Q. Reducing margins?

Drifts over time. Often unnoticed. Multiple contributory factors in different parts of the company. Affects cash flow. After identifying the cause, each will be addressed in a suitable way and timescale.

Q. Busy but not making money?

Working hard. Great sales, but monthly result is disappointing. This is not always about selling prices. It could be the costings, using unplanned resources to compensate for another change, rework/quality issues, over delivering, to name a few. Compass will look for and address these aspects.

Q. Growing very quickly, but operations rocking?

A desirable situation but the company has to adapt to the success, before service levels or profitability are impacted.

Q. Contracts/Jobs not making the planned profit?

This could relate to the initial costing or the way the contract/order is fulfilled. Changes being made without following the proper process. Examining the quote, through to delivery/completion will highlight the trends to be sorted.

Q. Short of money?

Money is the symptom of underlying issues but rarely the cause. Operations drive the money. Digging to understand the real causes makes immediate targetted action successful. Compass does the digging and implements the planned changes, to completion.

Q. Due diligence- Acquisition/merger?

Prior to an acquisition or merger, there is huge focus on numbers. However, the driver of the numbers is often not probed. Vulnerabilities with customers, suppliers, key staff will be missed. By examining the operation, the strengths and weaknesses of the numbers will be exposed.

Q. Does the production schedule change more often than it needs to?

Its good to accommodate the customers demands, but the impact on the machine utilisation and labour maybe negative. The production plan has to be fully connected to sales and forecasting. Compass reduces frequent changes, increases utilisation.

Q. Fines -Customer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) breached?

The customer contract states what is required and has been committed to. When the service falls below the agreement, fines are incurred. This remains with the accounts area and is not shared with sales/operations. It affects reputation as well as profits. Understanding the frequency and then the reason trends will point to what needs changing in the operations.

Q. Too many credit notes being issued?

An unseen margin stealer. Often ignored, due to no visibility of the frequency and value. Provoked by short deliveries, poor quality (products or service), picking errors, stock availability discrepancies and others. Appears to be a financial issue, but really is operational.

Q. Cash position is concerning?

The P+L looks good, but cash is not. It can relate to late billing, stock builds, buying, production and sales. All of these will be examined to see the impact, so changes can be made.

Q. Post merger/acquisition integration not working?

The synergies predicted and essential, have not materialised. Its hard to stay focused after the transaction. Strategy requires a successful integration. Compass will merge the assets, resources and culture to unify the operation into one entity.

Q. Warehouse too full?

Space is short, growing quickly, stock hard to access, damage to racking and equipment, stock being “lost”. All this affects pick/put away rates, order fulfilment, OTIF.

Compass will reduce and rebalance the stock while keeping the customer service level high. Slow moving, obsolete stock identified and removed. Fast selling lines can be topped up.

Q. Hard to spot trends?

User friendly, concise, management information is essential to identify trends. Compass will get the data and present it so it can be easily read, understood and used.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.