The ability of a business to continue operation and successfully deflect the potentially lethal barbs of an economic recession is influenced greatly by management.
This is the view of Teryl Schroenn, CEO at Accsys, who says the current economic climate, affected by a stinging recession (defined as a decline in Gross Domestic Product for two consecutive quarters), is forcing decision makers to seriously evaluate the value of their management structure and application.
Accsys, as a recognised, established provider of solution management service and support, makes the point that as South African trade and industry navigates a path through the recession, there are signs of hope amid the turmoil but companies need to be alert and positioned accordingly.
“Although we have been going through a recession, there are clear indications that we are beginning to emerge from the situation. In September the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed that trade conditions had moved above the neutral level for the first time in two years. However, there is still a long way to go and businesses will feel the results of the recession for some months to come,” says Schroenn.
“At the same time, the size and market position of a business does not necessarily dictate ability to counter the impact of economic hardship. Tight controls on debt, expenditure and productivity count more than size. A well established, well managed business with the right product offering will certainly take longer to feel the effects of an economic downturn,” she adds.
Schroenn advocates the powerful strategy and inherent business-building qualities of effective management, an objective view of the business and a careful, considered business case approach to decision making and risk taking.
“During a recession it is the responsibility of both employer and employee to view each other as integral to the survival and future success of the business. In addition, it certainly makes sense to continually focus on stability, effective utlisation of resources and open communication to empower people to contribute more effectively,” she says.
While cash flow, pressure on resources and the effective management of key HR issues are fundamental primary considerations, another is the integration and strategic use of technology infrastructure.
“Technology and systems can underpin the management effort, reduce unnecessary paperwork, give real business intelligence – all of which enable managers to make quicker, more accurate decisions as well as enabling them to better manage those people who are on board for the ride and not a part of the whole journey,” adds Schroenn.