Company News » November: Credit crunch winners and losers; FDs increase corporate investments; process change projects fail to improve performance

November: Credit crunch winners and losers; FDs increase corporate investments; process change projects fail to improve performance

IT managers struggle to reduce carbon footprint, while bonus payments at UK companies continue to grow

Bonus points
Bonus payments at UK companies have doubled since 2001, according to data from
for National Statistics
. A total of £28bn in bonuses has been paid
out in 2008 so far, compared with £14bn in all of 2001. ONS said bonuses in the
financial sector grew from £6.5bn in 2001 to £16bn in Q3 2008; growth in this
sector made up two-thirds of growth in overall bonuses.

Change is bad
UK companies could be losing as much as £1.7bn a year because process change
projects are failing to improve corporate performance. A study conducted by
Management Consulting
and The Economist Intelligent Unit discovered
that in executing these change projects, nearly one-fifth of organisations do
not assess the achievement of goals, such as return on investment, against their
original business plan. A further 35% had abandoned change management projects
in the last three years. A further 70% spent less than 7% of their revenue on
such projects.

Black to green
More than 60% of IT managers are struggling to reduce their carbon footprint, IT
infrastructure advisory
has found. Just over two-thirds have green measures in place such as remote
working and video conferencing facilities ­ but are still having difficulties
measuring reductions. More than one-half cited lack of IT resources as the
biggest barrier and 23% were unaware of the options available to improve carbon

Blame game
Many employees of UK businesses believe their managers are using the credit
crunch to hide management failures, according to research by leadership consu
. More than 80% said senior bosses had little or no
experience of how to deal with a major slowdown. Almost 70% think some companies
are using the current economic uncertainty as an excuse to conceal problems
caused by management mistakes.

Invest is best
Finance directors are upping investment in their companies and infrastructure to
see their way through economic uncertainty, according to research from the
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Three-quarters of FDs polled by
planned to increase or maintain spending in marketing and staff training with
just 5% saying they would cut back on new product development. The majority of
those surveyed (72%) confirmed they intended to keep wages at or below

Failures up and down
The latest Business Failures Report for Q4 has shown that some sectors are
faring better than expected in the downturn. The latest report, prepared by
business information provider
highlights that services and wholesale sectors had seen the number of failures
drop by 4.2% and 2.6% respectively in Q3 compared with Q1 this year. Other
sectors are worsening with failures in manufacturing increasing by 13.8% (from
805 Q1 to 899 Q3), transport and communication up by 11.9% and construction up
by 11.7%.

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