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Thinking inside the box to rejuvenate a business

A long established family-owned brand in the UK outdoor and workwear sector successfully transforms to pursue new opportunities with higher margins.

Despite being a recognised brand with a strong regional presence, low barriers to entry in the outdoor and workwear sector via e-commerce, the emergence of large national competitors through consolidation of regional players and rising operating costs had eroded operating margin significantly in recent years. Management new they had to change and turned to Focus Solutions for assistance.

Our approach was to help management better understand the source of profit generation and leakage in their operation (customers, products, processes, activity) in the context of changes in the sector’s value-chain, management’s growth and performance aspirations, and the requirements of different customer categories. Interviews with internal knowledge-holders and customers supplemented a broader analysis of the sector and competition.

The answer was to reposition the brand and transform the business: growing a small, highly profitable part of the operation that targeted a growing customer segment. We supported management prune the product portfolio, optimise those customer segments to withdrawal from through a new pricing and distribution strategy, defined core and differentiating capabilities to be strengthened, and prepared a detailed change management plan with clear performance milestones. An important part of the transformation programme was the re-polarisation of the capital budget to enhance the core capabilities.

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