Case Studies

Management Consulting for Small and Mid-sized Companies

Apollo team members have proven effective in meeting a wide variety of challenges. In the representative case studies described below, each had a different set of issues and unique circumstances. In each case, the correct problem, obstacle or opportunity was identified, an appropriate solution was devised and then successfully executed to solve the problem or maximize the opportunity. Whether your challenges are improving profitability, driving down costs, delivering products and services in a timely manner, gaining operational efficiencies, improving customer service, or supporting a growth strategy, Apollo can help.

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The case studies are described below in groups by the following types of companies – Service Companies, Retailers, Entertainment Companies, Restaurants, Construction Companies, Manufacturing Companies, Health Care Companies and Financial Services Companies. Please click on any to move directly to the case studies for that company type or you can just scroll down through the cases studies.

To allow the reader to locate examples of the type of service they are looking for, the applicable Apollo services categories delivered to that client are listed for each initiative. These professional services categories are – Profitability Improvement, Strategy Development and Execution, Marketing Services, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Product Feature Optimization, Operational Efficiency Improvement, Project Management, and Information Technology Consulting.

Initiative-Dog Walking Service.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Product and Service Priceing Optimization, Operational Efficiency Improvement, Strategy Development and Execution

Situation-Company was providing more than 100 walks a day but was only marginally profitable and had ineffective control of operations.  Owner was working seven days per week with little compensation. Owner needed to get his life back.

Impacts-Company was unable to expand.  Owner was getting calls 24×7, nights and weekends, could not take a vacation and was not making enough money to make it worth it.

Actions Taken-Applied the Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ to identify key profitability drivers.  Recommended changes to employee compensation to improve profit margins.  Mapped all workflows and identified bottlenecks and potential solutions.  Performed pricing study and recommended pricing changes to drive customer behaviors.  Sharpened the marketing strategy.  Developed a complete technology strategy to support changes to workflows and improved operations control.  Created all conditions to successfully scale up operations.

Results-Company was put on a path to gaining operational control and improving profitability.  Owner was able to get more free time and better control of his life.

    

Initiative-Services Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution, Marketing Services, Information Technology Consulting

Situation–Organization had too many opportunities to invest in their future.

Impacts-Company was unable to decide which initiatives to undertake and did not want to proceed until a cohesive approach was developed.

Actions Taken-Conducted a strategic planning effort that resulted in a strategic plan and an ongoing strategic planning process.  This included the development of vision, mission and values statements, a complete competitor analysis, SWOT analysis, a business strategy, marketing strategy, pricing strategy, the results from the application of the Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™, business goals, a prioritization and evaluation criteria/process, financial plan and financial projections.  Developed a marketing plan and a technology plan.

Results-The Company became completely organized and gained great organizational focus.  Seven initiatives were identified supported by over 50 projects.  The initiatives were designed to continue to build on strengths, repair weaknesses, seize opportunities and mitigate risks.  The execution of the marketing plan began paying off immediately.  The effort allowed the company to begin execution of their investment opportunities (projects) in the knowledge that their efforts supported their short, medium and long term goals.

 

Initiative-Non Profit Services Organization.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution

Situation-Non Profit organization needed to borrow money to finance a set of development projects.  The Non Profit needed a longer maturity than was typical and was seeking a fixed interest rate for the entire loan term in order to minimize funding and interest rate risk.

Impacts-Unable to begin development projects until they could borrow the money.

Actions Taken-Developed a methodology to evaluate their projects.  Evaluated the projects by estimating benefits/rate of return, resources required, costs and dependencies.  Developed a 15 year development plan that sequenced the work understanding internal projected cash flows and determined borrowing needs.  Developed a business plan for their own use and to supply to potential lenders.  Identified a set of lenders that might be receptive to their needs.  Met with the potential lenders and explained their situation and provided the business plan.  Requested potential terms.  Applied for a loan with the institution with the most favorable terms.

Results-Got the loan.

 

Initiative-Locksmith and Security Systems Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Operational Efficiency Improvement, Marketing Services 

Situation-Owner was working very long hours, unable to take a vacation and hardly making any money.  Opportunities to expand were available to him but he could not work any harder.  Customer satisfaction was not consistently excellent.

Impacts-Owner was exhausted and not able to expand the company to seize available opportunities in addition to having to soothe customers when problems occurred.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ analysis to identify the best actions the company could take to improve profitability.  Analyzed profitability of customers and identified the characteristics of the best type of customers to seek out.  Analyzed pricing to figure out how to most effectively use pricing to drive customer behavior into profitable patterns.  Analyzed workflows and organization of resources and developed optimized workflows and best utilization of staff that would be most scalable in growing the company.

Results-Service levels rose improving the customer experience, operations began to run more smoothly, profitability increased due to new pricing and enhanced focus on acquiring more of the most profitable customers.  Increased profitability allowed the owner to hire additional staff to reduce his workload and to scale up and expand his company.  He was able to take advantage of opportunities in front of him while working less and getting his life back.

  

Initiative-Services Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Information Technology Consulting, Project Management, Operational Efficiency Improvement

Situation- A services company newly formed through merger faced significant integration challenges and had an objective of rapid organic growth for which they were ill prepared.

Impacts- High costs resulting from inefficient operations caused the company to be unprofitable and growth plans were on hold because manual processes could not be easily duplicated or controlled in a growth situation.

Actions Taken- Managed the integration of the differing technology platforms used by the predecessor entities into a single set of systems. Developed written processes and procedures for all significant job functions. Documented workflow inefficiencies and identified the target state. Developed a set of systems changes needed to allow work to be optimized. Developed a financial model to identify the key drivers of success. Performed a review of services pricing and made changes to align customer behavior with the cost of services. Developed pro forma financials and cash flow projections in order to plan capital adequacy for growth. Restructured the payroll system and general ledger to provide accurate and timely management information to be able to better manage the business.

Results- Successfully integrated the operations, technology and financial systems of the merged entity.  Created a detailed roadmap to prepare for successful growth in terms of work restructuring, technology changes and operational controls.

 

Initiative-Learning Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredProduct and Service Feature Optimization 

Situation-Company that creates and delivers educational programs wanted to know which features participants found most valuable, what length was ideal, what locations were best and how to price these.

Impacts-Without this information the company was unable to improve program offerings or price them in such a way that they could get the most revenue to carry out their mission.

Actions Taken-Performed a Product and Service Feature Optimization analysis (Conjoint) which involved designing, delivering and collecting information using a Discrete Choice Estimation approach.  The results were analyzed to attribute the contributions to value of each factor the client was interested in.  These factors were then built into a simulation tool that provided information to better design programs to meet participant needs.

Results-The company was armed with sufficient information to improve program features and increase revenue now that they had estimates of price elasticity.

 

Initiative-Move Manager Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Marketing Services, Information Technology Consulting 

Situation-Company that helps Seniors with downsizing was only marginally profitable and the business owner wanted to scale up to grow the business while simultaneously reducing his hours worked to a normal level.

Impacts-Owner was working too hard and not making enough money.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ analysis to identify the best actions the company could take to improve profitability.  Analyzed pricing to figure out how to most effectively use pricing to drive customer behavior into profitable patters.  Developed a marketing plan to grow revenues.  Identified the steps needed to scale up and better organize the business.  Developed technology recommendations to allow the owner to increase transparency of operations of additional service delivery teams.

Results-The company was armed with the information needed to increase profitability and help the owner get his life back.

 

Initiative-Starter and Alternator Rebuilders.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Marketing Services 

Situation–Company was profitable but the owner was overworked.  Owner wanted to prepare the company to sell in the future at the highest price possible.

Impacts–Owner was exhausted and had little time for his family.

Actions Taken–Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ analysis to identify the best actions the company could take to improve profitability.  Analyzed customers and customer segments to identify the segments and best types of customers to look for.  Developed a marketing strategy to grow revenues and in turn, profitability.  Developed marketing materials to support the marketing plan.

Results–Increased profits allowed for the hiring of staff to offload some of  the owner’s work as well as to develop the organization so that it could operate without him making it a more valuable and transferable business.  Business value was increased by 150% over an estimate of the value at the outset of the development of the Exit Strategy.

 

Initiative-Dental Equipment Repair Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution, Marketing Services, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Operational Efficiency Improvement

Situation–Company was not consistently profitable and cash flow was uneven.

Impacts–Unable to make payroll on time, even to the two partners.

Actions Taken–Performed a market and competitive analysis.  Developed a more effective business strategy.  Developed a marketing strategy and a branding strategy.  Developed an appropriate competitive positioning concept and messaging strategy and a marketing plan in order to drive top line revenues.  Developed a website, logo and pamphlet wording.  Develop a pricing strategy and new service packages to drive customer behavior into profitable patterns.  Developed a change to responsibilities to optimize workflows and increase service capacity

Results-Provided the company with all of the tools, processes and direction to increase revenues, cash flows and service throughput.

 

Initiative-Internet Marketing Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development 

Situation-Profitability Improvement, Product and Service Pricing Optimization

Impacts-Owner had trouble paying his bills.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ analysis to identify the best actions the company could take to improve profitability.  Analyzed the three lines of business performed and determined one was profitable, one was breakeven but soaked up a lot of resources and one was unprofitable with little hope of improvement.  Analyzed pricing and made recommendations.

Results-Company shifted the customer base and resources to the most profitable business line.  Profits improved dramatically.

 

Initiative-Accounting Firm.

Apollo Services Delivered-Strategy Development and Execution

Situation-Company wanted to franchise their successful business model but needed a business plan.

Impacts- The company’s drive to franchise was stalled without a roadmap on how to proceed.

Actions Taken- Developed a comprehensive business plan that included goals and objectives, services to be offered, target customers, market strategy, competitive analysis, personnel plan, key success factors, key risks and mitigation strategies, timing and capital requirements.

Results- With the expansion plan in place, the company was able to begin the process of becoming a franchisor.

   

Initiative-Law Firm.

Apollo Services DeliveredOperational Efficiency Improvement

Situation– Increasingly competitive marketplace was squeezing rates and profits.

Impacts-Profits were shrinking.

Actions Taken-Examined the administrative workflow and recommended organizational, process and responsibility changes.

Results-The company gained a roadmap to optimize its administrative workflows and organizational structure thereby reduce costs.

 

Initiative-Law Firm.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Marketing Services, Strategy Development and Execution

Situation-Law firm was marginally profitable and did not have enough new clients.

Impacts-There were insufficient funds to consistently make payroll.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ analysis to identify the drivers of financial results.  Evaluated the competitive landscape.  Performed a SWOT analysis.  Sharpened the business strategy and developed business goals.  Developed a business strategy, branding strategy and a marketing plan and assisted in the execution.

Results-Firm was put on a path to improved financial results.

 

Initiative-Payroll and Benefits Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredProject Management

Situation-Customers were demanding integrated reporting using data from both payroll information and benefits information.

Impacts-Customers were leaving for other service providers.

Actions Taken-Managed the integration of data from a human resources benefits system using ETL tools into a data warehouse used by customers for payroll reporting.  Managed the project throughout the full software development life cycle using offshore development and testing resources.  Planned and managed the development of the test strategy, test execution, data conversion strategy and the final implementation.

Results-The company was able to introduce a new service for customers creating more satisfied existing customers and a better product offering to attract new customers.

 

Initiative-Store Review.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Operational Efficiency Improvement

Situation– Business was marginally profitable.

Impacts-Owners were working for no pay.

Actions Taken-Analyzed sales, markup, contribution and inventory levels.  Analyzed pricing.  Analyzed processes for internal operations. Examined product mix, display, organization and merchandising in general.  Recommended numerous pricing and positioning suggestions as well as process changes.

Results-The Company was able to improve profitability.

 

Initiative-Mobility Equipment Retailer.

Apollo Services DeliveredOperational Efficiency Improvement 

Situation-Inconsistent process compliance had a negative impact on the customer experience and reduced profitability.

Impacts-Owner was overworked and unable to focus on business development.

Actions Taken-Developed a set of defined job functions, process flows and process check sheets to be used to deliver a more consistent customer experience and to increase operating efficiency.

Results-The company saw a reduction of errors, a reduced amount of misplaced parts and tools, increased staff productivity, all resulting in a smoother running operation requiring less direct supervision of the owner.  Allowed the owner to spend more time on business development which increased profitability.

 

Initiative-Homeopathic Remedy Retailer.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfit Improvement, Operational Efficiency Improvement 

Situation-Owner wanted to build up the value of the retail operation so that she could sell it and retire comfortably.  The owner’s knowledge of what products to use for what conditions was not easily transferable.  The store was losing money.

Impacts-The owner could not sell the store and was considering just closing it.  She could not pay her bills.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ analysis to identify the best actions the company could take to improve profitability.  Recommended the elimination of some practices that were making the store unprofitable.  Identified that the inventory in the POS system was far off from actual inventory due to expired products removed from the shelves but not from inventory.  Organized a count of inventory and devised an efficient process to update the inventory in the POS.  Developed a simple electronic system to capture the mapping of each product to its array of uses, with a rating system to indicated efficacy of each treatment and any products that it could not be used in combination.  Trained the owner on how to populate the system with information.

Results-The store became profitable with the implantation of the profit improvement strategies.  With accurate inventory, it became easy to value the inventory for a prospective owner.  When the new system containing the mapping of products to their application is complete, the store will be able to operate without the owner.  These taken together will make the store into a reasonably valuable operation.

 

Initiative-Designer Dress Retailer.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfit Improvement 

Situation-Store was losing money.

Impacts-The owner was unable to pay her bills.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique ™ process to see how profitability could be improved.  Identified the steps to return to profitability and the time and money it would take.

Results-It became clear immediately that the owner was not going to be able to invest enough to see the strategy to successful conclusion.  She decided to close the store.

 

Initiative-Web Storefront and Wholesaler.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Product and Service Pricing Optimization

Situation-Sales were growing but profits evaporated.

Impacts-Cash flow was becoming negative threatening the entire enterprise.

Actions Taken-Analyzed costs including product development, manufacturing, warehousing, fulfillment and overhead for each line of business. Analyzed markups, discounts, allowances and policies. Developed a detailed business-financial model and performed sensitivity analysis to identify the key actions to most improve profitability.  Analyzed advertising costs and effectiveness. Performed Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis.  Focused management attention on increasing profits and away from further growth in the short run. Identified and implemented many changes including pricing, fulfillment, advertising, promotion, and management information.

Results-The Company was able to improve profitability.

 

Initiative-Direct Sales Organization.

Apollo Services DeliveredProject Management

Situation-There was no easy way to measure advertising or gain insights on customer behavior.

Impacts-Company was wasting money on ineffective advertising and not putting enough money into effective advertising media/times.

Actions Taken-Managed the full life cycle of a TM1/Cognos business intelligence implementation.  Developed the project schedule, managed the resources, planned the data conversion, oversaw the testing, communicated status to stakeholders, managed change controls, etc.

Results-The Company was able to vastly improve advertising effectiveness and gain insights into customer behavior.

 

Initiative-Multi-Location Retailer

Apollo Services DeliveredProject Management

Situation-Company was not able to implement software projects fast enough to meet business needs using traditional Waterfall methodologies.

Impacts-Customers were demanding rapid improvement in customer facing websites and phone apps.

Actions Taken-Worked with the company, new to Agile, as an Agile Coach to tailor processes and map artifacts to existing waterfall SDLC requirements with a pilot project to build a new mobile app and to coach the new Agile team in Agile/Scrum processes and ceremonies.

Results-The Company was able to begin their first Agile Scrum project.

 

Initiative-Entertainment Business.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Operational Efficiency Improvement

Situation-Company sales were falling, was losing money and provided inconsistent service.

Impacts-Company had difficulty paying bills and gained a reputation in the marketplace for providing a poor customer experience.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ analysis and identified the key drivers of profitability.  Provided recommendations to improve profitability.  Performed a pricing study and recommended pricing strategies to drive customer behavior and increase revenue.  Developed a service training program and trained the staff.  Developed an operations manual to make it easy to carry out all functions.  Developed job descriptions to inform the staff of what was expected of them.

Results-The Company was put on a path to improved profitability and began to see results.

 

Initiative-Entertainment Business.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfit Improvement, Operation Efficiency Improvement

Situation-Profitability was mixed from year to year.  Cash flow varied widely over the course of the year.  The company had insufficient capital to expand into profitable and more year round markets.

Impacts-A continuation of the trend led to an uncertain future.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ process that identified the best actions to take to increase profitability.  This action would position the company to acquire financing in the future to expand into new markets.  Identified all of the components needed to scale up the company successfully including – operations manuals, organizational development, training materials, on boarding process for new employees, staff scheduling tools, cash controls, bank reconciliation procedures, process to evaluate new markets/locations, and a new location implementation planning process.

Results-The company was put on a path to improve profitability and scale up to take advantage of their opportunities.

 

Initiative-Entertainment Business.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution, Profitability Improvement

Situation-Company needed a loan to refinance a balloon payment from a prior loan.  The company was losing money.

Impacts-Company was finding little interest from lenders.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique analysis and identified the key drivers of profitability.  Developed a business plan to direct company efforts and to communicate the approach to potential lenders.

Results-The Company got the loan and is now focusing on the activities to move as rapidly back to profitability as possible.

 

Initiative-Restaurant.

Apollo Services DeliveredOperational Efficiency Improvement

Situation-Restaurant had mediocre food quality and poor service.

Impacts-The restaurant’s sales were declining.

Actions Taken-Reviewed the menu and recommended changes.  Reviewed the décor and recommended changes.  Trained the staff with the goal of improving service.

Results-Restaurant was able to attract more customers, more upscale customers with a higher ticket value, which when combined, resulted in higher revenues and improved profitability.

 

Initiative-Cafe.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution

Situation-Entrepreneur wanted to start a café and wanted a business plan.

Impacts-The Entrepreneur needed a business plan as part of an SBA loan application process.

Actions Taken-Conducted a market assessment in terms of competitors, income demographics, traffic patterns and available locations.  Estimated all startup costs and expected ongoing costs.  Developed various revenue ramp up scenarios.  Developed basic financial projections to determine funding needs.

Results-The work indicated that the café would not likely be successful.  The Entrepreneur decided not to go ahead thereby avoiding a poor financial outcome.

 

Initiative-Restaurant.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Strategy Development and Execution, Marketing Services, Operational Efficiency Improvement, and Information Technology Consulting.

Situation-Restaurant in business for over ten years.  Profitability was flat.  Owner wanted to build up the value of the business to sell it for enough money to retire comfortably.

Impacts-Owner could not sell because the value was too low and he could not retire on the proceeds from selling it at its current value.

Actions Taken-Analyzed all aspects of the business including costs, pricing and capacity.  Developed a model of the business and identified the key drivers of success using the Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™.  Besides identifying approaches to improve operations and profitability of the existing business, identified an opportunity to sell the unique food in a heat and serve format from a very small footprint shop in two nearby but distinct markets.  Developed the necessary branding, marketing strategy, technology, processes and operational controls to expand the business to include the new retail operation.

Results-This allowed the organization to scale up operations and expand.  Initial success has already increased the value by three times the initial valuation, well on the way to the target five times valuation the owner was seeking before the development of the Exit Strategy.

 

Initiative-Restaurant.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution

Situation-Investor wanted to buy a closed restaurant and reopen it with a team he had assembled.  He needed a business plan to get the loan needed for the purchase.

Impacts-Investor was not able to move ahead on the purchase before financing could be arranged.

Actions Taken-Developed a detailed business plan that involved developing a detailed market and competitive analysis as well as projected financial statements.

Results-The investor was able to get the loan and purchase the property.

 

Initiative-Restaurant Chain.

Apollo Services DeliveredProject Management

Situation-Larger chains were putting tremendous pressure with large advertising and promotion budgets.

Impacts-Margins were under pressure as a result of the intense price competition.

Actions Taken

  • Managed a large program ($3M, 25 FTE) that included the development of a new mobile app (PhoneGap) and new web ordering software, implementation of an ordering platform (OLO), implementation of an offer management system (Sparkfly), implementation of a customer database (CRM) containing sales data, demographics, income, psychographic and other information to enable personalized offers, implementation of a sophisticated automated marketing platform (Sailthru), development of an enterprise transformation and integration data bus (MongoDB/Redis/SQL Server), development of new loyalty program software, integrations with two POS vendors, and Business Intelligence (SQL Server/MicroStrategy).
  • Managed the entire program and the client side of each of the projects carried out by external strategic partners
  • Scrum Master for the Integration data bus with a team size of seven. Performed all Scrum ceremonies and activities including Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Backlog Refinement (Grooming), Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, impediment removal, Coaching, Facilitation, Sprint Burndown metrics preparation, external status communication, etc.
  • Created all traditional project artifacts, Sprint Backlog and Product Backlog as well as requirements as needed.
  • Developed the testing approach, test plan, and execution and tracking testing templates. Managed the entire end to end testing effort and coordinated the resolution of all defects across responsible parties including defect tracking assignment and follow up, software migration coordination, retesting, etc.
  • Managed the creation of the production environments, data conversion, and pilot.

Results-The Company gained the ability to compete with promotions without over discounting.

 

Initiative-Home Safety and Access.

Apollo Services DeliveredMarketing Services, Information Technology Consulting

Situation-Client had a good marketing strategy but lacked focus in their marketing efforts.

Impacts-Sales growth was slower than expected.

Actions Taken-Developed a marketing plan and recommended some branding changes.  Identified and recommended customer relationship management (CRM) software to organize the sales efforts, job order management and billing.

Results-The Company increased its sales so fast that it had to more than double its staff in one year.

 

Initiative-Paving Company.

Apollo Services DeliveredOperational Efficiency Improvement, Information Technology Consulting

Situation-Company was having extensive issues with its labor force in terms of employee satisfaction, loyalty, retention, productivity and rules compliance.  Company wanted to gain a better oversight of day to day activities.

Impacts-Inability to retain staff made staffing projects difficult and made growth impossible.

Actions Taken-Reviewed composition of current staff roles and skills.  Interviewed a cross-section of employees across all positions and skill levels.  Analyzed wage rates.  Developed families of position descriptions tied directly to skill levels and wage rate ranges for each position.  Led a process to assign each existing employee to an appropriate job description.  Introduced a new employee performance review process and forms. Made recommendations for pay adjustments to ensure staff was paid for performance and skill level attainment.  Recommended changes to the hiring process.  Developed a new set of company rules which used graduated penalties to provide consequences for rule breaking and introduced a bonus tied to good behaviors.  Developed a process to identify high potential employees.  Developed formal training programs to develop and enhance skills.  Developed a technology plan to be able to automate many functions of field workers, to improve communication with the home office and to be able to better manage field activities.

Results-The company was able to align employee success to their own success thereby putting them on a path to improve employee retention and increase hiring success.  Technology improvements permitted better control of operations and better communications with the teams in the field.

 

Initiative-Home Remodeling Contractor.

Apollo Services DeliveredOperations Efficiency Improvement, Information Technology Consulting

Situation-Company wanted to expand operations to locations in two adjoining states.  Needed to know what actions to take to scale up operations successfully.

Impacts-Fear of losing control of operations prevented them from moving ahead.

Actions Taken-Reviewed all processes and identified operational improvements.  Identified key controls needed and key metrics with which to monitor operations to ensure good customer service and employee productivity.  Developed configuration changes to their Apptivo CRM system to support multi-location operations and that allowed transparency into operations for the owners from the home office.  Developed a set of complete Apptivo User Guide and Operations Procedures Manuals for each job function in the company.  This allowed the communication of all company procedures integrated with how each person was to carry them out and/or track them using Apptivo.  Trained all existing employees on these new protocols and system interactions.

Results-Allowed the company to scale up while maintaining operational control.  Profits increased significantly from the contribution of the new locations.

 

 

Initiative-Mechanical Contractor.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution, Product and Service Pricing Optimization

Situation-Sales had fallen 50% from the peak sales achieved three years prior.

Impacts-The company was unprofitable.

Actions Taken-Examined the existing customer base, industries served, order profitability, and customer profitability to determine the desired characteristics of profitable customers.  Recommended key industries to expand into. Developed a detailed marketing plan that described what was to be done, by whom and when in order to increase sales. Analyzed current pricing and calculated the labor rate per hour needed to cover all overhead costs and make a profit.

Results-The company was able to profitably increase sales.

   

Initiative-Flooring Contractor.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Operational Efficiency Improvement

Situation-Owner was unable to grow the business because he was involved with every job.

Impacts-The owner worked excessive hours and was unable to increase sales or profits.

Actions Taken-Developed a number of estimating templates so that the estimating methodology used by the owner could be successfully used by others.  Developed a job template so that the work crews could understand exactly what needed to be done for each job.  Developed a problem or change order process so that problems that arose on the job or changes requested from the agreed to job specifications could be surfaced, estimated and agreed to with the customer. Developed a job time tracking system to capture accurate work time for each job.

Results-The Company was able to expand with new people but still perform the work in the way that it has always been able to perform it.  Profitability was increased by reducing unpaid scope creep on jobs.

 

Initiative-A manufacturer of residential and commercial water filtration systems.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Operational Efficiency Improvement

Situation-Company had an innovative and well engineered product but was unable to grow sales above a modest level.

Impacts-The company was only marginally profitable.

Actions Taken-Sharpened the business strategy and developed a marketing plan to focus corporate activities on growth. Developed a marketing campaign including improved positioning and messaging and then assisted in the execution of the plan. Investigated and then completely revamped the company’s distribution channels.  Developed a captive sales force. Developed sales training materials, and a sales manual. Conducted pricing study and changed prices to capture enhanced value. Developed processes, procedures and financial controls so that the company could profitably expand while maintaining good customer service.

Results-The company increased sales over 100% in six months.

  

Initiative-A manufacturer of custom furniture and interior fittings.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Strategy Development and Execution, Product and Service Pricing Optimization, Operational Efficiency Improvement

Situation-The inability to deliver on time had led to the loss of most of the profitable customers, ongoing mis-pricing led to many unprofitable orders and frequent fabrication errors necessitating costly corrections were driving up costs.

Impacts-The company was losing money, was unable to consistently make payroll in a timely manner and the company was facing labor unrest.

Actions Taken-Identified the true cost of customer acquisition, design, construction, delivery and installation. Introduced cost plus pricing to ensure profitability of orders. Developed simple processes for estimating, contracting and scheduling of orders to ensure proper pricing and delivery date commitments. Made changes to critical work flow processes to improve efficiency and control that resulted in reduced confusion and defects. Developed tracking system to understand order progress and costs of orders. Developed marketing plan to attract more profitable customers.

Results-Provided the guidance, methods, tools and process for the company to return to profitability.

 

 

Initiative-Manufacturer.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Strategy Development and Execution, Marketing Services, Operational Efficiency Improvement, Project Management, and Information Technology Consulting

Situation-Business owner wanted to sell his company but just received a valuation that fell very far from the owner’s expectation of the company’s value.

Impacts-Owner would have to continue working indefinitely as little money could be realized from the sale given the current state of the company.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique™ analysis to identify the best actions to take to improve profitability.  Developed a long range strategic plan.  Sharpened the business strategy, the marketing strategy and the branding.  Developed a marketing plan to drive revenue.  Documented all of the company processes to ensure the company could operate with any changes of staff.  Developed a plan to develop/acquire the talent needed for succession.  Brought clarity to the financial statements.  Developed a technology plan and managed its implementation to provide transparency to operations.

Results-Over a period of 2.5 years, was able to increase the value of the company to 30 times its prior valuation before the development of the Exit Strategy.

 

Initiative-Lighting Manufacturer.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution 

Situation-Company had pivoted out of outdoor landscape lighting that had become commoditized.  They used up all of their financial resources developing a new line of innovative grow lights for green houses and vertical growing facilities.  Sales cycles were longer than expected.

Impacts-The company was out of money and facing collapse.

Actions Taken-Analyzed the situation and determined that the company was sound and that they should find an investor to make a cash infusion.  Developed a business plan and projected financials based on the large number of sales prospects in the pipeline and their probability and timing of close.

Results-They were able to get an investor who supplied the money to tide them over until the volume of sales picked up and the company became profitable.

 

Initiative-A manufacturer of industrial chemicals.

Apollo Services DeliveredStrategy Development and Execution

Situation-Company struggled with identifying new product ideas and bringing them to market in a timely manner.

Impacts-Company was slow to take advantage of market opportunities.

Actions Taken-Facilitated a process to identify, prioritize and move forward with new product ideas.

Results-The Company was put on a path to identify the best new product ideas and move them forward.

 

Initiative-Eating Disorder Treatment Center.

Apollo Services DeliveredOperating Efficiency Improvement 

Situation-The treatment center was unable to come up with a staffing schedule that satisfied the staff and met the needs of the patients.

Impacts-It was difficult to retain staff and supervisors would have to take over patient care when they were shorthanded.

Actions Taken-Gathered the needs of the staff and the constraints for good patient care.  Modeled the process and produced a number of schedules that came close to meeting all staff needs while fully meeting patient needs.

Results-One schedule was accepted and was put into operation.  This reduced staff turnover and stress on the supervisors.

 

Initiative-Home Healthcare Agency.

Apollo Services DeliveredProfitability Improvement, Operating Efficiency Improvement, Product and Service Pricing Optimization 

Situation-Agency supplied companions and Certified Nursing Assistants to private pay patients.  Agency was losing money and it was very difficult to recruit and retain staff.

Impacts-Owner was not taking a salary and was not able to increase placements due to lack of staff.

Actions Taken-Performed an Apollo Profit Acceleration Technique analysis and identified the key drivers of profitability.  Identified that expanding business would increase profitability.  Identified that staff wanted full time jobs so they did not have to juggle several patients at a time.  Developed a pricing strategy that incentivized patients to use more hours to allow the staff to work more hours with the same patient.

Results-Slowly moved the patient mix to those that needed more hours or around the clock help.  This made it much easier to hire staff as the agency could offer full time jobs.  Profitability improved as the number of placements increased.

    

Initiative-Health Insurance Provider.

Apollo Services DeliveredInformation Technology Consulting, Project Management

Situation-The sales environment had become much more competitive and the company was finding it difficult to grow.

Impacts-Company sales were flat.

Actions Taken-Developed business specifications to implement sales force automation. Managed the implementation of a cloud based sales force automation system including the development of the project plan and implementation schedule, coordinated all resources, communicated status to stakeholders, managed scope, costs and risks, coordinated training, managed and performed testing and performed project close out activities.

Results-Armed with better information and the ability to coordinate sales activities more effectively, the marketing department and the sales staff was better able to take advantage of opportunities and close more business.

 

Initiative-Independent Financial Advisors.

Apollo Services DeliveredMarketing Services 

Situation-It was very difficult for the company to get new clients as the industry is extremely competitive.

Impacts-Profitability only increased with inflation.

Actions Taken-Developed a set of marketing collateral and messaging that spoke directly to the concerns of a typical client without the usual industry jargon.  Developed a marketing plan to make the most effective use of their sales gathering activities.

Results-Improved the effectiveness of getting interest from potential clients.  Slowly began to increase the number of clients, the assets under management and in turn, profitability.

 

Initiative-Money Management Firm

Apollo Services DeliveredProject Management

Situation-Company was finding it difficult to have timely and accurate information about interactions with customers. Oversight of external money managers was not sufficiently tight to meet company standards. Company wanted to make more information available to customers through a web portal

Impacts-Customer service was not as good as the company wanted it to be and transparency of the controls on external money managers needed to be improved.

Actions Taken-Scrum Master for the implementation of customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities built using SharePoint.  Performed all ceremonies.  Gathered requirements, developed visualizations and use cases for a system used to assure compliance with the oversight procedures for external money managers.  Managed the requirements, scheduling, development, testing and migration of multiple change requests.  Managed the implementation of multiple SharePoint portals for both internal and external client use.

Results-Both customer service and internal controls were improved.

  

Initiative-Financial Services Company

Apollo Services DeliveredProject Management, Operational Efficiency Improvement

Situation-A vast number of hours were being wasted in the process of reconciling the lease and loan payment system with the general ledger.

Impacts-The process was too slow often making the preparation of financial statements late and costs were much higher than needed.

Actions Taken-Managed the implementation of the Fiserv Accurate software (vendor packaged solution) to perform automated reconciliations between lease and loan payment systems and the PeopleSoft general ledger. Managed the development, performance testing, user acceptance testing and go live phases.  Project required extensive analysis of data sources and development of automated data feeds.

Results-Preparation of financial statements became more timely and operations and accounting costs were significantly reduced.


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