July 20, 2018

Strategic Planning and Operational Improvement — An Operational Assessment of a Services Company

Strategic Planning and Operational Improvement

In consulting with our clients across various industries, we often find that many of them face challenges in terms of operations and cash management. Our team has extensive experience in providing assistance in these areas, working with organizations on strategic planning and operational improvement to help them streamline their operations while trimming away waste and boosting their bottom line.

What Does Strategic Planning and Operational Improvement Entail?

Strategic planning involves talking with leadership, staff, and even sometimes customers to gain input on potential opportunities for change. We work with our clients to create a mission and develop strategies required to meet key objectives. Part of this planning process is also to conduct a risk assessment analysis to identify any hurdles to completing those objectives. The final action plan must have measurable milestones that can be documented to understand what degree of progress is being made towards achieving them and the overall mission. Simply making a plan isn’t enough; a successful organization must be able to perform strategic planning and operational improvement together on an annual basis.  Putting the changes and action plan into effect is the second step in the process. Over the years, we’ve seen the results of the implementation of these plans being put into action — and the results have often been spectacular.

Reducing Costs by Making Improvements

In one case, Doug Campbell, an Inglewood Associates Principal was engaged by a $100M private services business to evaluate its capital-intensive strategic footprint and high fixed overhead. The goal was to analyze the current operations for opportunities to make overall improvements and reduce costs. Every organization faces its individual challenges; in the case of this company, the business model required a physical presence in major markets. This presented a major challenge to consolidate without impacting revenues.

Doug found several opportunities to reduce fixed and variable expenses by measuring actual utilization of their services versus the projected utilization that the contracts had been based on. Because of this, the client was able to right size the overhead to match the customer requirements and save more than six figures without adversely impacting their service levels. Doug also made recommendations for adopting tools that helped reduce costly service errors that were impacting customer relationships.

In addition to completing the project on time, the changes Doug helped the organization affect created an opportunity for a second phase of strategic planning and operational improvement to help further reduce costs.

Looking Forward

As businesses and industries are ever-evolving, these types of assessments aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. We look forward to continuing to work with this client to streamline their costs, so they can continue to improve their operations.


About Inglewood Associates

Since 1983, Inglewood Associates has been delivering valuable business acumen to assist clients with a wide range of business challenges. Inglewood principals bring their wide-ranging experiences as interim and full-time CEOs, CFOs and Chairmen of the Board to assist clients with effective solutions for their needs and circumstances. Inglewood Associates specializes in profit improvement, business turnarounds, interim management, M&A due diligence, expert witness and project management.