Cash flow? Customers? Costs? Find and solve the real issues

Social housing provider

What the problem looked like: Securing ongoing profitability.

What Compass actually discovered: Customer non-payment; inflated maintenance work costs; lack of payment options and opportunities; customer service issues.

Resolution: Introduced tenant-friendly payment scheme; detailed monitoring of repair quotes and work additions.

Results: Stronger cash-flow, improved loan servicing, improved responsiveness.


Uncover what’s hurting sales

Clothing retailer

What the problem looked like: Range was underselling.

What Compass actually discovered: Poor sourcing was decimating size availability, sales of key products badly hit; store staff not proactive with customers.

Resolution: Revised sourcing and goods receipt processes to ensure size composition became a permanent strategic component of stock management. Store training.

Results: Rapid sales recovery, thanks to increased availability of the styles customers wanted most; attention to store visitors, to convert them to customers.


Poor sales & high running costs

Retailer – top-end brand

What the problem looked like: The product range was generating poor sales.

What Compass actually discovered: The stores were too big, visual appeal was spoiled, and the cost of merchandising the stores was too high.

Resolution: Closed one entire floor of the store to create a smaller environment with more concentrated visual product presence, and more accessible customer care.

Results: Reduced costs, improved retail appeal; increased sales.


Work with the teams to rescue quality – and income!

Own-brand manufacturing, direct to retail

What the problem looked like: Clients refusing payment.

What Compass actually discovered: Poor quality control at both production and warehouse meant shortages - missing and damaged - so customers naturally blocked payments.

Resolution: Worked in situ with production and warehousing teams to implement processes that enabled them to spot shortfalls and quality issues early, and correct them before shipping.

Results: Strengthened income and cashflow, better customer relationships, reduced complaint administration workload.


Investigate first, acquire later, achieve best fit

Leisure equipment producer

What the problem looked like: Acquisition would create excess, unsellable stock.

What Compass discovered: Extensive pre-acquisition investigation revealed opportunities to merge existing product ranges.

Resolution: Optimised marketing, stock, and pricing strategies.

Results: Acquisition delivered stronger sales, with minimal stock surplus and discounting.


Ditch the bags and bag some sales

UK retail group

What the problem looked like: Poor sales in critical pre-Christmas period.

What Compass discovered: Bagged items had poor product visibility in-store; contents damaged or dirtied by static electricity; displays required constant maintenance.

Resolution: Developed hanger-based display method to replace bagged packaging.

Results: Increased sales; reduced packaging costs and plastic consumption; lowered display maintenance overheads; decreased returns of damaged and dirty stock.


Define and enforce quality to protect revenues

Textile presentation

What the problem looked like: They didn’t know they had a problem!

What Compass discovered: Technical flaws in textiles affecting operational efficiency, threatening client trust, and creating financial liabilities.

Resolution: Developed and enforced technical specifications and standards at suppliers.

Results: Improved quality; fewer client returns; stronger margins.


Costings and process control: unseen extras

Event and display specialist

What the problem looked like: Persistent cashflow shortage.

What Compass actually discovered: Flawed quotes and poor recording of ‘extras’ systematically eroding revenues and margins, and causing costly stock control errors.

Resolution: Per-product coding for accurate quotation and stock control, accessible to relevant system users; rigorous rules and processes for quote creation, checking, signoff, and actioning.

Results: Strengthened revenues and margins, coordinated with cost-effective stock control and new flexibility in both hourly rate and stock item pricing; cashflow issues eliminated.


Understand customers to boost margins

IT services company

What the problem looked like: Cashflow and profitability.

What Compass actually discovered: Poor sales scoping resulted in low-profitability customers, and missed opportunities to maximise margins on hardware and services.

Resolution: Overhauled sales process to scope prospects correctly, identifying and focusing on those that could be mapped to a higher-margin, all-in-one service model

Results: Faster, more profitable conversions; strengthened sales morale; healthier revenues and margins; improved cashflow.


From hidden wastage costs to cost-effective sales

Raw materials processor

What the problem looked like: Weak sales margins.

What Compass actually discovered: Poor understanding of true materials wastage and costs, and impacts - labour, machine utilisation, disposal, environmental.

Resolution: Established close collaboration between sales and production to understand the real impact of orders, and reassess viability.

Results: Rigorous sales process established; margins maximised; costs lowered; waste and environmental impact reduced.



Making equipment more effective

Logistics specialist

 What the problem looked like: Equipment reliability, maintenance costs, upgrade needed.

What Compass actually discovered: Inefficient physical site layout causing handling equipment to travel further and run excess hours, increasing contract and maintenance costs.

Resolution: Smart rearrangement of physical environment to achieve pick/pack/put-away rates over shorter distances.

Results: Dramatically reduced the distance, frequency, and wear of equipment movement, lowering operating and maintenance costs, enhancing productivity, and increasing margin.


Steering the business away from a rate change

Vehicle sales and after-service

What the problem looked like: A need to increase the prices to customers to restore profitability.

What Compass actually discovered: Lost revenue and margin because technicians were not filling out job sheets completely or legibly; poor preparation causing technicians to attend jobs without necessary parts / materials prepared and available.

Resolution: Implemented standardised, simple job sheet and prep list process. 

Results: Vastly improved communications between technicians and front desk; average job time reduced; productivity increased; strengthened bottom line; hourly rate change became an option rather than a necessity.


Merger & Acquisition: real integration

Homeware business

What the problem looked like: Merger and acquisition not delivering expected benefits.

What Compass actually discovered: Poor initial due diligence had failed to properly identify integration priorities.

Resolution: Post-acquisition process to rigorously identify which assets could and should be combined, which should not, and bring working groups together to deliver on each combination,

Results: Unification of assets delivered better purchasing power, reduced duplication of effort and associated costs, and produced results more in line with post-acquisition expectations.


Useful automation

Producer of household goods

What the problem looked like: Low return on automation investment.

What Compass actually discovered: Automation costs outweighed benefits for some product lines.

Resolution: Identified products for which automation delivered cost-benefit; procured different automation solutions and implemented new processes to maximise benefits.

Results: Operating costs reduced; margins per product increased; commercial focus shifted to balance optimum automation costs with optimum returns.


ERP: to get the right fit, search, select, and test

Hygiene equipment

What the problem looked like: Lack of multi-team visibility - data in hundreds of spreadsheets.

What Compass actually discovered: Need to transition from spreadsheets to suitable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.

Resolution: Involved all stakeholders to scope, test on multiple sites, and evaluate ERP solutions to find the right fit for the organisation in terms of simplicity and ease of use.

Results: User-friendly ERP selected; massively enhanced visibility of data to support right-first-time decision-making; reduced admin overheads; collaborative adoption.


Refine the proposition, grow the sales

Display & POS packaging

What the problem looked like: Poor sales limited by local conditions.

What Compass actually discovered: Non-alignment with group sales strategies; missed opportunities to adapt proposition to tap into national markets.

Resolution: Overhauled target prospecting, quotations, process, focusing on national retail chains.

Results: Replaced local, low-margin/volume sales with established, repeatable, high-volume sales nationally, strengthened revenues and profits; increased team productivity.


Due diligence shortcomings

Plastics recycling

What the problem looked like: Post-acquisition operational issues.

What Compass discovered: Pre-acquisition due diligence problem: underperformance in one division being masked by stronger performance in another - not identified

Resolution: Fix buying & production issues.

Results: Hidden issues identified and confronted; begin to restore profits.


Identify the problems that Profit & Loss hides!

Manufacturing business

What the problem looked like: Superficially healthy assets and P&L, but poor cash-flow

What Compass actually discovered: Poor stock management distorting the asset picture and impairing sales volumes.

Resolution: Overhauled stock management; removed costly stock holding; focused on stocking what sold best.

Results: Optimised storage space, reduced warehousing workload and costs, boosted sales income; healthy cashflow.

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