How to relocate production successfully

[Deutsche Fassung]

The relocation of production is nothing new. Nevertheless, each such endeavour is a small adventure.

Without going into specifics, I would like to present an example: the production of a traditional machine, which requires several value-adding steps – from traditional machining (turning, milling, grinding) to further processing (chrome-plating) to mounting and electrical installation. Weiterlesen

A global workplace – challenges for today’s managers

[Deutsche Fassung]

Managers in international companies have got used to the fact that they have to spread their attention “across the globe” every day. First a conference call to Australia, then a video conference about plans to outsource a project to China, later discussions about the company’s European strategies in the office and finally talks with US colleagues about the progress of the latest project – “global managers” have their eyes, ears and minds on different places around the world nearly every day. The different time zones define communication windows. However, despite the benefits of modern communication technology, it is sometimes vital to go places. And this requires time and money for travelling. Weiterlesen

Supply chain management – a way to procure innovation

[Deutsche Fassung]

Supply chain management (SCM) is the term used to describe all planning and management tasks in connection with supplier selection, procurement and processing as well as all logistics tasks. Above all, supply chain management is about ensuring a good coordination and cooperation of all parties involved.

In practice, operative supply chain management tasks often take centre-stage. This focus on operative issues may, however, quickly make supply chain managers overlook the fact Weiterlesen

Open and honest communication is key – talking to Guido Beyß about M&A transactions

[Deutsche Fassung]

At the end of January I examined in an article on this blog what I regard as the most important aspects for successful company transactions. The following interview focuses on this topic again – especially on the importance of communication.

Guido Beyss

Guido Beyß

Mr Beyß, how many mergers and acquisitions have you handled, and what was your key insight?

Beyß: I was involved in about half a dozen acquisitions right from the beginning. The target companies were mostly medium-sized and managed by their owners. The main insight I have gained is very simple: Communication is key.

What do you believe to be the most common mistakes in the post-merger integration phase? Weiterlesen

How to arrange successful company transactions

[Deutsche Fassung]

Technische Universität München (TUM) found in a study released at the end of 2010 that five out of six M&A transactions fail. One-third of the examined company acquisitions or sales were not based on a deliberate, strategic decision of the buyer or seller. Instead, they were triggered by external factors, often by an offer. In addition, due diligence was often undervalued; most of the examined companies did not want to spend money on this issue. Post-merger integration was another field where mistakes were made. While this issue was regarded as important, it remained a matter of “trial and error”; there were no attempts to arrive at methodical or appropriate solutions of upcoming problems. Weiterlesen

Getting things done: How to overcome complexity

[Deutsche Fassung]

Complexity – designed by humans

Complexity – designed by humans

It is very easy to make things complex; but is very complicated to make things easy. Humans tend to do the first thing and suffer from that, and work very hard to reach the second. Very often it is not the issue itself which gives us a headache. We as human beings tend to make things very complex. How come that projects round the globe, even reviewed regularly in project status meetings, tend to run longer than scheduled or financial targets, technical drawings are not in line with the technical specifications, budgeting processes are always on a critical path, or the year end closing process is overdue? Controlling departments administrate overtime at the end of the year, the technical project manager feels like tearing his hair out because he is not able to stay on schedule, or the sales director runs crazy, as the sales figures are not reached. Does that sound familiar to you? Is all that a coincidence? Weiterlesen