Business Rescue & Turnaround Strategies

Where a business is facing financial distress or insolvency, we may be able to help save it, if action is taken early enough.

What do we mean by business rescue?

Business rescue is about teamwork. The team includes some who are there by choice and others who might prefer not to be involved. The challenge is to devise a strategy that is achievable by the rescue team and acceptable to both, creditors and other stakeholders.

Our strong relations with and understanding of those creditors likely to be involved in recovery cases is crucial. This means government departments, banks, asset based lenders, trading creditors and investors.

Business rescue can be achieved in a number of ways depending on the stage at which problems are recognised by those involved and whether or not there is a cash crisis.

The process usually involves a combination of one or more of the following:

• Stabilisation;
• Financial restructuring and refinancing;
• Operational turnaround.

Who is in the rescue team?

The business owners and managers are crucial; add to these existing professional advisors and the key financial stakeholders.

What part do we play?

We start with an in-depth needs assessment covering all aspects of the business. This analysis assists in uncovering the possible causes of current problems and allows preparation of a strategic plan to restructure the business. Crucially the owners and managers must be party to this and have faith in and commitment to a plan they have helped construct.

When is the time for help?

The simple answer is when clients are ready for help. If the owners and managers of a business are completely resistant to change then no plan can succeed.

Economic or market conditions are often held out as the cause of business difficulties. They may be part of the key factors but many individual reasons can lead to a business needing to use an insolvency procedure.

All insolvency procedures require the involvement of experienced Insolvency Practitioners and turnaround experts.

We at CRI can advise on all aspects of insolvency procedures from planning to implementation.

We apply experience and methodologies to identify the causes of the impending financial failure and implement a workable and realistic plan to save the business.
The advantage of engaging CRI is access to:

• Fast diagnosis and implementation of workable solutions;
• Rapid response to maintain company viability;
• Experienced interim management; and
• Financial restructuring.

We specialise in the development and implementation of long-range solutions to the problems that created the crisis.

While the diagnosis is in process, obvious problem areas are dealt with expeditiously, to maintain viability and provide evidence of action to creditors and suppliers.

It is important that the management and board of directors fulfil their fiduciary responsibility in preserving the interests of both, shareholders and creditors.

If the company is insolvent, which is usually the case, we offer:

• Support and guidance during this critical period and when required;
• Interim Management or non-executive directors to help implement the recovery strategy.

Engaging CRI gives you access to:

Business Turnaround Consultants with many years of experience operating at Board level, with wide knowledge of industry sectors including: Business Services, Construction, Manufacturing, Engineering, Security, IT, Recruitment, Printing and many others.

CRI’s 10 Step Business Recovery:

All business situations are different and therefore, merit different approaches with emphasis on different aspects of the work. However, there are some steps that we generally consider in successful business turnaround situations. Ten of the most relevant are listed below.

1. Review and Assess the Present Situation
In a business turnaround, it is important to understand fully the starting position. We gather objective and anecdotal data in order to review the situation and to determine the causes, as well as to comprehend the immediate effects, of the issues impacting the business.

2. Develop Plans and Business Strategy
After assessing what is required to be changed for the business turnaround to be successful, we help you develop robust plans and strategy to achieve success.

It will be necessary to comprehensively document the actions to be taken, the timings and the financial impact of those actions and to obtain ‘buy-in’ from all of the stakeholders.

3. Communicate With Key Employees
The current business affairs should be explained and the consequences of not taking corrective action should be made known. An outline of the proposed actions to be taken should also be communicated and comments invited.

Whilst it may not be possible to answer detailed questions, seek to address the concerns of this group as positively as possible.

4. Communicate With Other Employees
It will be necessary at the earliest opportunity to meet with all employees or their union representatives, particularly if job losses are planned.

A prolonged period of uncertainty, fuelled by rumour and counter rumour, will not be beneficial to the business and whilst bad news may not be easy to deliver, the communication of it in a timely and sensitive manner is desirable.

5. Meet the Bankers
The bank and other parties with a financial investment in the business should be advised of the business turnaround plans. If possible meetings should be arranged to discuss the plans and to seek assurances of continued, and maybe, more support for the business.

6. Meet Customers
Dependent upon the severity of the situation within the business it may be necessary to reassure key customers of the business turnaround plans and the benefits that will accrue for them.

This action should be considered mandatory if the cause of the business demise has been poor customer service, poor quality product or any other matter not meeting the expected/agreed customer satisfaction levels.

7. Meet Suppliers
If the business has failed to settle payable accounts on time, even the murmur of business turnaround activity taking place may result in suppliers imposing draconian payment terms that may jeopardize the business turnaround recovery plan.

If support for the turnaround plan has been gained from the financial institutions and investors, it will be advisable to actively seek meetings with vendors to outline the plans and to seek their continued support.

8. Cash Conservation
We review and improve if necessary your credit management procedures. If possible negotiate extended payment terms to suppliers; examine thoroughly all unused assets of the business. In addition all unnecessary overhead costs should be eliminated.

9. Implement New/Update Systems and Procedures
A thorough review of existing systems and procedures will be required to meet the goals of the business turnaround plan. Implement change if necessary; it will be noteworthy to recall that a continuation of old practices will almost certainly result in the same old results.

Positive and profitable change may be required and should be communicated to employees, so that they understand their roles in the new business environment.

10. Monitor, Measure and Take Action
Throughout the business turnaround process, results should be regularly measured against plan and corrective actions taken if required.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) should be determined that will give a snapshot of the business performance and be available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The KPI’s will include financial and non-financial measures and reflect the important aspects of the business that will determine success or failure.

Finally, pro-actively communicate the turnaround progress to all interested parties – employees, customers, suppliers as well as the financial institutions.

In our experience, a successful outcome very much depends upon the speed which the directors are able to identify the signals of the financial crises and seek early access to professional advice.