“Destination Dustbin”
In an article in the August 10, 2009 issue of The Financial Times describing how some companies are taking advantage of the economic downturn to reshape and strengthen their businesses, Booz & Company authors Shumeet Banerji (Europe), Paul Leinwand, and Cesare Mainardi (both North America) were quoted in their example of one such company, Johnson Controls, which moved quickly to identify huge cost savings. In their e-book, Cut Costs, Grow Stronger, Banerji, Leinwand, and Mainardi wrote that in the mid-1990s Johnson Controls was prodded into overhauling the workings of one division after losing a huge contract to supply car batteries to Sears. In doing so, the company moved quickly, cutting costs, closing plants and renegotiating deals with suppliers—and within months, had identified cost savings of $150 million a year and learned a lot about how to become more efficient. “Did Johnson Controls really need a crisis to figure out which costs were really essential? Theoretically, of course, the answer is no,” they wrote. “(But) to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, ‘Nothing focuses the mind quite like the prospect of your imminent removal from this world.’”