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BUSINESS STRATEGY AND PLANNING - Illustrative Accomplishments

Strategic Planning and Business Planning

At the request of the CEO of a privately held, $50 million national pharmaceutical and drug compounding company, facilitated three, tri-annual, multi-day, strategic planning retreats with the owner, CEO and executive leadership team. The first retreat addressed the owner's vision for the company versus where the management team thought the company should go. The facilitating challenge of the first retreat was getting the owner to be open with his ideas and not react negatively to questions or criticism while simultaneously encouraging the executives to put forth their ideas and concerns. Once the vision was established a Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis was performed. Finally, a series of task-level, multi-year, if necessary, financial and operational project plans were prepared. Each plan included budgets and the assignment of the executive responsible for completing the project. The two subsequent retreats were follow-ups that adjusted the vision to reflect changes in the business, the competition and the economy; as well as, evaluating and adjusting existing projects and creating new ones where necessary. Result: The company was transformed from an opportunistic acquirer of industry-related businesses into a focused healthcare holding company that grows organically and through purchases of competitors when presented with a good-value. If necessary, the company sells subsidiaries and/or divisions that are not able to maintain established profitability thresholds or have lost their strategic fit.

Internet Planning

Led management team of a $200 million metal fabricator and distributor in defining plans and requirements for new website. Project included interviewing and facilitating meetings with executives and department managers; gaining consensus on the website’s scope, functions and look-and-feel. Result: A working prototype of website that included all design decisions was created several days after the project’s initiation and evolved throughout the project. This approach ensured a clear understanding by all participants.

Business Planning

Coached the founder and CEO of a start-up recreational boat building company in establishing and starting the company. The engagement included formulating a business plan, establishing operating budgets, preparing cash flow projections, initiating production cost accounting and automating the bookkeeping. Result: By understanding underlying costs, the CEO was able to establish a profitable selling price for each model.

New Strategic Planning Approach

Created a new planning approach for a four plant, nuclear power business unit of a $7 billion utility. Every business function had a collection of informally developed process aids and needed formalized, NRC-compliant automated support. The new planning approach grouped the needed functionality into mini-applications that were assembled into broader “releases”. This approach allowed each project to be smaller with lower risk, faster implementation cycles that allowed each business unit to get and absorb some of its needed functionality quickly. Result: The new approach reduced maintenance cost, training, development time and increased quality, modularity, team communication, collaboration and business benefits. The plan was actively used to implement systems at four nuclear plants successfully and achieved Nuclear Regulatory Commission compliance.

Strategic Planning

Managed strategic planning projects for several Fortune 500 manufacturing and retail clients. Engagements included strategic alignment, critical success factor identification, performance measure definition, strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats analysis, resource scheduling, cost estimating and business case development. Result: Using facilitated group work sessions and other planning techniques, usual planning cycles were reduced from months to weeks, the quality of the plans improved and greater consensus was achieved.

Strategic Planning Methodology Process Review

Managed the review of the method used for strategic planning by a top-ten electric utility. Project included a detail assessment of management practices, operational efficiencies and planning procedures. Key areas reviewed procedures, timing, level of employees assigned to the process and organization structure, culture and inter-unit dynamics. Result: Included a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve the strategic planning process of the company and keep the plan updated throughout the year.

Strategic Planning

Assisted an entrepreneur on growing a musical artist representation agency by providing a business plan template, coaching on how to complete it and critiquing the each component of the plan. The challenge was getting the entrepreneur to focus on those services the entrepreneur was qualified to deliver and then determine how to provide the musician with any missing services that would round out a complete representation service package. Additionally, the engagement included researching competition, identifying possible alliance partners for services not provided and assistance with pricing. Result: The completed business plan outlined a company focused on delivering the services based on the entrepreneur's core competencies and augmenting those with strategic partners which enabled the owner to better allocate limited capital and available time to the activities that really mattered in achieving success.

Revenue Enhancement, Process Improvement, Change Management and Turnaround

Led charge for needed change at a 75-year old family-owned industry-recognized firm that had fallen into decline after death of the founder. Working with second generation-ownership to develop strategic business plans, spearheaded key initiatives to overhaul the sales process, to reduce manufacturing and engineering costs, to re-energize company esprit de corps, and to build financial planning systems needed to re-vitalize its ability to compete. Result: Revenues reversed slide from $13 million to $10 million back to $13 million and grew to $17 million along with significantly improved gross and operating margins.

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