Case Study 1

The Client

A parent company and two subsidiaries, one a mid-sized Canadian manufacturer, the other a creative company (product design and development) with worldwide distribution and sourcing in North America and Asia. Though it serviced both large and small retail accounts and employed 350 people, the company was in a liquidity crisis, suffering significant losses and needed to define its strategy.

Our role

R.e.l. was retained as CRO, ultimately replacing the C-Suite Executive (acting in the roles of CEO, COO, VP Treasury & Legal Affairs) on a short term basis to effect necessary change quickly (since time is more valuable than money).Reporting to the Board, we took executive responsibility for all aspects of the restructuring and operations. Our influence on commercial matters and strategy was significant: we assessed operations and advised the Board on options for formal and informal restructuring. We ultimately developed and implemented a restructuring plan that included the requisite operational formulas and balance sheet changes — and went beyond that to include a broader long term strategy, including branding and commercial direction.


Brought stability and discipline to the organization and returned the company to break-even in a tough economy.

  • Refinanced the operating debt with a new lender in the midst of an extremely tight credit market, negotiating creditor compromises and accommodations.
  • Implemented cash-flow management and brought credibility to the company’s reporting, re-balancing its commercial relationships with vendors.
  • Re-organized the workforce with overall staff reductions of 35%, changed the corporate culture by removing silos and instilling group accountability, resulting in an environment that made management more effective.
  • Terminated unprofitable accounts and launched new sales efforts.
  • Corrected problems with the company’s corporate structure and tax planning.