The Road AheadCheck but not mate [Archives:2003/644/Business & Economy]

June 23 2003

Raidan Al-Saqqaf
In today's highly competitive world, managers and businessmen have to be nothing less than supermen to succeed, especially in our country, which is facing deep- rooted economic trouble.
Why supermen? Look at this scenario: Your company is in deep trouble; outdated physical assets, financial illness, your brands have become a liability for a new generation, and your staff seems to be drifting apart. What do you do? You do need a miracle.
This is why managing a sick company is one very hard task; managers start cutting costs, reducing salaries and expenditures, and in our complex third world society, such measures have a great impact on the economy, especially when most of the companies are doing as such, but how else would a sick company be managed?
There are Corporate Turnaround methods that have proved viable in a developing economy like ours, but these turnaround methods require special conditions that must be created to transform such sick into viable corporations, one of these is the Asset utilization approach.
This philosophy of turnaround management is based on a simple belief: People never fail, businesses do. But in spite of that, this still means that people should examine the circumstances that result in the poor performance of the company, and then bring change agents in order to get the best use of the current resources; to get new brains to discover other alternatives possible from the available limited resources. And then develop the asset utilization turnaround strategy.
A turnaround, based on an asset utilization strategy, means exploiting the underutilized assets to initiate the turnaround, these assets might be machines, people, infrastructure, methods & know-how, information, organizational relations and alliances, market network, etc. However, the success of such a strategy depends on the creativity level with which these assets are utilized.
Indeed, sometimes that company will have to change even its centers of excellence or redefine its businesses and look for other opportunities that might be better prepared for. Sometimes moving away from the historical business is the only way to go, and the company has to find a new vision, for example technological advances leave no other options for companies but to update, redefine or die.
Nevertheless, even if your company is not in deep trouble now, keep an eye on the future and be prepared with an asset utilization strategy, if it didn't help your company survive, it will definitely help build your company's' strength.
Endnote: Check but not mate, yet. Adopting an asset utilization turnaround strategy is usually the best option for a sick company in an economy like ours, in order to identify appropriate market opportunities and revive the company.