The market dynamics had changed over the last few years and our successful family business was under threat from a shrinking market and more competitors (some manufacturers) entering the market with cheaper alternatives, thus eroding our market share. We needed to think out the box and do something different as the current manufacturer/distributor model was starting to not work. We needed some innovative ways to accelerate sales and customer demand and were looking to bring skills into the business which were lacking, such as marketing. We needed someone who could look at the issues from another viewpoint as we were too close to the coal-face.
With the above challenges in mind, Tessa Plen has introduced thinking frameworks that have helped us look at our business in an entirely new way and have allowed us to analyse market size, share and structure to ascertain where our relative strengths lie, where we can add margin and differentiate, and what are essential bread and butter products to stay viable. She is also helping us to forge closer ties and cooperation with key suppliers and to best meet end customer needs collaboratively via a bottom-up approach. Tessa is showing us how to best rationalise our range to concentrate on a profitable basket of goods, while ensuring we cater to key customer needs. The research she conducted with our customers has also provided good insight as to how to strengthen ties with customers and we have gone back to basics to cement and renew our customer relationships.
Results & Benefits
Two months into the project and the work with Tessa has leapfrogged my learning of a new area: marketing and understanding the market in more detail. Key to this fast-tracked learning with the way she quickly and practically downloaded her years of know how into my head that was relevant to me, and I quickly learned new critical thinking and evaluation systems and frameworks to make better business and commercial decisions. Were it not for Tessa’s assistance, I might never have been exposed to this way of thinking or, like her, would have taken years to learn on my own. In addition, she has set up some important meetings with key suppliers, and we are on the road to regaining lost clients, finding new clients and entrenching and cementing our current client relationships. Most importantly the client research reassured us of our technical and service strengths and pointed to the gaps that we need to fill. The market and pricing analysis will help us generate profitable sales. All in all, it has given us renewed confidence and a sense of renewal with a clear roadmap as to how to grow. We will continue to work with Tessa on an ongoing basis as a hands on coach, strategist and marketing/sales partner. Neil Ismay, Managing Director Quick Tint (Pty) Ltd Cape Town, South Africa