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Expert Exchange

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The pros and cons of the Startup Incubator approach

by Alastair Lechler on 12 Nov 2018

In an earlier post, we discussed how organisations across diverse industry sectors are increasingly seeking more innovative ways of working. We also looked at the Fast Follower approach to innovation and the pros and cons of being second or third to market.

In this post, we take a look at the growing trend in the UK of start-up incubators and discuss the pros and cons of this approach.

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7 steps to setting up as an interim manager

by Marty Jaynes on 05 Nov 2018

If you have been contemplating the move to a future as an interim manager, you're probably already clear about what a hugely fulfilling role it can be. The focus is always about delivering value, knowledge and ensuring any capability gap has been bridged once you have left the business. For many people, it’s the perfect professional move.

But how do you make the move into interim management? What will your prospective employers be looking for in the best candidate for an interim role? What are the financial and legal considerations of flying solo? And, given the anticipated legislative changes for the self-employed highlighted in the latest UK Budget announcement, what might be the likely implications for interims of the new rules on IR35?

Here at BIE we will be keeping up-to-date on the latest IR35 developments which will allow us to offer you advice once legislation changes. In the meantime, here are our consultants’ thoughts on the top 7 steps that are essential for those searching for interim management positions:

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The relationship between working capital and customer service

by James Gherardi on 29 Oct 2018

BIE’s Supply Chain Risk Survey 2018 explored the most important areas of focus for organisations to optimise the relationship between working capital and customer service levels. The top three areas were revealed to be S&OP/IBP, demand management and order to cash cycle.

What we’re clearly seeing is there are supply chains recognising the value of sales and operations planning, effective demand management, and optimising the order to cash cycle.

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BIE expand through multiple new hires

by BIE on 22 Oct 2018

BIE Executive, a leading consultancy working with organisations going through change, is pleased to welcome several new senior hires to the business.

CEO, Rob Walker, commented: “I’m excited by the calibre of the consultants we have attracted to BIE. They will allow us to enhance our offering by strengthening all our teams across the business with their experience, in-depth knowledge and strong track records within their respective industries.

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Transformation as a means of succession planning

by Simon Moore on 22 Oct 2018

In an environment where there are fewer and fewer roles in finance because of outsourcing, transformation is one of the best areas where you can still give people succession development opportunities to make them ready for the next step.

Transformation projects mean exposure to different experiences and dealing with a variety of people. It means working across different functions, whether it’s IT or HR, as well as with external parties like consultancies and systems integrators. This experience will be vital when you get to the top and need to engage and liaise with the board.

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What role does the supply chain play in driving revenue?

by James Gherardi on 15 Oct 2018

Historically, supply chains have been focused on decreasing operating costs as opposed to driving revenue. And BIE’s recent research found that reducing operating costs is still the number one goal for the supply chain.

You could say that driving revenue growth only comes from the commercial side of the business. A business’ supply chain should without doubt be an enabler to driving that revenue growth, but could an effective supply chain become a revenue generator in its own right? To what extent could something be created that other organisations would want to have a piece of?

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Is finance still leading the decision support function?

by Simon Moore on 08 Oct 2018

Companies have more data than ever at their disposal. But knowing how to interpret this data to inform strategic and operational decisions is easier said than done. And organisations are grappling with how to fuse together meaningful data from a plethora of systems.

Often the responsibility falls to finance, because it's numbers. But these numbers aren't just financial - they come from all areas of the business.

It’s here that we can expect the world of decision support to come into its own. This function will be made up of a number of different skills. There will be finance expertise; data specialists who can find patterns and theories in the numbers. But then you need people who can paint that picture and explain the patterns in the numbers to the board.

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How to overcome the biggest risks for the supply chain

by James Gherardi on 01 Oct 2018

The supply chain is recognising that having an influence on responsiveness and increasing efficiency are amongst their biggest challenges, according to BIE research.

The results of our Supply Chain Risk Survey 2018 revealed that the three biggest challenges faced by the supply chain over the last three years were also the top three challenges anticipated for the next three years;

  • Increased customer expectations
  • Increased volatility of customer demand
  • Increased cost pressure

What strategies does the supply chain need to adopt to overcome these challenges?

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Where is the next CFO coming from?

by Simon Moore on 26 Sep 2018

The silos of technical, commercial, and shared services in the finance function are creating a problem. In ten years’ time, it will be much harder to find well-rounded finance talent. As discussed in a previous post, this increasing focus on specialisms within the function are hindering succession planning.

Currently, the most common route to becoming CFO is to come up through a group finance role, move into FP&A, followed by getting divisional FD experience, before heading finally towards the number one position. But with the development of specialisms, what does the future path to the top look like? Where will the next CFO come from?

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The technology disconnect within the supply chain

by James Gherardi on 17 Sep 2018

The results of BIE's Supply Chain Risk Survey 2018 indicate that there is a disconnect between the use of technology and businesses embracing the potential technological advantages they could be using to optimise their processes and people activities.

Supply chain professionals recognise that having an influence on responsiveness and a high level of efficiency within their supply chain provides a significant competitive advantage, yet also poses one of their biggest challenges. Conventional lean initiatives in the supply chain have focused on improving efficiencies and reducing cost through the elimination of waste.

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