The client supplies large multi-national companies with medical examination equipment and has been in business for over 25 years. The revenue had been on a rapid decline since 2007, with only one year of small profits.
Within a short period of time, they lost two lucrative OEM deals. They had to face the reality that sales must be made directly to the end customer and through distributors. Thus, they suffered from inexperience in direct selling with a weak unknown brand, and they lacked a product strategy with a clear vision for the product due to being an OEM supplier since the start of the company.
The company culture was one of “just getting by.” Employees had no real understanding of the company’s loss-making situation, and the management team was fragmented from repeated changes in CEOs. The teams lacked clear communication and direction of the company. The culture was in a stalemate, silo thinking emerged, and trust had faded.
The Spark Engagement
The investors and board were very clear that change needed to happen. They decided to engage a new chairman and in parallel gave Spark an assignment to transform the company.
Spark assessed the company and based on the results, a Spark-team consisting of product management and operations carried out a Product-Led Transformation™- The primary and immediate focus was put on the product to determine ways to compete and gain market share by selling directly to the hospitals.
Spark led the transformation over a 6-month period working hands on and shoulder to shoulder with the team. Collectively we achieved the following:
There was a need to transform the internal operations connected to their products. The absence of product management had led to a weak product direction and vision, which forced the company into less than desirable partnerships.
- We built a strong product management office, implemented frequent customer visits, routines for creating case studies, and built a product council for all functional groups to meet and discuss field feedback. These routines reinforced the benefits of focusing on the product and why and how the customer’s voice needed to be heard throughout the company.
- A new messaging framework was created to differentiate the company.
- A value-driven customer targeted messaging was created based on the strengths of the product and the pains and gains of the target segment.
- The new messaging was embedded into a new website, highlighting the key value proposition for the product and described the benefits for the customer. Case studies were incorporated, along with testimonials from prominent customers.
We initiated and completed several initiatives to streamline operations.
- The operations teams completed multiple projects, which increased operating margins and eased complexity in the assembly process. The teams implemented trackable milestones, measurable KPI’s and clear goals.
- The energy within the company increased by many folds, given the employees felt empowered to implement the improvement projects they had been thinking about for years.
- New marketing and sales material were generated with a compelling product story to enable value-selling directly to hospitals and to reinvigorate the channel partners.
The company subsequently secured a large partnership deal with a multi-national player, hired a sales-oriented CEO, and has reversed the decline of its revenue.
The market has taken notice of the changes in the company and rewarded them with a significant appreciation in share value.