“We built our new website to improve our clients’ user experience, make it easier to navigate and more clearly articulate the things we do for our private equity and corporate clients across different use cases,” BluWave CEO Sean Mooney says. “The new website also makes it much easier and more seamless to do things like start a project and connect with our customer coverage team members.”
Some of the new features include:
Whether you’re at the Due Diligence, Value Creation or Prep for Sale stage, we have real-life case studies, informed blog posts and expert content to support you. Learn more about how our expertly vetted service providers can help your private equity firm, portfolio company or private or public business, no matter what industry you’re in.
Quickly access resources related to your niche-specific need by using the search bar at the top of the site.
“One of the great things about BluWave is that our network covers a lot of ground for business builders and their needs. The challenge is that it can be difficult to concisely cover all the things we do for private equity and corporate customers,” Mooney says. “I’m excited about the enhanced search functionality that will help our clients more easily navigate areas of interest.”
New Team Pages
Meet the leadership and learn more about the experts at BluWave. Click into any of the individual profiles on the page to get to know us better or contact us directly.
BluWave’s head of client coverage is excited about how the business builders we work with every day will benefit from these improvements.
“Our primary focus is to ensure that our new website is relatable to our growing client base with our expansion into new markets,” Managing Director Rena Frackt Zimmerman says. “With an emphasis on speed and ease of use, our revamped website offers a seamless experience for visitors allowing them to gather information or fast-track directly into an engagement.”
“The launch of our new website is representative of our continued focus to deliver the best experience to everyone that makes the BluWave network – the world’s best business builders and our best-in-class specialized service providers – what it is.”
At the heart of every thriving business lies meticulous bookkeeping. As businesses strive for operational efficiency, they increasingly turn to outsourced bookkeeping services. This strategic shift allows them to tap into a wealth of expertise not readily available in-house and to free themselves from the time-consuming complexities of financial management.
In the face of a rapidly evolving business landscape, maintaining a competitive edge is key. Outsourced bookkeeping strengthens your financial foundation and equips you with the data-driven insights required for informed decision-making. Furthermore, by choosing to outsource, businesses can shift their focus to core competencies, fostering innovation and catalyzing growth.
Moreover, with the ever-changing labyrinth of regulatory requirements and tax laws, having an experienced accountant at your service ensures your business stays compliant. Navigating these complexities alone can be daunting and fraught with risk. An outsourced accountant stays updated with these changes, protecting your business from potential legal pitfalls.
Navigating a merger or acquisition is a complex, multistage process that requires careful planning, strategic decision-making and effective execution. Understanding the timeline and key phases can significantly affect success, minimizing disruption and maximizing potential synergies.
Let’s look at an overview of a typical M&A integration timeline, breaking down each phase into clear, actionable steps. From pre-merger planning to ongoing post-merger optimization, we’ll explore each phase in detail, offering insights that can help private equity firms and businesses better manage their M&A processes, align teams and objectives and ultimately achieve their strategic goals.
“Instead of hoping that all the pieces will simply fall into place once a merger gets underway, top PE firms use specialized PE-grade merger integration advisors from BluWave’s Business Builders’ Network to help guide and keep portfolio company acquisitions on track,” BluWave CEO Sean Mooney says. “These merger integration experts know what steps need to be taken and when they need to be taken in order for an acquisition to live up to its full potential.”
Cloud migration is the process of moving applications, data and other IT resources from an organization’s on-premises infrastructure to a cloud computing environment. This environment could be a public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, or a private cloud, which is a dedicated environment for a single organization.
This complicated process goes much smoother with the help of an expert third-party resource.
Colocation services provide businesses with the space, power, cooling and security required to host their IT equipment in a data center. Colo security providers offer a wide range of services tailored to the requirements of organizations of all sizes, from small businesses that may need only a few server racks to large enterprises that require entire data halls.
With cybersecurity as important as ever, it pays to work with information technology experts who can help store and manage your data. Specialized third-party service providers know how to do exactly that, no matter your company’s size or industry.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool for data analytics in the business world.
AI-driven analytics is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to analyze and interpret data. It involves the application of algorithms that can learn from data, identify patterns and make predictions or recommendations based on that analysis.
It’s also a way for organizations and businesses to unlock insights and make decisions faster and more accurately than traditional methods.
“When people are thinking about AI, they’re thinking about the sentient robots that play Go and talk to you,” says Mike Datus* of AI Business Analytics, one of our trusted Business Intelligence & Analyticsservice providers. “Then there’s this other part of the world which is ‘business’ AI or machine learning, which is really using mathematical models to predict things and find really deep patterns.”
Every quarter our team analyzes the projects we work on with our 500+ PE firm clients to get a bird’s eye view of the market. We recently compiled our Q1 2023 findings into our BluWave Insights Report. You can request your copy and our client coverage team will be in touch.
Key findings from Q1 ’23 include:
Value creation activity is at an all-time high, matching Q1 2022.
Human capital remains PE’s primary area of focus at 45% of all Q1 activity, also matching an all-time high.
Technology remains a priority at 11% of all Q1 PE activity.
A sales process workflow is a systematic and visual representation of the stages and activities involved in the sales process. It outlines the sequence of steps from identifying leads to closing deals and post-sale follow-up.
The primary goal of a sales process workflow is to provide a clear roadmap for the sales team to follow, improve their performance, reduce errors and be more efficient.
It can also help identify bottlenecks or areas where the process can be improved. A well-designed sales process workflow ensures that every opportunity is properly managed, tracked and nurtured to maximize potential.
Let’s discuss the different components of a sales process workflow and provide guidance on how to develop and optimize a sales process that works for your business.
Product positioning refers to the strategic process of establishing a distinct and favorable perception of a product in the minds of consumers relative to its competitors. It involves creating a unique and compelling position in the market that differentiates the product from others and resonates with the target customers.
It is also a strategic marketing process that of identifying and communicating a product’s or service’s key attributes, differentiators and positioning statements to target customers.
To effectively position a new product, it is important to have a deep understanding of the factors that influence its adoption within a specific market segment. This involves gathering and analyzing facts, as well as formulating hypotheses and incorporating them into a dynamic model.
The goal of product positioning is to create a favorable perception of the product in the minds of consumers, giving it a competitive advantage in the market and driving customer preference and loyalty.
Let’s dig deeper into the importance of product positioning and what it entails.
The right strategy will help private equity firms and their portfolio companies, as well as public or private companies, to position their products and services as favorably as possible.
This can be done by conducting voice of the customer interviews, as well as other market research. By speaking with existing customers, organizations can better understand why people use their product or service.
Speaking to non-customers, however, can be just as important as it sheds light on why people are not using your product or service.
This information can then be used to determine current perceptions, and assess growth opportunities and requirements for deeper market penetration.
Customers – existing and potential – can also be segmented in a way that allows the company to understand which group would be most valuable. Future strategies could then be geared toward those segments.
Indications are important considerations in product positioning as they help define the target market and communicate the value proposition of a product. They provide information about the specific problems, needs or desires that a product is designed to address or fulfill. They can be based on various factors, such as the product’s functional attributes, performance characteristics, intended user demographics or usage scenarios.
For example, in the healthcare industry, product positioning for a pharmaceutical drug may involve indicating the specific medical conditions or diseases for which the drug is approved, the recommended dosage, patient age groups or other relevant factors.
In the consumer goods industry, product positioning for a household cleaning product may include indicating the types of surfaces or stains the product is effective on, the recommended usage instructions, or the target market segment, such as families with young children or pet owners.
Indications help guide consumers in understanding how a product can fulfill their needs or solve their problems, and they can also help differentiate a product from competitors by highlighting its specific use cases or advantages.
Clear and accurate indications are crucial in marketing and branding strategies to ensure that the product is positioned effectively in the market and resonates with the needs and preferences of the target customers.
Effectively marketing your product’s features and benefits is crucial to a product positioning strategy. Here are some of the more important elements:
Differentiation: Positioning a product as unique or superior based on its features and benefits can create a competitive advantage and set it apart from similar offerings.
Value Proposition: A well-crafted value prop highlights the unique features and benefits of a product to customers, justifies its price and creates a compelling reason to choose it over competitive alternatives.
Target Market Alignment: Understanding the target market’s requirements and desires and aligning the product’s features and benefits accordingly can help position the product as relevant and appealing.
Communication: Clear and effective communication of what the product offers through marketing messages, packaging, branding and other promotional materials can create awareness, generate interest and influence perception of the product.
Customer Needs Fulfillment: Ultimately, the purpose of a positioning strategy is to fulfill customer needs or solve customer problems. By aligning the product’s features and benefits with customer needs, the positioning strategy can establish the product as a viable solution that addresses pain points and provides value, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
A price analysis is conducted to assess and determine the optimal strategy for a product or service based on its intended market positioning.
Pricing is a critical element of a positioning strategy as it affects how a product or service is perceived by consumers in terms of its value proposition and competitive positioning. It can affect the perceived value of a product, influence customer perception of quality, impact customer willingness to pay and affect overall market positioning.
For example, if a product is priced too low, it may be perceived as of low quality or lacking premium features. On the other hand, if a product is priced too high, it may be perceived as overpriced and not providing adequate value.
Cost-Based Pricing: This strategy involves setting prices based on the production costs, such as materials, labor and overheads, with a desired profit margin. Cost-based pricing can position a product as affordable and budget-friendly, but may not necessarily convey premium quality or unique value.
Value-Based Pricing: This strategy involves setting prices based on the perceived value that a product offers to customers. It takes into account the benefits, features and unique value proposition of the product, as well as the target market’s willingness to pay. Value-based pricing can position a product as premium, high-quality and worth the investment.
Competitive-Based (Market-Based) Pricing: This strategy involves setting prices based on the prices of competitors’ products. It can be used to position a product as competitive and comparable to other products in the market. It may not, however, necessarily differentiate the product or highlight its unique value proposition.
Competitive analysis is a critical component of positioning strategy as it provides insights into the competitive landscape, helps identify market opportunities and threats, and guides the development of an effective positioning strategy.
Some key aspects include:
Understanding Competitors: This understanding enables a company to identify the competitive advantages it can leverage and the potential vulnerabilities it needs to address in its positioning strategy.
Identifying Market Opportunities: By understanding the unmet needs of customers or the gaps in the offerings of competitors, a company can position its product or service to address those gaps and capture market share.
Assessing Competitive Threats: This may include competitors launching new products, changing their pricing strategies or implementing aggressive marketing campaigns. By understanding the competitive landscape, a company can anticipate and respond proactively while adapting its positioning strategy accordingly.
Differentiation: Competitive analysis helps in identifying the unique selling propositions (USPs) of competitors and their positioning strategies. By offering unique features, benefits, or pricing strategies that are distinct from competitors, a company can create a competitive edge and attract customers who are seeking something different or better.
Refining Positioning Strategy: By monitoring competitors’ actions, customer feedback and market dynamics, a company can make informed decisions about adjusting its positioning strategy to stay relevant and effective.
Interim CEO services are highly coveted in transitionary economies like the ones we experienced during the 2008 housing crisis, the COVID recession and the 2023 bank failures.
What works for a chief executive officer under normal circumstances doesn’t cut it when times are especially tough.
That’s why private equity firms, their portcos, and private and public companies are often on the lookout for a talented temporary chief executive officer to help them come out of recessions not only surviving, but even stronger than they went in.
“Interim CEOs have had the ability and experience to quickly assess a crisis and determine a course of action quickly,” says Hannah Welsh, BluWave’s Independent Consultant Manager. “They have been in several turnaround scenarios and understand the importance of speed and definitive action, while long-term CEOs have often grown up in a company and are less likely to assess and act as quickly.”
As the leader of an entire organization, there are some important skills nearly every chief executive officer must have. Temporary CEOs are no exception, and often need to bring some unique services and talents to the table that a long-term leader may not have.
Most CEOs, as Welsh mentioned, are not used to dealing with disruptive circumstances.
When a company’s going through financial distress, it needs to make changes to its business model. Michael Pooles*, an interim CEO from the BluWave-grade network, says a lot of companies are not accustomed to doing that.
“They’re used to keeping the dial between nine and 11. But when times are disruptive, where companies come under stress, you need a different kind of leader. Most CEOs don’t have that skillset to drive significant change,” Pooles says. “That’s why you bring in an interim who does.”
In challenging economies, knowing how to deal with supply chain issues and other commercial-related problems are especially important for a temporary chief executive.
Quickly Assimilate Information
The sooner that new leader can wrap their head around the data at their disposal, the more quickly they’ll be able to affect change. In a role that typically lasts less than a year, making decisions from day one is paramount.
“Successful interim CEOs come in with a trust-but-verify mindset. An inquisitiveness,” says Caleb Morrison, another experienced executive from our interim network. “If you walk into a CEO chair, you’re not going to get a pass on a lack of knowledge.”
Act with Speed and Certainty
If a portfolio company recently broke covenants with a bank, or if a private- or publicly owned company is going through a crisis, they don’t have months or even weeks to “figure things out.”
They need someone who understands their industry, has a deep knowledge of how to confront the specific challenges the organization faces, and they need to be able to address them quickly.
If time weren’t of the essence, the company could have found a long-term replacement. But the CEO role isn’t one that can be left open for any significant amount of time. That’s why interim CEOs are expected to not only act fast, but with an assuredness that inspires the rest of the team to follow their turnaround plan.
If a portfolio company or private or public company needs an interim chief executive, more often than not it’s because things weren’t going well with the previous leader.
The last thing the organization needs is someone to come in and point fingers and make excuses.
An interim CEO should be mentally prepared to walk into a messy situation and do everything they can to clean it up. If things don’t work out at the end of the engagement, there’s only one person to blame.
“The buck stops with you,” Morrison says.
“You need to be able to lead a varied group of people. Every situation you walk into, you don’t know what you’re getting into in terms of the talent,” Morrison says. “Being able to read people and understand what motivates them and change your approach accordingly is very important.”
What worked at one company, however, may not work at another. Interim leaders who come in with a cookie-cutter approach aren’t likely to be successful.
“I don’t believe in a one size fits all,” he adds. “It’s very rare that every company is going to have the same culture.”
Within the context of these skills, there are many specific problems an interim CEO might be asked to solve.
Here are just a few of the more common issues we hear about when private equity firms and public and private companies contact us for a temporary executive leader:
PE firms want to accelerate their portco’s growth during their hold period. When things aren’t going as well as planned, they sometimes look for a change in leadership to turn things around.
An interim CEO can be the perfect solution to solve the more specific issues that follow.
“Leaking cash” means more money is going out than coming in. This could be due to lack of revenue from its products and services, and/or because too much is being spent on things like marketing, salaries and overhead.
At a high level, this can be resolved by reducing costs and increasing revenue. But it’s not as simple as it sounds.
That’s why an interim chief executive officer can be an invaluable resource in this situation.
A leaky supply chain can also be a major downfall for a company. This can happen during packing, shipping as well as in-store handling, depending on the nature of the business.
An experienced temporary executive will know how to root out and address the cause of the shrinkage problem.
“Margin compression is when input costs rise faster than the sale price of the product,” according to the University of Minnesota. “As a result, margins decline over time. Margin compression commonly occurs in most industries.”
This can happen due to increased competition or decreased demand – both of which drive down prices. It can also occur when the cost of parts and labor goes up, thus lessening the organization’s margin on its product or service.
An interim CEO could choose to address this in a number of ways, including by reducing costs, increasing prices or improving operational efficiency.
Crisis or PR Disaster
These are the kinds of situations that get a company in the news for all the wrong reasons: product recalls, employee misconduct, fraudulent or illegal activities, natural or environmental disasters and more.
Restoring trust and confidence in the company by communicating effectively with employees, customers and the public is key here. The right leader will also implement specific tactics to prevent similar disasters from reoccurring, when possible.