Category: Corporate & Business Development

What should your company look like in the future and how do you ensure its competitiveness? With active corporate development, you systematically address these questions about the future.

The African continent is in a constant economic upswing and digitisation is advancing in leaps and bounds. This can be a real springboard for small and medium-sized enterprises that are thinking about internationalising their business, further developing their international locations and expanding their networks. In our guest article, which appeared in the 1/2023 issue of the BVMW foreign trade magazine “AfrikaContact”, we discuss the various aspects, advantages and opportunities that Africa’s digital transformation offers German SMEs. Be it online trade, supply chain management or the qualification and further training of skilled workers – the conditions for SMEs have improved significantly in recent years and are better today than ever before. We are convinced that now is the right time for many SMEs pursuing internationalisation plans to look into Africa. Read more

Resilience was the topic of our Event & Dialogue, which we held at our Nuremberg location in April 2023. Together with our cooperation partner stg Die Mitar-beiterBerater, we looked at resilience from different angles with our guests. Read more

In the current economic situation, which is challenging for most companies, we will be devoting ourselves intensively to the question of what makes medium-sized companies resilient at our Event & Dialogue on 19 April 2023. In cooperation with the employee consultancy stg, THE MAK`ED TEAM invites managing directors, executives and HR managers to a joint evening above the rooftops of Nuremberg, which will be dedicated to professional exchange and dialogue. The focus will be on many practical topics related to resilience management. THE MAK`ED TEAM will give an overview of organisational resilience: How can a company develop the right balance between stability and flexibility? We will show management approaches and discuss resilience strategies suitable for SMEs. stg will again look at individual resilience: What can the company do to strengthen the resilience of its employees? The Event & Dialogue “Robust, adaptable, strong: Resilience Management in Practice” offers an intensive professional exchange. The agenda includes:

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The medium-sized companies sector is in permanent crisis mode. That is why the question is more urgent than ever for many medium-sized companies: How can we set up our organisation in such a way that it is immune to external disturbances and emerges from crises unscathed? How can the company grow and develop even in an unstable environment? This requires resilience.

Resilience as an elementary building block of corporate strategy

Resilience in organisations is a complex field and plays a role in all areas of a company. What characterises a resilient company? On the one hand, it is stable and resilient enough to endure and survive crises. On the other hand, it is flexible enough to react quickly to changes and adapt accordingly. If necessary, it carries out the necessary transformation processes to overcome the crisis or shock – without giving up its identity. A resilient company is able to recognise both risks and opportunities in latent and abrupt crises and dangers and, in the best case, emerge strengthened from the crisis. And of course, a company’s resilience also enables it to take advantage of opportunities in a targeted manner in “normal times”.

What does an individual resilience profile look like?

First of all, there is no one-size-fits-all resilience profile for SMEs. There are many different scientific approaches to developing a resilience profile. “Resilience” is also the subject of industry standards, such as ISO 22316.2017, which defines key components for identifying, implementing and monitoring resilience in an organisation and provides guidelines for improving resilience in companies. But everything is also always a question of time, personnel and costs. It depends on many individual factors of the company what it needs to become more resilient. Resilient companies are not only about warding off the crisis and holding their own in dynamic times. It is above all about adaptability and innovative strength. This requires future-proof processes and secure, transparent structures at various levels in the company. Basically, successful resilience management is characterised by a mix of stability and flexibility that is adapted to the company. While stability plays a prominent role in larger companies, smaller companies show their strengths in the crisis primarily through flat hierarchies, a high degree of agility, quick reactions and a high degree of adaptability and changeability.

Ensure stability in the company:

  • A reliable network of partners and suppliers and well-lived relationships make a company more robust.
  • A strong corporate management that acts confidently and effectively has a positive effect on the entire ecosystem and brings the necessary prerequisites to successfully lead the company through crises.
  • Transparency in all areas of the company is a basic prerequisite so that the company can see where it stands at all times and can react in time in the event of discrepancies, deviations or disruptions. Be it in liquidity, in the supply chains or in HR.
  • Focusing on the economic success of the company ensures earnings and liquidity. Both are essential elements of a resilient company, as they enable alternative courses of action.
  • A focused strategic orientation of the organisation and its business models.
  • In order to be able to correctly assess and know where one’s own company stands on the resilience scale, it requires a clear unfiltered reflection of its own strengths and weaknesses. It should be able to reflect on its ecosystem in order to identify potential opportunities and crises.
  • A positive corporate culture that communicates guiding principles and corporate goals in a comprehensible way creates trust, team spirit, commitment and engagement.
  • With sufficient financial and material resources, lean periods can be bridged.
  • Structures and processes should be adapted to bring calm to the organisation.
  • Professional compliance management with internal standards and the establishment of an internal control mechanism prevents unlawful behaviour in the company and ensures compliance with rules and regulations. This protects a company from avoidable risks and damage to its image.

Ensure flexibility in the company:

  • The digital transformation of the working world and the digitalisation of production and supply chains ensure speed, efficiency and transparency – important elements of resilient companies. Digitalisation promotes resilience at various levels, as the Corona crisis has also shown. Automated and future-proof processes, for example in HR or liquidity management, make developments transparent, processes faster, more efficient and more flexible and provide a daily overview. This enables companies to identify negative developments at an early stage and react to them in time.
  • Diversification makes a company more resilient. If it is more broadly positioned, does not only focus on one core business and has “several irons in the fire”, this can be a great advantage in disruptive developments. Here, a forward-looking corporate strategy helps to keep the focus on the company’s goals despite diversification.
  • Human resources development can specifically aim to promote important characteristics such as independence or agility. Decentralisation of decision-making processes and powers can also make a company more resilient. This is where forward-looking HR management helps, using important analytical tools such as personnel plans, age structure analyses or personnel development concepts.
  • Knowledge management ensures that knowledge and competences are promoted, deepened and networked.
  • The cognitive resources of employees are valuable for a company and strengthen its resilience. Knowledge and competences can be mobilised in times of crisis in order to quickly develop creative and innovative solutions that lead the company through the crisis.
  • Agility in the company is important to remain nimble. If new rules of the game arise, an agile company can adapt quickly, for example, to quickly develop new business models. Agile companies are characterised by error-friendliness, transformation efforts and a fundamental openness to new things. They are in a position to force changes in their own markets and to manage them successfully, to optimise them and to continuously develop management areas.

Setting up resilience management professionally with experts

THE MAK`ED TEAM accompanies medium-sized companies with an experienced, interdisciplinary team in the implementation of a customised resilience management concept. Which stabilising and flexible elements are focused on depends entirely on the individual starting conditions of the company. Whether liquidity management, compliance system or human resources development: we have the technical expertise to develop a customised resilience solution for small and medium-sized enterprises. Successfully implemented, resilience management not only provides the company with the basis for remaining resilient and mastering crises, but also the best prerequisites for carrying out its transformation processes in a targeted manner.

More about Corporate & Business Development 

Current economic developments are increasingly unpredictable and times are uncertain for SMEs: This is why resilience as a strategic principle is becoming an important, even decisive factor for the future of companies.

What characterises resilient companies? Resilient companies are economically robust, resilient and have the capacity for continuous change. Resilience can be found at different levels in a company: At the macro level, it is about resilient processes and organisational structures, i.e. organisational resilience. At the micro level, it is about the individual, i.e. the resilience of each individual employee. The levels interact with each other within the company and in the company network. If the company wants to strengthen its resilience, it is important that both the organisation and the employees are strengthened in their resilience.

Resilience: What does it actually mean?

The term resilience comes from physics. In materials science, it refers to the ability of a material to return to its original shape after deformation. Transferred to a company, a resilient company is able to return to its steady state after a disruption, a crisis or a shock. And not only that: resilient companies can use the crisis to their advantage and emerge from it stronger. Resilient companies are able to react quickly to changes and – if necessary – to carry out the transformations that are crucial to success within a crisis. The word resilience thus includes not only the aspects of “standing firm” and “persevering”, but also the ability to adapt and innovate. In resilient companies, stability and flexibility are in a balanced, individually adapted equilibrium. But how does a company become resilient? In order to be able to offer our customers a holistic resilience concept and to ensure resilience at both levels in medium-sized companies, i.e. at the level of the organisation and at the level of the employees, we have agreed on a cooperation with stg, the employee consultants. THE MAK`ED TEAM, as a consulting firm, accompanies companies on their way to strong organisational resilience and stg supports employees in building individual resilience.

A strong cooperation: THE MAK`ED TEAM and stg

In the complementary cooperation at the organisational and individual level, medium-sized companies receive a strong overall package: THE MAK’ED TEAM, with its interdisciplinary team, has a lot of experience in building resilient organisations. Resilience plays a role in all areas of a company: digitality and agility are just as important as good resources, a positive corporate culture, transparent organisational structures or stable supply chain management. This cross-section makes it clear that resilient companies are not only better protected against crises – they are also fundamentally more sustainable, efficient and competitive. As a holistic consulting company, we know how medium-sized companies can position themselves resiliently in the relevant business areas. THE MAK`ED TEAM is rooted in medium-sized companies and works in a structured and process-oriented manner. Our way of working is well balanced between strategy development and concrete action. Companies that want to become more resilient with us at their side are not only resilient on paper, but resilience is anchored in the entire company and lived out in everyday corporate life. How far our resilience concept extends varies from company to company and depends on the individual company goals.

Since a company can only be resilient with a strong team, resilient employees are indispensable. This is where our partner stg comes in: The external employee consultancy strengthens employees with a resilience model. Resilient employees have the ability to adapt to new conditions, to grow in the face of challenges and to emerge strengthened from a crisis. For the development and strengthening of individual resilience, the corresponding mindset is developed, mental health is promoted and metaskills are strengthened.

Together, the teams of THE MAK`ED TEAM and stg develop resilience concepts for medium-sized companies that optimally interlock at the organisational and individual levels to ensure resilience at both levels in the company.

Our cooperation partner stg: Externe Mitarbeiterberatung (Employee Assistance Program, EAP)

“What happens to my customers when energy becomes more expensive?”. How will the high material costs affect my prices or my procurement market? These and other pressing questions are currently being asked by many SMEs. Questions raised by economic crises and changes in many influencing factors. Questions that should be answered at an early stage. Only then does the company have the best possible chance of averting potential risks and crises. This requires transparency in the relevant areas of the company, which can be created by an early warning system.

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Many people first think of environmental protection, climate protection and decarbonisation when they hear the word “sustainability”. But sustainability is much more than that. The wide range is reflected in the ESG criteria. ESG stands for “Environment”, “Social” and “Governance”. It is not only about the “E”, but also about the “S” and “G”. It is only through the interaction of the three areas of environment, social affairs and corporate governance that a sustainable corporate orientation unfolds, which improves growth opportunities and financing advantages and makes the company more resilient. The individual weighting of the three areas differs depending on the sector and size of the company. For example, the area of “environment” can have a much higher relevance for an industrial company than for a service provider.

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Handing over one’s own business is a challenging topic. Many entrepreneurs find succession difficult. Even if, like one of our clients, they deal with it at an early stage: Frank S., a medium-sized entrepreneur in his early sixties, had started to deal with the issue of succession in his mid-50s. So, he was well on time. It was clear early on that his only son would not take over the company. So how to proceed? Sell the company? In order to get this complex decision right, Frank S. called in an expert.

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Acting ethically and responsibly is a matter of course for most entrepreneurs. The concept of the “honourable merchant” goes back to the Middle Ages and still has an important meaning for German companies. However, Germany is very much involved in global divisions of labour and along the supply chains there are always grievances in the economic, ecological, and humanitarian spheres. This should change. With the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, or Supply Chain Act for short, a law was passed that obliges companies based in Germany to implement defined due diligence obligations. It came into force on 1 January 2023 and aims to protect human rights along supply chains, improve working conditions and protect nature from harmful impacts. In concrete terms, companies should ensure that human rights and minimum standards such as the prohibition of child and forced labour are observed through responsible management of supply chains.

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On 16 December 2022, the Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) was passed in the Federal Parliament. Based on the Whistleblower Directive, it guarantees whistleblowers better protection in their professional environment against reprisals such as dismissal or defamation. The next plenary session of the Bundesrat is on 10 February 2023. If it approves the HinSchG, the law can be promulgated in February. Since a law comes into force three months after promulgation, in this case it would probably be the end of May. In the first stage, the law will apply to all companies with 250 or more employees and, from 17 December 2023 to all companies with at least 50 employees.

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