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Case Studies: Organizational Excellence

Other Case Studies: Revenue Enhancement | New Market Opportunities | Product Improvements

These case studies are examples of EastSight Consulting CEO Parmelee Eastman's experience.

Executive Training Support:

A division of a software company that focused on an emerging markets needed training on how to assess, approach, and strategize for evolving markets. In addition, the division president wanted to unify the management team and deploy a consistent strategy. He felt that a two-day war gaming exercise taught by a very experienced expert would achieve his goals. Case books outlining major aspects of each industry participant’s strategy, tactics, resources, management team, and views of competition were needed to support the training activity. Cases are carefully crafted to lead session participants to develop their own conclusions while strategic profiles contain extensive insight and analysis. Each casebook contained the same industry information. Supporting material on each industry participant, including financials, product information, executive philosophies, and company cultures, were limited to the team assigned to that organization.

Results: The management team found the exercise to be invaluable in defining an amorphous, but expanding market and helping them strategize despite major uncertainties. The casebooks provided concise and wide-ranging information, but did not present conclusions that would impede the team’s learning process.

Best-in-Class Sales and Marketing Activities Benchmarking:

An information provider realized that the rate of change in its market was accelerating, thus forcing the company to overhaul its sales approach and marketing programs in order to be competitive. Instead of benchmarking direct competitors that were just beginning to respond to the new market conditions, the firm choose to benchmark organizations that were operating successfully in highly competitive marketplaces. After evaluating leading firms in multiple industries, the client selected the dominant firms in the communications infrastructure and interactive media fields. Comprehensive research into all the significant elements of the sales and marketing plans of these two diverse companies along with the client's created a side-by-side comparison examined by the executive team.

Result: The company could completely re-vamp its sales and marketing structure to lead ahead of its peers and preempt emerging competitors.

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Success Factors in e-Supply Chain Management:

A large international diversified manufacturing firm wanted to utilize e-business concepts and technology in revamping its supply chain to be more cost-effective and more responsive to users. In order to do so, the firm sought to examine the best practices of leaders in three different industries to maximize its opportunities for uncovering adoptable best practices. The research demonstrated that the savings from lowering transaction costs were real and achievable quickly, but significant value-add of e-supply chain management (e-SCM) involved changing the business relationship between a company and its suppliers. In addition, large expenditures in technology were required to create the communications infrastructure necessary to change the relationships.

Results: The leaders of the e-SCM team could set realistic budgets, timeframes, and goals for this effort.

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Employee Recruiting and Retention in Fast Growing Companies:

A traditional telecommunications firm found that its existing workforce did not have the skills to compete against fast growing companies for new communications business. The company decided to benchmark its recruitment and retention policies and practices against those of four other firms. One organization was very similar in terms of history, size, and products. The other three represented three attractive market segments for the client. Specific topics included how the companies targeted prospective employees with up-to-date skills, benefits plans, empowerment philosophies, career and skills development, reward mechanisms, and corporate culture. The research discovered that the official policies often differed from the actual practices.

Results: The comparison showed the executive team the wide range of recruitment and retention policies existing in successful organizations. However, certain themes emerged as common to all four firms. The client used this insight to re-structure its employee recruiting and retention policies in order to change its global workforce.

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Benchmarking Sales and R&D Organizations:

A large computer systems company decided to assess the organizational effectiveness of its sales and R&D organizations by examining the structures at two representative industry participants. The question set on the sales side included organizational structure, sales channels, sales regions, training programs, and incentive structures. The R&D questions focused on organizational structure, patents, budgets, and proprietary knowledge. While these questions, particularly on R&D, are quite sensitive, interviews with a wide variety of third parties and company staff allowed a comprehensive overview to be developed and submitted to the management team.

Results: The executive team observed that its sales compensation structure was simplistic compared to those at its peers and did not support its new corporate goals. Components of each of the other plans were adopted to address these issues and allow the company to incent its salespeople more exactly.

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Spending on Information Technology:

A leading provider of Internet infrastructure services sought to re-evaluate its spending on information technology (IT), including the popular, but uncertain area of e-business arena. Three other industry participants were interviewed on their e-business strategy and tactics, including plans for on-line ordering, customer service, personalization, and consideration of an ASP model. Other topics covered the type of equipment used for their mission-critical functions, their security policies and practices, the degree of integration between their front end and back end applications, and their knowledge management strategy.

Results: With this knowledge, the client realized that it was ahead of its peers in its e-business development, but had neglected core IT issues. The client promptly revised its IT plans to catch up with these other companies.

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