Organizational & Competency Development: Case Study

Client Situation

Our client, a leading consumer goods manufacturer in a mature industry, was experiencing difficulties managing a variety of issues that were facing its business. Some major challenges included:

  • Revenues and profits were being driven by a small handful of powerful big-box retailers who were becoming more and more demanding
  • Margins were suffering as the core product line was under attack from low price imports
  • The number of product SKUs had exploded as the Company tried to retain it’s reputation for innovation and meet retailers requests for exclusive product
  • Turnover in key leadership positions had created an atmosphere of territorialism and self-interest

Senior management asked Alliance to assist it in defining a new vision for the Company, redesign the organizational structure and install a new set of management systems and processes.

Alliance Approach

Alliance guided the CEO and the Executive team through the REMAP process to address these challenges and create meaningful change.

R – Recognize Reality.

Review the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses, position in the market and relationships with customers. Create a common language and fact base from which decisions can be made.

E – Envision Future.

Create a vision for the company that is exciting and attainable. Identify key gaps and resource needs. Honestly appraise the capabilities of current managers to achieve the vision. Make difficult decisions early on.

M – Make Bold Moves.

Make meaningful structural changes that will have a real impact on the business. Kick off change program that balances the need for short-term “quick hits” and longer-term direction.

A – Align Organization.

Spread the word of change, giving everybody in the organization a role in the process and stake in its success. Find the right balance between democracy and dictatorship.

P – Pilot to Success.

Continuously monitor the success of the strategic changes and initiatives, refining the approach to keep the organization on track. Make necessary adjustments quickly and decisively in order to maintain momentum and enthusiasm.

Results and Impact

By following the REMAP process outlined above, Senior Management rapidly implemented the following changes:

  • The Company reorganized around key customers and channels instead of around product categories. This move created more dedicated focus around meeting the needs of key accounts.
  • New teams with direct reporting relationships to the CEO were established around Imports and New Products. The Company moved to create its own import program and to invest in new product categories to address the biggest threats to its current business model.
  • A disciplined strategic planning and management process was instituted. Divisions updated plans quarterly and performance monitoring “dashboards” were installed. Managers felt a new sense of accountability and made investment decisions (e.g., new product lines) based on overall business impact.
  • Financial incentives were created to foster cooperation among various internal groups and factions. Performance data was published for all internal managers to see in order to remove the sense of misinformation and lack of trust.
  • As a result of these changes, the Company gained market share in key accounts and found new avenues of growth and profitability from new product categories.