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Change management and finance: Complementarity or opposition?

In the course of our meetings with business leaders, we notice a common thread: a real desire to change something in the systems and organisations. But what? How do they do it?

They tell us about their doubts, their difficulties...

Mr LEGRAND wants everything and its opposite: He wants to evolve, but without changing anything? He wants things to move forward quickly, but doesn't spend any time thinking about it?

Mr LEGRAND runs a 35-strong SME in the Rhône-Alpes region which he set up more than 15 years ago, but today he is not satisfied with his company's situation. Indeed, it is increasingly difficult to win over customers. Margins are very competitive, not to say cut back, in order to keep customers!

"Let's talk about the customers, no recognition! And always wanting the cheapest possible response in the shortest possible time, with constant changes and increasingly long payments ... and then the sales people don't listen to his recommendations and he has to correct them!

Not to mention the suppliers: no more stock, long lead times, non-negotiable payment deadlines, otherwise the goods are blocked (especially by large suppliers), prices that increase "because that's the way it is".

On top of that, we have to try to understand all these environmental, economic, social, legal and fiscal laws, to anticipate the next quality audit (which has not increased sales!) and the new ratios of the bankers...!!! Everything is done to complicate our lives."

Mr Legrand knows that he can no longer remain as he was before, that the world is moving fast and that he has to adapt, that others are also moving in France, but also in other countries!

In short, he struggles, but does not see his turnover progressing as he would like and finally when he looks at what he has left at the end of the year, his margins, his profitability, what will be his retirement as a company director... He must decide to change, but: how? But how? To what? And then, it's expensive and money is increasingly scarce since the 2008 crisis!

There are the international development projects (because at least that's where things are moving), the change in working methods to produce better, the margins to be better controlled in order to sell better, and then, and then.....How do we make all the staff understand this? How do we get them to invest, because after all, they are also concerned!

Mr LEGRAND is in fact a classic French SME manager who has to decide to change. But where to start, what to rely on and how to organise?

There are so many parameters to take into account that all decisions are complex, especially as there is no room for error, as resources (financial means) are scarce.

It's time to settle down, but what does 'settling down' mean?

- To want to change things, to decide, to motivate oneself, one's colleagues and all the staff, to rely on factual data, to listen and see what is happening around us, to organise, plan, monitor, control and accept to change again and again... because nothing is set in stone.

Yes, change is driven!

But how should an SME/SMI or an SMI engage in change?

The management of a company, its steering, the support of its evolution is a process of continuous improvement. The people, the financial resources, but also the objectives of the manager (personal or company) and the company's strategy are the keys to success.

We suggest starting with the financial data available to analyse, understand, sort and organise it and see the spring of change. They must be approached as triggers, major tools for evolution, explained, understood and shared by all. This is one of the main bottlenecks in companies today: are you aware of this?

One of the conditions for success is knowing how to define the resources needed to bring about the desired transformation: efforts, means, time. Trust + supervision + the right to make mistakes.

Our added value is dedicated to business development.

Would you like to know more? Share an experience, a point of view?


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