Courage to change - Consequent steps to turn around
Only a few months ago the staff of US President Obama would never have dreamed of the campaign slogan "Yes, we can!" to become an international rallying call in the global economic crisis. Restructuring and change management are the key terms of this time for a majority of companies in domestic and international markets. The Trier Group case study shows that measures introduced well in advance can bring sustained course changes.

"We initiated measures for a comprehensive restructuring already in the fourth quarter of 2008", explains Executive Director Dr. Hartmut Trier in retrospect. "The first step included slimming down processes and the reorganization of many of our company's divisions. Everything was subject to review". Difficult decisions had to be made but the tough reductions that followed into spring are already showing positive effects at the presumed zenith of the crisis. The goal of the restructuring measures was to secure the economic and entrepreneurial stability of the plastics specialists. An external consulting team assisted in the creation of a viable financing concept, forging ahead with the expansion of a strategic supplier base and consequent improvement to process effectiveness.

Turnaround through sustainability
Slimming and saving are the order of the day. Wherever administrative, asset and personnel costs could be reduced, there was consequent consideration given as to how it could be accomplished in a socially, process-compatible manner. "As it has currently evolved, the bitter medicine has actually turned out to be the best cure", mentioned Executive Director Martin Trier about the measures introduced. "Because comparatively minor personnel reductions were adequate to secure the existence of many employees, it was clear what had to be done – alone out of responsibility for the entire workforce." But the cut-backs in personnel were only one side of the coin; Scherer & Trier identified a great potential for overall cost reductions which will now be exploited piece-by-piece. The slimming of processes has also freed up production and development capacities with which Scherer & Trier can devote to strengthening competitiveness. While many competitors are still busy sweeping up the fall-out from the sales slump, the course has already been set for The Trier Group, on its way toward renewed growth.

Save costs, not potential!
The key to success lies in the timing. Due to timely introduction of its restructuring concept, Scherer & Trier is now able to accommodate its customers in the automobile industry with services decisive for project success. "We perceive ourselves more than ever as a strategic value-added partner to OEMs", stressed Martin Trier. "It was our management's analytical capabilities that helped to get our reorganization underway quickly and consequently. Because we acted promptly, we are now able to concentrate entirely on our customers again."

Martin Trier ventured a cautiously optimistic forecast of the future, "The massive drop in call-up numbers has caused severe reductions throughout the industry's entire delivery chain. However, despite all the bad news, in our company we already see the first signs of a successful turnaround." With respect to long-term goals for The Trier Group, he maintains, "We remain a trend-setting partner to the automobile industry. We will leverage our know-how even stronger in the future to expand our other core competencies, for example, in the fields of white goods and medical technology.”  


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