I write about two of the factors I consider central to successful growth and I used to build JPIndustries (JPI) in to A Fortune 500 Corporation at a time of economic recession, high interest rates and an exodus of manufacturing operations from the mid west: synergy and homogeneity.
You are probably saying to yourselves that synergy was a concept of the 1960’s which was not notably and successfully employed by the conglomerates which coined it, and that homogeneity reminds you more of processing milk than of conducting business.
But these words, synergy and homogeneity are Creek. And I of Greek origin. I believe that understood and applied correctly, the concepts expressed by these words have clear practical meanings and direct application to business growth.
Synergy comes from the Greek synergia, meaning “working together”. From the same root we have synergism, which means cooperative action of separate agencies such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the effects taken independently. This is the basis for the famous 2+2=5 definition of synergy promoted as the strategy of the conglomerates of the 1960’s.
I would propose to you that in the 1960’s the term synergy was poorly understood and in many cases poorly applied. That is the fault not of the concept, but of its utilization. And I would further propose that, correctly understood and applied the concept of synergy works.
Continue reading AN OPERATING CORPORATE GROWTH STRATEGY: Building a Fortune 500 Manufacturing Business (7th article in the series on M&A)
Buying a company is a demanding, complex process requiring a wide range of skills and abilities. If you understand this process thoroughly, then you are far more likely to make the right purchase decision. Whether you are buying the corner ice cream parlor or a $100-million business, following certain steps will enhance your chances of successfully operating a profitable venture once the deal is closed.
Psarouthakis founded and built J.P. Industries into a Fortune 500 company by acquiring underperforming auto parts and plumbing products manufacturers, selling the company to a British conglomerate, T&N Plc. Next, he founded JPE Inc., which manufactured and distributed auto and truck parts for OEM and the aftermarket. Although Psarouthakis’s experience draws heavily on the manufacture and distribution of durable goods sectors, many aspects of the process are the same, regardless of the industry. Interviews conducted by coauthor Lorraine (Hendrickson) Uhlaner with entrepreneurs involved in acquisitions for the retailing, service, and construction sectors and other published information about the acquisitions process also influence the content of this book.
The Buying Infrastructure
It is estimated by various sources that tens of thousands of businesses change ownership every year. For an updated estimate of this high-volume activity, contact the International Business Brokers Association. To support the very high number of transactions, a rather broad and complex infrastructure exists for finding and promoting deals. Few businesses up for sale are advertised in published sources. Relying upon this infrastructure is likely to provide you with a larger number of high-quality leads to choose from and with less effort than trying to find them on your own. To be taken seriously within the business-investment community, you typically must demonstrate an understanding of the deal-making process, even if you hire consultants to assist you in the search. Continue reading HOW TO ACQUIRE THE RIGHT BUSINESS-An Introduction
What can you learn from other CEO’s facing the dual challenges of maintaining growth and profitability? What issues are you likely to face and how can you best resolve them?
Management for growth is a complex process with many variables. It requires many changes – and much flexibility – along the way. I can speak from personal experience in building J.P, Industries, Inc. in just ten years to a Fortune 500 industrial corporation. I also want to share with you the results of a research study conducted by Dr. L.(Hendrickson) Uhlaner, formerly with Eastern Michigan University, under my guidance on the question of growth management and published in a book. Borrowing from the classical goal approach, firms depend on financial viability to survive and grow. A financially viable firm can pay its bills when they are due and operate at a profit, simple enough. But achieving financial viability is much more complicated than merely determining objectives for profit and production of goods and services and then setting out to achieve these goals. We must define the issues that we must manage in order to assure financial viability – these include market strategy, work flow, resource acquisition, human relations, resource allocation, public relations, and technical mastery. Continue reading How do You Manage a Company to Grow?