Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Xerox blames decline in kit sales . . ." But XRX still made a profit in Q1. Nice.

Congratulations home team! In this environment top line revenue is going to go down. As long as you can stay profitable and out of debt, you're doing fine by me.

But there has to be a better, faster way to bring down SG&A than wasting human capital as in
The company said it would deliver $250m in savings this year thanks to previous restructuring initiatives, which included 3,000 job cuts announced in the latter part of 2008.
That's a Wall Street solution. It's not a Xerox solution.

How about a program to repurpose our great people by helping them make the transition to either teaching in inner city high schools or helping them start their own businesses.

I bet it wouldn't be all that hard to put together some kind of buy out offer that included health care and pension protection. Once people are secure about health care and pension protection, they can tap their energy, experience and passion. Lots of people would voluntarily take the deal, in my not so humble opinion.

If you balance "restructuring costs" against the costs of implementing this approach, I think it could get pretty close to no net expense. Plus we don't have to spend a gezillion dollars now, taking a big hit to quarterly profits, to reap the benefits over the next three or four years. If the economy rebounds as quickly as I think it will, it's going to be irrelevant anyway. In any case, no one can predict three or four years.

The old timers have invaluable experience. They could become online mentors to the younger feet on the ground. Wikis, blogs, Skype video conferences will allow the boomers to nurture the important parts of life, while giving back what they think they've learned. It could free up sales management to manage sales, not "educate" the sales force. As long as health care and pensions are taken care of their value could be rewarded on a variable basis, instead of as a fixed overhead item.

Almost every boomer I know wants to teach. Every education system in America needs people who want to teach. No boomer I know wants to be at work every day at specific times. No boomer I know wants to be in a classroom, managing high school kids. That's a young person's job.

But wiki's, blogs, Skype tele conferences solve that one also. Meanwhile, if the company pulled together a focus on fixing education to build on our enormous advantage in the education space. it comes pretty close to win-win-win and "why wouldn't I do that?"

Meanwhile, we can get on a predictable path to get our SG&A down to the Walmart goal of 16+%. While the market is stagnating the only choices are to lower margins or lower overhead/debt obligations. I don't see a third choice. Whether we want to or not, the market is going to dictate lower margins. So that only leaves overhead/debt obligations. No one is going to grow themselves out of this one.

If anyone has the time, please let me know what I'm missing. I'm sure it must be something, but I just can't see it. I appreciate the constraints of corporate employment, but anon or a made up name like dr droock is easy to do.
Xerox blames decline in kit sales for 18% revenue drop
Tim Sheahan, 27 April 2009

Xerox has cited an 'accelerated rate of decline' in enterprise spending on equipment as a major factor in its 18% drop in first-quarter revenues, which have fallen to $3.6bn (£2.5bn).

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