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Specialty Services
Our pathways to the answers you're looking for

Although we present our list of services as if they’re independent, each client seems to require a slightly different combination of services. That’s why we take a flexible approach and avoid narrow labels for our assignments. After all, our clients aren’t interested in theoretical approaches, and we know that pre-packaged solutions just don’t work.

Before beginning an assignment, we need to understand all the issues, so we encourage prospective clients to be frank in expressing their ideas and concerns. That way, we can be sure we’re addressing the right things from the outset. There’s no fee for these initial discussions, and we treat all conversations as entirely confidential.

Opportunity Audit

Owners frequently benefit from taking a fresh look at their business, even when they’re not experiencing difficulties – just to see if there might be opportunities to improve results.

Our opportunity audits aren’t pre-packaged. We always start by taking a look at the business from the owner’s perspective. What does the owner want from the business? What’s going well? What’s not going as well as it might?

Once we understand the owner’s perspective, we can move forward in evaluating the business’s opportunities and resources, reviewing operating information, walking around the plant, seeing production and scheduling and speaking with people throughout the company – from the pre-press manager and customer service people to a cross-section of salespeople.

Most owners are a little surprised by how eager employees are to discuss what’s going on and how responsive they are in exploring various alternatives.

After we’ve completed our overview, we often find opportunities for improving results. That’s where our experience as business owners and our years of consulting work have permitted us to develop practical methods for exploiting those opportunities to cut costs, improve productivity, reduce turnaround times and boost sales.

So whether you want to focus on a particular issue or just want to see if there are untapped opportunities within your company, an opportunity audit may be just the source of reassurance you need.

Sales and Marketing Assistance

These are difficult times in the world of graphic arts sales. There’s seemingly infinite capacity, quality is taken for granted and everyone seems to be competing on price. Traditional approaches to selling just aren’t as effective as they once were, so we’re often called upon to help companies develop practical ways to improve their selling effectiveness.

We take a three-dimensional approach. First, we help to ensure that salespeople are properly focused. We also help management to build processes for focusing salespeople on the right accounts and then holding them accountable for results their companies need – producing enough sales volume while developing worthy prospects and improving their penetration of existing accounts.

We pay particular attention to curing problem sales months and enhancing revenue through strategic pricing. We usually take a look at sales compensation as well, because it so often works against salespeople meeting their sales requirements.

Finally, we work to ensure our clients have the services and production support to deliver on the promises that a successful sales effort will make. After all, sales can’t be improved for very long if the company can’t support the new business.

Our clients quickly come to understand that in order to improve their sales, they almost always have to start by improving their product, and we’ll help them with that as well!

Profit Improvement

Competitive pressures within the graphic arts industry are making it difficult for many companies to earn the profits they need.

While each situation is unique, we help clients to develop comprehensive plans to improve their results – eliminating profit leaks and improving cash flow, increasing plant productivity and ensuring that no sales opportunities are overlooked.

Our broad experience allows us to develop recommendations that are practical, quickly implemented and designed to yield meaningful results. We also see to it that clients have the managerial tools they require to succeed. In some cases, the tools might include ways to get a handle on sales results, or “hot lists” that provide early warning signals before things get out of hand.

While we’re developing profit improvement plans, we’re often asked to assist in finding new sources of financing. We also develop merger opportunities when companies decide that remaining independent may no longer be desirable. 
Dealing with profit improvement can be a sensitive subject, but we’ve found that management and employees are quite comfortable in working with us. Our familiarity with the industry is reassuring, and our record of success provides even greater comfort.

Like everything we do, there’s no magic to it. It just requires a systematic approach and the high level of familiarity with the moving parts that comes from having worked with more than 600 companies

Increasing Competitiveness

One of the fastest growing segments of our business is helping firms to improve their competitiveness.

Fierce price competition, rapid technological change and increasingly expensive new equipment are combining to place new stresses on management, making it more difficult for many companies to compete for business.

Frequently we find a few critical obstacles that have a surprisingly large impact on a company’s competitiveness – slowing responsiveness, lowering productivity or just making things more difficult than they need to be. Drawing on our experience as managers and as consultants to hundreds of companies, we help to remove those internal obstacles – improving clients’ competitiveness by increasing their responsiveness and improving their productivity, reducing their costs and building their selling effectiveness.

Most competitiveness problems have resisted solution because there are so many moving parts. By taking a systematic approach, the issues can be addressed one by one, until the entire process of responding to customer needs has become easier, faster and more cost-effective.

We particularly focus on removing obstacles to developing relationships with new customers. Above all, we want to help our clients to become easy to do business with. There’s no magic. All it requires is a thorough understanding of the moving parts, and a little insight as to how to implement the required changes. 

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are our major specialty. Over the past nineteen years we’ve worked closely with clients in completing dozens of transactions (Case Study). We’ve also bought and sold seven graphic arts companies of our own, so we bring a hands-on view of mergers and acquisitions to the process. Whatever clients’ reasons for interest in a transaction, we provide practical insights and the kind of hands-on experience that can make a real difference in the result.

Our firm has presented seminars throughout North America on merger-related topics, and Bob Rosen has long been the industry’s most widely-quoted authority on mergers. He is the author of the industry-standard reference book, Mergers and Acquisitions: A Printer’s Handbook. His articles on mergers have appeared in virtually every major industry publication.

Our operating experience helps us to identify solid operating fits between companies, and we’re experienced at representing both buyers and sellers. We think this makes us more effective, since we understand transactions from both points of view. Because we understand owners’ concerns we can effectively resolve many issues where outsiders are frequently unsuccessful. We’ve proven unusually creative in overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of a deal – particularly in bridging gaps between buyers’ and sellers’ view of a business’s value.

 

 

 

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