Establishing a Long-Range Strategic Plan

THE CHALLENGE

Tower Strategy Group’s client, a Top 3 pharmaceuticals player wanted to move from tactical year-over-year execution across its North American channels to a more strategic, multi-year approach. Developing a fact-based, planning framework that client’s internal team could use to set direction and take action year-over-year.

THE SOLUTION

Tower Strategy Group partnered with client’s US Channel Lead and her team of direct reports to:

  • Develop a customized strategic planning framework that set a vision and 5-year roadmap for driving over $20B of business through US channels
  • Establish a yearly operating plan structure that translated that 5-year roadmap into specific, actionable steps with clear owners, clear milestones and measurable targets across all US channels
  • Train client’s channel strategy team on the use of the above frameworks and guide and coach them through the development of their initial strategic plans
  • Synthesize all of the plans developed for not only quality but to ensure alignment with client’s corporate vision

Impact

Tower Strategy’s strategic planning framework was adopted by client’s organization, creating much needed consistency and integrity in how growth and innovation strategy within a $20B business is delivered. Serving as the centerpoint for and discipline around how differing assumptions and hypotheses about the growth opportunities available to client are validated, prioritized and funded.

Improving global channel penetration

THE CHALLENGE

Tower Strategy Group's client, a multinational Consumer Products player, had a long-standing presence within the global duty free channel. And though it had achieved a respectable position within that rapidly growing market, it believed opportunities existed to further accelerate growth. However, the client had key questions relative to what changes in focus, investment and structure were required to tap into that potential.

THE SOLUTION

Tower Strategy Group partnered with the C-suite and a cross-functional team of global commercial executives to:

  • Develop a consolidated picture of the focus, investment levels and structure of the client's existing duty free play
  • Identify which sub-channels are available in duty free and the profit pools inherent in each
  • Map global consumer flow, trends and needs across those channels to evaluate fit with client’s portfolio
  • Establish, as a result, clear guidance on which specific channels client should focus on going forward (e.g., airports vs. cruise ships vs. border shops)
  • For the highest priority channels, define specific sources of strength and weakness and the steps necessary to occupy more shelf space and improve product velocity within the channel
  • Reprioritize which regions and countries to focus on globally, mapping portfolio back to the nature of the consumer and channel opportunity across them
  • Define tangible steps needed to close client’s performance gap within the channel (e.g., Travel-Retail, specific innovation)
  • Restructure client’s existing channel management organization, adding core missing capabilities and migrating to a structure better able to manage global customers
  • Reset client’s P&L for the coming 5 year period to not only set clear expectations on performance but to also allow for governance and accountability

Impact

Our plan helped the client transform its global travel retail operations. Delivering a 5-year $120MM increase in channel revenue and $50MM increase in profitability. In addition, we streamlined the client’s organizational structure by consolidating disparate, regional operations into a unified channel. One more fully equipped to do battle with its largest competitors.

Turning Around a Failing Business Unit

THE CHALLENGE

Tower Strategy Group's client, a FORTUNE 500 multinational in the industrial and business solutions market possessed a division that substantially underperformed relative to internal expectations and its market potential. Having once been the market share leader within its segments, heightened competition from lower cost and increasingly sophisticated Asian players, major investments from legacy competitors to redefine their own business models and changing customer expectations and decision-drivers had fundamentally changed the rules of the game within the client's core markets. As a result, though the client's business continued to grow at a single-digit clip, its growth rates lagged that of key competitors and the market as a whole. The client believed that without substantial corrective action, division performance would continue to deteriorate rapidly.

Concerned about their eroding share and increased margin pressure, the client turned to Tower Strategy to identify the key steps necessary to help this division to regain market-leading growth rates while identifying key means to differentiate and occupy a premium position within the market itself.

THE SOLUTION

Tower Strategy Group worked with the client's divisional leadership to:

  • Define how customer requirements and decision processes were shifting within the market
  • Measure how well the client was positioned relative to these emerging segments and the resulting impact on its position within the market
  • Map how the value chain within the client's industry was adapting and changing in order to more effectively meet the needs of a fast-changing market
  • Define the specific aspects of the client's business model and product, channel, sales and marketing strategies that were inhibiting its ability to compete
  • Evaluate whether the clients brand retained enough equity to serve as a basis / platform for a pivot away from its historical model
  • Establish a vision, set of objectives and strategy for not just adapting to the changing market but for reestablishing a leading position within it

Impact

We identified that the client’s legacy business, due to trends towards higher efficiency and green products would cease to exist within 10 years. And defined how the client could more fully harvest its core business in the short- and medium-term, using that as a platform to fund a more substantial business model redesign in the long-term. With the end result being a substantially expanded footprint across the value chain, one that was necessary to avoid becoming a fully commoditized hardware / equipment-only player. And one that would allow access to more stable and higher margin revenue streams and to a more sustainable long-term position within the market.

Evolving from a siloed to an integrated sales & marketing Model

THE CHALLENGE

Tower Strategy Group's client, a $1B+ healthcare organization, possessed a legacy sales and customer marketing structure that was segmented into 5 individual sales teams, each calling on an overlapping set of customers. With different messaging. Different collateral. And in an noncoordinated manner. The end result was a cumbersome organization that was inefficient due to duplication of efforts, inconsistent in the way it engaged customers and sub-optimized in terms of its ability to engage and excite those customers. Creating substantial confusion within the market, an inability to stake out a consistent position and a substantial level of irritation amongst customers.

THE SOLUTION

Tower Strategy Group worked with the client's CMO and VP of Sales to deploy an integrated research and analytical program to:

  • Define how a best-in-class Enterprise sales and marketing organization manages the customer lifecycle (which touchpoints, which messages, which people, what cadence, etc.)
  • Assess key gaps relative to the client’s current state objectives, strategy, activities and resource levels and types
  • Identify structural alternatives that could bring the needed coordination, consistency and focus to the sales team and supporting marketing resources
  • Define how these resulting integrated sales & marketing effort would integrate with 5 individual back-end service capabilities via a Hunter-Farmer model
  • Capture and prioritize best practices from adjacent sectors and peers that could support that structure
  • Evaluate the incremental resource requirements necessary to operationalize that sales team (type and number of resources)
    • As well as how existing resources could be upskilled / retrained to support the new strategy
  • Define an implementation path for evolving from a siloed to an integrated, solution sales model

Impact

The client transformed its sales and marketing efforts, transforming it’s 5 siloed sales & marketing teams, each organized by service area, into a single integrated sales platform. Capable of representing the client’s entire portfolio while reducing customer confusion, expanding market coverage and driving a greater volume of pull-through and conversions within the market.

Transforming the Revenue and Margin Performace of a Market Leader

THE CHALLENGE

Our client, a $500MM division of a Carlyle Group Portfolio company believed opportunity existed to improve margin performance by 4-7% by reducing overlap and redundancy in it’s internal organization. However, the client was unsure whether that opportunity was real, how to unravel it or whether it’s internal teams possessed the skill set and experience to capture the gains.

THE SOLUTION

Tower Strategy Group worked with the senior leadership team and concurrent to an IT implementation by PwC to:

  • Identify sources of commercial and back office inefficiency and ineffectiveness across processes, systems and structure
  • Pinpointed specific improvement opportunities that could drive a substantially improved cost structure going forward
  • Valued the resulting operational improvement opportunities to winnow the long-list of potential “fixes” down to the most meaningful and impactful ones
  • Structured a 2-year Crawl-Walk-Run plan to deliver on that change not only in terms of structure and process but also culture
  • Worked arm-in-arm with the client’s EVP of Operational Effectiveness to deliver that change through an employee-led transformation
  • Build tools and materials, on a custom basis, to manage the client’s organization through that change (including supporting all change management programs)
  • Leaned in on special projects that the client’s team could not tackle due to lack of capacity or an inability to remain objective (e.g., transformation of legacy fiefdoms into a more streamlined, efficient and growth-ready organizational structure)
  • Reorganized client personnel into new structure
  • Put the revenue and cost management systems in place to 1) quantify the results on transformation and 2) create the governance and accountability system to remove cost from the organization

Impact

The client created a 9% increase in operating margin on the back of a much more streamlined and fluid organizational structure. One that reduced costs in bloated commercial and back office functions while also putting the bones in place to scale current efficient ones more slowly than revenue going forward (i.e., driving towards productivity gains). Supported by a new set of processes and tools to tie that organization together, enabling better resource flow and management based on the revenue cycle. And the fact-base and dashboards in place to manage cost structure far more proactively and in real-time moving forward.

Evaluating an Innovative Home Automation Play

THE CHALLENGE

Our client, a >$10B manufacturer in home improvement identified an opportunity to enter the home automation segment. Capitalizing on emerging IoT trends to tie together a substantial portion of home functions together into a single platform. A system that could better monitor, analyze and manage home systems and, as a result make it easier and less costly for homeowners to manage their most expensive asset. However, the client lacked experience in the segment, was wary of larger and more technology-focused players (e.g., Apple, Amazon and Google) and wanted deeper insight into whether and how to enter the space.

THE SOLUTION

Tower Strategy Group worked with the Innovation team, the Engineering team and a cross-section of Division leadership to:

  • Map the market opportunity for home automation, segmenting it by solution type (e.g., lighting control, utility monitoring, etc.) across the US, UK and India
  • Evaluate and define the innovation (hardware vs. software vs. hardware + software) needed to enhance client’s existing portfolio in line with market trends
    • And the relative difficulty / complexity of such a play Relative to the competitive landscape and new solutions coming on line from both the largest players as well as scrappy new upstarts
  • Sized the market opportunity based on number and type of households and their willingness to pay
  • Define a pricing strategy, including evaluation of various pricing and financing models
  • Evaluated channel options, including innovative, alternative design choices designed to substantially bring down TCO for the homeowner
  • Developed the framework for a market demand generation strategy for transitioning from niche, early adopter market to mass market
  • Provided multiple market entry and commercialization options ranging in scope from bold, aggressive and transformative to incremental and risk-contained
  • With a recommendation, based on client’s positioning, for the latter

Impact

Despite the client’s existing presence within home improvement, we determined that the client did not possess a “right to play” within this segment broadly. Though it could make a niche play. As, for it to deliver a compelling value proposition to the market, it would need to invest substantially in building horizontal capability and partnerships, vertically, within its value chain. Unwilling to make such a substantial leap, the client chose to forego its more ambitious, stand alone plans. And, instead, to integrate its solution into the offerings and platforms upcoming through the three most dominant incumbents primed to own home automation as a space.

Targeted Buy-side Commercial Due Diligence

THE CHALLENGE

Tower Strategy Group’s client, a multi-industry manufacturer was carefully considering an acquisition to grow one of its core businesses. With a complementary product set, the target represented strong potential to horizontally integrate within the client’s markets. And with a competitive bidding process underway, the client wanted to make certain that it priced its offer correctly – wary of overpaying in the midst of “deal fever.”

THE SOLUTION

Leaning on our commercial due diligence capability, including our voice of the customer and competitive intelligence services, Tower Strategy:

  • Gained a solid understanding of target’s stated position within the market as well as the focus and intent of its commercial and innovation plans
  • Mapped the basis of share and profitability within the target’s markets
  • Identified whether and to what degree the target was well positioned relative to those share and profitability drivers
  • Today as well as in the mid- to long-term
  • Evaluated whether and to what degree that positioning differed between target’s legacy and more recently commercialized product lines
  • As well as key variances based on the target’s primary customer segments
  • Based on the above, evaluated whether and to what degree target represented an attractive opportunity for client

Impact

Based on our due diligence work, the client uncovered specific performance gaps at the target. Ones that would require years (due to the NPD opportunity) rather than months to close. Facts which contradicted the target’s management team’s assumptions. As a result, our client was able to reset its own assumptions about the target’s value and reframe its bid, helping ensure it would not overestimate upside and, therefore its bid price.