Competing in a New Market Environment

Situation – The market recovery was welcomed, but it also precipitated a number of changes. Customer expectations had increased, competition had intensified after a round of consolidation, and best practices from different industries were being deployed to help companies enhance their business and operational strategies. The uptick in the market created a range of new product and new market opportunities to assess and pursue.

Challenges – A large division with 18 product lines, 13 locations across NA and Europe competed in several market segments. The business was formed through the combination of 2 divisions with the intent of creating synergies. A new Marketing approach and Sales organization created more Customer focus, but also issues in terms of linkage with internal business unit Marketing and Sales efforts. With increasing Customer demand for more integrated subsystems and systems vs. products, larger global competitors typically had greater product breadth and depth, and would utilize bundling to gain an advantage. A shift in market demand, created uncertainty around current products, while creating high growth within emerging market segments. To successfully compete and grow, a much more integrated business strategy would be required, to include expansion of capabilities and entry into new market segments.

Actions – Created the vision, engineered competitive analysis, strategic planning, strategic marketing, and new business development efforts, collaborating with Division leaders to sharpen focus, align product portfolio, drive innovation and change.

  • Created integrated go-to-market approach to align Market and Sales, leverage the product breadth, technology base. Coupled strategic planning, joint marketing efforts, M&A strategy.
  • Launched strategic review. Evaluated product portfolio, established business strategy, defined desired product positioning and investment priorities, key account management strategies, operating margin improvement initiatives to drive revenue and profit growth.
  • Forged strategic alliance to help capture major new product opportunity, fortify competitive position, eliminate product gap and $27 M new product development effort.
  • Identified, pursued high-growth markets. Researched emerging market segments, organic and acquisition options to augment current product portfolio, gain market access, build scale. Investment priorities were modified, key account strategies revised, with a large transformational acquisition pursued to catapult market position.
  • Conceptualized Operation Bold Strike, targeting #2 market position. Architected strategy, increased internal investment to speed new product launch and strengthen product portfolio, formed strategic partnerships, pursued strategic acquisitions.
  • Designed and implemented disciplined acquisition strategy linked to extensive market research, expansion of core competencies and penetration into adjacent market segments.

Results

Marketing Strategy and Business Strategy Successes

  • Instrumental in Division exceeding record-setting 8%/yr revenue and profit targets.
  • Created $400 M+ revenue stream, forging strategic alliance. Eliminated $27 M investment.
  • Pioneered entrance into high growth markets, conceptualizing transformational business strategy.
  • Initiated acquisitions to enhance product portfolio, secure $180 M/yr opportunity, #2 position.
  • Championed accelerated growth, leading evaluation, pursuit of 30+ acquisitions up to $1B+.

Insights gained

  1. A strategy consultant can assist the organization by introducing new concepts and in formulating strategic options, but more indoctrination is usually required.
  2. Moving up the value chain is not for the faint-hearted, and requires both substantial investment and exceptional execution.
  3. Getting everyone to agree what constitutes the organization’s needed core competencies is vital to building and executing strategy.
  4. Bold transformational strategies require vision and a leap of faith, some executives are unwilling to take.

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