Driving Organic Growth in a Global Context

Situation – The organization, comprised of four major business groups, rode the tide of the US economy. It performed well on the majority of financial metrics, except for sales growth. With a change in Senior management, came a desire to improve relative market position and achieve growth rates in excess of market growth, all within the context of the broader global marketplace.

Challenges – A period of portfolio adjustment ensued, incorporating a series of acquisitions and divestments, creating a more focused entity. An increased emphasis was placed upon organic growth along with greater investment to fuel new product research and development. Having been a multi-domestic, with business units operating primarily in their home market, moving to a global integrated organization provided a significant challenge. Another hurdle was to migrate from a sales-oriented to market-driven firm that was comfortable pursuing accelerated growth within an international marketplace. This occurred within a period of industry consolidation and increasing customer expectations heightening the competitive environment.

Actions – Challenged by the Senior Vice Presidents of the divisions, identified, assessed, pursued strategic ($50 M+/yr) global market development and new product opportunities.

  • Identified, assessed 3 promising new product opportunities within the Automotive market. Authored business plans, secured $15 M multi-year R&D funding, created prototypes for customer test & evaluation, moving to new product development and new product launch.
  • Established global market view and marketing strategy. As an acquisition effectively tripled the size of the business, a new approach was a top priority. Directed first global market research, competitive intelligence effort. Multi-national, cross-functional team established product roadmap, defined product enhancements, competitive marketing and product position and key account management strategies for major OEM accounts.
  • Cultivated formation of a strategic partnership. Cross-functional team from both organizations conceptualized new product offerings, defined target market segments, sales and pricing strategy, new product development and investment requirements. Conducte market research testing new product concept with End-Users to validate opportunity. Developed business plan.

Results

Strategic Marketing and New Business Development Results

  • Created $160 M/yr revenue stream, driving new product development, new product launches.
  • Delivered $68 M/yr sales growth, executing international market research, marketing strategy.
  • Led joint venture formation, achieving board approval. Formulated marketing, business plans.

Insights gained

  1. New technology, without significant value, can be a tough sell against old faithful.
  2. Customer needs in the same market or geographic region for different applications can vary dramatically.
  3. What is highly strategic to one partner, may not have the same significance to the other in a changing landscape.

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