Falling into the trap of initiative overload

Initiative overload is common in nearly every organization. Today, companies always seem to be juggling a multitude of projects simultaneously. And while each of these projects surely had the best of intentions, as more projects are added the more likely they are to be dropped. For every new initiative launched, another one slows down or ceases altogether.

Mitigating the inherent risks of a global talent shortage

With stagnant demand across many developed economies and increasing uncertainty in emerging markets, CEOs are under pressure to execute an effective growth strategy.

Improving G&A performance

With so many moving parts, it can be challenging to get G&A functions in synch. Indirect costs — those not directly linked to operations — are not normally addressed with the same discipline and rigor as direct costs.

Alexander Proudfoot celebrates 70th year in business

Today signifies a major milestone in Alexander Proudfoot's storied history -- it marks the 70-year anniversary of the company's existence.

Our resolution for 2016: to deliver even more value to our clients

Let's face it, 2016 doesn't look any easier. With the stock market in turmoil and oil prices plummeting, it is safe to assume global CEOs in almost every industry will face a daunting combination of external fiscal pressures, competitive forces, misguided strategies, ineffective business plans and lackluster improvement efforts. In the aftermath of this perfect storm, companies will struggle to reach their goals. 

Do you have what it takes to inspire change?


Results from our organization assessment survey show a downward trend in the effectiveness of self-driven corporate change programs, internal training and general management capabilities. Upon further investigation of the 5,171 global responses we received from both managers and employees, it became apparent that the root cause was the inability to institutionalize behaviors that would bring about lasting change.

Setting the wheels of change in motion

As the old saying goes, the only constant in business is change. Inevitably, all organizations will at some point need to evolve by implementing a more structured and radical change program. There are several reasons for this including increased competition, lack of stakeholder confidence, reputation of the business at stake and technological advances.

Taking steps to minimize risk

In the aftermath of a high-profile corporate crisis, it is a foregone conclusion that chief executives must respond quickly to avoid further backlash. However, according to the HBR article Strategy: How to Live with Risks, a recent survey shows 60% of corporate strategy officers said that their company's decision-making process is too slow and that 91% of these companies plan to reprioritize risk management in the next three years. So what can senior executives do to prepare, or better yet avoid a highly combustible situation?

The correlation between leadership and productivity

According to The Economist, if there is a harsh lesson to be learned from China’s recent panic it’s that the rest of the world needs to raise its level of productivity. Long gone are the days where relentless Chinese expansion could be relied upon to keep the global economy moving, and despite external factors that promote robust productivity growth, companies continue to lose ground. If tackling productivity at the microeconomic level is the key to unlocking a nation’s true potential, then business leaders must be part of the solution.

We must stop meeting like this!

It is estimated that meetings consume more than two days a week of an executive’s time and 15% of an organization’s collective time. It's no wonder many executives are exclaiming, "We must stop meeting like this!" to their supervisory and management teams. 

Closing the execution gap

An interview with former Chevron President, Ray Wilcox

As the petrochemical industry adapts to the current business environment, many in the upper echelons of the business are relying on operational excellence (OE) strategies to become more efficient.

Three important aspects of project prioritization

Faced with the constant threat of rising costs and low margins, executives are doing everything they can to survive. Initiatives that reduce costs, maintain cash flow and eliminate debt are now focal points for companies trying to cope with the current market. In many cases, CEOs are under serious pressure to deliver targeted benefits in a relatively short amount of time.

A closer look at the consumer packaged goods industry

The perception of the unique challenges faced by the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry varies across the different continents we surveyed for our recent index. However, high costs and low margins ranked the highest among our global constituents. The following infographic ranks the top two issues by region according to the companies we surveyed in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

The importance of developing a cash management culture

After years of working capital deterioration, companies are beginning to understand the importance of working capital as it relates to sustaining day-to-day operations and stimulating growth. According to PwC's 2015 Annual Global Working Capital Survey, last year was the first significant decrease in global working capital in four years, with a 2.9% year‑on‑year improvement. This trend is also linked to an 11.3% spike in the level of cash held by companies -- the highest surplus of readily avialable funds in five years.

Four areas where procurement improvement initiatives are essential

Unfortunately, we are seeing far less procurement initiatives that target efficiency and effectiveness in the field despite the ongoing promise of great rewards from companies that offer related products and services. The C-level executives we spoke to recently were very forthcoming about a general lack of progress due to ineffective responses to strategic problems and opportunities.

Lost time a real problem according to Proudfoot Advisory Board

The issue of poor time management does not discriminate – affecting all industries and facets of a business. It can be a real eye-opener for executives when examined from a cost perspective, but it also presents a tremendous opportunity for improvement.

Six steps to address a skills shortage

One of the most significant challenges facing many businesses today is the dire shortage of highly skilled workers. These shortages are reaching such alarming levels that business leaders and economic pundits believe the mismatch of supply and demand could hinder economic recovery. However, the following six steps have the potential to mitigate the effects of a skills shortage without increasing costs.

Seven supply chain tips to improve working capital


In her second installment on supply chain performance, Alexander Proudfoot Global Supply Chain Lead, Jaymie Forrest focuses on seven ways to improve working capital. They are as follows: