Case Studies

Over the last 6 years IPL has provided added value services within both the private and public sectors. So far we have provided ‘hands on help’ for 72 companies in the SME sector whilst in the last 3 years moving into the medium to large end of the market place.

The main sectors we specialize in come from a number of distinct sectors.

Click a sector which is closest to your business model:

The following case studies are actual profiles of past customer contracts:

Engineering Challenge | top

  • Challenge:

    The engineering and fabrication market is very tough and competitive. In the four cases that we have worked with they were all suffering from outdated work practice, a much too broad product/service offering and no consistent sales and marketing strategy.

  • Solution:

    In one case IPL looked at a totally fresh approach tied to a revised niche market business plan, which focused on the unique capability and quality of the companies' activities whilst losing much of the low value client base.  We also refocused the sales and marketing activities and instigated a location move into modern premises where the assets were made to work much better for the company, and in harmony with the accent on quality and efficient working practices.

  • Outcome:

    More sustainable and hungry business strategy, driven from the bottom upwards. Much greater understanding of how to replicate good business habits and mitigate exposure to low margin revenue streams.

Manufacturing Challenge | top

  • Challenge:

    You would be forgiven for thinking that UK plc manufacturing base has a very limited future. IPL has worked with a number of  small and medium size manufacturers who have all needed to change direction and strategy to make sure they could survive and flourish into the 21st century.

    The case study in point was in a very competitive domestic product arena, operating from a difficult non-industrial location. With no one at the helm of the company's fortunes, falling sales and rising costs with a low barrier to entry were just four of the challenges that were faced.

  • Solution:

    Create a realistic business plan that would change and focus the efforts of the management and workforce. They had to reduce stock, release cash and  gain more finished component parts from cooperative suppliers, therefore reducing tooling and operations in house. They had to understand the actual direct and indirect cost levels in real time so that they could regain control of the way the company operated, and identify the profitable work in order to focus less on the low profit income. They were required to focus on warranty and quality and not price alone.

  • Outcome:

    The company reduced its exposure to increasing market pressures.  Managed cash flow much better and stabilised its working capital requirements to allow spending on targeted marketing. The end result was a much more robust business that was run and controlled by its owners to a far higher degree. Exposure reduction.

Printing  & publishing Challenge | top

  • Challenge:

    As anyone will know who works in this sector, new technology has altered this business model dramatically in the last 15 years. If you cannot invest in the right technology and reduce head-count your company is very exposed. 

    In this case they had invested in high quality technology but had not clearly identified how to maximise this large investment to gain result back onto the bottom line.  They had also not planned resources and management to match this investment with a focus on the what customers actually wanted?  They had no system to measure the ROI, so updated technology was a big financial burden with no sustainable plan to justify this. No written business plan.

  • Solution:

    In a short time IPL had to understand what a unique advantage this capital investment was, and how it could benefit the business and its customers [a reality check]. A revised business plan alongside effective empowerment allowed them to gain more from less whilst streamlining some subsidiary activities which had become a distraction on core activity.  There was also a lack of leadership from board and management level which was coached to a more effective position.

  • Outcome:

    Better appreciation of the value of effective leadership whilst introducing efficient management reporting systems and tools to gather performance data in real time. Gained back control of the company's direction with a more realistic appreciation of good margin focus rather than volume alone. The ROI on updated capital equipment could now be valued as a sustainable increased profit generator.

Public Sector Challenge | top

  • Challenge:

    In this scientific and highly regulated environment the ability to translate innovative research into clinically approved and tested drugs is a costly and complicated route map. In this case the company in question was attempting to become a GMP small batch manufacturing unit.  Cost of sales was very high and no ability to employ effective resources to match demand against supply.  Little transparency on quality and production processes.  No business tools used to assist in manufacturing efficiency.  When a public company embarks on a commercial strategy, this presents huge cultural challenges.

  • Solution:

    Understanding processes and moving from a research based operation to FDA approved drug production placed the organisation on a much more commercial footing with a matrix project management approach in conjunction with MRP tools and a modern manufacturing business model.  Transparency of activity and demand with appropriate resources being managed cost effectively was the correct approach.

  • Outcome:

    Streamlined production process to GMP standards ready for FDA submissions and PAI inspection. Ability to project manage research into drugs was being established from the laboratory to small batch production in an economic and efficient pull-through flow with much increased transparency. Large cultural movements had to be made within the organisation in order to sustain these improvements.

Aviation Services Challenge | top

  • Challenge:

    This service sector is highly pressurised as aircraft regulations and fear of liability makes the relationship with the service and maintenance sector a crucial one with zero tolerance for mistakes or defects. No margin for error.

    In this case the company had a high level of quality service but little concept of how to run a business that was limited in terms of growth by its own service footprint and lack of commercial discipline. This was more like a hobby, not a business.

  • Solution:

    Placing detailed management accounts at the heart of the business was the first step to allowing a reality check on the current performance followed by a facility to forecast and benchmark future cost and income performance. The MDO had to delegate effectively and learn to work more on his business rather than in it.

  • Outcome:

    Reduced risk and exposure to faulty service workmanship. Increased pricing to stop or reduce low value high resource work. Instigated processes and systems that worked on a pro active basis. The appearance of the business was changed from a ‘hobby’ to a commercially run operation, resulting in much more options for the company's future with the owner being able to step back from the business more, and examine long term options for the health and wealth of the business. An exit strategy could then be persued.

Click to contact Simon Ashby at Inherent Performance or call +44 (0)7763 189329

Hurdling Businessman


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