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Global Case Studies

Industry/Company: Leading US multinational cpg/pharma company

The Situation: The Company was losing market share across the board, in all categories in this key overseas regional market. This was the result of: 1) cheap “knockoffs” manufactured locally, and 2) the increasing price of its own products at the retail level. This increased pricing level was brought about by a devaluing local currency and increasing protectionism by the local Authorities to 1) preserve foreign currency reserves, and 2) “protect” local production.

Critical Items: Two strong forces were working against the company’s interests in this Regional market area. The first was that local knockoffs were forcing category retail prices lower, while local foreign currency restrictions and import quotas on finished imported goods, were forcing the company’s retail prices markedly higher.

The Solution: To set up and build a fully integrated local “in region” Greenfield subsidiary company, with a standalone manufacturing facility. This meant (1) that Central Bank foreign exchange became more readily available for the importation of raw materials (as opposed to finished goods), and (2) that with lower duties and surcharges, local retail pricing could be brought into line in all product categories. Within one year, key som’s in the three leading product groups attained levels of 20%, 42% and 80%.



Industry/Company: Leading US Fortune 500 company in the processed food industry in a major Latin American country.

The Situation: The local subsidiaries of this Fortune 500 company had an established long standing track record in this key market, and revenues had risen steadily over two decades. However EBITDA had descended progressively until hitting a five year losing streak.

Critical Items: The company’s consumer spending had been rising, not only on a total basis, but also as a percentage of revenue. However EBITDA continued to spiral downwards, and even as spending increased, the losses widened.

The Solution: After a very detailed analysis of the business, it was determined that a new overall business strategy had to be developed and executed. This would include a new marketing approach to the consumer, and as a consequence a completely revamped strategic spending plan. This plan and its implementation included not only reducing the spending levels by up to 15%, but also targeting the ways in which marketing funds were spent. This was achieved by dramatically reducing the “Trade” spend by 60% and increasing advertising and consumer promotion by an equal amount. This led to an immediate return (Year 1) to profitability, and key brand shares rose from 78% to 92% and 17% to 25%.


Industry/Company: Leading CPG non food company, which is a division of a Fortune 100 corporation.

The Situation: The Company was locked into a “no growth” global revenue position in which, revenue was stagnant and margins were declining due to 1) high pricing, 2) spotty distribution, 3) growing transportation costs, 4) increased good quality competition, and 5) a lack of brand support spending.

Critical Items: There had been little or no innovation in the product line, but nevertheless over the prior decade the brand had held on to a leadership position precariously and without any investment. The product line’s overall image had become dated and consumer research indicated that it was losing its appeal across all age brackets, and across all socioeconomic levels.

The Solution: A long term Global Strategic Plan that included a total reorganization of the company’s US and global businesses was developed and implemented. This included the development of a revamped Export Division, based on a Regional/Product structure, by product line, channel and geographic area. In addition, certain high potential markets (China & Middle East), were targeted for “Greenfield” development or third party ventures which became fully functional within three years. As a result revenues doubled and EBITDA increased by 30% on a percentage basis. Key activities included a total revamping of the worldwide Distributor Network in Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and the Asia/Pacific Regions, and the launch of two new product lines. In China meanwhile, two new ISO qualified sourcing points for Asia and the Middle East were developed, in parallel with a wholly owned, profitable stand alone Greenfield subsidiary to service that country’s rapidly expanding domestic market. In the Middle East an entirely new third party distribution/production agreement was developed to markedly increase distribution, market penetration, and consumer purchase levels as measured by an independent external market share data company.


Industry/Company: Leading US private label manufacturer of consumer packaged goods.

The Situation: The company was a leader in the private label manufacture of cpg products in the U.S. After a period of very rapid domestic development, the company wished to further accelerate its growth by expanding globally. The challenge was to determine where, when and how it should expand outside of the US domestic marketplace.

Critical Items: The company had healthy margins and EBITDA. However the growth rate at the top line had slowed during the prior three years, and therefore global expansion became a priority. The challenge was how and where to enter the international marketplace, and specifically with which products.

The Solution: An analysis of the company’s product lines, logistics capabilities and geographic presence served as the foundation for the development of a short and medium term strategic international growth plan. As a result a step by step international sales plan was developed. This led to a first expansion phase which identified opportunities in Mexico under NAFTA, with leading retailers in that country. Shortly thereafter, a program was developed to expand the company’s sales platform into Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Central America. This was designed around the development of an in country Distributor network in the Region. It was projected that non US sales would reach 10% of revenue by Year II.


Industry/Company: Leading US multinational cpg company.

The Situation: Corporate parent was increasing export sales at a vertiginous rate, but was facing decreasing margins and a totally eroded EBITDA (loss position).

Critical Items: The product line had a relatively short life span and was seasonal in nature. Therefore bank financing and revolving credit lines were extremely important to the smooth functioning and long term survival of the company. Because of the eroding margins and decreasing EBITDA levels, the Banks were contemplating calling in their loans and canceling the existing revolving lines of credit, which would essentially have put the company out of business.

The Solution: The solution consisted of three critical phases which included 1) refinancing the existing debt burden at lower interest rates and increasing the maturity by five years. At the same time, 2) the granting of soft “Government” financing, (which included a one third subsidy), was attained on very favorable terms to thereby enable raising select manufacturing sites to a “state of the art” level. Simultaneously 3) non strategic assets were sold off and a reduction of almost $20 million in costs was achieved. Once these three phases were set in motion, a long term strategic plan was implemented, realigning the company and reducing redundant staffing areas and the number of overlapping foreign subsidiaries. A break even at the bottom line was achieved by Year II, setting the company on a course to profitability from that point onwards.




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