Mid-sized industry the sector with the most experienced crisis managers / Data-driven approaches and scenario mindset still under-utilized – Survey

August 26, 2021 | Global News, News Germany

The German mid-sized sector benefiting from storm-proof managers in challenging times. Four out of ten companies possess real crisis expertise, and an additional three out of ten attest to a satisfactory routine. According to the current “Restructuring 2021” study, half of the companies still only have a short-sighted perspective and do not follow any structured process when it comes to orienting themselves for the future. For the study, the management consultancy Staufen surveyed more than 200 business owners and top managers from companies with an annual turnover of at least 20 million euros.

“The Corona pandemic made it clear how important a decision-making culture that acts swiftly on the management level is. The German mid-sized sector is solidly positioned in this respect,” says Andreas Sticher, Restructuring Partner at the management consultancy Staufen. “39 percent of the companies we surveyed were credited with excellent ratings and indicated possessing experienced management when it comes to coping with crises. An additional 31 percent see themselves as rather experienced.”

Restructuring expert Sticher also identified differences between the industries within the scope of the study: “Especially noteworthy is the fact that the industrial companies have quite a few experienced crisis managers in their ranks in the form of service or trading companies.”

However, when it comes to recognizing difficulties in a timely manner, the consultant believes that companies across all industries still have quite a bit of catching up to do. Only 47 percent of the companies work with a clearly structured process in order to put the future viability of their company to the test. And only 49 percent indicated regularly playing out crisis scenarios and possible countermeasures. Staufen consultant Sticher advised that the companies exercise more proactiveness: “Companies have to get in the habit of thinking in terms of scenarios and trying out different defense mechanisms. It’s like in soccer: everyone knows how a corner kick is executed, but teams nonetheless still regularly practice this standard situation.”

Tried and tested methods for the early recognition of crises

When it comes to recognizing crises early on, companies turn first and foremost to classic systems and figures. 48 percent of companies implement their own risk management system, which is the most often used variant for recognizing possible difficulties before they pose an existential threat. These are followed by financial figures (47 percent) and input from management (44 percent).

“Modern management tools such as trend radars or data-driven approaches such as data analytics are perfectly suited to enhancing or even completely replacing classic systems for the early recognition of crises,” according to company expert Sticher. According to the study, these approaches of predicative analysis are, however, still not being implemented on a comprehensive scale. The Staufen consultant suggested a change in thinking, as “new models of prognosis put management in the position of optimally aligning their business strategy to the particular situation.”

About the study

For the “Restructuring 2021” study, the management consultancy Staufen surveyed a total of 200 business owners and top management in Germany. Around half of the companies of the owners and managers surveyed were from the industrial sector, 18 percent from the trade sector, and 31 percent from the service sector. The study considered only companies with an annual turnover of at least 20 million euros. About a third of the companies included in the study recorded an annual turnover of more than 100 million euros.

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About Staufen AG

Inside every company there is an even better one. With this conviction, Staufen has been advising and qualifying companies and employees for more than 25 years. Markets are on the move – the competitive pressure is enormous. Staufen helps to quickly bring about the right changes, increase productivity, improve quality and increase innovative strength. With the appropriate strategies and methods, the international transformation consultancy ensures rapid and measurable success. In order to leverage the potential available in every company, Staufen consultants establish a lively and sustainable culture of change together with executives and employees. The Academy of Staufen also offers certified, practice-oriented training courses. From the international locations, more than 320 employees serve customers all over the world. In 2021, Staufen was recognized by “brand eins” as “Best Consultants” for the seventh year in a row. According to the renowned industry study “Hidden Champions 2020,” the consulting firm is Germany’s best Lean Management consultancy and was honored several times with the “Best of Consulting” award by the “Wirtschaftswoche” journal.

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