Strategy: An SME's Plan for Growth
EquipmentCo made a clear choice around its corporate strategy that was embraced by all stakeholders. In addition, they translated the strategy into operational capabilities that had to be enabled at the process level. These capabilities became the source of EquipmentCo’s advantages.
EquipmentCo is a mid-sized custom machinery company serving the North American and global marketplace that was emerging from a period of depressed profitability to address poor performance due to adverse industry structure shifts and underperforming product sales. They had been focusing mostly on cost reduction and capital management for the prior couple of years, and believed the next critical step was to begin to address what their business evolution must look like over the medium-term to build on the change momentum and create a path to sustainable growth.
EquipmentCo had made many investments in improvement and growth 'activities', but had no clear guiding direction around how these activities fitted together to create a competitive advantage. Furthermore, the company lacked a cohesive "story" and investment plan around the critical platforms that would underpin, and inform choices about their growth drivers in the medium and longer term.
What We Did
Anderson Lyall was asked to help develop a competitive strategy for EquipmentCo, and help them link that strategy to the operational processes and activities that either had to be installed or improved to help compete more effectively within their industry.
Anderson Lyall worked closely with EquipmentCo's line and functional management to identify and inventory the ideas, opportunities, capabilities and sources of advantage and value creation available to the firm. We organized and framed the opportunities into Growth Platforms, and evaluated the relative strength, sustainability, materiality and reinforcing logic across and between them. We then structured the platforms into distinct and viable strategic themes for EquipmentCo, and worked across the organization at all levels to engage each of the key stakeholders in the strategy process.
Once the overall strategy was developed and formulated, Anderson Lyall then helped EquipmentCo to identify the needed strategic capabilities that had to be enabled through processes. We helped EquipmentCo to take a capability and process inventory, create a process-based model of their organization, and identify the gaps that needed to be filled through process improvements. In some cases, this meant designing and installing new processes, while in other cases redesign and improvement of existing processes was required.
From this work, EquipmentCo had a clear idea of how it was going to enable and support its strategy through process performance. Process improvements became highly targeted and prioritized, focusing on those process gaps which had to be addressed to enable EquipmentCo to successfully deploy its strategy and gain competitive advantage.
EquipmentCo made a clear choice around its corporate strategy that was embraced by all stakeholders. In addition, they translated the strategy into capabilities that had to be enabled at the process level. As a result, they installed several missing core processes, made focused improvements in several others, and focused investments of their resources (human, financial, and material) predominantly on the core Growth Platforms and supporting processes. Additionally, they were able to articulate a clear and compelling strategy to their investor and employee communities that these communities responded to extremely well, rewarding EquipmentCo over the 2½ years that followed with a 15 percent increase in economic profit.