Turnarounds and Crisis Management
Technology Supplier Selection for Brazilian Client
Sale of a Family-Owned Business
Evaluation of News Partner for Software Company
Turnaround of Major Audio and Video Company Operations
Strategic Turnaround in China
Company Background: A global automotive corporation with an established a presence in China failed to achieve expected performance. The company operated in China with no understanding of how centrally planned economies work. The company’s proposed partnership with a “renegade” steel company which alienated the Chinese government.
Services Provided: Our independent review revealed that the company’s actions were contrary to government plans for the development of the auto industry. We demonstrated to the company that if one wanted to succeed in China, one had to “join the program and get on board” and support government plans.
Our recommendation: We recommended the company align its strategy with China’s automotive industry policy. Our recommended realignment was successful. The company received approval of one of the largest JVs in China and welcomed to participate in many other profitable joint ventures.
Key learnings: In most global markets, corporations operate within the confines of the law but are not exposed or subject to directives from the central government. In China, government representatives are at the head of all organizations: industrial, commercial, health and safety and military. Government management of all aspects of China’s society cannot be ignored. To achieve success in China, companies must align their actions with government policy.
Reversal of China’s Central Government Ban of Aluminum Cans
Background: China’s central government judged aluminum cans were too costly not suitable for China. The government initiated policies to ban further aluminum can production and tripled the duty on imported aluminum sheet.
Our services: Recognizing that the aluminum can’s success in North America was based on life cycle economics we proactively responded to the Chinese government’s policy by demonstrating the overall benefits of aluminum cans.
Our recommendation: We developed a comprehensive analysis of the “cradle to grave” costs of aluminum cans as a container system compared to similar life cycle costs of competing materials glass and steel. Our analysis identified and quantified the benefits of the aluminum can packaging system. We shared our complete analysis with central government agencies, beverage companies, can makers, etc. The Chinese government recognized our work as pivotal: China embraced aluminum as the preferred packaging material and supported projects to support self-sufficiency in aluminum can production.
Key learnings: Adopting a non-confrontational, open and constructive approach, companies can engage with key industry and government stakeholders to promote implementation of mutually beneficial policies.
Restructuring Automotive Sales and Distribution in Japan
Background: Despite an 85 year relationship with its Japanese exclusive importer/distributor and a long history of working together a global automotive company confronted its stark reality: the two companies’ teams neither coordinated their sales and marketing efforts: in fact, they often launched initiatives without consultation with the other.
Our services: We analyzed the structural, managerial and financial relationships between the companies. Increased costs at the Japanese importer/distributor without increased sales were eroding both companies profitability. We determined that roles and responsibilities of each company we poorly defined, often overlapping and competing. Each believed it had the imperative to act independently without consulting its “partner.”
Our recommendation: We organized a joint review of the overall business. We then implemented a joint planning process which defined roles and responsibilities for successful execution of the plan. The plan, as executed led to cost reduction, sales increases and improved profitability.
Key learnings: When engaged in a joint venture type activity, an open planning process promotes success: joint planning yields all parties’ participation in the business and a greater range of perspectives to be considered. Engaging dialogue and trust are the key foundation elements upon which threats to business, structural changes and challenges to growth and profitability can be managed decisively and effectively.
Creating the Foundation of Future Beverage Packaging in SE Asia
Background: Several SE Asian countries were about to approve investments in beverage container making lines and were heavily influenced by the Japanese packaging industry’s bias toward steel – a costly inefficient beverage packaging system.
Our services: We shared cradle-to-grave life cycle costs of aluminum – which demonstrated superior cost benefits of aluminum cans. We shared this with government and industry stakeholders in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and proved the positive attributes of aluminum – including recycling. Thailand was the first country to prioritize aluminum cans.
Our recommendation: We recommended that Thailand adopt aluminum as the preferred beverage packaging material. The Thai government endorsed our recommendation and abandoned the Japanese packaging company’s steel can line proposal in favor of our aluminum can project.
Key learnings: Sharing transparent analysis and getting “right information” with the “right people” was essential to our success. Initial success in Thailand provided a reference project for other SE Asian nations. Our work in Thailand was fundamental to success of aluminum around the SE Asian region.
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