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BrightOrg - Case Studies

Stories are the best way to illustrate information and make it memorable. We have chosen a few stories to share that will give you insight into what we do and how we do it. Every story is unique and results from the work of individuals at BrightOrg Services and our clients' teams.

Growth Strategy Activation

Service Opportunity

The client had historically built strategic plans every three years and was due to refresh using the existing methodology. The CEO desired to inspire and energize the organization with a new and detailed vision for growth and felt this would require more than a standard “refresh” of the plan. He asked BrightOrg Services to design and lead a process that would deliver a strategic growth plan based on the company’s existing business realities and desired culture.
Illuminate.

A project plan was designed to begin at the foundation of the client’s business. Their vision, mission and values would be revisited and refined into what is called a Purpose Plan. The clarity of purpose would be used to drive a strategic planning process focused on growth. In addition, an in-depth analysis of the client’s business environment would be used to frame strategic planning.
Navigate.

Strategic options were created in a work session with representatives from across the organization. Using insights from the business environment, and founded in the newly developed Purpose Plan, the team created potential choices for future growth. These choices were then vetted to determine resource requirements, growth potential, and timing. A long-term communication plan was built to engage people and link their work to the company’s purpose and growth pillars.
Activate.

Five growth strategies were chosen to compose the new plan and were assigned to different leaders. Unlike traditional plans that would “cascade” out and impact the entire organization, these strategies would have dedicated teams to develop milestones, detailed action steps and to provide regular communication of progress to the senior team. Additionally, engagement activities were planned to ensure all employees could link the organization's purpose to strategy, and to their individual roles in driving growth. Three years later, the client is achieving growth in every pillar of the plan and credits the work with enabling consistent delivery of financial results. They are on track to achieve an aggressive five-year 20% growth objective.

Selling Effectiveness

Service Opportunity

The client was a division of a Fortune 100 technology company providing critical IT services to a network of global clients. After years of growth and a few acquisitions, the company found itself in the midst of integrating sales teams and developing resources in supposedly more efficient ways, but performance was declining. Many believed that the sales organization had become burdened with operational tasks due to failures in other areas of the company. The client wanted BrightOrg Services to develop a detailed perspective on the barriers to growth and a recommendation for how to improve.
Illuminate.

Analysis was organized based on source of data – associate interviews, survey feedback, and position-specific activity logs. Then, the key themes of the data were synthesized into areas of concentration for improvement. For associate interviews, the themes of distractors, improvement areas and culture challenges rose to the top. Survey data enabled a detailed look at direct and indirect selling activities, segmented by the type of selling an associate was responsible for. The activity logs provided insight into actual time spent in all of the existing work of sales.
Navigate.

The #1 barrier to growth was that sales people were spending 20-25% of time on “distractors”. In addition, there was a significant lack of execution from contract to client implementation, creating non-value-added work for the sales team. This was compounded by the identification of organizational confusion as to who really owned the client experience. The reality was that clients and sales were not experiencing “extra mile service” from the company. This was all happening while client expectations continued to move toward a higher touch and more consultative approach.
Activate.

The client needed to create a path forward transformation plan that mobilized the organization for change based on the following elements:
– A clear vision for client experience and client leadership
– Immediate action steps to impact internal and external distractors
– Ongoing improvements in client service delivery
– Enhancement of selling capabilities
– Brand leadership in the marketplace
This resulted in a major transformation of the customer support process, sales and support structure, and a focus on equipping the sales team for value-added work.

Channel Strategy

Service Opportunity

The client was a manufacture of snack foods across 3 categories, with distribution throughout most of the United States. Foodservice represented a small portion of overall sales, and therefore received little strategic consideration. Our job was to develop a blueprint for growth, providing the client direction on the role of the channel, the potential for business impact, and the requirements to achieve growth.
Illuminate.

We began by conducting an assessment of the current business, channel and category trends, and competitive offerings. Industry data was combined with our experienced perspective of the channel to construct an overview of market trends, implications, and possibilities. The go-to-market options were developed in detail, due to the complexity of the channel. Interviews with industry leaders, customers and internal SMEs provided a qualitative perspective of current dynamics.
Navigate.

A strategic blueprint was developed based on the foundational assessment. We quantified the short/medium/long-term business opportunity for the client. Critical success factors for activation were identified: Strategic role of channel; Geographical expansion or consolidation; Organizational structure; Product and program offering. Specific action plans, such as changes to pricing structures and geographical customer priorities were provided.
Activate.

This project required the presentation of the growth plan to the executive management team for their evaluation. In a 1/2 day work session, we walked the client through the detailed situation assessment. Next we provided detail on where to focus business development, what to sell, and how to support the business. The presentation provided education and alignment for a senior management team the had little visibility to this channel. The client was inspired by the thorough "blueprint" and committed to implement. A phase II execution plan followed this project.

Sales & Distribution Strategy

Service Opportunity

The client was a USA based beverage manufacturer who utilized DSD (Direct Store Delivery) as its sales and distribution model. The client desired to position the business for accelerated growth on a national basis and wanted to understand options for optimal performance of sales, distribution, and merchadising of products. The assignment was to develop strategic improvements to the sales and distribution model, quanitfy risks, and gauge the implementation effort required to realize the benefits.
Illuminate.

The initial project meeting with the senior leadership team and the project steering committee revealed a lack of understanding and alignment about the value of the Direct Store Delivery Model. In fact, there was significant finger-pointing between the operations, sales and distribution functions. This led to a workshop to educate functional leaders on business realities, and to drive alignment toward change requirements. Then, fieldwork and data analysis began.
Navigate.

The client’s business processes were exhaustively compared to industry best practices. An extensive financial analysis quantified the opportunity of changing from current processes to improved, or new, business practices. Many of the client’s leaders were new to the DSD model – our practical experience was leveraged to educate and solve problems simultaneously.
Activate.

The project resulted in multiple efficiencies and revenue growth. Time savings at stores translated into labor and fleet cost savings. Activation of tools, such as scan based trading, with select customers drove expanded distribution and sales revenue. Adaptive supply chain practices were implemented within the existing model to eliminate non-essential retail activities while increasing customer service, resulting in a +11% increase in sales in pilot.

Direct Store Delivery Optimization

Service Opportunity

The client was a provider of consumer food products, mainly via a regional DSD system, but also shipped product via customer equipment and used distributors. The client desired to develop a recommendation for how to leverage the DSD system to maximize competitive advantage in the marketplace, while operating at a lower cost structure. Our job was to assess the total DSD system, from plant to store, against best practices. We were asked to identify short and long term improvement areas for revenue and cost savings, quantify those savings, and develop a path to capturing the opportunity.
Illuminate.

Extensive fieldwork was done inclusive of sales route delivery ride-a-longs, employee interviews, and plant/distribution center observations. Processes were observed to compare to best practices. Extensive data analysis was conducted to identify system costs, and to quantify potential impacts of changes to labor, fleet, fuel and facilities. In-store impact was considered and revenue generating opportunities were identified.
Navigate.

We take projections seriously and invested time with the client in reviewing data, assumptions and potential impacts. Historical approaches and decisions were considered, and a solid understanding of the client's culture and resource capabilities shaped recommendations. Gross margin improvements were finalized based on a realistic perspective of implementation across a 12-month time frame. Finally, we created a refreshed view of the value of the entire system and the role the system played in sustaining competitive advantage for the client's brands.
Activate.

We identified 14 opportunities across 4 improvement areas. The opportunities were prioritized based on potential financial impact, complexity, and time to financial realization. The assessment and recommendation was delivered with specific path forward steps for each of the opportunities. Short-term margin improvements produced a project ROI of 4:1, while long-term projections created a 12:1 payback.

Leadership Excellence

Service Opportunity

A client was in the midst of transformation across the organization with varying levels of progress. One of the challenges identified was the quality of leadership and its impact on achieving objectives. The client had recently introduced a new leadership model, however, there was no deliberate plan to help leaders move from where they were to the desired behaviors. BrightOrg Services identified this gap and proposed a work plan to invest in leadership growth in support of transformation
Illuminate

The assessment work that framed this initiative came during the navigation phase of a separate project. There was a wide range of engagement with the change process and of the needed leadership capabilities to sustain selling effectiveness. We started with the top leaders of field sales – so that their growth would have an immediate impact on the larger team.
Navigate

Individual leadership assessments were conducted to measure what we call “Leader Impact”. A combination of professional observation, peer feedback, team feedback, and personality profiling were used to create the data to shape the leader’s growth plan. Peers and managers were invited into the process to provide perspective on needed development.
Activate

The growth plan was fully customized to fit the leader’s profile and the company’s desired leadership behavior characteristics. 2-3 growth areas were chosen with the guidance of a BrightOrg coach and confirmed by the leader’s manager. The plan was designed with activities that could be measured, with check-in gates for progress reporting. The result of this effort was drastically improved engagement by highly experienced leaders. Emphasis on the new leadership behaviors ensured everyone was focused on growing in the right areas. Most importantly, the key sales leaders of the client were reenergized for growth.

Trade Investment Optimization

Service Opportunity

The client was an American dairy producer whose fresh, frozen and cultured dairy products are sold and promoted in major national retailers. In order to improve overall gross margin, the client sought to optimize its trade spend and achieve gains from elimination of inefficient investments. Our job was to optimize the client's spend, identify savings opportunities, and to layout an implementation plan to improve annual gross margin.
Illuminate.

A database was built to capture historical spending. Analysis was conducted with the client team to understand unique business dynamics and identify the most accurate approach to spending evaluation. We reviewed category trends, competitive activity, brand level investments, and individual promotional events. The team developed multiple potential solutions as a starting point for testing against the realities of the business.
Navigate.

Potential solutions were tested in cooperation with the client's team. The impact of spending changes was analyzed from multiple perspectives, to ensure the effect on overall volume was optimized. Further analysis was conducted as needed to fine tune the solutions. The team received validation of the findings from the sales organization, and alignment to the recommended action plans.
Activate.

This project resulted in gross margin improvement potential of greater than 5% of the existing trade investment. Four actions were taken to ensure the realization of this opportunity. First, two large product lines were decoupled from promotional events, leading to higher price point realization. Goals were set for each product category related to base pricing, and accountability for execution was set in place. The client moved legacy bill-back promotions to scan for efficiency. Finally, the trade planning process was improved so that sharing of best practices was comprehensive and impacted actual future promotional plans.

Supply Chain Optimization

Service Opportunity

The client was a leading manufacture of snacks in the United States and they operated a hybrid distribution model with 125 warehouse locations. Network and delivery costs were increasing and customer constraints were making the system difficult to manage. The assignment was to analyze the value chain, identify cost savings potentials, and recommend the optimal distribution network for the future.
Illuminate.

The project approach was designed to explore and answer 4 questions:
What are the benefits of the current network strategy?
What operational and logistics cost savings opportunities exist?
How do current activities compare to industry best practices?
What are the impacts and risks of potential changes (service, people, skills, product quality, etc.)?
Navigate.

A detailed cost analysis of each step in the supply chain was conducted. With this illumination, best practices were integrated to identify potential impacts. Scenario analysis was done to determine optimal financial performance and service delivery excellence. Set up and transition costs were considered as well. In close partnership with the client, an optimal recommendation was developed and presented to management.
Activate.

A fact based financial analysis of the current and recommended network plan was developed. The client was able to move from 125 inventory and distribution locations to 105, reducing a significant amount of capital invested in inventory. A path to savings of +10% of network spend was laid out based on industry best practices. First year annual savings amounted to $5 million while continuing to meet the service requirements of customers.