A strategic plan with options for the business

Our client is a recognised leader in UK care, providing the NHS and private healthcare groups with specialist reports and guidance on potential options for clinical interventions for patients.

They had grown to a position where as a market leader they felt their position was reaching stagnation, and with new technology emerging they needed to consider diversifying into other areas. However, they did not want to dilute their core offering or move into ‘high risk’ sectors.

We worked with their management to quickly identify their key skills, capabilities and position within the areas in which they operated and what benefits they delivered to the NHS, private healthcare providers and patients.

Our work showed that the business had many inherent skills that were not being capitalised on and could be used to move into what had originally been perceived as ‘high risk’ areas, but with some minor adjustment could substantially reduce the risk of change.

From this we carried out market and competitor research on the key areas where the business could expand, which enabled us to agree a joint prioritisation of market sectors to explore in depth.

We then agreed a set of internal programmes for the business, supported by a set of business cases focused on how the organisation needed to change operationally and the impact this would have on other programmes.

This allowed the management to agree internal budgets and report on the new plans to their shareholders.

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A plan for the management team to succeed

This award-winning company provides critical infrastructure to the UK Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defense as well as a number of aid organisations globally.

It is a very specialist business, with a number of bespoke facilities from which it manufactures its product, designs new equipment and recycles/stores product for future reconfiguration or deployment.

The business, however, is part of a diversified group and this limits its ability to obtain funding or time from senior executives within the parent group. Whilst this freedom can be beneficial, it does limit the potential for the business and can cause frustration amongst the senior management.

We were called in at a critical time for the parent group, which meant that our client had been asked to carry out a full review of their business and propose a revised structure as well as new 3–5 year business plan. At this point they were at risk of either ‘over-promising’ or putting forward an ‘underwhelming’ future plan.

Our work consisted of a number of quick ‘heads up’ reviews on their business and what skills they had, which then led to research on their market and complementary sectors and enabled us to set out a ‘base case’ plan and identify growth opportunities into adjacent industries.

As part of this we also produced a summary outline of how the business should streamline its operations, so that it could undertake the necessary investment in people and systems without impacting their bottom line.

The team are now a key part of a new group within the same parent organisation, and with considerably more exposure to and time from the senior leadership of the holding company, they are focused on delivering a three-year plan with the resources and support now available.

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Clear direction for business and reduced expenditure

We were appointed as a result of our client, the CEO of this start-up company, having been recommended to speak to us and through having several informal meetings.

We offered the CEO initial advice and guidance on the basis of a future appointment, should he secure funding and agree a business plan with his seed funders.

Our initial support enabled our client to reconsider his initial sales plan and his proposed structure for the business, which would have a seen a ‘grab for growth’ against a high cost base and a low level of focus on the differentiators his business had to offer against established competitors.

He set about updating his business plan, which he reviewed with us. The updated plan was then submitted to his seed funders, who accepted it, and was also used to raise further funding from the bank.

This enabled us to undertake a more thorough set of workshops and reviews with our client and his wider team. The confidence and understanding of the business we gained from this allowed us to then ‘soft test’ the wider market for potential investors (who could take a more hands-on management role), partners and contract opportunities.

The business has attracted the required funding and now has a wider management team with a stronger commercial background, which complements the military experience of the forming team. This combination offers a compelling proposition in the market and key contracts have been secured as a result, with a strong pipeline of future tenders identified and being progressed.

With progress made against an agreed plan, further investors are interested in the business and the management team are now in a strong position to negotiate favourable terms to take their company to the next stage in its development.

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A partnering agreement to target growth in austere environments

Our client is a successful group that enables governments in fragile states to put in place internationally recognised good practice and establish robust systems to enable reconstruction. Their clients also include international aid organisations.

Solving international issues often requires different groups to come together and in this instance we identified the benefits of two groups collaborating; we facilitated meetings and workshops so that the groups could explore options and agree actions.

Our role helped identify key issues, ensure smooth programme management of the process and enabled each party to quickly identify common ground.

Working with two very different organisations (one European, the other American), we helped deliver a number of workshops where we acted as Programme Manager, with our success primarily dependent upon the groups concluding an agreement to partner.

This allowed us to take an independent brokerage position between the groups, as we did not have an agenda that was biased towards one particular organisation; in this context we were mainly success-driven.

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