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Successful Succession in Central PA

Williams Metal Finishing is a second-generation business in Berks County. The founder had been forced back into running the business to protect his business interests. His two sons were serving in the company's management - one as the Sales Manager and one as the Operations Manager - under their father's leadership in his role as CEO. The founder's wife was facing serious medical issues, forcing a crisis succession for his improperly prepared sons. In addition, the loss of a major customer and various cost issues had placed the company in a negative cash flow situation.

When Williams Metal Finishing contacted SEWN's layoff aversion program, the company was in workout with its bank, which was prepared to call the company's loans and close the business. SEWN secured a forbearance agreement, providing space to work through the financial and operational issues required to strengthen the company.

Over the next several months, SEWN successfully implemented financial controls, a sales plan to increase the company's top line, new marketing initiatives and an outside advisory board. SEWN located an interim CEO while the founder attended to his medical crisis. The interim CEO provided strategic direction to the sons during the founder's absence. SEWN also provided executive coaching to the sons in their roles and strengthened their capabilities to lead the business.

Williams Metal Finishing is now healthy and prospering, and continues to improve its operational efficiencies under its current leadership structure. Two Pennsylvania Senators recently joined forces to create a video of this success story as a model of a successful turnaround experience.

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