Industrial companies continue to face a challenging environment that is forcing senior executives to optimize their cost base, re-examine their business models, build new capabilities and manage in an evolving market that is increasingly being impacted by new technologies. From the impact of low oil prices and the slowing of manufacturing growth in China, and continued sluggish growth in the U.S. and Europe, to the effects of disruptive technologies on traditional business models, successful industrial leaders must transform the way their companies operate to compete more effectively in the future.
To be successful, senior leaders must build new capabilities, revamp existing sales strategies, adopt new technologies, focus on innovation, improve competitive intelligence, develop more agile and responsive organizational structures, and find ways to expand into new markets and geographies.
We work with executives across a broad range of industrials sectors as a partner to address each of these issues. L.E.K. combines deep industry expertise, fact-based insights, and advanced analytics to identify solutions to complex issues and build alignment among management teams, in order to take informed strategic action to win in a dynamic global industrials market.
How we help
Large, mid-sized, and small industrial producers, manufacturers, distributors and service companies routinely engage us to:
- Define and execute growth strategy. We work closely with our clients to define and execute their strategic vision for long-term growth. From evaluating the attractiveness of adjacent market opportunities, to identifying new opportunities on the edge of their existing business model and capabilities, to enhancing the capital productivity of their assets, L.E.K. possesses a proven track record of helping our clients build winning strategies tailored to each unique situation.
- Execute value-creating deals. We are recognized as a leader in industrials deal support, and are engaged in over 100+ transactions in the industrials sector each year across the full transaction lifecycle. We assist corporate clients and financial sponsors in developing M&A strategies, conducting commercial due diligence, creating value creation plans, implementing post-merger integration and positioning companies for sale through sell-side vendor due diligence.
- Develop a more effective commercial model. We help our clients assess their value proposition and redefine their go-to-market approach and strategy. We possess the advanced analytics required to optimize branch/depot locations and SKU/service offerings, evaluate pricing strategies, benchmark performance to competitors, and ensure our clients’ sales forces are operating most effectively.
- Assess digital readiness and design technology-enabled strategies. We understand the digital transformation that is impacting our industrial clients, and we help them assess their readiness to compete in a more digitally focused world, through internal diagnostics and external benchmarking. We help create technology roadmaps that span the organization, from marketing and direct customer insights to channel management and new product development that allow our clients to transform their business and exploit the opportunities a digitally enabled world will create.
- Improve operational and organizational effectiveness. We work closely with our clients to optimize processes (supply chain management and operational performance), assess capabilities and best practices, and reconfigure organizational structures. Our work helps clients position their organization against core value drivers to deliver on strategic priorities and generate top- and bottom-line financial growth.
We have helped companies across industrial sectors drive profitable growth.
- Growth strategy. After a number of years of stagnant performance, the new CEO of a global leader in advanced materials technology asked L.E.K. to develop a transformational growth strategy. We developed a corporate growth strategy and then worked with each business unit to develop a cohesive strategy that aligned with the overall strategic vision of the company. The result: a potential 10% growth per annum and incremental EBITDA of £100/$135 million.
- Synergy assessment. A leading distributor of plumbing products, HVAC equipment, waterworks, and industrial pipes, valves and fittings was looking to expand its presence in the facilities maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) market, and asked L.E.K. to evaluate the potential synergies with a leading supplier of facilities MRO products. We developed a set of frameworks to evaluate the cost (sourcing, infrastructure/logistics, SG&A, working capital) and revenue (market structure, e-business) synergies for the asset, and determined the premium that could be paid above what the company was trading.
- Sales force effectiveness. A leading U.S. distributor of electrical equipment was experiencing slow growth, declining margins and mixed sales force productivity, and sought to transform its commercial approach to drive higher sales and margins. L.E.K. evaluated the performance of each of the client’s verticals and trends in each end market, to develop a customer prioritization map and more strategic deployment of sales resources by transitioning from a product-oriented sales team to a value-add solution provider. We identified opportunities estimated to provide overall improvement of more than 5% in gross margin, with low-performing sales representatives expected to improve gross margins by as much as 30%.
- Digital transformation. A leading U.K.-based OEM asked L.E.K. to benchmark and assess the competitive threat posed by GE’s Industrial Internet of Things. We provided the client with an overview of the investments GE has been making in software and of the fundamental strategic shift it represents in GE’s approach to differentiating and sustaining margin in its service business. After mapping the potential impact on the client’s business, L.E.K. provided strategic recommendations on how the business could compete in the evolving technological market landscape.
- Portfolio optimization. A leading explosives manufacturer and distributor possessed more than 2,000 SKUs, of which 30% were responsible for 80% of company profit and 30% were losing money. The client asked L.E.K. to assess which SKUs could be eliminated or repriced without leading to the loss of valuable product baskets. We used advanced data analytics to measure the strength of product bundling, to keep low-value SKUs with high-value associations in the portfolio while repricing or eliminating low-association, unprofitable SKUs.
- Advanced analytics. In the face of major profitability challenges, a leading construction contractor engaged L.E.K. to undertake a detailed diagnostic of its historical performance and plot a path to profitable growth. We deployed advanced analytics on the client’s project database and combined the results with an internal capability audit and an assessment of key market trends to provide the client with insight into the true drivers of its profitability for the first time. We identified and prioritized a suite of performance improvement initiatives that enabled the client to refocus its business and drive profitable growth.