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News Article

Relocate, Consolidate: Decisions to Make in Times of COVID-19

By Andrea Villar | Tue, 07/21/2020 - 20:37

In times of crisis, companies, especially in the automotive sector, are faced with the decision of potentially relocating or consolidating their operations. Although these decisions are substantial, they do not have to represent despair or be complicated. Companies have an opportunity not only to optimize procedures but to streamline their footprint or their entire business, said Richard Payne, Engagement Manager at Seraph. "We encourage our clients to take an opportunistic view. Today, there are not only under financial but geographical and political pressures, which will lead to more consolidation of businesses than what we saw in 2008 and 2009," he pointed out during the webinar: “Leadership to Successfully Navigate Uncertain Times in the Automotive Industry,” sponsored by Seraph and hosted by Mexico Business News.

To help companies in the subsequent relocation or consolidation processes, the MOVE methodology, created by Seraph over the years, proposes four keys to success: alignment, planning, execution and closure. “The first two phases are critical.  We need to have a clear vision, understand where the company is going and why we are heading there. We want to make sure that we follow a plan. Because the plan is not just a suggestion, it is something that needs to be followed with discipline and perseverance. An objective without a plan is nothing more than just good intentions,” Payne explained. “If we do this right, chances of success go up exponentially. On the contrary, if we do this incorrectly we will have significant challenges to overcome along of the road to achieving success,” he explained.

In the executing phase, the company has already created the playbook and now it is a matter of running and executing properly. “In this stage, there will be things that will come up that we did not expect so we have to be able to resolve them. It is okay if that happens but we need to be prepared to make those changes,” said Payne. Lastly, in the closure stage, which is one of the shortest in the process, the company recalls all the lessons learned during the process. “Regardless of the crisis we are facing, we focus on leaving our clients with a sustainable situation.”

Within this methodology, Payne highlighted companies must never lose sight of their people. “It is not just about the products and the process. It is about our people. We need to have the same passion to taking care of our people, especially in difficult times such as the one we are going through,” he said. “On average, each employee represents a total of four family members whose lives are being impacted. A site of 250 people represents an impact on 1,000 people.” 

Communication is also a major pillar of success, he added. “Communication is like blood to the human body. It flows and gives life to the organization. And when it stops flowing it dies. But this can be something that we can turn into an opportunity to develop and engage our people. We need to have great leaders among employees. More than just project managers, a leader has to connect with people and to inspire and motivate their teams to reach high levels of success,” concludes Richard Payne.

Download the webinar's presentation here: https://bit.ly/2BwCbga

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst