Metal Finishing Products Manufacturer

Situation and Challenge

  • An industry-leading manufacturer of metal finishing products and technical services was experiencing declining revenues and faced a bearish industry outlook
  • The company was consider¬ing new market strategies including a merger, acquisition of an additional line of business and adding a distribution sales channel to its direct sales force
  • With the support of its private equity sponsor, the company asked Blue Ridge Partners to identify the causes of recent declines in revenue and to assess how receptive the market would be to the potential new market strategies

Approach

  • Performed an intensive data probe to develop an accurate picture of the current revenue stream, including impact of imported products, competitive nib¬bling, and overall economic and industry trends
  • Conducted executive and sales force interviews to provide context for the analyses and reveal important insights into the strategies and attitudes of the company
  • Completed an intensive fact-finding effort based on The Nine Voices of the Market® methodology to assess the company’s go-to-market strategies through interviews with current and past customers, lost prospects and potential channel partners
  • Identified specific improvements to the sales practices and planned market strategy that would result in improved revenue growth

Impact

  • Merging the company with its sister company leveraged the sister company’s robust distribution channel and created an umbrella brand while maintaining the strong current brands that had market strength
  • Distributors viewed the multi-channel go-to-market strategy as overwhelmingly positive and provided key insights into avoiding channel conflict
  • Combined capabilities provided opportunities in new industries and applications
  • Current small and medium accounts were migrated to distributor channels to allow key sales personnel to focus on large national accounts who valued technical support. This allowed capturing the value in the pricing structure
  • Sale incentives were aligned with the new focus
  • Costing models were revised to capture true product costs allowing more aggressive price competition
  • Increased distributor support and messaging provided more product pull

Identifying causes of revenue decline helps focus corrective actions and assess impact of go-to-market strategy

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