Impulse Merchandising Market Leaders
Stack’d was engaged by a U.S. based private equity firm to lead the integration of two acquired platform companies into a single operating entity. The two companies were the co-market leaders in impulse merchandising across North America, collectively representing greater than 85% market share. To add to the complexity, the organizations were both family businesses, fierce competitors, with the respective founders still leading the day-to-day operations.
Stack’d worked with the leadership of each organization and the private equity partner to define and implement the new organization’s strategic priorities, future state operating model, leadership accountabilities, and organizational structure and culture. We also established and supported a client-led integration office which planned and executed the integration activities, managed communications, and orchestrated change across the organization.
The integration was a clear success, resulting in steady EBITDA growth during the integration and exceeding the targeted synergy goals across all aspects of the business, only made achievable by carefully ensuring that a keen eye remained on the customer throughout the integration process with no disruption to current operations.
Large Municipal Waste Management Utility
Our client wished to develop a long-term funding model for their waste and recycling services which reflected a comprehensive treatment of service costs in alignment with a new, integrated rate structure.
Stack’d was engaged to lead a year-long detailed financial review, yielding the following deliverables:
- A new funding model to meet the needs of their next 4-year business cycle;
- A detailed cost of service study;
- A new rate structure, integrated rates model, and indicative rates; and,
- An implementation plan, including both financial and operational performance measures.
A ‘to-be’ 2010-2022 funding model has been established with the client’s management team based on a comprehensive ‘as-is’ financial model review, input from leading practices, and WRS’ desired outcomes. This vision included the identification of specific sources of funds (e.g. user fees, commodity sales, tipping fees, etc.) which shall be used to pay for their corresponding services. In addition, a 10-year forward-looking cost of service study was performed and used to support the subsequent rate structure development for 2019-2022.
To ensure understanding of how costs were allocated, Stack’d worked extensively and collaboratively with internal subject-matter-experts to understand the underlying nature of the work performed. In addition, we developed and confirmed a “translation” document with the client management team for how costs within each department and activity mapped to services, functions, and cost centers. Further, we conducted several strategic working sessions with the management team to gain input on strategic issues and confirm draft solutions for several deliverables.
Health Care Provider
Our client wished to evolve its current organization to create separate, independent divisions that would realize the growth opportunities that existed for their respective services and markets. The goal was to create more competitive, entrepreneurial and growth-oriented organizations that:
- fostered and maintained a distinctly nimble, innovative, and competitive culture;
- was clearly distinct from the current organization with well-defined roles and relationships;
- established effective, efficient supporting services that could scale gracefully; and,
- could operate within funding constraints with a sustained, healthy financial profile.
Stack’d was engaged to assist the executive to assess, define and recommend the new organization’s Board governance, organizational structure, and operational model and define a multi-year transition plan to create more independent and entrepreneurial organizations. In addition, Stack’d assisted the resulting organization’s leadership team in the detailed design of the functional groups, including the assessment of service delivery options, helping determine whether to outsource, centralize or decentralize each function.
Throughout the project the CEO provided accolades and expressed that his expectations were exceeded in terms of both quality and level of detail provided in the deliverables. As a result, the client has now established the new organization, its leadership team, and is in the midst of executing the transition plan to become a more independent, growth-oriented organization.
Industrial Equipment Dealer
Our client had traditionally grown through acquisition by purchasing independent dealer groups, but had never optimized and integrated the operations of its acquired facilities. Stack’d was engaged to execute a project to rethink and optimize its branch dealer network to increase profitability without sacrificing customer service.
Our team worked with the client to review the current status and historical performance of its branches, capture its customers’ needs and wants from their equipment dealer, and identifying new and creative branch alternatives to deliver equipment and product support to their customers.
The project resulted in recommendations to the facility types (i.e. Tiers) and the optimal geographic centers that the client should operate within supported by detailed financial analysis.
Our client (pop. ~1M) needed to renew its 10-year strategic plan which outlined the long-term vision for the City. They engaged Stack’d to help refine its strategic planning methodology and develop a detailed project plan to guide the renewal of the strategic plan over the next 2-3 years.
Our team collaborated with the client group to define and develop a new strategic planning framework that was ultimately endorsed by the steering committee composed of the City Manager and other senior City officials. We then developed a detailed project plan to help the City create their 10-Year Strategic Plan which was to include the City Vision, Strategic Goals and Desired Future State, Strategies, and Initiatives.
The project plan successfully incorporated an approach to enable the City to break down long-standing silos within its departments as well as involve an extensive stakeholder engagement process to ensure the voice of the City’s citizens are heard. Our client went on to execute the project plan with a clear understanding of what was required to be done.
Government Innovation Body
A provincial innovation body engaged Stack’d to help prepare for the integration of four separate corporations into a newly consolidated entity. Merger success was of significant strategic importance to provincial leaders, so advanced work in designing the new organization and planning the integration of the functional work streams was critical.
To assist, Stack’d facilitated the development of a target organizational structure and transition plan to combine the four organizational structures into one. Given the advanced stage of this work, it was important that the recommendations were flexible to allow further refinement as the consolidation progressed. In addition, Stack’d provided support to the Project Management Office leader to help with tracking transition activities, managing interdependencies, reviewing deliverables, and developing communication materials and status reports for transition stakeholders, including the Board of Directors.
As a result, ‘Day-1’ of the new organization was a success, having implemented the initial phase of the organization design and successfully launched the transition plans for the functional work streams.
Municipality and Wholly-Owned Utility
An Alberta municipality had previously established a wholly-owned utility as a municipally-controlled corporation. Since forming the Utility as a corporation, the municipality had been challenged with providing it appropriate guidance as part of reviewing the annual rate applications.
Stack’d was engaged to assist the municipality by reviewing the current situation and establishing a go-forward mandate and rate regulatory framework. The Stack’d team worked closely with the municipality’s Mayor, Council, CAO and the Utility’s Board of Directors and CEO to develop, review and confirm the project’s deliverables. A new mandate was established which provided the desired scope and direction for the Utility to pursue a financially sustainable suite of regulated versus non-regulated services. In addition, an updated regulatory framework was established which addressed rate-making mechanisms and processes, and defined the role of the municipality as both shareholder and rate regulator.
Alberta Not-For-Profit Chapters
The Board of Directors from two Alberta regional chapters of a national not-for-profit organization wanted to assess whether or not the two chapters should merge or actively pursue more formalized means of collaboration. There was a belief that by merging or more formally collaborating, the two chapters could more efficiently operate by reducing duplication of efforts, provide more clarity to funders, and improve alignment on programs and events offered to their stakeholders.
Stack’d was engaged to develop an approach to help facilitate the evaluation of the two strategic alternatives by working with a special Committee, comprising of members of the two respective Board of Directors and the two CEOs of the provincial chapters. The Stack’d team worked closely with the Committee in a series of workshops to further define how each alternative could potentially work so that the Committee could better evaluate the alternatives based on a set of desired outcomes. The Committee made the recommendation to pursue more formalized means of collaboration between the two provincial chapters. An additional outcome of this engagement was that through the process, the two CEOs established a more positive working relationship and a greater understanding of each other, which they expect to be immensely beneficial in their efforts to increase collaboration moving forward.
Public School Board
A large public School Board wished to review the operations of its Distribution Center which is responsible for offering schools the option to purchase from their suite of products and services such as classroom products, mailing, printing, and shredding, with the intention to maximize school purchasing power. The School Board wished to assess the current effectiveness of the existing service-delivery model and organizational structure, and identify any synergy opportunities with other business units within the School Board.
Stack’d was engaged to perform the review, integrating our municipal services-delivery methodology with our organization analysis and design methodology to identify the key strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for the Distribution Center, define alternative service-delivery models for consideration, and recommend short-term and long-term reporting structures.
The changes in organization design has since been incorporated into the School Board, and are now using the results to develop a more detailed supply chain analysis and design for future operations.
Oil Field Services Company
Two competitors in the oilfield service industry were considering merging and unifying under a new name. Although the executive had acquired and integrated companies before and brought a wealth of experience to the table, they recognized that this merger was particularly complex given it was a merger of equals and the demands on leadership to focus on current business operations.
Stack’d was engaged to help the combined leadership team in advance of ‘Day-1’ to help them navigate through the strategic issues facing the new organization, including setting organization direction, forming an effective leadership team, and establishing strategic priorities. In addition, Stack’d assisted the Integration Office leader in the preparation of preliminary integration plans for the various functional groups that would be merged after ‘Day-1’.
In the end the two organizations chose not to merge based largely on the due diligence results, but also due to discovering key differences in their business philosophy and organization direction.