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Case Study: New strategic vision for innovation and growth

About

Chemicals Company John Hogg Technical Solutions is a leading provider of brand protection solutions and compliance products for the international fuels industry. The Board appointed me to work with them under my association with IfM Engage to work with them to create a business strategy and strategic roadmap.

“The workshops were a fantastic way to get alignment, understand the value in the business and crystallise our thinking. We were able to link technology and market drivers together to create new product ideas, identify areas for continuous improvement, and ultimately we came away better equipped to make changes in the business going forward.” Technical and Commercial Director

Assignment

A newly appointed executive team needed to grow and seize new business opportunities but faced several challenges:

  • A shrinking market that accounted for a significant proportion of revenues
  • A lack of innovation and new product development
  • A lack of clarity and confidence in prioritising decisions and plans

To respond to the strategic growth a solid strategy was developed to focus resources and business priorities.

Process

A series of workshops was facilitated including business strategy creation, with stakeholders from across the company.

Business Results

  • Adoption of a more consultative approach to strategy generation
  • Investment in operational efficiency in cash cow areas of the business which have led to significant savings
  • Reallocation of £1.4 million worth of R+D investment to focus on other key growth areas

The company now has a more robust business strategy creation and review process which is aligned with the project and business planning cycles. Strategic roadmapping links business, value creation and technical capabilities over the planning horizon.

After the strategic planning process, the business invested in priorities that had far-reaching effects across the business enhancing commercial position and customer intimacy. Specifically,

Reallocating R&D investment

The new business strategy informed the decision to reallocate funds into identified key growth areas including job creation, technology development projects, and a focus on building strategic relationships with other companies.

Target to improve operational efficiency by 20%

Operational efficiency improved enabling the company to deliver a better-quality product and dramatically improve efficiency in the plant to enjoy significant savings.

Adoption of a market-led approach

The strategy process helped the company to improve its understanding of the market needs and to adapt to a more market-led strategy for technology development and commercial opportunities. The business now has a better understanding of their core product market groups so that, right from the innovation stage, the customer is placed at the heart of all decision-making processes.

Impact on innovation culture

A big impact for the company has how it approaches when strategising for the future. The business strategy is now built through debate and consensus, involving ideas from across the business, which in turn has had an impact on culture.

The new strategy review process involves open forum sessions for employees at all levels to contribute their ideas to the process. As well as a ‘strategy room’ where anyone in the organisation can view the roadmap and get involved in the debate.

Investment in new products and facilities

Roadmapping has helped the company have a better understanding of their current situation, where they want to get to and, most importantly, how to get there. Having more confidence in each of these areas when it comes to decision making, coupled with their new focus on innovation, has led to planned investments in key facilities.

 

Want to know more?

Read Here about how a new or refreshed business strategy can be quickly but rigorously created in your organisation. If you are interested in Innovation Planning read Here about the approach.

Rob Munro is an innovation strategist and consultant focussing on improving innovation results within organisations. Please contact me to discuss ways to bring greater effectiveness to your innovation and technology management processes.