Broken Business Models: Sears & Kmart

The NY Post’s article and others seem surprised that Sears Holdings may not be able to continue as a going concern. Clearly sale of its Craftsman brand was a signal that Sears was in serious financial straits. The acquisition of Sears and Kmart was completed ten years ago. But twenty years ago, before e-commerce became a major competitor, it was painfully obvious that Sears and Kmart were in serious trouble. Vendors selling to both companies at... Read More

Fixing General Motors

Even well-run manufacturing companies periodically have product quality problems. The lifeblood of a manufacturing company is controlling its costs. Quality problems increase costs and ultimately reduce sales. As such, successful chief executive officers pay attention to product quality costs and causes which are readily available in monthly financial and operating reports. Reports that the General Motors’ CEO and senior officers did not have knowledge... Read More

Steve Jobs compared to Peter Drucker

Steve Jobs built Apple Computer into one of the most successful and valuable companies in history. He had a distinctive management style. How would his management compare to the advice Peter Drucker would give a CEO? Steve Jobs’ practice of management: Heavy stress on innovation. He did not have all the innovative thoughts that proved successful but he quickly recognized a potentially successful idea or product. Since he was not risk averse, he... Read More

My AMA article: “Hard-Won Lessons from a Turnaround CEO”

    The American Management Association published my article  “Anticipate, Focus, Execute – Hard-Won Lessons from a Turnaround CEO”. An excerpt from the article is as follows: “After 15 years at Emerson Electric Co, I have spent more than 20 years as a turnaround CEO.  During this time, I have discovered that companies get themselves into trouble, not because of technological advances in the marketplace, new competition,... Read More

The Jaguar and Land Rover Turnaround

I was pleased to read the New York Times recent article “Tata Motors Finds Success in Jaguar Land Rover”. The article describes the turnaround of the troubled England based manufacturer of Jaguars and Land Rovers by Tata Motors an automobile manufacturer headquartered in India. Tata purchased the company from Ford Motor Company in 2008. The sad aspect of this story is that an Indian automobile manufacturer could fix and turnaround this complex... Read More

Miyamoto Musashi, “The Book of Five Rings”

There are several revered authorities whose management principles result in businesses becoming and continuing to be successful. Two of the most famous: Peter Drucker and the legendary Sun Tzu. Peter Drucker is the eminent author of 39 management books and is considered the “father of modern management”. Sun Tzu is the author of “The Art of War”. He was China’s first professional General. Prior to Sun Tzu’s leadership, armies in China... Read More

The Netflix Culture & Mistake

Netflix’s culture was described in a recent edition of the Business Insider. It makes an interesting read. At more than one hundred pages, it is quite long and detailed – but worthwhile. While it is described as a statement of its company culture, it is more of a guide and blueprint for its employees on how the company operates or, perhaps more accurately what is expected of its employees. Netflix’s culture document has three principal themes... Read More

General Motors – Industry Leader?

Regardless of various company officials and politicians assurances that General Motors Company’s rescue is a success, several facts cast a cloud over its viability: ● Its products are not cost competitive. Hourly union labor costs are too high at approximately $58 per hour. Its USA based Asian competitors have lower labor costs. Two are at $40 per hour – a significant 31% difference. In this recessionary economic climate the recent union contract... Read More

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Robert Amter
(347) 316-8410
bob@robertamter.com