Case Studies

Build Transformational Leadership to Drive Customer Engagement

Posted on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 @ 06:20 AM

The president of a well-established health sciences company was faced with the need to change the way the organization interacted with its customers. Customers reported that the organization had grown far too complex to do business with, compared to its major competitors. The executive perspective was that the company possessed an urgent need to change…  but was concerned that middle management had grown too conservative and rigid to lead, or even accept, significant change.   We put together an approach that demonstrated that middle managers could and would engage in constructive ways to invigorate the organization.The approach consisted of a six week process, the goal of which was to recommend what changes should be made, complete with a business case and implementation plan. A set of four respected middle managers and four excellent customer service staff were put on the project team. The schedule was challenging and the expectations demanding.

The first week, while producing several critical outputs, was largely focused on training the team in the business and change management skills and methods required to be successful.  Each week thereafter for the remainder of the project, the team presented key findings and recommendations at a scheduled executive briefing on key deliverables. At the end of the process, the president and his leadership team committed to the well-detailed strategic change effort.

Five key attributes of this approach enabled the success of the team:

  1. Substantial and visible executive expectations and support from the senior leadership.
  2. Careful selection of the right initial team members.
  3. A challenging but flexible and highly disciplined approach to the initial work.
  4. A customized approach to the work consistent with the culture of the company.
  5. Effective partnering between our external resources that brought experience and discipline to the internal team.

This positive start convinced senior management that the organization was capable of successfully addressing the customer service issues that threatened its survival.

Within 100 days the team implemented a series of process changes that positively enhanced the customer experience while lowering the cost of service. Over the course of the next eighteen months, organizational changes and new systems made more significant change feasible. The benefits were derived not simply from reduced costs and simplified customer interactions, but through increased sales and new cross-selling initiatives. The success was obtained through the creative efforts of staff and active executive support up to and including the Board of Directors.

Several years after the project ended, one of the sponsoring executives reflected that the project had been one of the most exciting and innovative experiences of his career.  For him, it was a powerful learning that substantive change could be not just a hoped-for possibility–but a living, tangible and valuable reality.

[Go to this page to download the Journal of Customer Relations article about this case (see “Download Journal Article”, left sidebar).]

Package and Manage Sale of Entrepreneur-Led Business to an ESOP

Posted on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 @ 05:34 AM

Industry: Experiential Education & Travel
Function: Executive and Finance
Location: HQ Domestic, Operations Global

The founder-entrepreneur was a researcher-author who had built a multi-million dollar experiential education and travel business steadily over a period of three decades. He was sixty years old and evaluating options for the continuity of the business as he stepped aside, eventually “retiring” to a reduced role in the business while accessing the value of the business he’d built through a sale. The business had seen customer and revenue numbers mushroom successfully over the last few years.

Among the issues we evaluated and addressed were:

  1. The impact of the owner’s presence and involvement upon company sales and market presence.
  2. The ability to keep key staff (both customer-facing and administrative) who had been trained and developed internally, possessing decades of accumulated experience.

As is the case for many small to mid-sized private businesses, the founder’s continued involvement post-sale was critical to maintaining the value of the brand and the enterprise business value. In addition, the founder had been the primary developer of intellectual property (IP); the business needed to maintain its exclusive rights to this IP and access new IP during a planned and phased succession period.

In order for the deal to work, the company needed to buy out/ roll up a long-time business partner and related support business to create a whole company from the loose collection of separately owned small businesses and independent contractors. Each part was needed for this business to function as a unified enterprise-and to capture maximum economic value.

To support this work, we:

  • Created a composite business pro-forma and forecast to explain in financial terms the consolidated business as a whole enterprise – for owner/ entrepreneur, valuation firm, and other key stakeholders.
  • Evaluated the valuation and the applicability and benefits of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan- Trust (ESOP) sale; and
  • Worked with the owner to optimize the valuation of the business and provide proper financial back-up.
  • Screened, interviewed, hired and managed the various professionals to execute both the ESOP sale and the pre-ESOP buy-outs and consolidations on behalf of the owner.

The ESOP was successfully executed, with all issues addressed. This transaction succeeded despite the credit and market meltdowns of 2008 and recession of 2008-10. As a result of this project, the owner was able to convert remuneration expected to be received as personal income into long-term capital gains for significant tax savings.

The ESOP structure allowed three key issues to be addressed:

  1. The founder was able to sell 100% of the business, while remaining for an extended transition in a role he had chosen and designed in advance.
  2. By selling to the employees, the founder was able to lock-in key people essential for the ongoing success of the business, rewarding those choosing to stay long-term and contribute to business success.
  3. The tax-benefitted ownership status created by the ESOP allowed a significant portion of the purchase loan repayment to be made from funds that would have previously been paid by the business as tax on earnings.

Based on this work, the owner realized significant financial benefits, maintained a large degree of post-sale control-influence, created a more viable business going forward, and implemented a stable structure for business succession and continuity.

Deliver Value In Engineered Systems Through Process Improvement

Posted on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 @ 01:25 PM

Industry: Agriculture – Dairy Equipment
Function: Finance, IT, Business Development
Location: Global

Our client (a $1.5 billion portfolio company owned by a European PE firm) designed, sold, and installed sophisticated, customized agricultural systems globally. The process of design selection, delivery, onsite installation, and startup would often be the first experience a customer would have with the company. A positive experience would lead to higher wallet share capture with increasing margins in the aftermarket sale of parts, service and consumables. Conversely a negative experience would often lead to only minimal purchases (i.e. sole sourced items) and alternate vendor selections for service and material for the installation lifecycle that averaged upwards of ten years. The primary metric was the On-Time, In-Full Delivery (OTIF) of capital sales for projects. Our client was experiencing an unprecedented level of backlog and missed deliveries due to both internal and external factors primarily:

  • The implementation of a new ERP system,
  • A new organizational design splitting the order fulfillment process into two different legal entities,
  • A new management team at a key supplier, and
  • Record capital sales in 2008 as a result of high milk prices.

These factors created a degradation of capital order delivery to an estimated OTIF rate of less than 20% for the first nine months of 2008.

An MMG associate joined in the last quarter of 2008 through the end of 2009 to lead the day-to-day capital goods order management and delivery process–and to improve delivery performance and operational effectiveness, reduce inventory levels, and improve customer service. Our guy led a cross functional Project Sales team to establish processes, roles and responsibilities, documentation, and metrics for managing project orders. In addition, the team sought to improve communications between the supply chain, the sales team and independent distributors, and key suppliers. Finally, significant coordination and management was required to ensure that consistency and commonality was achieved in the North America and the European designs.

As a result, the OTIF percentage on a monthly basis improved to over 90% on a consistent basis by the beginning of 2010.

As part of the project, we also designed and led a ‘voice of the customer’ survey creating a discussion and scoring template, conducting customer/ distributor interviews, analyzing data, and reporting results and actionable recommendations to the senior management committee. This allowed the MMG team to identify and address the systemic root causes of the On Time, In Full delivery failures.

Finally, the effort also included the re-implementation of the risk management system for capital good sales (suspended during the ERP installation). We introduced a customer sign-off process that validated the training, documentation delivery, and system performance–creating a written record to reference against potential, future claims, and providing critical “post-sales” expectation-setting and support.

Drive Business Growth: Private Local Service Business

Posted on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 @ 03:49 PM

Industry:  Automotive Service
Function:  Business Development
Location:  Domestic

The owner of an independent retail automotive-service business had growth aspirations – and needed help to think through how best to achieve them for his business.  We joined him to:

  • clarify/ set the core value proposition,
  • differentiate his business and offerings from the major chain-store competitor just up the street,
  • identify the key customers needed to grow (based on data/ analytical assessment),
  • target and message to those key customers, and
  • refine the business plan, including the expansion plan to double the size of the facilities.

This work led to a structured approach for engaging customers, clear sales and marketing campaigns, and consistent messages that clearly differentiated this business from local competitors. Following through on execution, this business has seen new customer contacts almost triple in number within the last 12 months – and is on track to achieve 60-70% revenue growth this fiscal year. based on successful execution of the plan.

Solve Cashflow Crisis, Manage & Support Growth & Strategic Sale

Posted on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 @ 10:08 AM

Industry:  Construction (Electrical Design and Installation)
Function:  Executive and Finance
Location:  Domestic

This “Green Energy” client-owner, a consummate entrepreneur, had built an energy audit/ design/ retrofit business focusing on lighting energy efficiency, with inroads into heating/ ventilation/ air-conditioning (HVAC) and water conservation. The business had struggled through several boom and bust cycles (partially tied to the construction cycle) and had struggled financially with growth.  Unfortunately, it had also encountered and entered into a few large and unprofitable projects.

The owner had been both an asset in creating and growing the business–and an impediment to its growth above the $12MM threshold in annual gross revenue.  His entrepreneurial and opportunistic characteristics had stimulated the business to move quickly–and had also failed to create business discipline, adequate analysis, and real scenario models.  As a result, the business was unprepared for the risk associated with large negative downstream consequences, leading it to founder.

By 2002, the company had exhausted its cash resources and needed to make significant cuts in staffing as the result of a large unprofitable contract and the collapse of Enron (with whom it had completed contracts).  In a rescue effort, MMG was brought in to apply the cash flow “jaws of life” to help find and extract the cash resources needed to continue operating and engage in new contracts.  We implemented a sophisticated cash flow projection model, installed a cash planning approach, and improved the turn-over rate on construction invoicing and accounts receivable.

These efforts were successful–and MMG initiated work to support business process development/ discipline and enhanced financial analysis as the business began to grow.  As a concurrent activity, we advised the client-owner on succession planning and the valuation of the business as he prepared to pursue other future ventures.

As the business grew successfully, the redesigned down-stream benefits of MMG work for the business included:

  • Surviving the cash crisis and growing from $8MM to $18MM in revenues during three years of MMG involvement
  • Obtaining additional borrowing capacity to fund growth
  • Reducing the cycles of both financial accounting and invoicing
  • Analyzing the cost structure, implementing budget guidance and supporting policies to better manage costs
  • Providing guidance prior to and immediately after a strategic sale-merger, which subsequently led to transitioning the company to a multi-faceted $40MM design-retrofit company.

Based on this work, the owner restored viability to the business, created a stable structure, and implemented business processes that supported future growth.  Beyond the strategic sale to the energy-industry partner (named above), the new owners successfully navigated a second merger, taking the overall venture into a NASDAQ-listed energy-services company.

Strategic Plan: Deliver Vision, Reduce Debt, Improve Finances

Posted on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 @ 04:23 PM

Industry: Hospitality (Accommodations & Food Services)
Function: Executive
Location: Domestic

The client had built a boutique high-end hospitality business which included a top Zagat-rated restaurant, unique luxury lodging and a complete destination wedding business.  A private school on a large adjacent property closed and the property including a unique but dilapidated country manor house and gymnasium- class room building was to be put on the market.

The entrepreneurial owner both saw opportunity in the unique country manor house and  the potential risk associated with the development of this adjacent property which might be contrary to his property’s ambience. To mitigate this risk, he opportunistically and defensively purchased the adjacent property and began to develop it, but was struggling with the debt load.

The acquisition and renovation of the country manor added considerable guest room capacity – as well as substantial debt. Both the regional tourist season and the wedding business combined to accentuate seasonal cyclicality which capped the business’ peak profitability and depressed the off-season cash flow.

Working with the owner and general manager, we explored the owner’s vision and risk profile to guide market research and alternative solutions. MMG’s business growth management consulting supported extensive market research into new services and amenities that would complement the existing business and its clientele, utilize newly created excess housing capacity and ameliorate the cyclicality of the current business model.  Finally, we developed a range of scenarios, at different risk and debt levels, including general business plans and full pro formas.

The down stream implications of the work included:

  • Refinancing debt and adding a full service spa as destination amenity
  • Creating new products & services, including counter cyclical spa-based packages
  • Identifying spa services and pricing profile
  • Targeting incremental sales of services for traditional guests, non-guest visitors to the area and local resident population
  • Selling the restaurant and non-strategic portion of housing to a strategic partner

Based on this work, the owner created a more profitable business venture and increased asset value – while restructuring debt to levels more in line with the business’ cash generation capabilities.

Implement Strategy; Align Executive Team; Coach for Results

Posted on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 @ 09:19 PM

Industry:  Medical Software
Function:  Executive
Location:  Domestic

A venture-backed medical software company has grown over several years, reaching several hundred employees, tens of thousands of “users”, and dozens of customers. The first-time CEO inherited a senior team – and with them needed to articulate a compelling vision and strategy for the organization, board and other key stakeholders – as well as implement to achieve needed growth results.

The company is a “market leader” in its (relatively new) space – with substantial market opportunity. The pace of change is high due to shifting government-industry dynamics, and competition in the space is intensifying. The organization is experiencing deterioration in execution capability, distractions and lack of focus, and increasing urgency as the issues reach employees and customers.

Working with the senior team and individual leaders, we’re working to create multiples of increase in the realizable value of the enterprise as a strategic acquisition in the next few years by clarifying strategy, building leadership and organizational capabilities, addressing current execution issues and fixing long-term issues related to new-product development and market penetration.

The likely implications of the work will include:

  • Clear and compelling strategies – translated into effective operating plans
  • Effective personal and group abilities to make difficult trade-off decisions regarding what will and won’t be done
  • Changes in executive behavior and in culture
  • Dramatic improvements in senior team capabilities
  • Improved execution and business results
  • Successful value realization

Business Restructuring: Implement Technology & Sales Strategy

Posted on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:46 PM

Industry: Automotive-Trucking
Function: Executive Management
Location: Domestic US

In 2005, American La France – one of the oldest and best-known manufacturers of large custom trucks (trash, ambulance, and fire) was sold by its parent Freightliner to Patriarch Partners. As part of the transition from Freightliner, ALF attempted to implement a complex enterprise-resource-planning system to help track orders, configure vehicles, and manage inventory, in addition to financial management.

However, by 2007 the implementation was failing. An MMG associate served in a triage CTO role to complete the implementation work as part of the senior management team to get the stalled and failing ERP system implementation back on track.  He also drove key results in system performance and data integrity, including:

  • Creating a web -based customer vehicle configuration and order management system
  • Managing design engineering operations and systems
  • Introducing Product Lifecycle Management, and driving down the product lifecycle
  • Reducing active items managed in inventory from 90% to 25%
  • Reducing transactional requirements in work-in-process by more than 50%
  • Establishing an accurate manufacturing bill of materials

He created and led the Sales Operations function for ALF (as the interim Vice President), providing a single face to the customer for cradle-to-grave product support – from order management/ configuration through delivery, invoicing and operational services support, to vehicle retirement and replacement.

While this implementation was underway, the company experienced a series of CFO and CEO transitions; and ALF declared bankruptcy at end of 2008. During this time, the MMG associate oversaw the creation and management of required financial procedures and records. During bankruptcy, he reported directly to the Chief Restructuring Officer and Creditor Committee representatives; the key work included:

  • Successfully negotiating payment plans with key vendors through the bankruptcy period,
  • Executing discovery, document retention, and matter research for concurrent litigation, and
  • Acting as an executive coach for senior managers to improve recognition of and response to organizational behaviors under stress.

These activities laid the groundwork for ALF to successfully emerge from bankruptcy by mid 2008.

Restructure Organization for Productivity and Business Growth

Posted on Thu, May 14, 2009 @ 07:22 PM

Industry: Global Industrial Equipment Manufacturer
Function: Finance
Location: Global

A $4.5B multinational industrial automation company had grown organically over many years, leading to widely decentralized functions, a heavy overhead burden and slow execution performance. The firm had sold off pieces of its business portfolio, but had not reduced staff functions and corporate overhead commensurately.

We joined an effort in progress to remake the Finance organization, to create a single global function—and to help reshape the other corporate functions (HR, Marketing, Quality, MIS, Logistics, etc.) in a similar manner.

Working with the internal senior executive sponsor, we developed and introduced a range of tools and approaches to help cross-functional and cross-business stakeholders develop and decide on how to achieve effective functional governance and “execution”—in ways that worked to meet performance demands, and fit with company culture. We supported selected functions outside of Finance and geographic regions outside of North America to achieve improved productivity and business growth. Finally, we facilitated senior Finance management strategy development, coordinated “calls to action”, and helped manage overall program and communications.

Net project results – Year 1: $20MM bottom line improvement in Europe, $100MM opportunity identified overall. Financial monthly reporting cycle time performance improved by 35-50%. Overall process headcount declined 25%.

Drive Business Performance

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:45 PM

Industry: Financial Services
Function: HR; Strategic Planning
Location: Domestic US

This regional financial institution was stalling in its growth, under scrutiny from regulators (US Treasury Department, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) and faced take-over threats.

Working with the firm’s strategic planning and organizational development functions as well as senior management, we aligned the firm’s human capital “management systems” (business planning & individual development planning, incentive plans & systems, training and development offerings), and to link these systems with business performance. We built a corporate-wide performance management system that enabled comparison of business results across the firm, establishing effective communications across internal stakeholder groups. Every senior manager accountable for a business unit or function (more than 30 in total) built business and personal performance plans, was evaluated against those plans, was incentive-paid based on performance, and had an integrated development plan.

On the basis of this effective performance management system, the organization was able to move out from beneath regulatory scrutiny, and return to profitable growth.

Pharma: Accelerate New Product Development Through Process Improvement

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:42 PM

Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Function: New Product Development
Location: Domestic

A major pharma company had a slow and serial clinical-trials management process, facing challenges to integrate across teams and across functions in new drug development. We worked with business- and functional leadership to develop and introduce team-based process improvement, focused on improving the speed and effective performance within and across the business’s clinical trials teams. Our solution, an action-learning oriented approach, used contemporary team experiences, “public domain” materials, custom-developed video, and deep-dive exercises. With this well-rounded approach, the program addressed the fundamental changes in behavior needed from team members, and the changes in process needed to support faster concurrent product launch and marketing efforts, across multiple functions and geographies.

Develop Vision and Execute Business Strategy

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:40 PM

Industry: Global Industrial Equipment Manufacturer
Function: Process Improvement
Location: Global

The President and Board of a multi billion Japanese company decided that the future growth of the overall business depends on the growth of the international businesses. Through a combination of market analysis and meeting facilitation, we worked with the CEO to create greater alignment and coordination among the senior management team, the leaders of each of the international businesses and the critical functional heads for R&D and manufacturing in Japan.

The key result of the work thus far has been greater consensus between Japan and the businesses in North America, South America, and Europe regarding required product and market development investments in each region and line of business. The businesses are achieving short-term sales and profit objectives and investing substantially in the product development essential for continued growth.

Expand Sales Force Efficiency and Productivity

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:29 PM

Industry: European Luxury Automotive Sales/ Distribution
Function: Sales
Location: Domestic US

Our client had an aggressive three-year goal: increase sales in a franchise distribution channel by 40% without adding dealers or hiring more sales people. Only one approach could achieve that outcome: make the existing sales force more effective and productive.

In this case, “more productive” means taking a group of already-high achievers at the retail outlet and individual level, and making them better.

We have helped our client to profile, replicate and recruit the objective metrics among retail locations, and the elusive professional and personal traits among individual sales performers, that define “Top 10%” – and help our client to develop the people, processes, tools and support, and working environments that help them to thrive at these dramatically higher levels of performance.

The goal was ambitious – to infuse “top performer” attributes throughout the retail channel, creating a culture populated by top-performing stores and people. Early-stage results for this program and related initiatives showed an effective double-digit productivity increase in sales.

Growing Market Share in Medical Devices

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:26 PM

Industry: Medical Devices
Function: Marketing & Sales
Location: Domestic

A $100MM business unit of a global medical device/ pharmaceutical giant was a newcomer to a market segment dominated by entrenched, deep-pocketed global competitors such as Johnson & Johnson and Bayer.

Working with our client’s marketing department and marketing/technology services providers, we designed, implemented and managed integrated marketing programs, a CRM system and a series of targeted marketing projects. To make these programs successful, we worked with our client to:

  • Identify priority marketing objectives, and key customer needs, in their “complex sale” retail environment;
  • Aggressively develop new product and services offerings, designed to deliver information, influence, and leverage for our clients sales force with regard to their target customers;
  • Design structured processes to collect more market intelligence, convert this market intelligence into meaningful management information, and use it to develop subsequent programs; and
  • Managed the cross-organizational business team, covering sales and marketing, IT, finance, vendor-partners, and IT/ systems development.

The goal was daunting—carve market share directly from the segment leaders in a flat market—and our client realized steep gains by taking share from market leaders over a three-year period, using the key programs we worked with them to design and implement.

Design Global Organization For Business Growth

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:24 PM

Industry: Specialty Chemicals
Function: Executive Management, Commercial Operations
Location: Global

A $2.5B global chemical company was formed by spin-off/ sale from GE to private equity in 2006 – selling three “pieces” of GE’s Advanced Materials business. The PE firm “bought out” the existing joint venture partners, combined them with the wholly owned subsidiary, and sought to create “one” global company – with one rationalized supply chain, a strategy for marketing and customer engagement, and an integrated set of global corporate functions.

We worked with the CEO. exec team and other “insiders” to put in place a global management structure for this firm–its first–and to manage the project plan to achieve key results:

  • Deliver the short-term productivity improvements (about $10MM) from functional, geographical, and resource consolidation,
  • Design and implement a new business-planning and follow-up performance-management approach for business leaders;
  • Spec new roles, and organize existing talent to locate the right talent in key positions,
  • Build a strong global marketing function (for the first time) and
  • Communicate the process, plan and outcomes to the company.

After delivering the productivity improvements, the team has followed up to help the newly formed marketing groups outline their plan for growth, and get started on effective execution to achieve needed growth outcomes. In addition, the business will be focusing on the processes and “new behaviors” to drive successful profitable growth, at the global “corporate-optimal” level.

Build Productivity to Support Business Growth

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:18 PM

Industry: Commercial Insurance
Function: Business Management, Operations
Location: Domestic

Facing a business imperative to grow, our client (the US division of an international commercial insurance giant) discovered that administrative inefficiencies, poorly integrated systems, and organizational breakdowns were limiting client-facing time for underwriters and account development staff. These labyrinthine and performance-sapping processes had arisen as “work around solutions” generated by unintegrated acquisitions and multiple legacy systems.

Working with the business head and his key staff, we developed and led an approach, using a GE-style “Work-Out”, to help the executive team identify back-office servicing and support issues constraining sales productivity, and develop an effective, high-engagement approach. We worked side-by-side with the client steering team, sponsor and team leaders subsequently to roll out the approach to the organization, starting with the Work-Out event, and unfolding over the ensuing 120 days, to deliver key performance results. The initial efforts rapidly identified root causes and developed draft solutions. To confirm effective execution of identified opportunities, we shadowed and supported project team leaders in key areas for the ensuing 12 weeks.

The 50 people involved used the framework to develop creative and effective staffing, process, work design, and error-reduction solutions and responses, cutting errors and wasted time in key metrics by 25-40% – and freeing up critical time for customer-facing account managers to focus on their primary function. As a result of this project, the client dramatically reduced the administrative burden on its front-line staff (for example, reducing the number of administrative inquiries sent to underwriters by about 90%)—and enabled a greater focus on its “go to market” efforts.

Build Adjacent-Markets Business–and Accelerate New Product Development

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:42 AM

Industry: Transportation Equipment
Function: Design/ Engineering/ Marketing/ Sales/ Customer Service
Location: Domestic US

One of the major global vehicle providers of distribution and logistics equipment needed to defend its slim lead with regard to its information-management products – products that make the vehicles themselves more valuable to its customers, help customers to eliminate waste in their operations, and justify the “premium brand” image (and higher purchase prices) of our client’s equipment. In addition, it needed to take rear-guard actions to prevent current-customer dissatisfaction with the base-level first-generation product – and quell risks of defection.

In a dramatic shift in our client’s new product development approach, we supported the key business functions in rethinking their competitive position, product positioning, and key feature set – as well as driving ideas for changing their process for product development, launch, and post-sales support. We designed and facilitated strategic conversations that brought together disparate functions within the company, earlier than ever before in their history, to share their perspectives on customer needs – and helped the group to determine collectively what its first-best next steps might be to both defend the current business, and stake out exciting new territory for the future.

While the follow-up work for this client is still in process, early reports suggest fundamental changes in collaboration and engagement across key players and functional silos – and the promise of exciting new prospects for business innovation, and product design and development processes for the company.

Build Out “Employer Brand” Strategy

Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:32 AM

Industry: Retail Automotive, Financial Services
Function: HR; Corporate Communications
Location: Domestic US

Our client’s brand (a Japanese import automotive manufacturer) has grown steadily to a position of global leadership in automotive sales and service.

However, its finance company in the U. S. market has been challenged by growth and internal cultural issues to develop an “Employer Brand” to equal the power and recognition of the “product” brand.

We worked with senior executives and HR management to define the company’s “employer brand attributes,” outline key next steps in its HR and Performance Management systems implementation, and developed a communications plan with key communications deliverables, designed to reach key stakeholders, inside and outside the company.

The work overtly acknowledged and addressed the unique needs of different workforce generations, and defined a multi-channel communications approach to carry the message to them.

Develop Growth Vision and Execute Business Strategy

Posted on Tue, Mar 03, 2009 @ 01:47 PM

Industry: Medical Devices OEM Manufacturer
Function: Executive Management, Strategic Planning
Location: Domestic US

The new CEO of a technology-based medical device original equipment manufacturer wanted to revamp his management team and instill a new culture of innovation and performance.

Working with the management team, we helped to rationalize the initial complex mix of business lines and strengthen the portfolio of companies, and supported the disposition of non-core assets to the marketplace (taking a lead role in selling off several non-core ancillary businesses).

In the next phases, we worked with the senior teams of each business unit to identify and pursue opportunities for growth, through both internal investment and focused acquisitions. The client made several successful acquisitions; we worked with them to successfully integrate these, and to create a broader, deeper market presence for this firm in its core markets.

The work resulted in a dramatic increase in this client’s profitability, from less than 10% to more than 50% ROA, growth in business revenue from $200MM to more than $800MM, and an 800% increase in stock price.

Restore Profitability, Develop Vision and Execute Business Strategy

Posted on Tue, Mar 03, 2009 @ 10:41 AM

Industry: Specialty Chemicals
Function: Executive Management, Operations
Location: Global

A $1.5B multinational chemical company had strong business plans, but disappointing business RESULTS. A steep decline in share price threatened management’s autonomy, and the company’s survival.

We worked with senior management for 15 months to design and implement a results-focused business-improvement effort. This work included:

  • Gaining commitment of 75 senior managers;
  • Designing and implementing a new business-planning and follow-up performance-management approach for business leaders;
  • Coordinating corporate planning and process development;
  • Facilitating pilot projects and
  • Developing internal project leaders and teams to get results.

Net results first year were $60MM to the bottom line.

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