Case Studies

Save time and money by identifying and concentrating on profitable activities and products.

The Problem

A storage and distribution business believed it was under-charging some customers and under-incentivising others. Although they had vast amounts of data, they were unable to see the relationship between activity, resource utilization and profits.

The Solution

Using MS Excel and MS Access, I analyzed, filtered and summarised the data to provide a clear picture of usage patterns, and show profit by customer and region. Low-spending customers who consumed a disproportionate amount of resources were highlighted. Furthermore, customers who could potentially save by increasing throughput were identified.

The Result

The company introduced a new pricing structure, which encouraged customers to use resources more efficiently, thereby increasing the company’s profits.

Improve cash flow and avoid future problems using timely and accurate forecasts.

The Problem

A bank had concerns about the financial stability of one of their customers. The information they were receiving was insufficient and did not give them confidence.

The Solution

I met with the bank and their customer to understand the issues and establish what the bank needed to give it confidence. I had further meetings with the customer’s directors and key personnel to learn about their business. I then analyzed the company’s data. This gave me sufficient information to prepare a realistic business plan and cash flow forecast.

The Result

The bank accepted the business plan and cash flow forecast and had the confidence to extend credit to their customer.

Manage resources more effectively using realistic and challenging budgets.

The Problem

A holding company with subsidiaries, overseas suppliers and complicated invoice financing arrangements, needed to prepare a consolidated budget to meet a tight deadline. The Finance Director did not have resources internally to meet the deadline.

The Solution

I spent time with the Finance Director to understand the business of the company and the key reporting requirements. Using MS Excel, I created a dynamic set of inter-linked budget models, which allowed the consideration of different scenarios. The impact on results could be quickly assessed by changing key variables in the model.

The Result

The budget was completed by the deadline and allowed the company to re-negotiate a more favourable finance facility with its bank.

Make wise decisions based on relevant, accurate and timely management reports.

The Problem

My client needed to reduce his costs in line with income. The Management Accounts, which were being produced internally, did not provide the directors with the kind of information they needed to help run their business.

The Solution

I analyzed the company’s financial data and recommended areas where cost savings could be made. The information was presented in a way which the directors found useful and enabled them to make informed decisions. Following my analysis work, I was contracted to produce the monthly Management Accounts.

The Result

The directors received management information, tailored to their needs and saved £17,000 per year by outsourcing the Management Accounts function to Stephen Flicker (ACMA).

Gain supplier discounts through accurate cost analysis and confident negotiating.

The Problem

My client’s main customer was pressing for a second price reduction in six months. The price reduction would have seriously risked driving my client out of business. The Managing Director needed help to retain his customer, whilst at the same time maintaining profitability.

The Solution

I first listened to the Managing Director’s description of his business and what he saw as its strengths and weaknesses. I then carried out a detailed analysis of the company’s activities, costs and income to understand the key drivers. The current break-even volumes were established and a financial model created to consider a number of different and imaginative scenarios. After discussions with key personnel and the MD, three scenarios were established: the “worst case”; “ideal case” and “acceptable case”.

When negotiations with the customer took place, the financial options were clearly presented, without revealing the most sensitive aspects of the client’s commercial information.

The Result

The customer withdrew his request for an additional price discount and went further by offering to return to the prices of six months earlier. The MD and his staff were delighted with the result.

Win more and better business through astute financial modelling.

The Problem

A telecommunications supplier was unsure whether to sign up a new customer. The prospective customer was willing to sign up to a standard rental and call usage tariff but unwilling to pay a connection fee. There was uncertainty whether future revenues would cover the installation costs assocaited with providing the service.

The Solution

A business case was prepared and sensitivity analysis used to see what level of call usage income was required to achieve the company’s return on investment and payback targets. The prospective customer was advised that the service contract would need to contain a provision for a minimum call usage value. This meant that, in the event of a shortfall in the call usage, the customer would pay a “top up” charge to make up the difference.

The Result

The telecommunications supplier was pleased to be able to sign up the customer in the knowledge that his costs would be covered by future income. The customer was pleased to receive service at a competetive price.