Assignment 18. 2003
XYZ GmbH / Machine tools manufacturer
Turnaround manager (actual client was a bank)
Turnaround, head off bankruptcy
This family-owned company was very low on equity and had broken even at best over a number of years. The problem was that design costs were weighing on orders. Customers ordered what in principle were standard machines. However, more and more extras were added during the course of the several months it took to manufacture the machines and it was nearly impossible to get customers to pay for those design changes afterwards. The fact that the owner was also in charge of design rendered it nearly impossible to alter this state of affairs. It was possible to avoid bankruptcy in the short term but the existing ownership structure and limited authority rendered it impossible to achieve a lasting turnaround. I resigned from the assignment after attaining the short-term targets.