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The overall objectives of most businesses are similar – launch the business, make it viable, then grow its profitability. But what about the events in between that affect that trajectory?
Owners and management teams are invested in the success of their companies – they spend countless hours creating strategic plans, reviewing sales statistics and input costs looking for ways to support their business goals. But business operations can encounter challenges and successes that affect the priorities and path of the company. When and where adjustments need to be made to capitalize on strengths and minimize weaknesses can be difficult for management teams embedded in the company to identify. The impartiality of a business diagnostic can provide insight and advice when markets are diminishing or expanding, costs are changing, and internal challenges or external opportunities present themselves.
A diagnostic is particularly helpful when a company is experiencing an unplanned event or change and there’s no clear indication of why it’s happening. Planning for growth, merger, acquisition, divestiture or succession are also occasions when a diagnostic adds significant value.
A “diagnostic” is simply the process which assesses the health of an operation and seeks to identify underlying causes of problems. With many manufacturers operating at less than optimal efficiency, increasing effectiveness even marginally can have a big impact on profitability. A diagnostic identifies specific operational strengths and weaknesses, and establish priorities for improvement.
When embarking on new projects, a diagnostic determines what could produce the highest returns in a variety of scenarios, such as when a company is determining how to increase capacity; facing profitability challenges; evaluating organizational structure; or updating information technology or processes and assessing new or potential products and services.
Performance improvement driven by organizational assessment
While a diagnostic focuses on specific performance areas (such as business strategy, processes, organizational design, supply chain), it’s generally most beneficial when the health of the entire organization is assessed because all areas are interrelated. Each diagnostic process is unique depending upon needs and circumstances, but a typical approach involves reviewing and refocusing strategies and operational efforts.
First, a diagnostic usually involves reviewing the strategic plan for insights regarding the company’s vision for the future and how it intends to get there. The effectiveness of key business areas is assessed and several years’ worth of financial statements and ratios are analysed and an assessment of revenue and debt is completed. Results are compiled in a report that includes recommended actions for immediate and longer-term priorities.
Ultimately, a diagnostic will determine the root causes of some challenges businesses might experience and the approaches they should take to increase the probability of success and potential payout.
Growth acceleration can be supported through consensus building – a diagnostic identifies core competencies and helps management develop new market acquisition strategies to secure new contracts in several growing markets. Where rising input costs threatened viability and growth a diagnostic can develop a comprehensive cost management strategy.
A business diagnostic just might be the best prescription to support your company’s health.
For more information, contact Glenn Fraser, Vice-President of Food & Ag Processing at 877.251.2922 or
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