Recent experience with a client has brought another area into focus where the role of the interim manager provides a good fit with the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. As with my client, many business owners are looking at the need to replace, upgrade or add equipment in an effort to enhance labour productivity, control costs, improve quality or expand marketing opportunities. With the Canadian dollar providing a consistently strong exchange rate and interest rates remaining low, many businesses realize this is a good time to invest.
That being said, the decision to undertake new equipment investment is fraught with uncertainty. Is this the right machine? Will I get the results I’m looking for? Can I afford to do this? Can I afford not to do this? Is it a good time to take on more debt? Where’s the payoff? Laying out large capital expenditures for equipment purchases is often very uncomfortable for small and medium-sized businesses, many of which lack the required expertise and experience among their small management staffs to provide appropriate decision support in this situation. Nor is it a wise move for companies in this bracket to add to company overhead by recruiting and retaining a full-time executive to deal with these often widely separated, albeit crucial, investment decisions.
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