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Gary S. Rushin, CPA/CIRA
The end of 2011 showed economic renewal and the signs of consumer confidence. But wait! Conducting business like the good old days has vanished like a butterfly that flew away. The effects of the 2008 economic downturn and the subsequent “great recession” have changed market forces and how companies must manage business models. And with Europe still considered on the brink of currency collapse that can engulf the world, experience has taught us that new performance agendas must emerge for companies to adapt to the new market reality. In taking into account this new reality, key performance methods and measurements are required and actions must be made to include:
Enhance operational flexibility
Optimize market reach
Re-evaluate the business model
Accelerate decision-making and execution
Strengthen management talent
Heighten capital availability and deployment
Revive risk management
Strengthened stakeholder confidence
Normally in times of crisis, the customary practice is retrenchment, reduction in force, focus on today, and taking care of the immediate to avoid tumbling. With the reality of these challenges, management must determine whether the company is heading towards the right direction. Four key questions must be asked to improve competitive strategies:
Are the changes in the domestic and global markets temporary or permanent?
Over the next three years, what trends must a company anticipate?
Of the company’s business functions, what changes will be necessary over the coming three years to be competitive?
How should the company’s key performance indicators evolve to provide better management measurements?
In planning for growth, companies must develop an overview of the next three years to compete. After surviving the years of economic crisis, the aftermath lull, the possible European monetary collapse, and the continued U.S. political deadlock, for companies—the only certainty is uncertainty, which makes competitive strategies critical.
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