Case #1:  Corporate Stabilization & Operational Improvement

Situation Analysis:

  • High degree of leadership instability (ie. CEO turnover)
  • Loss of major customer contract
  • Booked value of contract revenues declining
  • Pricing erosion being experienced in contract renewals
  • Bundled service offering being questioned as to the value delivered
  • Technology of IT managed services platform required up-dating 

Actions Taken:

  • Interim CEO role taken on and management team stabilized
  • Broad-based Assessment of business undertaken within first 60 days
  • 6 Month Action Plan approved by the Board for Execution
  • Operational weaknesses identified and then prioritzed for improvement

 --Series of product and platform fixes and upgrades implemented

 --Phase-out of underperforming products

 --IT and software development consolidated with Agile project management implemented

 --Sales and marketing upgrades:  simplification of product offering and increased upselling

  • Major commitment to enhanced Call Center Support / Customer Services
  • New operational and financial metrics implemented

Follow-on Strategy Changes and Operational Improvements:

  • On year Operating Plan developed to continue performance improvement
  • Data Center closed down, equipment sold-off and IT support moved to the Cloud
  • Sales efforts expanded nationally outside of the predominant South East region
  • Bolt-on managed services obtained through increased partnering

Results:  Vital financial metrics turned around.  Seamless on-boarding of a permanent CEO led to revenue growth again.  And later, a successful M & A Exit.


Case #2:  Corporate Restructuring & Turnaround


Situation Analysis:

  • High degree of leadership instability (i.e. CFO turnover)
  • Monthly cash bleed of $2 million with $19 million cash on-hand
  • Severe operating loss with minimal revenues
  • Overly complex business model involving materials and chip manufacturing, IP-licensing and services
  • Significant underutilization of in-place facilities, equipment and human assets
  • Unfocused R & D across a wide range of projects
  • Missed revenue, profit and cash flow projections
  • Yet high value patent portfolio and disruptive technology in-place, but not commercialized

Actions Taken:

  • One year turnaround leadership; followed by Interim CFO stint to complete new financing

                --Broad-based Assessment of business undertaken within first 60 days

                --3 Month Action Plan approved by the Board for execution

  • Force reduction covered 1/3rd of staff
  • Closed down remote sales locations
  • Off-loaded in-house marketing programs
  • Refocused R & D and IP development
  • Wrote-off and sold-off underutilized equipment
  • Eliminated second manufacturing line    

Follow-on Strategy Changes and Operational Improvement:

  • Sold-off Asian manufacturing operation
  • Licensed non-core IP and off-loaded materials manufacturing line
  • Equipment financing deal achieved major cash infusion
  • Closed licensing deals with small companies
  • Implemented an IP-licensing and litigation business model
  • Completed Private Placement Memorandum for new financing

Results:  Asset sales, cost reduction and non-recurring revenues helped stabilized company finances sufficiently to complete new financing round, while building royalty-based recurring revenue business model.  And later, a successful IPO.


Case #3:  Post-Merger Integration


Situation Analysis:

  • Merger of two companies faltering as result of inadequate post-merger integration planning and implementation
  • Significant cultural differences led to mistrust between merging companies as acquired company had been a division within a much larger international company and acquiring company was a US based technology start-up that had grown significantly
  • Integration objectives to achieve $25M in synergies were aggressive and needed focus to achieve
  • Overlaps between businesses and the customer base needed to be immediately addressed to avoid business loss

Actions Taken:

  • Agreement reached on the overall M&A integration strategic objectives among the Board and senior leadership team
  • Integration Tsar appointed to lead the planning, execution, and achievement of strategic objectives
  • Integration teams established with each team including members from the acquiring and acquired companies.  Teams included Sales/Marketing, Operations, IT Systems, Finance, HR, Products/Services, and Legal/Regulatory.
  • Cultural expert led organizing and team building sessions that included integration team members, management, and executives.
  • Integration framework established led by PMO group and programs prioritized to achieve maximum results with the lowest effort
  • Detailed Integration program plans finalized for each prioritized program including schedule, cost to achieve, and required team
  • Program execution tracked to completion vs. the overall strategic objectives including synergies achieved

Results:  Cross company teams adapted and learned to work well together.  Businesses and customer accounts were combined and stabilized.   Synergy achievement reached $35M after the completion of the integration efforts.  Combined company eventually acquired by a larger multinational company.


Case #4:  IP & Business Assessment


Situation Analysis:

  • Tech company with software suite required financing to expand its sales efforts
  • VC funding was too expensive and dilutive, while bank financing was difficult to obtain
  • Traditional debt funding sources did not appreciate, nor properly value, the in-place IP and market position of the company

Actions Taken:

  • Intermediate funding source requested the company obtain an IP & Business Assessment to support the issuance of an agreed upon loan
  • IP & Business Assessment completed within 30 days

              --Broad view of IP covering technologies, know how, protection of IP and assessment of the human asset associated with the IP

              --Customer acceptance of the product / Customer retention and Market potential:  Customers and Partners

              --Revenue Model and Sales Performance

              --Valuation and Valuation-building Steps

  • Company obtained the financing based on the conclusions of the Assessment

Follow-on Strategy Changes:

  • Company leadership executed on its Plan
  • Sales and marketing upgraded and expanded
  • Business model change from up-front software licensing to recurring revenue, subscription fees

Results:  Company obtained the capital to initiate its business model change, and then was acquired to accelerate its growth strategy through a major capital infusion.


Case #5:  System-wide Process Improvement


Situation Analysis:

  • Highly profitable global business experiencing increasing competitive pressures and declining operating margins
  • Foreign currency fl:uctuations eroding competitiveness and operating margins in certain countries
  • Asian factory operating per traditional manufacturing methods with embedded management and flawed set of operational and financial metrics
  • Cost structure not fully understood with siloed operations locally and globally
  • Long-run of profitability had made management complacent

Actions Taken:

  • Global perspective taken in all areas:  revenues, costs, profitability and working capital
  • New factory leadership installed
  • Management and key staff trained in Deming and Juran statistical process control and continuous improvement
  • Global Operational Improvement Program implemented

              --Process mapping of incoming materials, factory process flows and outgoing product to customers

              --Scrap, rework, yield rates, product failure rates and customer satisfaction all measured and improved

              --Shipments made daily, not weekly at the end of the week

              --Direct costing implemented for operational management, inclusive of landed costs in certain regions, replacing fully absorbed costing                     and transfer prices

              --New metrics and performance incentives implemented globally

Results:   Operating Margins and Revenue Growth returned to former levels and then expanded through elimination of waste in all areas backed by better margin-based pricing against global competition.

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