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Elementor #13

Small Business Owners, CEO, and Entrepreneur Journey text here

OUR ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY – NAVIGATING THROUGH COVID-19

The world is grappling with an issue of enormous scale and human impact, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). At Silver Fox Advisors, we believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to prioritize two things: the health and well-being of our …

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Gerald Merfish was elected a Silver Fox Advisor

HOUSTON, TX (August 8, 2019) – Today the Silver Fox Advisors announced its newest Silver Fox Advisor.Gerald Merfish was elected a Silver Fox Advisor at the organization’s August 8, 2019 Business Meeting”, announced Bill Herman, President of the Silver Fox Advisors. Herman added. “Gerald has an extensive varied background in the business world and specifically in supply chain distribution and the steel pipe industry. In …

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New Member – Joseph Tung

HOUSTON, TX (June 13, 2019) – Today the Silver Fox Advisors announced its newest Silver Fox Advisor. Joseph Tung was elected a Silver Fox Advisor at the organization’s June 13, 2019 Business Meeting”, announced Bill Herman, President of the Silver Fox Advisors. Herman added. “Joseph has an extensive background in the business world and specifically …

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Rand Wall

New Member Rand Wall

HOUSTON, TX (April 11, 2019) – Today the Silver Fox Advisors announced its newest Silver Fox Advisor. Rand Wall was elected a Silver Fox Advisor at the organization’s April 11, 2019 Business Meeting”, announced Bill Herman, President of the Silver Fox Advisors. Herman added. “Rand has anextensive background in the business world and specifically in …

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Electrical manufacturing

Case Study: Manufacturer Reaches $10.0 Million Revenue Objective

COMPANY

The Company is a five million dollar Houston-based manufacturer of toroidal transformers for specialized electrical equipment applications. Their markets are medical, telecommunications, audio-video, computer and lighting industries (300 customers). The higher price ($85 average) and manufacturing complexity of toroidal transformers dictated that the Company work with their OEM customers in the custom design and manufacture of these components. The Company was profitable but wanted to grow to $10.0 million in revenue in three years. 

PROBLEM ENCOUNTERED

The problem was that attaining this $10.0 million revenue objective rested with the President and a senior sales manager, both lacking the experience and time to “run the business” and to grow it. The marketing problem was that the Company could not effectively identify, sell and service new applications. 

SILVER FOX ADVISOR INVOLVEMENT

The Silver Fox Advisor convinced the President to shift responsibility and accountability for profitable sales growth to the sales manager. The sales manager then hired and trained more Company sales engineers and independent field representatives. In addition, the Silver Fox Advisor recommended an outside (research, marketing, planning and advertising) firm to define, quantify and communicate with new target markets. 

CONCLUSIONS

The result has been that with new prospect industries, product applications, and a successful sales organization, the Company has reached its $10.0 million revenue goal. An economic side benefit has been a simplified product mix with far better manufacturing productivity. 

Case Study: The Business Start That Didn’t

Advice from an experienced Silver Fox Advisor concerning what not to do is as valuable as guidance and suggestions on what should be done!!

COMPANY START-UP

Four people who knew each other well (a saleswoman, a commercial artist, a copywriter, and a physical fitness instructor) shared a common interest in their own physical fitness. They wanted to capitalize on the current trend toward health and fitness by building and operating a facility to function as a Ropes Course. They were located in a large city with many companies and people as prospective customers. A very favorable location was available but satisfactory terms were not yet worked out. All were to be equal partners. Adequate capital was available from outside investors. A general division of responsibility for operating functions was agreed to between the four potential Owners. 

PROBLEM ENCOUNTERED

The challenge was to initiate a business plan and begin operations as quickly as practicable. 

SILVER FOX ADVISOR INVOLVEMENT 

As planning and negotiations for location and equipment continued, two Silver Fox Advisors were called in. Although there was much discussion, no practical or complete business plan ever came together. It soon became apparent that none of the individuals, other than the fitness instructor, was planning to quit their other job to devote full time to this venture. And to him, it was just another job, not an entrepreneurial opportunity. 

CONCLUSIONS

The Silver Fox Advisors were able to convince the four potential Owners of the new Start-up Company that, on the basis of their overall commitment, the operation would never succeed. Although much time was spent in arriving at this conclusion, very little of the potential Owners’ money was spent, and no investor money was accepted or wasted. A business disaster was avoided!

Manufacturing & Costs

COMPANY

A well-known Company in enamel-on-steel cookware was the first to bring color, tempered glass lids, stay cool stainless steel handles and high quality non-stick em1 to the market. Their customers include quality retailers and mail-orders who require dependable, timely shipments and service. The assembly and warehousing of the Company’s cookware line is accomplished in their 40,000 square foot facility. 

PROBLEM ENCOUNTERED

The problem was that the assembly and warehousing costs were increasing and “expedited’ orders were causing high labor costs. Finished goods production was not responsive to delivery needs. The market for the Company’s cookware was highly seasonal causing variable manpower demands. The Company had little information on assembly production output or projected production needs. They just knew that their costs were out of control!

SILVER FOX ADVISOR INVOLVEMENT

The Silver Fox Advisor was asked by the President to study the problem and to make a recommendation for improvement. In a short time, the Silver Fox Advisor analyzed the problem and set a course of action with a timetable and related costs.

Working with department heads, the inventory plan was revised to be responsive to customer needs. Forecasts were made to recognize seasonality; item bookings were measured against forecasts; and production levels were set to meet overall sales forecasts. Selected time studies were made on the assembly lines with recommended changes to improve the output per hour. Utilization of contract manpower was improved.

CONCLUSIONS

Responsiveness improved. Key factory managers were trained in the new system. The Company was very pleased with the results. Cost improvement was 24.5% within the first six months, significantly increasing the overall profitability.

Commercial Interiors

Commercial Interior Build-Out Business

COMPANY

A Silver Fox Advisor had been mentoring for about a year. The new Client was in the commercial interior build-out business. 

PROBLEM ENCOUNTERED

For three years, the Company:

  • Had been stuck on about $7 million in annual sales with profits diminishing each year, 
  • Had a good reputation, good people, good potential and good sales contacts, 
  • Needed to start growing again to stay ahead of its expanding overhead costs, and 
  • Was light in both project management personnel and the organization to handle much of an increase in work. 

In spite of the noted weaknesses, the Company more than doubled to $17 million the next year. Management then chose to target $35 done in the third year to maintain the momentum.

SILVER FOX ADVISOR INVOLVEMENT

Since the Company was already stretched thin it was at this point that the Silver Fox Advisor began talking about the Company acquiring or merging with another Company that could shore up the thinly stretched areas, thus allowing the Client to concentrate on sales, where it excelled.

A former employee had started a competitive construction firm and was doing extremely well with annual sales of about $40 million and strong profits. The Owners admired and respected each other and believed that the combined Companies would be a good, synergistic fit. They were. Nevertheless, they expressed a full list of integration problems in bringing the two cultures together.

The Companies’ sales and profits; however, never showed a problem. This year they will do some $150 million-plus in revenues and the cultures have now merged very well. The Owners are making money and having fun. 

CONCLUSIONS

Lest it sound like the Silver Fox Advisor played the only key role in this success, it must be emphasized:

That as a Mentor, the Silver Fox Advisor only coached and cheered. It took winning players and their hard work to make the coach look good.  

UPCOMING EVENTS
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