Management Consulting - Case Example

Client

The client is a significant service provider to the business community, in particular the corporate world, apart from a specific segment of high net wealth individuals. They operate across the world in more than 40 countries and are associated with another large organisation with whom they collectively cover over 80 countries. Their Belgian operation is more important than the Belgian GDP would lead one to assume due to their prominent position in the country.

Situation

Historically, the company had been professional, well respected, growing in sales and profitability. Sales started to tail off and subsequently shrunk. Profits shrunk as well and finally dipped below zero. The international management decided to change the local CEO. The new CEO requested us to work with him and some key senior managers to turn the organisation around with the objective to regain lost ground, roughly 20% of sales, over a period of six to eight years, in a market that is shrinking slightly.

ATC’s value

It became clear early on in our work that the organisation was overstaffed, not only because too many staff functions had been added, but in particular because sales were lost without adapting staff numbers. In short, the organisation had to be right-sized to fit the sales reality. This was discussed and decisions were taken to trim down the organisation from top to bottom, trying to be as humane as possible, which is always difficult in such circumstances.

We provided clear underlying analysis why this drastic change was required. The client was decisive in executing the required right-sizing. The new CEO was acutely aware of the need to communicate how the company would regain its old glory, albeit in a completely different environment, which implied a different business model.

We developed the business model fit for the organisation which was discussed and accepted and subsequently implemented. The model was further refined two and a half years later. To define the business model, we contacted current, lost, and potential clients to understand what type of service they expected, what their drivers were, and how the organisation could more properly align their service to what the market needed. It also provided a basis for segmentation.

Two and a half to three years later, the organisation was profitable, it had stopped losing sales and started to regain additional business on top of the natural attrition that any business has in any given year. In short, the company showed signs of early growth, profitably and fully within the expectations of headquarters, slightly ahead of plan in a market that is difficult and somewhat shrinking. The buzz in the business has turned from our client being known as a problem case, or at least in need of repair, to a vibrant and productive player in the market, setting the standards again.

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