Does your strategy guide how you allocate resources? Can every employee articulate your strategy, and do they have what they need to execute it?
At ACS Consulting, strategy is more than a plan, and we have been helping companies in all industries with their strategies since 2006.
Understanding The Strategy Relevance
In search for redefining their purpose, most leading businesses are exploring big, transformative action, embarking on end-to-end digital transformations, pursuing aggressive growth strategies and experimenting to achieve disruptive innovation.
The speed of globalization, the rate of change in technology, and growing economic interconnections are challenging traditional approaches to develop strategy. Yet strategy is more necessary than ever. The frequency and speed with which leadership positions change are increasing and the performance gap between winners and losers is widening. To beat those trends, strategists must understand, compete across, and adapt to, a much broader range of strategic environments, each requiring distinct approaches and capabilities
What ACS Can Do For You
ACS consulting has all the right resources to provide strategic advice to help you achieve optimal and sustainable results.
Our network of global strategy consultants brings a wealth of experience and deep, analytical rigor to every client. From developing first insights to implementing strategy with concrete actions, we stand ready to work with you to define strategies that inspire your customers and employees to realize the exciting potential of your strategy that produces sustainable value, one that enables you to reach full potential in your core business, expand into adjacencies using a repeatable model, and successfully expand into emerging markets.
Make key decisions on where to play and how to win, by developing a business unit strategy that takes a specific business to its full potential.
Develop digital strategies that deliver, on the promise of your core strategy, with a unique approach that combines near-term, high-impact initiatives with a bold vision for how your company will compete as digital reshapes your industry.
Leverage the power of proven tools and techniques, that enable you to execute your strategy with nimble experimentation and quick-hit problem resolution that recapture the responsiveness your company enjoyed in its early days. Our structured approach to innovation enables you to merge the talents of your commercially focused and creative team members to spur the innovations that fuel your strategy.
A company's corporate strategy is as essential as it gets. The role of corporate strategy is to ensure that the whole value of the enterprise is more than the sum of its parts.
Developing a winning corporate strategy requires a relentless focus on value creation and thoughtful attention in three important areas:
Set a clear, shared, long-term vision, that motivates the team and engages investors. Where do we want to be in five or ten years?
Then define a portfolio strategy, to realize the vision. Which businesses should we be in? Where should we expand and where is it best to divest?
Finally, establish the corporate policies and processes, that reflect the corporation's parenting approach. How do we link strategy to value creation?
Corporate strategy is an ongoing process—particularly given today’s volatile competitive environments. Consistently delivering value creation that outpaces peers demands that organizations enhance their capabilities and regularly revisit their strategies.
How ACS can help build a winning corporate strategy?
For more than 12 years, ACS consulting has helped companies refine and execute their strategies, setting them on the path to sustainable value creation. With ACS assisting you with the development of your corporate strategy, you can expect the following results:
Develop a well-defined purpose that defined the compass for value creation.
Get a clear prospective on parenting advantages and how to add value in the development and management of portfolio.
Clearly articulate portfolio choices i.e. which assets should be in and out of the portfolio, based on a true understanding of each asset’s full potential and opportunities outside of the current portfolio.
Make effective financial choices that allocate resources among assets and support maximum value creation acceptable levels of risk.
Create and action-oriented transformation roadmap built around the most critical value levers. e.g. full-potential plans of assets required buy and sell-side transactions and changes to operational model.
We have supported well over 200 strategy projects since our inception in 2006.
We use rigorous, fact-based analyses to help companies create actionable strategic plans that focus on value creation.
We always take an end-to-end perspective toward value creation, integrating our world-class capabilities in business strategy, corporate finance, transactions and organization.
We customize our approach based on an understanding of your business and situation.
Business Unit Strategy
Each business unit within a corporation needs its own strategy to prevail over existing and potential rivals. A successful business unit strategy would get results fast.
In today's increasingly turbulent markets - characterized by digital disruption and blurring industry boundaries - devising and executing a winning strategy is harder than ever. Business unit strategy is a critical complement to corporate strategy. If corporate strategy is about determining the optimal allocation of capital across a portfolio of strategic business units, the objective of business unit strategy is to decide how best to deploy that capital to create value. A business unit only prospers if it can satisfy the changing needs of its chosen customers both more fully and more profitably than its competitors.
There are three ingredients of a successful business unit strategy:
A rich, nuanced, and real-time understanding of the competitive environment is an essential ingredient of good business unit strategy. How are leading-edge customers - and their economics and options - changing? What are potential vectors of disruption? Where are today’s profit pools and how are they likely to evolve? How well are competitors, both traditional and emerging, positioned to respond? What potent new business models could change the game? And what style of strategy is most likely to win?
A clear and candid assessment of the business unit's true sources of competitive advantage is the next critical element. What gives the business a right to win in today’s and tomorrow’s markets? Is the advantage based on cost, capabilities, intellectual property, unique access to data, position in an ecosystem, or other factors? Are key moves required to acquire new assets or capabilities? Which combination of choices - of customers, markets, and investments - has the greatest potential to create value relative to rivals?
Link to Execution
A direct and agile connection between the strategy and the business is the final component. What is the right approach to create alignment around the strategy? How to set and communicate goals? How to create tight market feedback loops that enable rapid learning and adaptation of the strategy?
How ACS can help build effective business unit strategies?
ACS helps you raise your ambition, determine your priorities and chart a path to reach your full potential. We work with you to mobilize effectively across your organization, from the boardroom to the front line, so that your transformation journey stays on course.
With ACS assisting you with the development of your business unit strategies, you can expect the following results:
Deep, compelling insights
Our provocative core beliefs on strategy combined with our analytic rigor help you see your business, and your future, more clearly than ever before.
We help you determine which markets and segments to pursue and which to ignore, how to allocate your resources, and which differentiated capabilities and assets will be key to your success.
Our co-creation approach will unite your senior team, facilitating the strategic dialogues that support dynamic decision making and, if necessary, course corrections.
Strategy And Innovation
We live in a world where what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work tomorrow, or next year. That’s why we help you develop a business strategy that will also work the year after and help you navigate this Transformative Age.
How ACS can help incorporate innovation in your strategy?
While many leading organizations understand the power of purpose, they find that activating it through their strategies and realizing its full value is much more challenging. Our purpose is to support you on the journey to successfully define and activate your purpose.
ACS Consulting is driven to ask and answer the bigger, better and more impactful questions about purpose. We can help you uncover and activate your organization’s real purpose by jointly defining your business strategy that inspires your customers and employees to act.
Innovation is not optional. It is a must. To not only survive, but thrive 10 years from now, companies will need to create businesses and cultures capable of driving the duality of optimal performance today and innovation for the future.
Generating ideas is only 5% of the challenge. At least 95% of innovation success is based in the ability to execute and bring amazing things to customers at full global scale. This is innovation realized.
ACS's innovation approach is based on the premise of making hard things easy and imagining the art of the possible. As the future is many, not one, we jointly build and validate scenarios with you. We work with you to shape your future business model and deploy new offerings. We are constantly evolving to help you drive your business forward, turning threat into opportunity.
Working together, ACS can help you design better outcomes and deliver long-lasting results.
Companies are operating in an uncertain world, where they must continuously adapt to business disruption. In this “constant state of emergence,” companies must evolve at a speed that matches the pace of digital technology adoption. Every business model and every business process is vulnerable whether they are focused on growing, optimizing or protecting their business.
Any company that fails to take advantage of existing and emerging digital technologies to reinvent itself will be left behind. But it’s not just about adapting to and implementing new technology, it’s about running a business like a digital leader.
At ACS Consulting, we believe that converting these threats into opportunities and riding the next wave of uncertainty requires a different kind of strategy - a “re-strategy” manifesto that constantly evolves at digital speed. Our digital professionals can talk to you about what that strategy manifesto looks like and how to achieve it.
ACS Consulting can help you develop a growth strategy that exploits sales potential and puts your organization in a strategically favourable position to gain market share. We understand the importance of considering market demand, speciﬁc products and services, relevant tax, trade and risk implications, and an advantageous go-to-market approach.
In summary, we help to provide both the vision and strategy to achieve growth. This involves traditional growth strategy - developing new and assessing existing portfolio, market and footprint strategies. In addition, we support you in driving your growth agenda.
Setting or changing pricing strategy has huge implications for earnings and market perceptions. Over the past few decades, the growth of pricing discipline, which can generate significant market value, has accelerated.
We help your organization develop innovative pricing strategies that support your broader market and business strategies and apply analytics to better understand price performance and help create value.
Strategic planning and roadmap
Most organizations conduct some type of annual strategic planning exercise, which represents a significant investment of leadership time and focus. Unfortunately, too often that effort fails to define a strategy that is actionable, represents new thinking, and ties to annual planning.
ACS consulting can help your organization to make strategic planning a more valuable exercise. A great strategic planning process helps align an organization around its aspirational purpose and helps prioritize initiatives and investments to achieve that purpose. ACS's approach to strategic planning process considers disruptive industry trends, emerging customer needs, and unanticipated competitor actions to challenge the status quo. The right process frames strategic choices and defines a clear strategic direction with a sequenced roadmap of initiatives to implement the strategy.
Like the industrial age before, the Transformative Age is changing how we live, work and play. Quick fixes no longer will suffice. Instead, organizations need to be thinking about fundamental transformation that will give them the agility to adapt.
In today’s environment, companies experience constant change due to shifting stakeholder expectations. Employees, customers and investors are seeking deeper reasons for engagement. Therefore, organizations need to be thinking about fundamental transformation to meet these expectations.
How ACS can help achieve strategic transformation?
ACS Consulting can help you unlock the inherent value along the entire transformation spectrum - whether it is purpose, business and operating model, process and function, or tools and technology. Together, ACS can provide better outcomes and long-lasting results, from strategy to execution.
Purpose-Led Transformation is a new approach to driving strategic transformation, innovation and growth. In a recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytics, 91% of respondents identified that their company has or is working on developing a purpose, while less than half believe their strategy is aligned with the purpose. Further, only 37% believe their operating model and operations are aligned to their purpose.
We define purpose as an organization’s clear reason for being that serves to set strategic vision and decision-making. A strong purpose focuses the business strategy on delivering value and meaning for customers, employees and other stakeholders, which finally boosts the prosperity of your organization.
Enterprise Operating Model
External forces - changes in technology, customer preferences, and competitive environment - and internal forces - strategy shift, operational cost increase, and leadership change - trigger the need for companies to change their operating model to stay competitive. Enterprise Operating Model supports strategy execution and drives value through:
Unlocking top-line growth: pursuing new business models or restructuring existing ones to deliver integrated client outcomes
Differentiating core capabilities (including performance): increasing operational effectiveness
Driving sustainable profitability: optimizing enterprise costs
Enterprise Cost Reduction
For every organization, the focus is not just on growth, but also on profitability: it’s important to ask what measures have been taken to grow profitability. It’s about aligning cost structure with corporate strategy and controlling costs and using those savings to unlock growth. This results in operational and capital efficiencies that improve the bottom line while serving customers and shareholders more effectively.
ACS identifies, prioritizes and helps implement initiatives that address a wide range of cash, cost and capital challenges. The detailed frameworks and change management methodology supports ACS clients to achieve their current objectives and their future aspirations.
The best strategic-planning processes focus on insight, preparedness, and agility, not bureaucracy.
Most organizations are dissatisfied with the way they make strategy. They see their strategic-planning approach as too rigid, bureaucratic, reactive, and disconnected from execution. Confronted with faster-changing environments, they doubt their process can see around the bend to reveal the big, disruptive opportunities that will drive long-term value creation.
At the heart of these concerns is the misconception that strategic planning is just about annual budgets and five-year plans. These traditional planning approaches work well in stable and relatively predictable sectors, but stability is less and less the norm. More turbulent environments call for nimbler approaches that match the clock-speed of planning to that of the market.
Four Strategic-Planning Best Practices:
Explore strategy at multiple time horizons
The long, medium, and short term need to be addressed individually. Each demands different goals, stakeholders, and rhythms, and none should be ignored.
Reinvent and stimulate the strategic dialogue regularly
It’s easy for a strategy process to fall prey to the law of diminishing returns. With too much repetition, the exercise can become stale. Rather than change the process, however, many leading practitioners inject inspiration and novelty by focusing their process on a changing set of critical strategic questions.
Engage the broad organization and beyond
Going beyond the central strategy team to business leads, board members, customers, and even suppliers can help avoid groupthink, boost preparedness and agility, and lead to better strategy execution.
Invest in execution and monitoring
Clear communication is essential, but so are the right organization and metrics. Priority strategic initiatives need to be protected from the day-to-day and tracked via a shared performance dashboard.
Business Model Innovation
Product and service innovation are essential, but business model innovation can deliver more lasting competitive advantage, particularly in disruptive times.
In the past 50 years, the average business model lifespan has fallen from about 15 years to less than five. As a result, business model innovation is now an essential capability for organizations seeking to drive breakout growth, reinvigorate a lagging core, or defend against industry disruption or decline.
What is business model innovation?
Business model innovation is the art of enhancing advantage and value creation by making simultaneous and mutually supportive changes both to an organization’s value proposition to customers and to its underlying operating model.
At the value proposition level, these changes can address the choice of target segment, product or service offering, and revenue model. At the operating model level, the focus is on how to drive profitability, competitive advantage, and value creation through these decisions on how to deliver the value proposition:
Where to play along the value chain
What cost model is needed to ensure attractive returns
What organizational structure and capabilities are essential to success
Business model innovation and transformation
Business model innovation is critical to transformation. Many organizations share a common set of concerns: What type of business model shift will help us achieve breakout performance? How do we avoid jeopardizing the core business? How do we build the capability to develop, rapidly test, and scale new models? Inspiring an organization to change is not a trivial undertaking, but given the current strategic environment, it’s a critical one.
Four Approaches to business model innovation
Companies hoping to drive growth through business model innovation face a number of critical questions: How broad should the scope of the effort be? What’s the appropriate level of risk to take? Is it a onetime exercise, or does it call for an ongoing capability?
To answer those questions, it’s important to realize that not all business model innovation efforts are alike. Understanding the four distinct approaches to business model innovation can help executives make effective choices in designing the path to growth:
The re-inventor approach is deployed in light of a fundamental industry challenge, such as commoditization or new regulation, in which a business model is deteriorating slowly, and growth prospects are uncertain. In this situation, the company must reinvent its customer-value proposition and realign its operations to profitably deliver on the new superior offering.
The adapter approach is used when the current core business, even if reinvented, is unlikely to combat fundamental disruption. Adapters explore adjacent businesses or markets, in some cases exiting their core business entirely. Adapters must build an innovation engine to persistently drive experimentation to find a successful “new core” space with the right business model.
The maverick approach deploys business model innovation to scale up a potentially more successful core business. Mavericks, which can be either start-ups or insurgent established companies, employ their core advantage to revolutionize their industry and set new standards. This requires an ability to continually evolve the competitive edge or advantage of the business to drive growth.
The adventurer approach aggressively expands the footprint of a business by exploring or venturing into new or adjacent territories. This approach requires an understanding of the company’s competitive advantage and placing careful bets on novel applications of that advantage in order to succeed in new markets.
Emerging Markets Strategy
Home to most of the world's population and growing at double-digit rates, emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe represent a must-win area. ACS helps both multinational and local companies to navigate this terrain.
The global economy is changing at an unprecedented pace and the so-called 'emerging markets' have, in many ways, already emerged. In this decade, emerging markets will create more than 1.3 billion new middle-class consumers. Home to most of the world’s population and natural resources, emerging markets represent a must-win area for both local and multinational companies.
How ACS can help implement an emerging markets strategy?
ACS Consulting has a true global scope, diversity and experience to deliver extraordinary client results in these regions. To help address the challenges which growing companies face in these regions, as they grow in scale and scope, ACS is committed to a personal, high-priority relationship featuring flexible working models and IP that is developed to meet each company's unique needs and circumstances.
Fundamentals of Growth
In business, growth is an imperative, not an option. But only one in ten companies succeeds in achieving sustained, profitable growth.
Growth strategy is at the heart of what we've done at ACS for more than 13 years. We help companies to reach full potential in their core business and pursue adjacencies that strengthen the core using a repeatable formula.
Growth is hard. Over the past decade, approximately 90% of companies worldwide failed to achieve sustained, profitable growth. At ACS consulting, we help companies seeking to join the elite group of sustained value creators by turning three common pitfalls into opportunities:
Too many companies leave money on the table in their core businesses.
More than 80% of executives say they are not even close to achieving full potential in their core business. Our strategy consultants help companies find the untapped growth potential and unrealized cost savings in their core businesses.
While companies in mature markets need to expand their horizons, too often they diversify too far in pursuit of fast growth.
We help our clients expand from a strong core into adjacencies by applying a repeatable formula.
Some companies hit a wall in their current business and fail to successfully redefine their core. We help firms find successful platforms, often within their own businesses, along with new customer insights and capabilities, to renew their business model.
We view growth in the context of the Focus-Expand-Redefine (F-E-R) cycle, which nearly every large enterprise moves through over time.
More strategic errors come from inadequate self-awareness than any other cause. Many management teams do not agree on the core and some have never even talked about it. In the focus phase, companies concentrate on building their core business to reach their full potential. They grow revenue, cut costs, improve operations, leverage differentiated capabilities and assets to build competitive advantage and develop innovations in their core products.
In the expand phase, companies take advantage of these capabilities and market positions to move into adjacent markets. They seek out new customer segments, new geographies, new distribution channels and new-but-related product lines. Adjacency moves offer one of the most effective ways for companies to achieve repeated bursts of new growth.
At ACS consulting, our Innovation tool combines the creative and analytic talents within organizations to generate new ideas for adjacency expansion. We help clients accurately determine which adjacent businesses will add the most growth and value - while ensuring companies build-off of a strong core and avoid overreaching - using a repeatable formula.
At some point, many companies find their growth and profitability tapering off or even declining. Whether due to market saturation, shifting profit pools or a change in the competitive or technological landscape, this is when a company moves into phase three and must redefine its core. During the redefinition phase, we help executives renew company strategy and capabilities. This work entails looking deep within their organizations to find undervalued, unrecognized or underutilized assets that can serve as new platforms for sustainable growth.
No matter the phase, successful growth relies heavily on management and frontline execution. We apply results delivery approach to generate consensus across teams by jointly developing and prioritizing growth strategies.