We work closely with clients throughout the strategy and implementation phases. A few examples are illustrated below:
Growth and channel assessment
Situation: Board of directors of a public company wanted to assess growth opportunities and channel strategy.
Approach: Conducted rapid diagnostics of client's channel sales and structure based on quantitative analyses, workshops with leadership team as well as survey and interviews with channel partners.Results: Recommended seven strategic growth initiatives covering customer focus, channel structure, and partner management program. Board of directors decided to implement all recommendations.
Situation: Company wanted to identify issues and opportunities with current sales and marketing organization.
Approach: Conducted rapid assessment using a web-based survey and in-depth interviews with the sales organization covering five areas: 1) market and customer focus, 2) organization and deployment, 3) sales planning and goal setting, 4) support, tools and processes and 5) performance management.Results: Together with President ran workshop with leadership team to define actions and appoint responsible people to address gaps. Specific areas addressed included pricing, promotions, sales support roles, qualification of leads, CRM, and goal setting.
Situation: A pricing review had not been done for several years. Historically, a cost-plus approach to pricing had been applied. Consequently, prices did not reflect the value provided to customers and were not aligned with competition.
Approach: Project covered three areas: 1) pricing data analysis, 2) external customer input and interviews to assess value to customers (e.g., importance of price versus non price buying factors), and 3) competitive price comparison.Results: Pricing opportunities included addressing low profitable customers, price leakage (e.g., freight costs and discounting), tightening discount policies and adjust prices for specific SKUs (product articles).
Situation: Private equity firm wanted help to develop a strategic plan including specific value creation initiatives for one of their portfolio companies.
Approach: Primary steps: (1) diagnostic, i.e. base lining of company’s cost structure, profitability, capabilities and current initiatives, (2) outlining strategic options, (3) prioritization of strategic options based on EBITDA impact and fit, and (4) development of execution plan. Entire client leadership team was involved throughout the engagement allowing for consensus and rapid implementation.Results: Plan of how to double EBITDA in 4 years. In the process, management gained understanding and consensus of the highest priority initiatives. Quick hit initiatives were immediately launched. PE firm received a roadmap with specific targets, financial and non financial, to help them track monthly progress.
Situation: Supplier of industrial equipment was struggling to grow top-line as its core markets were increasingly becoming saturated and under pressure from a global shift in manufacturing base.
Approach: Analytics driven identification of top 10-15 potential growth opportunities followed by validation and conversion into executable growth initiatives through extensive primary customer research and interaction.Results: Increased organic top-line growth rates by several percentage points by (1) modifying services models for core markets and extracting substantial value from spare parts and other high-margin add-on sales and (2) focused programs to penetrate emerging growth markets (e.g., China)
Situation: Private equity firm needed to quickly assess attractiveness of an acquisition target.
Approach: Rapid assessment of market attractiveness and competiveness including understanding industry profitability, market outlook and trends, customer preferences and differentiating factors vis-à-vis competition. Top value creation opportunities were identified and quantified based on more than 100 interviews with industry experts and end customers as well as rigid analysis of market and company data.Results: Client gained in depth understanding of target's commercial attractiveness (profitability outlook, opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses relative to competition, etc.) and clarity on how to generate incremental EBITDA after acquisition. It also helped the PE firm determine a more informed acquisition price.
Situation: Division of construction materials company was underperforming relative to its peers and creating a burden for corporate to the point where a sale of the division was contemplated.
Approach: Conducted a rapid assessment targeting a 4-point performance improvement program to be implemented over the following six weeks, including: (1) organizational realignment and elimination of redundant overhead, (2) incentive plan adjustments, (3) sourcing/purchasing initiative, and (4) pricing adjustments.Results: EBIT margins improved by more than 5 points in six months and the division moved from an underperformer to the highest performer in its market.
Situation: A majority of sales was through channel partners. Client had little control of the sales process, suspected they were not effectively working with channel partners and therefore wanted an external perspective.
Approach: Based on internal interviews, an assessment was made of the effectiveness of working with channel partners. Examples of areas reviewed: partner types and fit, partners' vs. company's role in the sales process, goal setting for partners, partner incentives, support provided to partners, monitoring and review of partners, organization's role in the partner management process, and whether a tiered partner program would be helpful.Results: Provided a diagnostic of each of the above described areas, i.e. assessed effectiveness and identified changes needed. Recommendation covered eleven changes; some quick fixes and some major changes. Provided an initiative roadmap to help the company start working effectively with partners. Client implemented several initiatives and started to work towards the longer-term partner vision.