In order to strengthen the company's balance sheet and create space for future investments, the council housing company got the owner's directive that the company's residential properties should be divested.
In a preparatory phase the company worked systematically to increase the value of the properties. Partly through strategic real estate development, partly by improving cash flow through both rental-rate increases higher than the market average as rationalization of operation and maintenance, with cost reductions as a result.
The actual sales were made in batches and in different ways. A number of properties was converted to condominiums and sold to the residents. It was a way to distribute the ownership of apartments to more people, but also to get better paid than if they were sold as rental property. A number of properties was sold piecewise to different buyers. Finally, there was a process in which the remaining more than 500 apartments was sold by tender to one buyer.
After the divestments a comprehensive change in the company's organization conducted, to adapt to the new situation and future challenges. The company's Board of Directors had a very active and dynamic role throughout the whole process of change.
In the years 2007 - 2012, 1 100 apartments were sold, and the company's operations were streamlined to owning and managing municipal premises.
Strategies for profitable, sustainable growth, by along with the organization develop and implement strategies and methods to continuously follow up the goals and strategies.
During 1997-2007 a growth strategy was conducted under which a Swedish chemical company with export was converted into the leading international group of companies in the surface treatment of wooden floors. A concept was created that included products for finished parquet, renovation and maintenance of wooden floors. It was also established an international marketing organization as well as a clear strategy for brand building. This also meant the building of a sales organization covering Europe, the United States and Asia. It also meant building up an international strategy for sourcing and logistics.
The group grew during those years from just under 300MSEK to over 1350MSEK, with good profitability and strong financial position. The strong growth also required clear values that was accepted with all colleagues in the more than 20 countries where the group was present.
The public sector is facing major challenges. The costs need to be reduced, while residents' perceived quality and freedom of choice needs to increase. According to this background were in the years 2007 – 2009 conducted a process of competitive tendering of the main part of a medium-sized Swedish municipality's operations.
All activities preceded carefully to identify which ones were possible and appropriate for competitive tendering. A program for competitive tendering containing regulations, guidelines, plan making and implementation were developed. The program was implemented by successively completed procurements of the business - the production of tender documents, evaluation of bids received and the adoption of an entrepreneur.
Evaluation results show that the costs have been reduced by up to 25%. Through detailed specification and structured follow-up, the quality in many operations improved significantly.
The company group suffered from both poor profitability as well as the urgent need to free up capital. Similar production capacity was also available in other units around the Nordic countries. The company group originated from a variety of smaller acquisitions where the acquired entities retained both its production capacity / capability and its local sales force.
After careful analysis, it was found that there was sufficient total capacity so two plants could be closed down and the volumes distributed to the other seven Nordic units without the clients were affected negatively, whether it concerned lead times or quality. Also, a functional organization were introduced where all production gathered for one manager and sales over another. A new transfer pricing system was introduced to avoid sub-optimization and internal price competition where previously the purpose hollowed Group's results.
For the company group, this meant that the result greatly improved, and that freed up capital employed. Furthermore, the company received a more competitive offer to the market since the sales force had a complete offer.
A medium-sized business with twelve sellers on the Swedish market have problems with very different sales levels for apparently the same type of work. New budgets are set based on the previous year's results. Some sellers manage their goals and some others are far behind theirs. Year after year.
After an in-depth review and analysis of daily sales work can be concluded that there is no greater internal knowledge of why they succeed or fail. A model is built up consisting of a quantification of what sales job consists of. This in turn leads on to the terms of outcomes of sent quotes and average size of the order. Once the model is completed, each seller can see how much effort it takes to reach the goal. The budgets can now be set with the sellers' full knowledge of what work is required to achieve their individual budgets. The sales manager can react immediately when the work does not support the goal.
The goals are often set based on the previous year's result with a perfunctory view. Sellers who can actually perform significantly better flying flags of convenience and the managers have no way to get more out without better data. Some of the sellers do not reach their goals at all and others which has in some cases been able to establish that their circumstances were quite different and these had too high sales targets.
With the right tools, you could get a direct link between time spent and result. The anchoring of budgets came with automatics and the company could get the maximum out of all sales and total sales could increase by 20% in one year. The best sellers and those with the best potential could increase their sales considerably. It also creates a better "we-feeling" when some individuals, without reasonable cause, will not be seen as underperforming.
One of Sweden's major companies in the transport and logistics industry lacked clear objectives and follow-up system for its sellers. It also lacked knowledge of market size and potential, as well as the lack of good support for the sales force. The sales team consisted of 30 sellers who were divided in five business areas.
The work began with a preparation of a market analysis to determine the size of the various business areas and history of each salesperson. In this work were analyzed cut orders, number of quotes that was order, visitor frequency, etc.
Once the facts about market was compiled and analyzed, the management together with the sales force made an activity plan for each business line broken down to individual salespeople. This meant that each salesperson had clear goals for their business and could plan their sales work in a professional and independent manner. It became very clear, both for the management of the business area and each salesperson, how much sales contact that was required to be able to provide quotes that then led to the order.
With this planning and dedication of the sales force, the sales increased rapidly. With the reporting package built to comply with the new goals and way of working it also made clear which customers that were profitable. This also led to improved gross margins.
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