TTP: In essence, companies aren’t going out of business because of a fall in profits, but because of a lack of cash. Was that a big challenge?
RC: “Yes, it was. We couldn’t risk getting ourselves into liquidity problems. Moreover, there was an increased risk that customers would not be able to pay the invoices. And what if, in the event of a bank run, their funds were also frozen? For all these reasons, we took out a credit line of 95 million EUR in full. In the end, we didn’t need those reserves. Fortunately.”
TTP: Your profitability was ultimately maintained?
RC: “That’s largely due to our decentralised structure and the responsibility allocated to our individual operating companies and offices to organise their own profitability. They are all self-managing teams of entrepreneurs who work on the basis of clear KPIs. The group closely monitors the results so that we can make adjustments or provide support in good time. For example, we launched an extra regional bonus on top of variable remuneration based on the monthly results. The bonus provided solidarity as it relied on the results in a particular region and not simply on individual performance. In this way, we avoided the situation in which the salary of a consultant active solely in the hospitality sector would be halved. Of course, the consultant then also worked on an alternative segment. In this way, we re-engineered numerous processes and revenue models within the group.”