Business Growth & Investing in Talent

Mar 16, 2016

I recently met with a long time friend who also happens to be the CFO of a large manufacturing corporation in Northern Ohio. We discussed some of the business changes occurring as the result of increased sales growth in his area. His organization started 10 years ago with sales of around $50 million and it is currently he track to reach $100 million in sales in the next few years.

Drastic sales growth offers tremendous opportunities, but there are paralleling challenges which are equally as large. The individuals who started the business had unique talents and motivations which set the stage for growth. Their quality product combined with exceptional customer service laid the foundation for success and set the stage for future growth. Every area of the business had dedicated employees with the necessary skills and the experience to ensure the company would be successful at the beginning and have the capacity to pursue additional growth.

As the company grew, the level of complexity in virtually every department of the company grew proportionately. Hence, the talents of the newly hired employees were developing to include more sophisticated skills necessary to maintain the company’s current market position. As a result, many of the founding members were unable to provide the guidance necessary to keep the company growing, profitable and able to expand. In spite of having loyal, hard-working employees, it became necessary to hire additional staff with the experience and training necessary to allow the company to continue to grow.

For example, the company engineers, who had been there since inception, were experts in the engineering concepts required for actual production. However, when a new engineer with extensive experience with larger companies arrived, it became clear that there were issues which needed resolution but there were not even on the team’s radar screen. My friend described how the topics in the engineering meetings have changed dramatically since the new engineer joined the team. They are now focused on level of activity and maintaining the company’s productivity to remain competitive in the marketplace. The basic engineering requirements have not changed but instead have become more sophisticated to keep production at the level of $100 million annually.

He concluded that unless businesses are willing to invest in new talent as the company grows, they will soon be antiquated and unable to fully capitalize on the opportunities and exploit the market properly. This is true not only in the production and engineering areas, but in all the supporting areas such as marketing, sales, accounting, administration, and personnel. Every area has growth-related challenges and opportunities, and only individuals trained and experienced in how those can best be met have the tools to fully benefit the company. Talent acquisition can ultimately play a significant role in your business development.

Categories: Cost Accounting