Inception – A framework for value creation
Incepto offers strategic advice to owners, boards and management of companies within the technology-, consulting- and services-industries.. All our advice is focused on creating, developing and realizing value for our clients. We provide substantial value creation by offering a combination of operational and financial expertise. We believe that the key to extreme value creation lies in mastering this combination. We are team-based and we assist in strategy development, process improvements, management and board work towards a possible sale, merger or acquisition.
We have organized our services within strategic advisory and corporate finance in a value creation program that we call “Inception”. Within this program we combine effective methodology (“Incepto Knowledgepacks”) with operational experience in order to implement changes in a safe manner. We deliver our services within strategic advisory and corporate finance as independent services, or as the value creation program “Inception”. We customize our services to each client’s needs.
Strategic advisory is about systematic and innovative measures to dramatically improve profitability and competitiveness. We do not offer spreadsheet analysts straight from school, but focus on people who have lived through difficult changes and improvements.
Our services within value creation include:
The need for value creation is almost always triggered by the need for change. Profitability may be too weak. The development of new products and services takes too long, or launch in the market met with indifferent nod from the desired customer base. Delivery processes do not ensure customer perceived quality. Faults and problems are identified too late or not at all until critical processes or contracts to a halt. IT systems do not provide sufficient cost- effectiveness, or brought up in the boardroom as the main reason for the lack of business change capability.
The need for change can be triggered by various problems, and often the complex cause- effect relationships between issues. Improvements require people who have both the ability to recognize the core of the problem and can utilize their own and others’ experiences in quick to get from problem to action, and that can ensure implementation capacity in spite of people’s natural resistance to change
Because issues vary, it should also be careful to generalize outcomes for the solutions. But very often the action plan include parallel and coordinated changes in three critical areas – strategic positioning, process improvements and technology utilization.
Positioning is all about who the company should be for. Many are struggling with an “all-for- all syndrome” – products and services that do not excel in any particular direction, neither in terms of product characteristics nor in which customer needs they should cover. In extreme situations the whole business idea needs to be changed. In other situations there is a need of “sharpening” the product portfolio, customer segmentation and / or competitive strategy.
Process improvements are about how the company performs the tasks needed to serve customers and to create a profitable business. Often we see declining profitability and competitiveness because the positioning has been changed without corresponding changes in business processes. For example we often see companies that have moved from delivering standard products to the SME market to the more demanding enterprise market with increased requirements for customization and integration, without changing the roles, skills, methods or management systems to manage such customers in a professional manner.
Technology utilization is not only about efficient use of IT and production technology to support primary business processes and the desired positioning. If so, it would have been fairly simple. A strong IT strategy must support the business strategy and not limit the business potential and strategic options at the board level of the firm in the years to come. It is vital to understand the potential rapid changes in business logics due to ever faster changing technologies. Planning of technology utilization requires significant use of scenario techniques and in-depth understanding of the relationships between strategic choices, IT architecture, and change flexibility.
A value creation program will often start with what we call a “highspot review”, which is a structured and extremely focused process of 3-4 weeks designed to find out where the shoe press and how best to get out of that situation. During a “highspot” we work closely with senior management and board members, and often also with a separate project group composed of people from various levels of the organization.
We recommend a focused “highspot” process rather than a more prolonged and traditional strategy process, simply because such a procedure provides faster ability to act. A “highspot” leads to an action plan with both immediate actions and longer-term projects, often conducted under some form of coordinated program management. Sometimes one or more of the projects in the action plan are of strategic character. In such cases, the combination of short-term and long-term thinking is taken care of by first executing the identified quick wins. If the identified actions should be implemented through line positions rather than through a project, Incepto consultants may also be candidates for “management for hire” positions.
Incepto has a comprehensive methodology for strategic consulting and positioning, including reusable processes and checklists to support improved day-to-day project management, product development and customer delivery, – to support the client long time after the initial consultancy assignment are terminated.