The method is very simple of conception. It has a greater complexity in its preparation and execution, but not too much, once it has been carried out more than once.

It basically consists of the following four steps:

  1. Take three virtual photos of the company’s situation: 
    1. The external one, which basically simulates a photo of the company taken from its “exterior fence” -> is the photo given by external agents, basically customers, suppliers and funders. Going into detail:

      1. We visit between 5 to 10 clients. The number is not important. What it is, is that they represent more than 60% of the company’s turnover. Therefore, the number of clients to visit will depend on their atomization in the portfolio. Each case is different.

      2. In the case of holding companies, it can be done individually or in groups. You have to see first how the customer structure is established.

      3. The visit is about seeing which is the photo that the client has of our company, through a general visit and a system of questions and answers about specific aspects of our company and that logically have a direct impact on whether they continue to be our clients or cease to be.

      4. In the case of funders, be banks, funds, etc., the issue is simpler, but it is also important to know their opinion. What and above all in what way do they demand from the company?

      5. Depending on the impact on the profit and loss account, defined by the contribution margin, the same exercise is carried out with suppliers that represent for more than 60% of the company’s purchases and services. There will be cases in which those meetings are not necessary due to the low impact of purchases and services on the income statement. However, in the industrial sector it is difficult for this to happen.

    2. The internal one, which in parallel, does the same as the previous one, but obtained from inside of the “exterior fence” of the company -> is the photo given by internal agents, mainly employees, although subcontractors-suppliers of services that regularly work with us can also be included.

      1. Approximately 10 people are chosen from among the employees (none are from the management team) + 5 workers. The number is not relevant, but they are for all the functions of the company, so that there is a pyramidal structure of the chosen employees, the top of the pyramid being the commercial department.

      2. The same exercise is repeated with the management team. With all.

      3. In interviews and meetings, many of the questions will be repetitions of those carried out in the external photo. Others, specific to the internal aspects of the company (work environment, prevention management, etc.).

    3. The neutral one, which is also in parallel, is the one obtained from the analysis and study of the company’s internal and external data. This is the part given by the numbers, therefore, based on the fact that they are a faithful reflection of the company’s situation, whether it is audited or not, it is about transferring the questions from the external and internal photo so that be the data who answer them. It goes without saying that the support of a good ERP is crucial in this section. Today the existence of this in companies is common.

  1. Once we have the three photos, using the old terminology of the world of photography, you have to “develop” them, that is, transfer them to a document that the most similar as possible in all three cases. It is a very important step, in which you have to spend time, since it is about seeing the similarities and differences between them.

  2. Finally, we come to the most important moment: the crossing of the three photos. You have to virtually overlap them, to see how they resemble each other, that is, questions such as the following are fundamental:

    1. How alike are the three photos?

    2. How much the external one with the internal one?

    3. How much the internal one and the neutral one?

These questions should be answered as far as possible with data, without involving opinions too much, although this fact is hardly avoidable.

At this point it is convenient, avoiding confidential parts, to publicize the results, logically starting with the management team, who will decide how to convey it to the rest of the organization. But it is necessary to disseminate it, because this process is very participative, and therefore, it lends itself to the contributions of all sectors of interest.

    4. Depending on how much the photos resemble each other, among the three or in pairs, the following steps must be established, starting with:

    1. The general strategy. What kind of company do we want to be? Which photo do we bring closer to which? What is our mission and our vision? If we do not want to use these terms, as they are Americanized, we do it with others, but it is essential where we want our new photo to go.

    2. The detailed “ten strategies”, which are indicated in the following section, and which will therefore be applied in more or less width and depth depending on what we have decided in point 4.a, in light of how three photos look like, and which ones have similarities between them.

As indicated in the introduction, the completion of the entire method must have a minimum duration (always according to my experience) of 3 to 4 months, and a maximum of 6 to 8 months per company, depending on the complexity of the project.