Forensic Analysis | External Program Assessment | Urbane Yardstick
“You’re the VP of small business lending at a CDFI. One of your highest profile investments, an iconic local retailer that employs a significant number of community members and is very politically connected, hasn’t provided a loan payment in 90 days to you or the two other subordinate lenders they have loans with. Under normal circumstances, you’d begin to consider pulling the loan, but the firestorm it would create would be enormous. You need someone to figure out what’s going on and is the situation salvageable.”
While we often joke about UD’s fixer role in communities, a large part of our work is forensic analysis – determining what went wrong and how to provide prescriptive steps to stabilize and re-orient a struggling business. We will dive deep into a retailer’s financial systems, operating protocols, management team, and customer relationships to ascertain what the problem truly is, how much it costs to fix, and if there’s enough time to turn things around. If so, UD will work with you and your retail client to implement changes and increase revenue and profits fast. If the situation is untenable, we work with all parties to execute an exit strategy that mitigates losses and transitions the operations into a close-down phase with dignity and respect.
“As Executive Director of a mid-sized non-profit, you’ve steadily grown the organization and have several diverse programs to fulfill your mission. In fact, your organization is a pioneer in a few service areas and receives significant opportunities to expand your programming. However, your indirect and overhead costs have risen by 10% in the last year alone, your office space is getting cramped while your rent is scheduled to increase, and 65% of your revenue comes from two sources. There is opportunity for growth for the organization, but you need help evaluating your existing organizational assets and how leverage them for sustainability…”
Non-profit organizations, perhaps more than their for-profit counterparts, must be cognizant of how to manage organizational growth and control overhead cost centers that intrinsically do not generate revenue . UD will hone in on elements of your organization that affect revenue: staffing capacity and productivity; programs that are “profitable” and offer opportunities to generate unrestricted income; programs that have content, processes and systems, or other elements that could be codified and sold as a fee-for service offering. We also target your pricing and costing methodology, as well as examining your typical expense categories for potential cost savings. Achieving your mission with efficiency is what UD is all about.