Frequently fixed problems

No two issues are ever exactly the same but we have been around long enough to know there are some commonly recurring themes. Most of the problems we fix for our clients fall in to three areas within the organisation: Procurement, Sales and HR.


Cost reduction: This should be fast, implementable and not damage the underlying base of the organisation. To support our clients we have developed our 20:20:20 methodology: 20 days to find 20% cost reductions that can be delivered in 20 weeks. This makes extensive use of best-of-breed cost modelling combined with market research and fresh perspectives to deliver improved services and value.

Category management: In many areas procurement is too important to be the sole remit of a procurement department. It needs to be integrated within the business planning and executive decision-making processes of the organisation. Category management treats major spend areas as virtual business units. Using value analysis and business process engineering we design best in class upstream processes to create high performing, low cost supply chains for goods and services.

Supplier management: This is a hot topic. Who should manage the supplier? Where does strategy sit? What about innovation? These are all questions that we can address through the development and implementation of a supplier management capability. Starting with the organisation design, through to the creation of metrics and reporting tools and training the necessary teams, we can help you build a robust, outcome-based supplier management capability.

Contract management: Commercial contract management means more than delivering a contract to the customer on time and to budget. It means managing the resources of the delivery team to achieve the lowest cost delivery and maximising the revenue opportunities from the client relationship to extend the services offered and grow the profitability of the relationship.

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Monetizing & selling value: Value is not a vague concept. For us, value is something that can be captured, quantified and monetized. We will help you identify the value you create and put a monetary value on it by customer. The next step is to design services and contract mechanisms that allow you to get paid for the value you create and finally to train the sales team to sell value, not just give it away. Our highly effective Driving Profitable Partnerships programme helps clients develop customer specific strategies to identify under-sold added value and prepare an approach to leverage the value into profit.

Account management: Whether at account acquisition or support to ongoing business relationships, our workshops and coaches will help your account teams improve their performance and profitability.

Negotiating deals & contracts: Using experienced trainers and business coaches we assist sales teams to prepare for major contract and contract variation negotiations in real time. Using business simulations and video feedback we create a practice environment to rehearse different approaches and experiment with different strategies. With client support these come as close as possible to mimicking the real negotiation that is going to happen.

Bid & pitch support: Increasingly sales teams are required to respond to very structured and controlled tendering processes. Our team has extensive experience in training bid teams and designing and implementing bidding processes to improve the quality of bids submitted and the chances of success in the competitive tender arena.

Insight & solution selling: Too many technical and project staff fix problems before they sell the solution. Selling unprofitable work or promising more than the organisation can deliver is an easy way to turn good news into bad. At the same time, you cannot expect to be paid for something you can’t demonstrate adds value to your customers. Our insight selling programmes help customer-facing staff recognise and exploit the opportunities that present themselves on a day-to-day basis and, crucially, make them more comfortable with the process of wresting every bit of profit they can from your customer engagements.

Sales effectiveness: Sales teams can too easily become the voice of the customer in their own organisation – negotiating internally for bigger discounts and better service rather than negotiating for higher prices, more business and better contracts. Our 4C approach makes sales teams more effective at Connecting with the customer, Converting customer problems into value, Convincing them to buy from us and Converting the interest into profitable business.

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Leadership development: Becoming a leader is about more than seniority and status. The best leaders are visionaries, managers and role models all rolled into one. Our leadership programmes help people develop the skills and confidence to achieve through others by bringing out the best in them through a situational response to the needs of the team at the time. Leaders as coaches is our motto and we help leaders become better at coaching themselves and those around them.

Creativity & innovation: If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway. Businesses and people become stuck – stuck in a way of doing things and seeing the world that prevents them from changing. Psychologists call it a fixed mindset, it needs to be replaced with a growth or opportunity mindset. In everything we do, we start with mindset. Replace “Yes but” with “What if?” and “Why?” with “Why not?”. We work to release people’s true entrepreneurial spirit – riding the waves of creative destruction to unstick themselves and their organisation.

Management development: Managers became the Cinderella of the business world with all the attention focused on the more glamorous role of leaders. We are big fans of managers. Without them, nothing gets done. They are the unsung heroes, the driving force in motivating teams and delivering services. Neglected for way too long, it’s great to see they are making a comeback – and we are ready to help you with a fantastic range of management development workshops and interventions to develop their self-awareness, skills, knowledge and confidence.

Commercial awareness training: One of the most common phrases we hear is “we need our people to be more commercially aware followed closely by “we need value for money”. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Commercial skills development is right in the middle of our sweet spot. It’s what we do best. We have a great range of commercial skills workshops and we’ve worked with pretty much every type of role from scientists, front line NHS staff from nurses to doctors, engineers, IT, marketing and administrators. Even senior level managers who you might think wouldn’t need any help but who gratefully confided that the training probably saved them from some tricky legal wrangles. Take a look at our Commercial Skills workshops and call us to find out more.

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