Companies can replace or recover most assets of the organization, but in many cases, “most” is not good enough. The mass am­ount of data generated over the years is far too valuable and irreplaceable for companies not to have intact. Accordingly, data re­covery has evolved from an internal necessity to a strategic and sus­tainable competitive advantage.

With every passing year, the amount and variety of information available to make business decisions continues its exponential growth. As a result, business leaders have an opportunity to exploit the possibilities inherent in this rich, but complex, stream of information. Alternatively, they can continue with the status quo, using only their good business sense and intuition and thereby risk being left in the dust by competitors. Top-tier companies have learned to harness the available data with powerful decision support tools to make fast, robust trade-offs across many competing priorities and business constraints.

Reverse-engineering isn’t about crashed UFOs in Roswell, New Mexico – it’s a solid manufacturing practice that simply means to begin with the end-result in mind and work backwards from there. When companies seek to lower their materials costs (and who isn't?), they need to begin with the end-result – a less expensive product – and then determine where they can save time and money along the way. Companies quickly discover there are only five ways to make this goal a reality, and they spell an easy-to-remember acronym: YIELD.

Whether you agonized before joining the family business or leaving a secure job to start your own company, deciding whether to sell your business is likely one of the biggest decisions you will make.  The decision is a mix of numbers and emotion, hopes and economics, business and family. It is also made in the face of uncertainty. No one can predict what their competitors will do or whether the economy will be up or down at a particular point in time. No one can say for certain how their and their loved ones’ health will be in the future. Whether to sell can be a difficult decision, but knowing what questions to ask yourself can make the decision a little easier.

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