Operational Excellence Matters Now More Than Ever
The ability to operate businesses efficiently while also fundamentally preparing to rapidly change and adapt, matters now more than ever as states across the nation move past stay-at-home orders toward fully reopening the economy.
The goal for all businesses shouldn’t merely be survival – it should be to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger and more nimble. One clear, overriding lesson from the past four months is that companies large and small must always be ready for the unexpected and willing to swiftly make significant operational changes to adjust to new market realities.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that many private equity firms expanded their operations teams amid government-mandated shutdowns and market disruptions, taking the lead to help portfolio companies survive the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
At Huron Capital, we have been focused on operational excellence since we were founded in 1999 and have always emphasized the value of experienced managers across these functions. As it became apparent that COVID-19 could pose serious threats to our people and our portfolio, Huron Capital’s skilled Strategy & Operations team immediately began working with our management partners to implement the necessary operational and financial strategies to successfully navigate this crisis and properly position our portfolio companies for the second half of the year.
The team is led by:
To provide further guidance, our team developed a comprehensive Restart Playbook that included the following strategies:
- IDENTIFY unprofitable lines of business and eliminate them – know what business units or product offerings should never open again
- MAINTAIN a conservative cost structure
- ANTICIPATE market consolidation, aggressively pursue market share opportunities, be acquisitive where possible
- COMMUNICATE proactively with critical suppliers and use this as an opportunity to negotiate extended payment terms
- COLLABORATE with suppliers by sharing demand information to achieve supply commitments and savings
Founded in 1999, Huron Capital currently has 21 active portfolio companies and continues to grow through acquisitions and new platforms. Here are the two newest members of our portfolio family:
Lab Crafters (Flagship Equity) – A manufacturer of laboratory casework, furniture systems and fume hoods. Brian Walker, Partner of Strategic Leadership at Huron Capital, serves as a member of Lab Crafters board of directors. Walker is a former CEO of office furniture manufacturer, Herman Miller. Lab Crafters is poised for growth through continued geographic expansion beyond the Northeast, continued market penetration and the underlying growth forecasted for laboratory equipment resulting from investment in our nation’s laboratory infrastructure due to COVID-19.
Pacific Shoring (Flex Equity) – A manufacturer of trench shoring and shield products. Huron Flex Equity made a structured equity investment in Pacific Shoring in a partnership with San Francisco-based Salt Creek Capital. Pacific Shoring is well-positioned to capitalize on regulatory and cost-savings-driven demand for trench safety equipment that protects the lives of construction workers and continues to gain market share because of growing demand for its aluminum equipment.
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