Eurocopter: Creating a Culture of Cash and Cost Awareness
How did Eurocopter manage to get all employees to understand how they have a direct impact on the company’s cash position, how they proactively contribute to and drive cash flow, and how generating cash is well within their scope of activities? Until 2007, the executive team at Eurocopter, a division of EADS, was mainly focused on profitability. Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) was a key driver and outweighed even the company’s cash position.
By early 2008, Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter President & CEO, had increased the weight of cash as a key performance indicator for Eurocopter Group worldwide. He also decided to launch at Group level a change towards a real cash culture. “With the financial crisis that began in 2008, cash is now even more important than ever before,” says Dieter John, the company’s EVP of Finance.“Cash is king” and allows us to prepare and invest in our products, innovation, acquisitions, and to ensure our future success.
“Each participant can see that he/she has hand in the company’s cash position.”
— Bernard Prunet, Vice President ESPRIT Project, Eurocopter
Cash is the best form of insurance at a time when money is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. Known as the “Cash and Cost Culture,” the strategy carried over to Eurocopter and represents a significant culture change.