Achieve Your Personal Goals Through the Success of Your Business

The Story of Joe: How one man used the Apex Kairos process to transform his business and achieve his personal goals.

 

Have you ever found your business hitting a plateau—or even a decline—and weren’t sure what to do about it? Or perhaps you have thought about expanding your business, but hesitated due to concerns about the impact on your personal life?

You may find inspiration in the story of Joe, the owner of Dynamic Components, a manufacturing company that he founded 10 years ago. He currently employs about 60 people to support the company’s $10 million in annual revenues. Joe works long hours, frequently giving up time with his family because of the demands at Dynamic.

Joe’s Starting Situation Was Rough

He was having a particularly rough time last February:

  • Employees were putting in many hours of overtime to fill customer orders. Yet despite their efforts, a major customer told Joe that if Dynamic’s fulfillment times did not improve, they would have to start looking for an alternative supplier.
  • Joe knew that profits had weakened, but didn’t realize how bad until his accountant delivered Dynamic’s year-end results: gross profit percentage was down 4 points from the prior year.

Joe decided it was time to look for a new accounting firm, one that would be more proactive and could help him figure out how to move his business forward. He had heard about Apex and the Kairos business strategy planning process, so he decided to give it a try.

Joe Needed to Align His Business, Financial, and Personal Goals

Apex helped Joe define three big-picture objectives that aligned his personal, business, and financial goals:

  • Improve the company’s liquidity. More specifically, increase profits and reduce the burden that debt service placed on the company’s cash flow.
  • Buy a lake house in Wisconsin where he can enjoy his favorite activities, boating and fishing, with his family—something he has sacrificed for the business over the past 10 years. His concerns about the company’s debt had kept him from making this big personal investment.
  • Get the company to a point in 10 years where he can extract enough money from it to pay for his grandkids’ college.

With Apex’s Help, Joe and His VPs Diagnosed Their Problems and Implemented Solutions

Joe liked that Apex took the time to deeply understand his business and helped him define his goals. But he loved that Apex would stay involved every step of the way until those goals were met, bringing all of Apex’s financial measurement, forecasting, and tax expertise to bear. Apex helped the Dynamic team define four high-priority initiatives, set timelines, assign accountabilities, create metrics for success, and measure their progress. Here are just two of those initiatives.

 

Production

Goal: Improve production turnaround times and reduce employee turnover in production.

Problem: Order fulfillment procedures were disorganized and required too much manual effort, resulting in too much last-minute overtime and high employee turnover.

Solution: Implement a state-of-the-art production planning system with training for the entire production team, plus a bonus program directly tied to on-time delivery, zero overtime, and lower employee turnover.

Outcome: As production planning improved, fulfillment times dropped. Employee morale improved, and Dynamic’s top five customers started increasing their orders.

 

Sales, Profits and Cash Flow

Goal: Increase sales and use the extra profits to pay down company debt.

Problem: Dynamic had only been looking at financials for the company as a whole. Drilling down by product line revealed an opportunity to shift the focus of their sales and marketing efforts. Drilling down to the customer level revealed some unprofitable customers.

Solution:  Sales and marketing efforts were redirected from the division with the lowest gross margin percentage to the one with the highest. Joe also dropped some overly demanding and unprofitable customers.

Outcome: Gross profit margin went up 6 points. After showing Joe some tax-saving strategies, Apex recommended that Dynamic use its extra cash to pay down its building loan and refinance at a lower rate, thereby strengthening its balance sheet and improving cash flow.

 

The Fruits of the Kairos Process

Seeing the fruits of the Kairos process, Joe felt both relieved and reinvigorated. Apex’s ongoing support was keeping both the new initiatives and the company’s overall health on track, so Joe was able to carve out some much-needed breathing space for his personal and family life. Joe also felt confident enough about the company’s profit and liquidity trends to talk to his wife about spending part of their vacation next summer looking at lakefront properties. The company would deliver the financial results needed to achieve his personal goals.

Ready to Take Big Steps Forward with Your Business?

Joe did it. So can you. Contact Apex in our St. Charles office at 630.584.4555.

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