Qi3’s Concise Strategy Review Steers Companies through Challenging Times
Every few years, companies meet a major turning point in their development. It could be a new product launch to transform the company, the need for further fund raising or exit, a major change in the management through succession or family change, or a radical change in the business landscape such as Brexit. To navigate these major changes successfully, the management team needs to create a clear strategy to take the company forward, but with day to day operations to keep on top of, this can be a daunting task.
Qi3 has worked with many companies facing such challenges, guiding them through a concise strategy review that focused on their specific needs and enabled the management team to discuss the challenges, opportunities and options. Once these were clearly articulated, development of strategy options and selection of the most appropriate was a straightforward task.
One of our clients, Spicer Consulting, faced several of these challenges at the same time. Founded by Denis Spicer and world leader in magnetic field cancelling technologies, their original patent had recently expired and they now faced increasing competition. With Denis’ son Andrew joining the board of directors and taking a more active role in running the company, the Board was keen to involve the wider management team in the future of the company. Using his research experience, Andrew had also been tasked by the board with forming a very different subsidiary company (Algenuity) developing algal strains and bioreactors for the manufacture of complex, high value chemicals. This business was starting to accelerate into a high growth business in its own right.
Qi3 tailored its methodology to help Spicer Consulting through a three step process that teased apart these interwoven challenges, highlighted the key issues to be addressed, and developed strategies and action plans to address them. We started with a workshop involving the whole management team to discuss the challenges, aspirations, opportunities, and barriers that the whole company faced going forward. With all the issues on the table, the team were able group the challenges and opportunities into those facing the whole company, and those specifically facing each of the two very different business. Having clarity on the opportunities, challenges and strategies for each enabled the directors to develop a company and management structure to drive the overall company direction.
Expiration of patents is always a challenging period for companies as competition emerges to change the business landscape, so workshop two focused on the Spicer Consulting business and its magnetic field cancelling products. The discussions focused on understanding how market/customer needs were changing and creating a sound vision for the future. This is being used to guide development of its product range and sales channels in order to maintain its dominant position in this niche market.
The rapidly emerging markets for algal products presents a completely different set of opportunities/challenges and was tackled in the third workshop. Time to market and minimising cash burn were the two major challenges, so the discussions focused on immediate market needs, minimum viable product specifications, and go-to-market strategies.
Qi3’s Concise Strategy Review can help businesses plan for the effects of the Brexit vote, start-up companies plan their first major product launch, directors plan their exit, high tech companies exploit new intellectual property, fast growing companies prepare for their next fund raising, mature companies sort out products failing in the market, and many more. Other Qi3 services, such as Rapid Market Prototyping, can help turn the strategy reviews into accelerating sales growth.
About Spicer Consulting
Since it was established in 1988, Spicer Consulting has built a world-wide reputation in magnetic field cancelling for Scanning Electron Microscopes and similar instruments. Today, working with equipment manufacturers and users alike, the company is recognised as an industry expert in maximising the performance of electron microscopes, electron beam lithography systems, CD metrology and focussed ion beam tools.
Algenuity is the biotech division of Spicer Consulting and comprises a multidisciplinary team of algal molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, software engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers, physicists, and manufacturing experts. Algenuity has positioned itself as the specialist in all things algal biology. Their vision is to change the world through algae solutions that are sustainable, cost-competitive, and high performance. Their products (Algem®) and services (Algenious®) help their customers to discover, optimise, improve, engineer, and analyse micro-algal strains.