Management Consultants

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About Hugh Latif & Associates

Consulting Assignments

GROWING PAINS: This medium size manufacturer of gift items and accessories was struggling to cope with its capitalization and cash flow. We completed our review of this young business and helped management prioritize its objectives and focus on managing issues in a consistent and disciplined manner. Our recommendations resulted in improved profitability and increased sales for the short-term while a long-term plan is expected to keep management focused on building value for the shareholders.

SALES INCREASE: This well-established industrial service company wanted to expand its product/service line by offering new imported products. We assisted management in formulating a sales and marketing plan that leveraged the existing clientele and the core competencies of the company while limiting the capital outlay. Client achieved good results beyond expectations and is on track for a second record year in sales and profits.

WHEN THE ECONOMY SLOWS DOWN: This well-established and fast growing manufacturer was taken by surprise by the telecom meltdown. We assisted management in reviewing its processes in sales, marketing and operations and helped management adjust to a new sales level well below the company’s peak. The company lowered its break-even point significantly while retaining its key team members. The profit margin was protected and the company is back to growing its top and bottom line again.

STRATEGIC FOCUS: This diversified technology company over-expanded its activities but forgot to enlarge its customer base. Relying on government relationships that vanished overnight represented a significant threat to survival. We assisted management with a strategic plan to divest assets that did not constitute long-term potential and to re-invest the proceeds to the areas of opportunities. The company survived a most difficult threat and is back to a growth mode. This time it is healthy growth and on a solid strategic foundation.

A RETAILER RE-ENERGIZED: A well-established retailer of furniture, giftware, home accessories and décor invited us to review its operations as sales were flat and profitability eroded. Our review touched every area of the business and our practical recommendations helped management with re-energized sales and service routines, redirection of advertising, improved margins, reduced inventory and added discipline to many internal processes. Results were almost immediate with both sales and profits solidly growing and the margin set to a new record.

MANAGING GROWTH: This fast growing new business was enjoying tremendous growth of its sales but was paying a high price with staff turnover, reduced profitability and organizational dysfunction. We were retained to advise management on an on-going basis. After a year and one half, our counsel assisted management to cope with organizational issues that included an H/R manual, organization structure, job descriptions. Incentive plans, shareholders agreement, budget planning, strategic planning, operational and logistical systems, CFO recruitment and sales and marketing initiatives. The company has moved swiftly to its next business level absorbing growth in an orderly manner and is set to double its size every 3 years.

SHIFTING BUSINESS GEARS: This well-established wholesaler and distributor of plumbing and industrial supplies had consistently grown its top and bottom line. During the last three years though, business was flat as the day-to-day dominated the small management team attention. We conducted a review of the business and made less than a handful of recommendations. Within six months, the company was back to solid double-digit growth on and on track to achieve its new three-year growth plan.

ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE AND DISCIPLINE: This family-owned and managed industrial parts distributor and light manufacturing business was growing well but the lack of organization structure and the family and business conflicts represented a potential “time bomb” in the making. Sensing the need for a professional and independent assistance, we were called in to review the overall business and recommend solutions. We analyzed the business needs, conducted SWOT analysis (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats) and interviewed all key managers. With an orderly structure in place, clear accountabilities, quantifiable objectives and a practical monitoring process, the company accelerated its growth and the bottom line is on track to double in record time.

WHEN THE BUSINESS GROWS BEYOND A SIMPLE " HANDSHAKE": A small Canadian distributor was growing rapidly across Canada and relying on one major manufacturer from the USA for its product line. We assisted this Canadian company in preparing a Distribution Agreement with the prime manufacturer to solidify the relationship, which was only based upon a handshake. We also put together a simple strategy to diversify their product line and increase the number of manufacturers represented. The company continued its healthy growth while simultaneously strengthened its strategic position by not being overly vulnerable to one supplier.

WHEN SALES GROWTH AND MARGINS TAKE OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS: This mid-size well-established firm was enjoying rapid growth of its top line. The Gross Profit Margin however, was going in the opposite direction. A tougher competitive environment was apparently to blame for this. We were invited to conduct an independent strategic review. Our analysis showed that while competition had something to do with depressed margins, other internal management issues were the main cause. Over a two year period, we assisted management to execute a strategic plan with specific tactical targets, implemented revised objectives, tied remuneration to performance standards and succeeded in achieving significant improvement in the Gross Margin while continuing the sales growth.

FATHER-SON SUCCESSION: This well established business service provider was struggling with its succession plan. The passing of the baton from father to son was running into serious problems that put at risk the succession and if un-resolved would quickly have driven the son to change career paths. We were invited to mentor both father and son, and act as coach to the son. We identified a number of key issues that needed tough decisions to be made. We also identified hidden issues preventing a “let go” attitude. By working diligently, patiently and in a disciplined manner over a period of time, we succeeded in changing key behaviors and successfully effected a smoother transition of power between father to son. An improvement in the operating results was achieved indicating that the succession was successful and has better chances of withstanding the test of time.

WHEN GROWTH GETS OUT OF HAND: This family owned retailer was a leader in its immediate market place. Rapid sales growth was welcomed but was creating real organization challenges and stretching the company resources to its limits. Margins were declining, inventory had increased significantly and clients dissatisfaction was growing. We reviewed the operations, made a handful of carefully selected recommendations and assisted management in formulating a strategic road map for the future. A number of innovative actions provided key solutions to service issues and a new POS and inventory management system was successfully implemented giving significant new capabilities to successfully manage sales and inventory levels. A new organization structure was also put in place allowing the business to grow in a more structured manner. The sales growth fueled healthy bottom line growth and the company had now a recipe to grow in an orderly manner.

Memberships and/or Affiliated with

1996 - 2016