Case Study - UK Subsidiary of a German Fulfilment House
Started out as the UK subsidiary of a German fulfilment house specialising in the mailing of written documents such as magazines. I was hired by the parent company, because of concerns about the long-term viability of the UK business.
The company was saddled with massive overheads due to overly large premises and a suite of expensive leased machinery that was grossly underutilised. On the face of it, the only viable option appeared to be closure.
Our Solutions and Results
A balanced appraisal of the business - what was working and what wasn’t
After spending some time with the management team, it became apparent that while there were serious financial challenges, the business wasn’t all bad. The data division, which handled the subscriber lists used to manage the packaging and mailing process, was efficient and productive.
Spin off the data division as a separate entity
The UK subsidiary had been under the management control of their parent company in Germany, without strategic oversight from a local CEO until too late in the day. They had been managed ineffectively by the Sales Director and had made several bad decisions regarding premises and equipment. With my help and support, the UK Data Manager took the decision that his department could be a viable standalone business.
A radical reduction in fixed costs to put the ongoing business back in the black
I recommended walking away from the existing operations and setting up separately elsewhere. I helped them to dramatically downsize, both in terms of their premises and equipment and in so doing slashed their overheads without reducing their quality or service levels.
A realistic managed growth strategy
Once the data department was carved out of the fulfilment business, the remaining business was profitable again. As their outsourced finance director, I have continued to work with them define and implement a plan for steady, sustainable growth which took the following factors into consideration:
- Strategic Focus
- Sensible decision making
I have been working with the Data Business now for some ten years. Thanks to my interventions, the management team have had the confidence to grow their business despite having gained their independence at the beginning of a major recession. Over this period, their turnover has increased tenfold, they are in their 3rd premises, and their headcount has risen from two to ten.
If you would like to discover how the Outsourced Finance Director can help your business grow, please contact me here.