January 22, 2009

For some, not so bad

By DC Velocity Staff

While the poor economy appears to be swamping most boats, a few companies are reporting that they are doing just fine, thanks. At least for the moment, that is. A case in point is Fortna, a systems integration and supply chain consulting firm. Peter Counihan, the firm's president and CEO, says the company enjoyed strong growth last year. He says he is "cautiously optimistic" about this year but has deeper concerns about 2010.

Fortna is planning an aggressive expansion internationally, particularly in South America, to take advantage of what Counihan expects will be greater emphasis on near-shoring by U.S. businesses. His goal: to eventually derive half of Fortna's revenue from international business. It now stands at about 10 percent, he says.

Counihan says the current recession has offered a couple of key lessons for businesses. First, he argues, firms must do a better job of checking the financial health of their suppliers before committing business to them. Second, they should do a better job of developing the business case for proposed investments.