L.E.K. Consulting has found that successfully managing through the recession requires a holistic plan to ensure immediate survival, and a strategy to retool the business to exit the recession a stronger entity. In order to accomplish this, companies must astutely execute three interlocking phases. Each phase has goals, which if achieved, should ensure long-term value creation. In this three part series, we will examine each phase in-depth, and highlight priorities for success. The primary goal of the first phase is to ensure near-term survival. This requires preserving cash and minimizing operating losses. While many actions may be taken, the key levers include reducing operating costs, delaying major capital projects, tightly controlling working capital, and fully exploiting existing credit facilities.