Our objective is to create value and generate sustainable results by helping companies to improve their strategy, management, and finance-related business processes.
How do we help?
We work with our clients to identify, prioritize, and implement short, medium, and long-term opportunities that:
- have a clear link with the strategy
- generate efficiency in resource usage
- guarantee visibility/control
- assist in decision making
- generate sustainable results.
With our solutions, we aim to help our clients overcome difficult questions like:
- What strategic path should our company take? What are the projects necessary to guarantee the strategy implementation?
- How do we create appropriate governance and well-defined, synchronized projects that will maximize our ability to achieve its goals?
- What is the business model to be maintained after an M&A?
- What are the cost synergies to be pursued in a M&A and what business value levers should we be adjusting?
- Can a company reduce its costs and improve its service level at the same time?
- Is there an opportunity to redesign processes and conduct the budget with an efficiency mindset?
- What is the real profitability of the business and its product lines? What are the levers which could deliver better profitability, considering both top-line and costs/expenses?
What makes us different?
We achieve tangible results for our clients by bringing together the expertise of different industries, a proven methodology, and a unique mindset:
- Bottom-up, top-down, and cross-functional perspective: We operate at the strategy level of the company as well on the fundamentals of planning and controlling its back-office operations. We connect all areas of the company to build solutions which are true to the company specific needs.
- Technical excellence is only half of the solution design: Number crunching and quantitative analysis is a necessity in our field of work. But to make a technically robust solution into something which is truly implementable, we know the value of respecting culture, stakeholders, and the need to involve the leadership.
- Long-lasting results: Our projects generate sustainable value for the company, not just short-term theoretical cost reductions. We achieve this through building movement inside the organization from Day 1 of our projects and making sure our clients have the tools and know-how to continuously improve after we have left.
- Tailor-made solutions: We bring an appropriate level of challenge to our clients with our external view, bringing benchmarks and best practices from inside and outside their industry; at the same time, we build recommendations together in a tailormade way, ensuring the solutions are specific to the client’s 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 client’s need and context.
Strategic Planning & Roadmap Design: Strategic Planning is about supporting clients in defining their strategic alternatives and vision for the years to come and translating it into an actionable plan. We evaluate and define the strategic paths, understand the challenges to get there, and define the concrete projects and investments necessary to reach the objectives which have been set.
Revenue Management: Definition of the pricing strategy per product group and commercial policy governance required to ensure the desired market positioning, competitiveness, and profitability.
Organizational Model and Governance Framework: Bringing together structure, processes, governance, and people in a coordinated manner to sustain the organization strategy and improve speed and quality of decision making.
MERGERS & AQUISITIONS
End to End M&A: Working with clients throughout the deal cycle, ensuring an effective M&A process, and helping to generate and capture the maximum sustainable value. We do not negotiate value or substitute M&A specialized companies. We support them with a deeper understanding of the business and sector
Target Screening and Market Scan: Combining a marketing and sales view of the market with a financial perspective, we help identify, prioritize and evaluate potential targets for acquisition.
Investment Thesis & Due Diligence Assessment: Helping companies at the early stages of an M&A strategy to determine the right targets for acquisition through the evaluation of risks, assessment of value generation levers and future results.
Synergy Evaluation: A strategic focus, commercial, operational and also financial assessment of the target to estimate potential synergies and anti-synergies taking into consideration both technical and human aspects (leadership and culture).
Zero Based Budgeting: Implementation of an annual budgeting process that requires organizations to justify spending from the bottom up (zero-based); thereby verifying that all components are adjusted to next year activities and are relevant to the strategic goals, not just based on historical expenditure.
Cost Reduction and SG&A Optimization: In-depth diagnosis of the business operation and benchmarking against relevant references and industry best practices to identify, validate and implement cost optimization programmes that sustain the company strategy, core activities and target profitability.
Cost Modeling: Helping companies make better decisions with regards to Organizational Structure, Go-to-Market design, Product Portfolio and Commercial Policy through development and construction and active handover of cost models and cost to serve analysis.
ORGANIZATION & PROCESSES
Business Process Redesign: Optimization of overall business efficiency through the definition of processes, procedures, KPIs, and governance structures that align ways of working, sustain knowledge, and improve efficacy between business units and areas.
Workforce Planning: Safeguarding the business strategy through guaranteeing that the right profiles are in the right positions through the identification of required future capabilities and structure size, determining concrete action plans to fill the gaps.
Shared Services Centre (SSC) Design: Definition of the centralization strategy and its impact on structure, process, service level and costs. Plan the change management approach required to bring local processes into an SSC, achieving benefits of scale, standardization, system investment and career progression while sustaining service level.
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
We have experience across many industry sectors such as Consumer Goods, Retail, Real Estate, Education, Healthcare and the Financial Sector.
- In Consumer Goods, we have extensive experience in strategic planning (organic and inorganic growth) and efficiency projects (in core and back-office areas). Our experience across the value chain from suppliers, manufacturers, retail and costumers has given us a deep understanding of the industry dynamics and day-to-day challenges faced across the value chain (from production to sales channels) in many different countries.
- In Retail, we have been involved in many transformational projects with large multinational retail networks/franchises. Here, we know that generating results quickly in a pragmatic and agile way is essential, and we have helped many clients achieve increased profitability in short periods (through strategic evaluation of new markets/store models or more operational projects related to store level cost reduction).
- In the Real Estate and Construction Sector, where a more long-term view is required, we have assisted companies with reviewing their geographical and product related strategies, revenue management, cost modelling and governance frameworks that guarantee visibility, control and sustainable cash generation.
- In the Financial Sector, we have long-term relationships with many global PE funds, supporting them both with their M&A activity (in Market Scan, Investment thesis, Due Diligence, Synergy Evaluation and PMI) and in structuring their internal processes to assist in the management of their portfolio.