Speaking Like a CFO — Part II

Today’s guest post is from Robert A. Rudzki, President of Greybeard Advisors LLC, who has (co-) authored a number of acclaimed business books, including Beat the Odds: Avoid Corporate Death and Build a Resilient Enterprise, On-Demand Supply Management, and the supply management best seller Straight to the Bottom Line.

Another important aspect of Speaking Like a CFO is knowing how to build a business case in support of your overall transformation agenda, as well as business cases related to specific subjects such as technology investments.

When we work with clients, we prefer to start with a business case from a total transformation perspective. Why? It is part of a logical sequence. Once you’ve assessed your current state and compared it to best practices, identified the opportunities from successfully transforming your practices, and designed the detailed roadmap to get you there, why not request the full amount of resources needed to do the job well?

It might sound optimistic to ask for more resources when the current business outlook for your company is weak — but it can work if you approach the subject in the manner I described. In fact, we’ve worked with several companies who — as a result of following the process outlined — added more resources to their strategic procurement staff during the recession. Today, they are receiving the bottom-line benefits of taking that bold leap.

The alternative, quite frankly, is to be subject to the same headcount reduction guidelines that often are widely applied to all departments in times of business stress. That’s not where you want to find yourself; and, quite frankly, there is no reason to end up there.

Thanks, Bob!

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