Our objective is to drive value creation and sustainable results by helping companies improve their strategy, management and finance-related business processes.
How do we help?
We work with clients to identify, prioritize and implement short-, medium- and long-term opportunities that have a clear link to the strategy, generate efficiency in resource usage, guarantee visibility and control, assist in decision-making and generate sustainable results.
Our solutions aim to help clients overcome difficult questions such as:
- What strategic path should our company take? It is better to diversify the business or to saturate markets we’re already in? Should we pursue an organic strategy or focus on inorganic moves?
- After setting a clear direction and objectives, what projects and initiatives are needed to get there?
- How do we create appropriate governance along with well-defined, synchronized projects that will maximize the ability to achieve our goals?
- Which business model should be maintained following an M&A?
- What cost synergies should be pursued in an M&A and what business value levers should we be adjusting?
- Is it possible to reduce costs and improve service level at the same time?
- How do we improve cost efficiency in a sustainable way?
- What is the actual profitability of our business and its product lines?
- What levers can deliver improved profitability considering both revenue as well as cost/expense optimization?
- Are there any opportunities for redesigning processes and executing our budget following an efficiency mindset?
What makes us different?
We achieve tangible results for our clients by bringing together proven methodologies, expertise from different industries and a unique mindset:
A bottom-up, top-down
and cross-functional perspective
We address the company’s strategy level as well as the fundamentals of planning and controlling its back-office operations. We connect all areas of the company to build solutions tailored to the company’s specific needs.
Aiming for much more than mere short-term or theoretical cost reductions, our projects generate truly sustainable value for our clients. We achieve this by creating movement within the organization from day 1 of our projects, guaranteeing that our clients have the tools and know-how to continuously improve after we have left.
Technical excellence is only
half of the solution
Number crunching and quantitative analyses are a necessity in our field of work. But turning a technically robust solution into something truly implementable means respecting culture, incorporating stakeholders and recognizing the need to involve the leadership.
We seek to challenge our clients to an appropriate degree by providing an external view that considers benchmarks and best practices from inside and outside of their industry. Based on this, we work together to create tailored recommendations that ensure all solutions address the client’s specific context and needs.
We support our clients in achieving their financial targets through the design and/or implementation of a variety of strategies depending on the needs and context at hand.
Supporting clients in defining their strategic alternatives and vision for the years to come and translating this into an actionable plan. We evaluate and define strategic paths, identify the challenges for getting there and define the concrete projects and investments necessary to reach the set objectives.
Defining the required pricing strategy per product group and commercial policy governance to achieve the desired market positioning, competitiveness and profitability.
Combining structure, processes, governance and people in a coordinated manner to sustain the organization’s strategy and improve the speed and quality of decision-making.
MERGERS & AQUISITIONS
Working with clients throughout the deal cycle to ensure an effective M&A process while helping generate and capture maximum sustainable value. We do not negotiate value or serve as a substitute for companies specialized in M&As – we support in gaining a deeper understanding of the business and sector.
Combining a marketing-and-sales view of the market with a financial perspective to identify, prioritize and evaluate potential targets for acquisition.
Helping companies at the early stages of an M&A strategy determine the right targets for acquisition by evaluating risks and assessing value generation levers and future results.
An assessment of strategic focus, commercial policies, operations and finances aimed at estimating potential synergies and anti-synergies while taking into account technical as well as human aspects (leadership and culture).
Implementing annual budgeting processes that require organizations to justify spending from the bottom up (zero-based). This allows them to ensure that all budget components are in line with next year’s activities and relevant for the strategic goals – rather than merely focused on historical expenditure.
Conducting an in-depth diagnosis of the business operation and benchmarking against relevant references and industry best practices to identify, validate and implement cost optimization programs that sustain the strategy, core activities and target profitability.
Helping companies make better decisions on organizational structure, go-to-market design, product portfolio and commercial policy by developing, constructing and actively handing over cost models and cost-to-serve analyses.
ORGANIZATION & PROCESSES
Optimizing overall business efficiency by defining processes, procedures, KPIs and governance structures that align ways of working, sustain knowledge and improve efficacy between business units and areas.
Safeguarding the business strategy by guaranteeing that the right profiles are in the right positions. We help identify required future capabilities and structure size as well as set out concrete action plans to fill any gaps.
Shared-services center (SSC) design
Defining the organization’s centralization strategy and its impact on structure, process, service level and costs. We help plan the change management approach required to bring local processes into an SSC so that the benefits of scale, standardization, system investment and career progression can be leveraged while maintaining service levels.
Two leading alcoholic beverage brands in the UK had entered negotiations regarding the setup of a Joint Venture. This ‘NewCo’ would be formed from a merger of two business units within the parent companies focused on service provision.
The investment drivers for each party differed, with one focused on market access, and the other driven by cutting costs. Integration was hired to act as the Clean Team, evaluating the synergies and advising on the strength of the investment thesis for each business.
Working closely with the strategy leads across the two businesses, we were able to build a sophisticated financial model that highlighted the synergies which could be achieved across service delivery (through travel time and visit optimization), staffing, procurement, customer services, equipment, and 3rd party contracts.
Using this as a baseline, we were able to outline the respective impacts this would have on each business’ P&L individually, and whilst maintaining impartiality, indicate whether the investment thesis of each party could be realized.
A review of the competitive landscape, where the NewCo should operate and revenue projections provided a final commercial view of the merits of the potential deal.
Across a very short timescale, we were able to deliver a completely customizable financial model, clearly indicating the assumptions and variables which affected the synergy output, allowing the clients to make clear decisions on the ROI they could expect under different scenarios.
We supported both parties to enter negotiations with clarity on the value levers and needs of the JV, going so far as to help them create the presentations which would go to both Boards.
After some years of inorganic acquisitions, general professionalization, and geographic expansion, our retail client had considerably grown with more than 1400 stores. However, this movement had come with an increase in the SG&A level, which was continuing to grow and was higher than competitors.
The P&L was facing pressure against a backdrop of new market trends, the board asked Integration to support with a new cycle of efficiency through an initial cost reduction project.
The project was split into 3 phases:
- WHAT: We brought a structured approach to identifying, mapping, and quantifying (in financial terms and headcount) potential opportunities to reduce the SG&A level (payroll & expenses) in the HQ, stores, and supply chain. The Board made GO / NO GO decisions for each opportunity.
- HOW: We detailed exactly how to capture the estimated saving, bringing a conceptual saving into detailed action plans, through the design of new internal processes, structure, Roles & Responsibilities, organizational models, etc. These were consolidated into an activity roadmap for implementation and a savings roadmap to plot the sequence of efficiency gains.
- CAPTURE: We set up a PMO with best-practice tools and processes to manage the projects and roadmaps to capture the efficiencies mapped in an appropriate timescale (client-led).
- As a result, we identified 86 opportunities in the “WHAT” phase delivering approximately ~ USD 30M in efficiency savings (corresponding to ≈10% reduction of the SG&A base). The top 10 of which delivered USD 15M were selected and taken forward as a priority to the first wave of the ‘HOW’ stage.Working with the entire client team across several workshops, the team was empowered and owned all the recommendations. The board of directors presented the opportunities mapped per BU and the scenarios they most believed in for GO / NO GO decision whilst the managerial level presented the final ‘HOW’ and roadmaps to the board.
Our client, one of the largest food retailers in Brazil, understood that a call for action to increase productivity and efficiency was necessary to sustain healthy profitability. They asked for our support in a process of restructuring its entire administrative team (more than 3,000 employees), intending to reduce headcount by more than 30%.
In collaboration with the Head Office and Administrative areas, we defined the opportunities which were mostly related to organizational structure and processes, building together with the leadership the “HOW” to implement and capture the opportunities while maintaining business continuity during this critical moment.
We scoped and delivered against 15 work fronts in all areas of the company, ensuring the correct headcount reduction in each area delivering against the strategic plan of the company.
Within 6 months we realized 70% of the saving target – a significant milestone given the number of employees affected and the size of the organization. The remaining 30% of savings that required longer-term efforts with IT were planned and organized with the company executives, with a defined governance process that HR could utilize to control and execute all of the remaining opportunities.
Our client, one of the biggest and most traditional middle-market banks in Brazil, questioned the suitability of their strategy following changes in Brazil’s banking regulation, the rise of digital competitors, and the reduction of Brazil’s benchmark interest rate. Integration was asked to support in a full review of the organization’s strategy, and a redesign of the governance model, to optimize the decision-making process.
After conducting the strategic review, Integration supported the client by assessing the current governance, interviewing over 20 employees, and leveraging 14 benchmarks to identify pain points and needs. From here, we were able to design an entirely tailored governance model to drive simplicity, visibility, and optimized decision making, suited to the bank’s reality, and meeting the needs of its professionals.
Much improved efficiency internally through a leaner, more targeted governance model, in which every activity and meeting instance had:
With the adjustments in governance, the board of directors was able to dedicate more time to strategic discussions, giving more autonomy to the team on certain topics, but with clearer approval levels, facilitating day-to-day decision making.
One of the major wholesale groups in South America was experiencing challenges in its market positioning, competitiveness and profitability due to its pricing strategy and execution.
They were perceived by the market as ‘an expensive player’. To combat this, they would offer their customer network a wide range of promotions or discounts which had unintended consequences including loss-making transactions.
We developed and implemented a pricing policy that preserved profitability, maintained competitiveness, and guided the performance of commercial representatives spread throughout the Brazilian territory.
This was achieved through establishing a competitiveness index target by category, region, and channel, to identify the best way to add value to sales, without losing sight of the business strategy.
Discipline was brought to the operations through monitoring of this competitiveness index within a pre-established range.
To further enmesh the pricing strategy into the company operations, we helped to make it part of the organization’s budget process and align this with the business development approach for small Brazilian retailers.
The result of this work was evident in the group’s financial results. Their gross margin jumped from 12% to 20%, sales grew 15%, (after expanding 11% and 12% in the previous two years.) and net income rose 2% by year. In the same three-year period, revenues went from R $ 3.4 billion to R $ 4.4 billion (a ~ USD 250Million increase).
OUR INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE
Our industry experience spans diverse sectors including consumer goods, healthcare, financial services, private equity, agribusiness, retail, real estate, education and more.
- In consumer goods, we have extensive experience in strategic planning (organic and inorganic growth) and efficiency projects (core and back-office areas) across the entire value chain, providing us with a deep understanding of the industry dynamics and day-to-day challenges – from production to sales channels – in many different countries.
- In retail, we have been involved in numerous transformational projects with large multinational retail networks/franchises. Generating results quickly in a pragmatic and agile way is essential, and we have helped many clients achieve increased profitability in short periods of time, e.g. through strategic evaluation of new markets/store models and more operational projects related to store-level cost reduction.
- In the real estate and construction sector that demands a longer-term view, we have assisted companies with reviewing their geographic and product-related strategies, revenue management, cost modelling and governance frameworks to ensure visibility, control and sustainable cash generation.
- In the financial sector, we maintain long-term relationships with many global private equity funds, supporting them both with M&A activities – such as market scans, investment theses, due diligence, synergy evaluations and PMIs – and with structuring internal processes for improved portfolio management.