Neil Booth

Summary

An experienced Finance Director, working in PE/VC and privately owned companies. Neil has held both board and team leader roles in organisations from £6m to £60m turnover. He understands the responsibility to be part of two-way communication with all stakeholders.

Neil is always looking to improve the information from the finance team and update business processes. He builds relationships with customers that cover contract negotiations, implementing price changes and resolving disputes. Neil sees the Finance Director role as an integral part of the management team both advising and supporting all aspects of the organisation.


Experience

Neil qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant whilst working in UK based manufacturing and engineering companies. Neil has been a Finance Director for over 20 years predominantly in the aerospace, rail and medical industries including over five years as an Interim.

He has a flexible approach as both leader and member of teams. His passion is improving processes and individuals to create more successful organisations.

Over the course of his career, he has:

  • Finance Team Transformation – mentored, developed and restructured teams including setting-up both Finance Reporting (FR) and Finance, Planning and Analysis (FP&A) teams and moving transaction processing to a central team.
  • Cash-flow – developed short and medium term cash-flow projections to enable business to understand intensive working capital demands of their manufacturing/inventory cycle.
  • Overhead Cost Management – Managed and negotiated reduction in costs including utility providers, landlords, HMRC and raw material suppliers. Worked with teams to understand and address variable and fixed overhead spend.
  • Site Process Upgrade – lead the project to create and implement a system to improve the management of works orders, leading to significant reduction in inventory, improvement in EBITDA and cashflow. This knowledge gave much stronger data for successful quoting.
  • Standard Costing System Development – redesigned standard costing systems to refocus on overhead cost reduction, reduce poor planning decisions. Implemented processes and functions to meet the ongoing needs of changing organisations.
  • Debt Collection – understands the importance to cashflow of strong debt collection processes and has lead the negotiation for payments of disputed and aged debt from both UK and overseas customers.

Case Study

Background

This £15m turnover aerospace business had undergone a difficult period. The poor results for the site included inventory £3.2m, OTIF 10% and EBITDA 4%. The OTIF meant customers saw the site as an unreliable supplier and were putting enormous pressure for improvement.

This also meant that this subsidiary of a multi-national group was under the scrutiny from the main board. The site had a new CEO and a new FD.

Challenges

The key challenges to improving the profitability were scrap reduction and upgrading the inventory management. In addition, quarterly physical stocktakes were imposed by the group as the stock losses were so significant. The overall solution was to update the production control system.

The new CEO was implementing a logical production flow system for the shopfloor requiring a physical restructure. Most of the walls and doors on the shopfloor were being removed and the layout significantly changed to accommodate three alternative flow lines. This was already favourably affecting the value of WIP as hidden shopfloor stores were being revealed and used up.

One of the most significant issues causing the high level of scrap was the team continually losing the documentation that confirmed what work, and rework, had been completed and that the correctly trained personnel had built the product. In the aerospace industry if this documentation is lost or not completed correctly then the part must be scrapped. The correct versions of drawings were also lost, alas slowing down production.

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