Navigate a tight ship through strategic vision

With the STIEL-approach we determined the best strategy with the available resources, machines and people.

The merger of two production companies with approximately 2,000 clients has caused unrest on various fronts, from production to sales and HR. There is significant employee turnover and dissatisfaction among staff. Although the newly formed merged company (hereinafter referred to as ‘A-brand’) remains profitable, customer complaints are increasing. These complaints include extended delivery times, product quality, and service provision. Additionally, competition is fierce. With looming declines in figures, action is necessary to prevent further loss of market share for A-Brand. Bert Bult from STIEL steps in for a comprehensive strategy development, impactful process improvements, and a renewed brand identity. These elements contribute to impressive results. It all begins with conversations with customers and team members.

Strategy based on thorough analysis

The merger of the two companies is proceeding sluggishly, affecting both sales and production. Customers are turning to alternative products from competitors, causing A-Brand to gradually fade into the background in stores. STIEL embarks on discovering the most valuable information: direct contact with consumers. We visit numerous sales outlets spread throughout the Netherlands.

The STIEL approach always begins with getting to know the business and the people. Understanding the company culture forms the core of effective changes. We conduct extensive research and listen to the experiences of consumers. Although the solution may not be immediately apparent, we develop a strategy with an executable plan to provide the right guidance for all necessary steps.

After thoroughly examining all departments, including sales, finance, production, HR, and service, STIEL instructs A-Brand’s management team to map out the events of the past seven years, in close collaboration with various departments within the company. This provides the entire company with insights into sales figures, customers, and customer satisfaction.

On board with insights

The next significant step is the two-day intensive strategy session. It’s the golden formula for uncovering the deeper layers of A-Brand. On the first day, the current situation at the sales outlets is presented, including the brand position and other relevant aspects such as all financial figures, production results, and lead times for complaint resolution. It becomes evident that customer satisfaction is particularly low due to delivery times, lagging service provision, and product quality, while staff turnover is high due to a lack of team cohesion and direction.

On the second day, STIEL presents a visual representation of all observations from the first strategy day to validate them with the team. Does this align with what they perceive? Subsequently, the team poses the question: what do we actually want to be, and how do we want to position ourselves in the market? These two-day strategic sessions also foster a valuable positive team dynamic.

The outcomes determine the strategy and subsequent steps. The key pillars of the strategy are reliable delivery, high product quality, and excellent service provision. Therefore, the first step is to optimize production for reliable delivery within five days. Another crucial step is to develop an attractive presentation of the collection for customers in the store. Despite the high quality of the existing collections, they are not prominently displayed at the sales outlets. The challenge lies in putting A-Brand back in the spotlight and presenting the collections attractively.

Revival of market share – shop-in-shop

The decision to revise the brand positioning stems from the urgent need to be innovative and stay ahead of the competition. After new comprehensive team sessions, the groundbreaking concept of a shop-in-shop emerges, executed by a specialized firm to ensure its appealing design.

The shop-in-shop arrangement enhances visibility and encourages retailers to allocate space for A-Brand. A concept wherein stores need to pay virtually nothing upfront, except for an annual fee in installments, lowers the barrier to participation. This yields 200 shop-in-shops in the first week alone! A-Brand once again takes center stage in stores, relegating other brands to the background.

Furthermore, A-Brand is successfully paired with another A-Brand through creative insight to develop an exclusive collection. Continuously promoted by the partnering A-Brand, this premium collection results in significant growth in sales. The strategy proves highly successful, contributing to effective branding and an expanded market share.

Combined efforts

The impact of all efforts positively influences team morale. For STIEL, it’s not only essential to establish an exceptional company with high-quality products but also to achieve collective results as a team. We have the capacity to motivate and guide the team towards a shared goal. It’s intriguing to witness employees becoming enthusiastic again, realizing they are on the brink of achieving something remarkable. They regain interest in their work and are inspired by the prospects of positive change.

In the sales department of A-Merk, a significant shift in mindset is underway. Representatives are being assigned new targets that didn’t previously exist. This aligns with the new direction, where they are required to visit a certain number of clients per day, set up a large number of shop-in-shops, and provide detailed reports of these visits. This enables A-Merk to maintain insight into the current situation of its customers, sales performance, and whether they can successfully meet delivery deadlines.

In addition to the process changes, considerable attention is given to the personnel, and collaboration with the existing staff is evaluated, including the replacement of team members. The combination of these changes and STIEL’s determination leads to successful implementation and a positive transformation in the corporate culture of A-Merk.

A rising trend within one year

The delivery of A-Merk’s product significantly improves through efficient production management and rigorous quality controls by experts. Technicians provide well-organized service using advanced systems, such as tracking information and automated scheduling, resulting in effective and reliable service from A-Merk. Newly designed labels are added to products, with special attention to the target audience, enhancing visibility and appeal.

Within just one year, a remarkable increase in productivity is evident, hand in hand with improving quality. Through the STIEL approach, a strategy has been determined utilizing available resources, systems, and personnel. This astute tactic yields a growth of 10% in the first year, followed by 20% in the second year. In collaboration with STIEL, A-Merk has nearly doubled its revenue, achieved high profitability, and reclaimed its position as a market leader.

The advisory role provides perspective and tranquility

Although the outcome is visible, people sometimes realize later how crucial the change has been. A-Merk has once again secured its position, maintaining its brand identity, partly due to the addition of the clever shop-in-shop concept. The strength of STIEL lies in its ability to genuinely achieve objectives and bring about positive change with the right guidance. It simply involves hard work to implement the strategy because developing a strategy alone doesn’t suffice.

STIEL emphasizes the importance of thorough business analysis and understanding of people and processes before implementing changes. In the role of advisor, offering perspective and tranquility, we provide an appealing option for organizations, while navigating the daily pressure on results and performance. As experienced advisors and overseers, STIEL distinguishes itself with a proven track record in strategy development and implementation. Creativity and tenacity are essential in all tasks to ensure positive outcomes across all involved departments.

“STIEL has provided structure and a new direction.
It has inspired the team to embark with enthusiasm and determination on the changes necessary to achieve success.”

Get in touch

We are happy to talk. Are you interested, questions, comments or ideas you want to share?

Send us a message and we will contact you.