Renee Fellman has established an outstanding reputation by restoring profitability, enhancing operational performance and keeping companies out of Chapter 11. Each of the following success stories has been selected to highlight a particular kind of problem she has solved.
Note: To many of Renee's clients, preserving confidentiality is extremely important. In those cases, the names of the companies are not displayed, but references from each are available to potential clients and referral sources.
Dramatically improved customer service
- Client was an employee-owned manufacturing company.
- The company had experienced increasing losses for three consecutive years.
- Costs were significantly higher than industry standards.
- Operations were chaotic.
- Deliveries were only 50% on-time.
- There was wide-spread disruption, dissatisfaction and animosity resulting from the poorly executed acquisition of another company.
- Everyone complained about a lack of accountability.
- Renee was recommended by the Company's banker.
- Revenues increased by 15%.
- Cost reductions were dramatic.
- There was an end to chaos, made possible by personnel and policy changes as well as by documentation of procedures.
- On-time deliveries skyrocketed from 50% to 98% within 5 months.
- Employees from both the original and acquired companies worked as a team.
- A system for ensuring accountability, including clear definition of job responsibilities, target setting and measurement and feedback, was in place.
- Company launched a new strategic direction.
- Company remains in business today.
Negotiated end to personal guarantees
- A multi-generation family-owned manufacturing company, a union shop, had experienced significant, increasing losses for three consecutive years.
- The Company's lender was threatening to shut them down.
- Operations were almost totally out of control.
- The elderly majority shareholders were afraid that the lender would pursue their personal guarantees.
- Family members were at each other's throats.
- The Board of Directors hired Renee based on the recommendation of a family friend, an experienced bank executive.
- Within 12 months, profits improved from -27% to +4%.
- Gross margin improved 300%.
- Operations were significantly improved.
- The company obtained new funding at favorable rates.
- Renee successfully negotiated the removal of personal guarantees.
- Cordial family relationships were restored.
Enhanced family relationships
- The company was a multi-generation family-owned business that included eight different business units and conducted business internationally.
- Several of those business units were failing badly and putting the profitable businesses at risk.
- Family relationships were strained because roles among family members were not clearly defined.
- Renee was referred by the Company's CPA.
- Renee, working as an outside consultant in this situation, developed a management control system for the troubled business units.
- Acting upon Renee's recommendations, the owners sold the unprofitable operations, and the family members divided the remaining business units into two separate entities, each owned by only one family.
- Family relationships have continued on a positive basis.
- Both entities are profitable today.
Brought order out of chaos
PML Microbiologicals, Inc. was the sole subsidiary of PML, Inc., a publicly traded, FDA-regulated medical device manufacturer. PML, the third largest supplier of culture media in North America, reached a crisis point in 1995. The company had lost money or operated at break-even every year since 1991. In 1994, financially and operationally troubled PML acquired a financially and operationally troubled competitor, Adams Scientific. That acquisition precipitated a crisis.
In 1995, PML's operations were out-of-control. Financial records were inaccurate and out-of-date; the company had no business plan; there were frequent overdrafts at the bank; the company was on COD or credit hold with many vendors; systems were woefully inadequate; there were frequent stock-outs of raw materials and finished goods as well as numerous shipping errors; inventories were inaccurate; there was a growing chorus of customer complaints.
The Special Assets Department of PML's bank recommended that PML engage Renee Fellman. PML agreed.
Renee had full operating authority at PML from January 9, 1995 until mid-April 1996. Working as Interim CEO, Renee
- Gained control of cash and purchasing
- Restored credibility with stakeholders
- Prepared the company's first-ever operating plan
- Reduced personnel costs through operational improvements
- Designed and implemented a management accountability system
- Instituted cycle counting of inventory
- Tightened production control
- Solicited bids on all materials and services
- Eliminated positions or replaced 75% of managers
- Avoided Chapter 11 by negotiating a creditors' extension
- PML returned to profitability during Renee's tenure.
- Performance in every financial and operational category improved dramatically; e.g.,
- EBITDA improved 200%.
- Material costs as a percent of revenues declined from 42.5% to 33.2%.
- Freight costs declined from 6.1% to 1.6%.
- PML repaid its creditors in full and enjoyed record earnings until 2006, when the company was sold and shareholders realized a handsome profit.
- Renee won the Turnaround of the Year Award from the Turnaround Management Association for her leadership at PML.
Achieved long-lasting results
In 1987, when the owners of Pesznecker Brothers, Inc. called Renee, the 36-year-old manufacturing company with nationwide sales had been losing money for three years and had overdrafts at the bank. The current ratio was .64; liquidation ratio of assets to liabilities was .37. The company's financial records were inaccurate and out-of-date. The staff was poorly trained and disorganized, and the IRS was threatening a forced shut-down.
Renee was referred by the Special Assets Department of the company's lender.
Working with full operating authority, Renee
- Stopped overdrafts and losses
- Cut costs
- Eliminated unprofitable projects
- Designed and implemented a new cost accounting system and system of management controls
- Avoided Chapter 11 by negotiating a creditors' extension
- Profitability was restored.
- Operations were more efficient.
- Delivery times decreased by half.
- Staff accountability and morale improved.
- Today the Company is run by the next generation and remains consistently profitable.