Below are examples of some of our past projects.
Problem: A regional nonprofit focused on affordable housing development was seeking assistance to develop the latest iteration of its strategic plan. The competitive landscape was changing, with decreasing availability of funding, consolidation of customers, and increasing competition. Given the uncertainty of the landscape, the organization was targeting many new and different opportunities, but without a clear focus.
Project: Seasholtz Consulting was hired to work with the board and staff to develop a three-year strategic plan. As part of the process, the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, strategic opportunities, and threats were identified. Research was conducted with a variety of stakeholders outside of the organization including customers, partners and competitors to understand perceptions of the organization’s core competencies. We facilitated a series of meetings to prioritize opportunities, develop targets, and timeframes for meeting them.
Results: The business plan was approved by the board and implemented. Management immediately started tying their decision making process to the goals and targets in the plan. The organization diversified its revenue sources and geographic coverage with a new focus and sense of purpose.
Problem: A Fortune 100 high-tech client needed assistance refining the strategy of one its core product business units. The client maintained a dominant market share in a key industry segment yet was having difficulty differentiating future product releases based on features that went largely unused by many users. The client had also decided to develop a better understanding of the unique segments of customers and how its various products could become more relevant to them.
Project: Seasholtz Consulting was hired to drive the strategic planning process for the business unit. A six-month project was undertaken that included four phases: customer research, competitive assessment, capabilities mapping, and strategic recommendations. In the first phase, we conducted qualitative and quantitative research to gain an understanding of the unique attributes of users across a variety of industries. In the second phase, we conducted in-depth analysis of the competitive forces that could shape customer perceptions. In the third phase, we mapped the opportunities identified in the first two phases to the core competencies of the company and its products. Lastly, recommendations were made as to target customer segments, new product and service configurations that could better provide value to those segments, and organizational changes that would be required in order to implement the strategy over time.
Results: The project results were rolled-up with other strategic initiatives occurring across the company resulting in a new strategic direction for the business unit. Eventually, this work contributed to the development of a new online business application that replaced its traditional software model.
Problem: A state housing agency with Moving to Work (MTW) status was seeking to identify policies to increase the self-sufficiency of work-able families. Current rent models and case management programs did not provide significant incentives for families to obtain employment that would allow them to transition out of subsidized housing. In addition, there were a large number of families on the waiting list.
Project: Seasholtz Consulting was hired to facilitate a multi-year strategic planning process with a multi-disciplinary team of agency management and staff. As part of the process, we brainstormed, identified best practices, and modeled the potential impact on families and agency revenue. The team identified a new progressive rent model with wrap-around case management services. A supporting organizational structure and administrative processes were developed.
Results: The state agency implemented the new policies and organizational changes which impacted approximately 5,000 households. The policy was well received by families and the state legislature. As a result of the new policy, more families have been motivated to start working and becoming self-sufficient.
Problem: Large city public housing agency needed to assess the market competitiveness, efficiency and capacity of its maintenance department. It wanted to understand whether opportunities existed to expand maintenance services beyond its existing public housing portfolio. The agency also needed to better understand the regulatory environment that constrained the scopes of work for professional trades in the department.
Project: Seasholtz Consulting was hired to work with the executive team to assess the current situation and make recommendations for improving efficiencies and capacity in the department. We mapped the workflow for each trade and by each type of repair, analyzed work order data, calculated the in-house costs for each type of repair, identified prevailing wages and market rates for each type of work, researched state regulations, and conducted extensive interviews with maintenance department staff. We then made recommendations on where the agency might be most competitive in the private market; methods for improving the efficiency of workflow; and how to better comply with regulations.
Results: The findings and recommendations were embraced by the client. The project analysis was used to supplement labor negotiations and the information played a key role in informing discussions around staffing, training, and expansion of maintenance services outside of its core market.
Problem: The economic landscape was changing rapidly, causing the software startup’s core customer segments to disintegrate and consolidate while new competitors were entering the industry. There were a variety of markets where product bets could have been placed and organizational designs to support those moves. The company wanted an objective, critical thinker who could analyze the market and make strategic recommendations in order to maximize shareholder value.
Project: A member of the board of directors contacted Seasholtz Consulting and asked us to provide critical and objective thinking on the problem. We performed a market study to determine the viability of the client's products and how industry and competitive trends might impact pricing and features in the future. It was clear from recent market consolidation that the product feature set needed to evolve and scale in sales and marketing was critical. A variety of alliances were investigated and a merger of the company was undertaken.
Results: We helped the client navigate the myriad details of putting together due diligence information and successfully drove the integration of people, products and infrastructure. The client's customers continued to be served, with enhanced features and integration. As a result of the project, required funding for the client was reduced by $250K per month.