FOUNDATIONS: AUTUS was retained to help with the development of a new senior management team for a company following the sale of a major facet of the business. But it soon became apparent that the sold business arm’s tremendous success had been hiding serious underperformance of the remaining division.
What Happened Next
Support that AUTUS provided: Consultancy, Innovation, Management, Coaching, Sales Growth
The initial ‘management support’ brief quickly moved on to providing hands-on support for the Client. Acting as Deputy MD, Daniel Thomas – the AUTUS lead – worked closely with the Client and his finance team to understand the true financial state of the business so that a clear picture of the issues and possible solutions could be found.
During this ‘stop loss’ phase AUTUS also looked out from the business to see where sales could be increased. Short-term cost reductions would provide some respite for the business but new markets were clearly going to be an essential part of the way to create a sustainably growing business.
Location: UK head office
Industry: Engineering – electrical and mechanical
Target market: Oil & Gas
Clients include: ABB, BP, Chevron, Shell, Schneider, Siemens
Product: Hardware and Software solutions
The hands-on support we provided was instrumental in turning the financial situation around so that there was a profitable business with some sound policies and procedures in place.
At the same time an AUTUS-led review of the product and sales channels identified new markets now being investigated. Whilst we are still at the start of their development, two major customers, who represent approximately 35% of the global market, have committed to the product and contracts are now in place for the ongoing supply of products and expertise.
Throughout this we were working with the managers to support their transformation from a willing but unfocused group of individuals who tended to look to ‘the Boss’ for guidance into a strong senior management team capable of driving business forward. One of the most obvious benefits from this has been the start of preparing a business for ‘sale’. Now there are new routes opening up for current MD and major shareholder to Exit the business rather than rely on a trade sale – this has added significant value to his business.
With over 20 years of trading the Client had created a business based on developing, and then bringing to market, technologies that have a ‘step-change’ affect. He had grown group turnover from nothing to approaching £7M, with profitability consistently in the mid 20% region.
After rejecting many suitors an American made an offer that was too good to resist. Following a protracted period of discussion, negotiation and legal drafting the sale of part of the company was completed, and so now the Client turned his attention to the remaining Division.
Our Client knew that with the sale of one trading division he was losing the most senior members of his management team and so began the initial engagement. During our first meetings we identified a number of issues to be faced, including: an absence of controls, poorly-managed systems, lack of focus, a shortage of management experience and, most importantly, mixed ‘messages’ from the top. These issues, coupled with the underperformance meant that the remaining Division – what was now his entire business – was not as profitable as had been thought, and was struggling to find a way forward.
We hired Daniel as a consultant to our business, to provide additional senior management expertise. He has provided excellent assistance in the areas of strategy, global account management, administrative processes, and structure. He continues in that role with our Company.Ross Kennedy, CEO, QHi-Group Ltd, Harpenden.
“Dan has an usual blend of qualities - a clear incisive mind, good aesthetic judgment and the ability to know when something isn't working and when it's time to stop, make a decision and change direction. People often value 'drive' too highly; knowing when to come off the gas is a depressingly rare trait in my experience. In addition he is both good humoured and a pleasure to work with. I recommend him very highly."John Matchett, Owner, SJM Photographic, Bristol
Being a SME, we had been burnt in the past with consultants charging high fees for little results. After meeting Dan through the GrowthAccelerator programme our faith was quickly restored that there are actually professionals out there that can help push your business forward. Working with Dan has been a breath of fresh air, my business partner and I are now extremely focused and moving our business forward in the direction we want it to go.Felicity Griffiths, Director, , CHB Global Limited
“...he is pro-active in his approach and communicates well with suppliers, colleagues and clients. He is always keen to understand the requirement and looks to consider other solutions that may provide better performance or are more economic. He is a pleasure to work and I would recommend him to others.”Robert Thorogood, , Chief Technical Officer, hurleypalmerflatt, London.
Diane is one of the best commercial managers I have worked with - always on the ball, aligned to customer needs and wants and therefore very effective in finding mutually beneficial solutions. Her wide ranging cross functional experience and insight means that all angles are covered.Michaela Jarvis, Category Marketing Controller, UNIQ plc, Swindon.