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Strategy Consulting

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An emerging leader in strategy consulting, Business Works of Ohio works with leaders in a wide range of organizations to drive their agenda-setting and advance their mission while managing risk. We help facilitate a step-function change in operations, which often involves understanding and approaching stakeholders and constituents in radically different ways.

Our key areas of expertise include:

  • Organizational Strategy
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Market Entry Strategy
  • Investment Strategy
  • Strategic Risk Management

We work with organizations to get them off on the right course. Our services in this area help clients to:

  • Develop practical strategies that directly support their organization’s vision and objectives
  • Align their organization with their strategic agenda
  • Develop strategic plans that are executable within the organization’s constraints
  • Innovate with new ways to do business

We provide strategic advice based on rigorous market research tailored to the specific needs of each client. We are experts in understanding industry structure and dynamics and in boiling it down to the insights that are most relevant to our clients’ situations.

Business Works of Ohio's approach to strategy, which we call "strategy-based transformation," enables organizations to achieve success. It is a tested approach that integrates strategic insight with world-class skills in achieving lasting change in the way organizations function. Our methodology for Strategic Enterprise Management helps organizations guide their initiatives to achieve their strategic objectives.

We understand that effective leaders must manage multiple objectives simultaneously. We work with clients to develop strategies that balance these objectives while satisfying all constraints. The combination of our firm's experience in implementing transformation and in making innovation a way of life is helping our clients succeed and thrive.


Organizational strategy

Organizational strategy is concerned with envisioning a future for your family business, creating value in the eyes of your customers, and building and sustaining a strong position in the marketplace.

e="font-size: medium;">"As a result of the current market conditions, continued success for many small businesses will be determined by how they can adapt to change - and to be able to do it quickly"

Mission, Competitive Advantage

The first critical strategy element is Vision, Mission and Competitive Advantage, which describe the business a company is in, it's current and long term market objectives and the manner in which it differentiates itself from the competition.

  • Focused Purpose an>
    • Clearly defining short-term purpose
    • Ensuring mission is realistic
    • Serving the best interests of all stakeholders
    • Defining a point of differentiation
  • Future Perspective
    • Clearly defining long-term outlook
    • Appealing to the long-term interests of the company's stakeholders
    • Providing a foundation for decision-making
  • Strategic Advantage
    • Competitive advantage is a key driver to forming an organizational strategy
    • Competitive advantage is clearly understood by all stakeholders
    • Employees clearly understand how their role supports the company's organizational strategy

Organizational Strategy - External Assessment

A second key strategy element is External Assessment, which reflects an organization's approach to gathering and analyzing essential market data. Included in this data are developing competitive profiles, studying macro and micro economic information, identifying industry opportunities and threats, and understanding what it takes to be successful in a given market.

  • Customer Profile
    • Clearly defining reasons why customers buy products or services
    • Clearly defining benefits that customers seek
    • Clearly defining reasons why customers would not buy products or services
    • Assessing customer bargaining power
    • Knowing customer preferred choice of distribution channel
  • Industry and Competitive Analysis Is Essential Component of Organizational Strategy
    • Identifying primary competitors
    • Identifying potential and indirect competitors
    • Clearly defining strengths, weaknesses and strategies of competitors
    • Assessing the threat of substitute products or services or new entrants into the marketplace
    • Understanding what it takes to be successful in a given market
    • Comparing customer growth rate with industry standards
    • Ongoing market evaluation process
  • Environmental Assessment
    • Defining and clarifying regulatory requirements
    • Assessing vulnerability to adverse business cycles
    • Summarizing opportunities and threats due to:
      • Economic conditions
      • New technology
      • Demographic structure
      • Legal or political events
      • The natural environment
      • Socio-cultural norms
  • Key Success Factors Are Identified With a Critical Thinking Process
    • Implementing a critical thinking process
    • Clearly measuring competitive intensity
    • Clearly defining product or service demand within your market
    • Clearly defining drivers to success within your industry
    • Consistently monitoring key influences within your industry

Organizational Strategy - Internal Assessment

Internal Assessment is the key strategy element that reflects the company's ability to objectively evaluate its own strengths and weaknesses. This would include evaluating the company's management processes and how effectively it utilizes a "value chain" analysis approach. (Value Chain components are Research & Development, Production, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service)

  • Finance
    • Adequate funding of key initiatives
    • Utilizing a comprehensive pricing model
    • Consistently performing within a range of financial goals
    • Having a targeted long-range financial plan
    • Employing a "Cost / Benefit" approach to resource allocation
    • Financial plan allowing for economic or environmental disruption
    • Financial plan allows for flexibility
    • Employing the "If / Then" model when forming organizational strategy
  • Research and Development
    • Fully integrating all appropriate departments with R&D
    • Maintaining a creative and innovative process
    • Ensuring R&D has all required resources to successfully fulfill its function
  • Production
    • Fully integrating all departments to support production
    • Strategic partners consistently fulfill production commitments
    • Production process is cost-effective
    • Production process is flexible, fast and responsive
  • Marketing
    • Coordinating all departments to support marketing
    • Having a clearly defined marketing plan
    • Branding plays a critical role
    • Utilizing a marketing system or database to track customer and market information
    • Employing an effective product / service management process
    • "Competitive advantage" is a key driver for all marketing decisions
    • Employees take pride in the ability to promote products and services
    • Monitoring the ROI of all marketing campaigns
  • Sales / Distribution
    • Consistently achieving sales goals
    • Ensuring that sales teams / channels possess required skills to achieve plan
    • Ensuring that sales teams / channels are provided with the necessary information to achieve their goals
    • Employing a well-defined sales management process
    • Coordinating all departments to support our sales process
    • Tracking sales activity from lead generation through close
  • Does Your Organizational Strategy Emphasize Customer Service?
    • Clearly defining customer service standards
    • Meeting or exceeding customer expectations
    • Measuring customer satisfaction
    • Managers and employees share a high commitment to achieving customer loyalty
    • Maintaining a customer relationship management system that provides critical service information to make the best decision
    • Maintaining a high rate of repeat business, customer loyalty and referrals

Organizational Strategy - Objectives, Initiatives and Goals

Objectives, Initiatives and Goals are the final element of organizational strategy and illustrate a company's ability to articulate what it wants to accomplish, how it will do it, and when it will be achieved. Included in this process are defining direction, aligning financial and human resources, instilling accountability and determining critical measurements

  • Organization Strategy Needs Vital Direction
    • Identifying key strategic objectives
    • Prioritizing action items by their importance to strategic intent
    • Ensuring objectives are quantifiable and measurable
    • Those responsible for implementation participate in the strategic planning process
    • Plans must specify how each area will contribute to achieving strategic plan
  • Resource Alignment
    • Allocating sufficient resources to achieve strategic intent
    • Clearly defining resources necessary for each objective
    • Evaluating individual or group capacity prior to assigning workload
  • Organization Accountabilities
    • Ensuring that employees understand how their roles and responsibilities relate to strategic objectives
    • Holding individuals accountable for their work
    • Employee goals reflect accountabilities and timeliness
    • Employing an internal system to routinely review the status of key objectives
    • Measuring key financial indicators
    • Utilizing a uniform format to measure and report performance

Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership provides the vision, direction, the purpose for growth, and context for the success of the corporation. It also initiates "outside-the-box" thinking to generate future growth. Strategic leadership is not about micromanaging business strategies. Rather, it provides the umbrella under which businesses devise appropriate strategies and create value.

In short, strategic leadership answers two questions:


  • What – by providing the vision and direction, creating the context for growth, and
  • How – by sketching out a road map for the organization that will allow it to unleash its full potential; by crafting the corporation's portfolio, determining what businesses should be there, what the performance requirements of the business are, and what types of alliances make sense; and by defining the means (the culture, values, and way of working together) needed to achieve corporate vision and goals


Strategic Thinking

In the new era of rapid change and unparalleled opportunity, the profitable and sustainable growth will go to the companies whose leaders can see possibilities beyond their traditional served markets. Today, innovative business leaders and most strategy experts do not regard strategy as planning but rather as thinking. "In a world in which unexpected change is a rule, you cannot foresee the future in any meaningful way of make plans for the realization of a detailed long term strategy.

The market leader

The market leader is dominant in its industry and has substantial market share. If you want to lead the market, you must be the industry leader in developing new business models and new products or services. You must be on the cutting edge of new technologies and innovative business processes. Your customer value proposition must offer a superior solution to a customers' problem, and your product must be well differentiated.

New Market Entry

A market entry strategy is the planned method of delivering goods or services to a target market and distributing them there. When importing or exporting services, it refers to establishing and managing contracts in a foreign country.

Many companies successfully operate in a niche market without ever expanding into new markets. Some businesses achieve increased sales, brand awareness and business stability by entering a new market. Developing a market entry strategy involves a thorough analysis of potential competitors and possible customers. Some of the relevant factors that are important in deciding the viability of entry into a particular market include Trade Barriers, localized knowledge, price localization, Competition and export subsidies.

Investment Strategy

Billions of dollars are wasted annually through underperforming projects and unsuccessful software delivery. Successful leaders implement an investment strategy that brings the most value to the business from software and outsourcing investments. Business Works of Ohio can help your organization's project portfolio bring maximum value.

Strategic Risk Management

Strategic risk management is all about creating and protecting value. The shift towards greater expectations for effective enterprise wide risk management oversight is complicated by the fact that the volume and complexities of risks affecting an enterprise are increasing as well. In response to these changing trends, more organizations are embracing an emerging business practice known as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) that emphasizes a top down, holistic approach to effective risk management for the entire enterprise. The goal of ERM is to increase the likelihood that an organization will achieve it's objectives by managing risks to be within the stakeholder's appetite for risk. ERM differs from a traditional risk management approach, frequently referred to as a "silo" or "stovepipe" approach, where risks are often managed in isolation. Instead, ERM seeks to strategically consider the interactive effects of various risk events with the goal of balancing an enterprise's entire portfolio of risk.


There are several key elements to this approach. First, ERM has to be driven from the top. Senior leadership sets the tone and direction for enterprise risk management. Second, ERM is directly related to strategy setting. For ERM to be value creating, it must be embedded in and connected directly to the enterprise's strategy. Third, the goal of ERM is to help an enterprise achieve its core objectives.

Successful deployments of ERM in strategic planning seek to maximize value when setting strategic goals and targets and related risks. As management evaluates various strategic alternatives designed to reach performance goals, it includes related risks across each alternative in the evaluation process to determine whether the potential returns are commensurate with the associated risks that each alternative brings. This puts management in a better position to select strategies that are within an organization's risk profile.


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 11:31