of the business — a core product or very profitable locations — […]

What it Really Takes to Turn a Business Around

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| Comments Off on What it Really Takes to Turn a Business Around

I have been doing turnarounds for over twenty five years, and along the way, I’ve accumulated certain prejudices about what types of businesses are easiest to fix. Wholesale distribution and retail/restaurant chains are among my favorites, because there are usually enough profitable parts of the business — a core product or very profitable locations — […]

Weakly Specials

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I recently argued that auto dealers need to reconfigure their marketing to be delivery points for an active direct marketing and Internet business. Dealers also need to reduce their financial risk profile. It is not as if the car companies have made it easy for them. As a matter of fact, the car companies are […]

Let’s Make a Dealership

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We know the problems of auto dealers (and their lesser-known big brothers, truck dealerships) all too well. Low sales, collapse of financing markets and a seemingly inexplicable urge of car companies to decrease, rather than increase, the number of dealers’ outlets. These are the problems that have hit the news, but a vibrant auto dealership […]

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