Running a successful and profitable agri-food business in
today's increasingly complex and integrated marketplace is a
huge challenge. The events and trends of the last several months
may be indicative of what the food industry can expect in the near
future — and food manufacturers should take a step back to
see if they are positioned to succeed. Consider: oil prices fell by
over 50 per cent between June 2014 and January 2015; negotiations
concluded on the Canadian-European free trade agreement; the
industry continues to consolidate — Sobeys and Loblaws
purchased Safeway and Shoppers Drug Mart respectively; labour
shortages are becoming more pronounced with the recent changes to
the temporary foreign worker program; ongoing changes to food
safety and labeling regulations; and the fluctuating Canadian
dollar — just to name a few.
Making proactive, informed decisions is critical to staying
competitive and avoiding setbacks. Short-term tactics are often
mistaken for strategy. The former is typically reactionary and
treats symptoms while the latter diagnoses situations and results
in pre-emptive solutions to potential longer-term problems.
Designed to help you strategically assess your company's
strengths and weaknesses by identifying issues affecting measurable
performance indicators, business diagnostics can systematically
help you decide which changes you need to make and when.
Using business diagnostics, you can identify the root cause of
inefficiencies and determine what projects have the highest
potential for significant return, which allows you to develop a
priority sequence. The typical business diagnostic begins with a
detailed look at your company's profile, processes and markets.
A customized project plan is then developed to guide you through
the remainder of the process.
Once you understand what the potential concerns are in each of
these areas and what's causing them, you can begin to identify
solutions. Business diagnostics also allow you to determine the
probability of success of each solution. Armed with this valuable
information you can weigh the costs and benefits of a solution
against the current financial status of your business and how that
course of action will fit into an overall strategy geared for
Responsive diagnostics focus on what is important to your
company during its particular stage of development.
Start Ups: Start off on the right foot
Develop a business plan
Determine financing needs and opportunities
Implement business processes
Growth Enterprises: Ensuring growth is strategic
Structure cash flow
Create an organizational structure
Manage information technology
Mature businesses: Why has growth slowed down?
Explore R&D opportunities
Develop growth strategies
Research potential markets
Businesses with outdated product lines experiencing
declining sales need to diagnose their issues quickly in order
Improve operational efficiency
Analyze market and product opportunities
Attract and retain employees
Structure cash flow
Manage new technology
Consider how your company has performed during the last five
years. If you had dedicated resources to business diagnostics five
years ago, are there any mistakes you might have avoided and
perhaps added more to your bottom line? Maybe it's time for an
objective health examination and a professional second opinion.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Effective September 1, 2016, the Disposition of Surplus Real Property Regulation to the Ontario Education Act was amended with the intention to reduce barriers to the formation of health and community hubs in Ontario.
Health Canada is proposing to change the way that it regulates non-prescription drugs, natural health products and cosmetics in Canada, which will now be referred to collectively as "self-care products."
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).