Search for CFO To Lead Funeral Home Expansion

Service Area: Human Capital

Client Type: Lower-Middle Market PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Finance Executive Search Firm

Industry: Retail

The Need
New CFO Amid Expansion

A lower-middle market PE firm needed to initiate a search for a new CFO for its portfolio company in the retail sector, focusing on funeral home and cremation services. This was prompted by the departure of the current CFO to a role with a larger company, leaving a gap in strategic financial leadership during a critical phase of expansion and acquisitions.

The Challenge
CFO with Industry-Specific and Transactional Experience

The firm sought a CFO with experience in managing multi-site service companies, ideally with a background in retail or similar sectors that involve consolidating family-owned businesses. The candidate needed to possess transactional experience to support the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy, aiming to close four to seven per year.

How BluWave Helped
Identifying a Specialized Finance Executive Search Firm

BluWave connected the PE firm with a finance executive search firm renowned for its expertise in the retail sector and specifically within the niche of funeral home and cremation services. This firm was chosen for its broad network, ability to present a wide array of candidates and experience with multi-site service companies undergoing consolidation.

The Result
Successful Placement of a CFO to Drive Future Growth

The search culminated in the successful recruitment of a CFO who not only met the criteria for industry experience and transactional expertise but also aligned with the company’s culture and growth objectives. This strategic hire positioned the company to continue its expansion and consolidation strategy effectively, with a strong leader at the helm of its financial operations.

Provided good summaries of each candidate. At or above what we are used to seeing. Was available and able to move quickly. Really liked working with them. Managed the process very well.

-SVP of PE Firm

Executive Search Firm Financial Controller for Growing Business Services Company

Service Area: Human Capital

Client Type: Lower-Middle Market PE Firm 

Service Provider Type: Executive Search Firm – Finance

Industry: Professional Services

The Need
Expert Controller to Spearhead Financial Strategy Post-Pandemic

A tech-enabled business services company, rebounding post-pandemic with aspirations to exceed 9 figures in revenue and millions in EBITDA, was in urgent need of a controller. This role was critical for directing the company’s financial strategy and supporting the newly appointed CFO in building a robust finance team.

The Challenge
High-Caliber Finance Professional Within Budget Constraints

The challenge lay in identifying a candidate with the right blend of experience and expertise within the specified compensation range. The search required precision to connect someone capable of stepping into a leadership role during a crucial growth phase, with a focus on the southern market.

How BluWave Helped
Identifying a Specialized Finance Executive Search Firm

BluWave utilized its network to connect the PE firm with a finance executive search firm that had deep expertise in recruiting within the southern market. This partnership was tailored to meet the unique demands of the search, focusing on candidates who could bring strategic financial leadership to a rapidly growing company.

The Result
Strategic Financial Leadership to Drive Post-Pandemic Growth

The collaboration resulted in the successful placement of a controller who not only met the budgetary and expertise criteria but also aligned with the company’s vision for growth. This strategic hire positioned the company to effectively navigate its post-pandemic rebound, enhancing its financial management and strategic planning capabilities.

Pricing Expert To Reformulate SaaS Company To Value-Based Strategy

Service Area: Sales & Marketing

Client Type: Upper-Middle Market PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Pricing Strategy Consulting Firm

Industry: Technology – Software

The Need
Value-Based Pricing Model for SaaS Enterprise Software

A customer engagement platform company, specializing in software for transactional websites and mobile apps, sought to reformulate its pricing strategy. Moving from a traditional SaaS model to a more value-based approach, the company aimed to better align pricing with the value delivered to its customers.

The Challenge
Transitioning To Value-Based Pricing

The primary challenge was shifting the pricing strategy from a fixed, monthly SaaS model to a dynamic, value-based system. This required an expert understanding of the value created for customers and the development of a pricing model that reflected this while enhancing sales and conversions.

How BluWave Helped
Connecting with an Expert in Enterprise Software Pricing Strategies

BluWave identified and connected the company with a short list of consultants experienced in reformulating pricing strategies for enterprise SaaS companies. The candidates each had a strong foundation in enterprise software, with experience in establishing governance and competency frameworks for pricing.

The Result
A Holistic, Value-Aligned Pricing Strategy Enhancing Growth

The client selected the best fit for their situation. This individual helped the company developed a holistic pricing strategy that was more closely aligned with the value provided to its customers. This approach enabled natural lifts and expansion of customer cohorts, driving growth and profitability in a more strategic and effective manner.

Manufacturing Industry Growth Strategies for PE Firms, Portcos, Independent Companies

The manufacturing industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace. Today’s manufacturers are grappling with challenges that push them to rethink their growth strategies. This evolution is not just about adopting new technologies; it’s about reshaping the very foundations of how these companies operate and compete.

Central to this transformation is a renewed focus on the customer. Manufacturers are delving into sophisticated analyses to understand customer needs better and tailor their offerings accordingly. This customer-centric approach is the cornerstone of a long-term manufacturing strategy, influencing everything from product design to marketing.

Alongside this customer focus, there’s a growing emphasis on optimizing internal processes and structures. Manufacturers are scrutinizing their operations, from labor strategies to financial systems, seeking efficiencies that can propel them into a new phase of growth.

Let’s explore in more detail the specific growth strategy tactics for which BluWave receives the most demand for private equity firms, portfolio companies and private and public companies in the manufacturing industry.

Voice of Customer (VOC) Analysis

Understanding customer needs and preferences is more vital than ever. As we head into 2024, manufacturers are increasingly turning to Voice of Customer (VOC) strategies. This approach isn’t just about gathering data; it’s about gaining a deeper understanding of customer expectations and experiences.

Identifying the right VoC service providers is a critical step in this process, enabling companies to align their products and services with the evolving demands of the market.

READ MORE: Key Voice of Customer KPIs, Metrics

Value Creation Plan (VCP) Refresh

Refreshing the Value Creation Plan (VCP) has become a priority for portfolio companies. This involves a thorough review and update of the strategies that guide these companies. The focus is on discovering growth opportunities not only within existing markets but also in adjacent ones.

The enhancement of go-to-market strategies and other functional areas is crucial, with a particular emphasis on prioritizing initiatives based on their return on investment and the strategic investment period.

Labor Market Analysis and Relocation Strategy

The decision to relocate manufacturing operations is more than a logistical consideration; it’s a strategic move that can redefine a company’s competitive edge. Comprehensive labor studies are at the forefront of this decision-making process. These analyses delve into the intricacies of various labor markets, evaluating factors such as cost-effectiveness, availability of skilled labor and regional economic conditions. The goal is to find an optimal balance where operational efficiency meets cost management.

Supply chain dynamics, access to new markets and brand perception are other considerations. For instance, relocating to a region with a rich talent pool can significantly enhance innovation and productivity. But it also requires careful consideration of potential disruptions to existing supply chains and customer relationships.

ERP System Optimization

As companies in the manufacturing industry gear up for expansion, the optimization of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems becomes a pivotal factor. This optimization is more than a technical upgrade; it’s a strategic realignment of how a company manages its core processes and data. An effective ERP system serves as the backbone of a business, integrating various functions from supply chain management to customer relationship management.

READ MORE: How To Extract Data from ERP Systems

The key to ERP optimization lies in its ability to provide real-time insights and streamline operations across departments. This allows for better decision-making, improved efficiency and more effective response to market changes. As companies aim to double their size and capacity, an ERP system’s scalability and flexibility become crucial. It must be capable of adapting to increased operational complexity and supporting new business processes as the company grows.

Financial Structure Enhancement

Enhancing finance functions is essential for companies looking to scale. This involves a comprehensive review and upgrade of financial operations, ensuring they are equipped to handle the challenges and opportunities of business expansion. An effective structure is the foundation of a company’s fiscal health, crucial for managing increased revenue streams, investments and expenditures that come with growth.

Companies also need to focus on developing robust financial strategies that support long-term growth objectives while maintaining financial stability. This may involve exploring new funding options, managing capital efficiently, and ensuring compliance with evolving financial regulations. A strong financial structure not only supports current operations but also positions the company for successful scaling and sustainable growth.

Consulting for Residential Manufacturing

Narrow company types, like elevator production for example, exemplify the growing need for specialized consulting. These markets, often overlooked in broader industry analyses, present unique growth challenges and opportunities. Consulting expertise in these areas is not just about addressing immediate operational issues; it’s about carving a sustainable path forward, often through enhancing service and developing recurring revenue models.

This approach requires a deep understanding of the specific market dynamics and customer expectations. For instance, in elevator manufacturing, consultants might focus on aspects like safety standards, technological advancements and customer service excellence. They work to align these factors with effective business models that capitalize on recurring maintenance and service contracts, ensuring steady revenue streams.

READ MORE: Org Chart Planning: Aligning with Growth Strategy

Market Penetration Strategy

For manufacturers aiming to expand their market reach, a well-crafted market penetration strategy is key. This goes beyond simply increasing production capacity or diversifying product lines. It’s about gaining a deep understanding of the market – identifying key customers, understanding competitor strategies and pinpointing untapped opportunities. The goal is to develop targeted approaches that can effectively double distributor sales and enhance market presence.

Take, for example, manufacturers of in-demand products like wood slabs or ladders. The strategy here involves an in-depth analysis of market needs and preferences. Manufacturers must understand the unique requirements of professional users, adapting their products to meet these needs while differentiating themselves from competitors.

This could involve innovations in product design, improvements in material quality, or enhancements in customer service. The focus is on building strong relationships with distributors, understanding their challenges, and collaboratively working towards shared growth goals. This approach not only drives sales but also fosters long-term partnerships and brand loyalty.

Product Portfolio Rationalization

For manufacturers, defining and rationalizing the product portfolio is a crucial step. This process, known as SKU rationalization, involves streamlining the journey from sales to manufacturing and delivery.

An integral part of this strategy is implementing and integrating the right software solutions for product lifecycle management.

Strategic Planning Facilitation

Strategic planning sessions typically span 1-2 days, serving as a catalyst for manufacturers to develop concise and effective strategies. The aim is not to overwhelm with complexity but to distill the essence of what will drive growth and innovation.

In these sessions, cross-functional teams come together to outline clear objectives, align on priorities and set actionable goals.

The focus of these strategic planning sessions often varies, ranging from broad discussions about market trends and competitive positioning to more specific topics like product development, operational efficiency or international expansion. Facilitators guide the discussion, ensuring that every voice is heard and that the conversation remains focused on tangible outcomes. This includes the use of tools and methodologies that encourage creative thinking and problem-solving, helping teams to break out of traditional mindsets and explore new possibilities.

Moreover, these sessions are an opportunity to reassess and realign with the company’s core values and long-term vision. They provide a platform for leadership to communicate and reinforce the company’s direction, fostering a sense of unity and purpose among employees. By the end of a strategic planning session, a manufacturer should have a clearer roadmap for the future – one that is adaptable yet focused, innovative yet feasible.

READ MORE: Operational Due Diligence: Essential Checklist for Manufacturing Industry

These strategies represent the diverse ways in which manufacturing companies are driving growth.

Each approach shares a common goal: to transform and elevate portfolio companies and private and public companies.

The BluWave research and operations team knows industry-specific growth strategy resources that are ready to help with your exact situation. Set up a scoping call today to get connected to a PE-grade service provider or consultant in less than a business day.

Strategically Expanding Insurance Company Board Expertise with Physical Therapy Focus

Service Area: Human Capital

Client Type: Upper-Middle Market PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Independent Board Member

Industry: Insurance

The Need
Identifying Board Members with Industry Expertise

The PE firm sought to enhance the board of its insurance portfolio company with individuals who had extensive experience in commercial insurance in the northeast US, specifically those familiar with physical therapy business partnerships and contract negotiations.

The Challenge
Highly Qualified Executives for Specialized Board Placement

The challenge was to locate senior executives from large commercial insurers who had direct involvement with physical therapy businesses. These individuals needed to be adept in contract negotiations and capable of providing strategic insights and value creation on the payer side.

How BluWave Helped
Connecting Experienced, Industry-Specific Options

BluWave leveraged its network to identify senior executives from prominent commercial insurance companies and health systems with specific experience in managing outpatient physical therapy relationships. The focus was on professionals who had a strong network and understanding of the commercial insurance space, particularly as it relates to physical therapy.

The Result
Enriched Board Composition Offering Deep Industry Insights

The PE firm successfully appointed a board member who brought a wealth of knowledge and experience in commercial insurance and outpatient physical therapy. Their expertise in contract negotiations and payer relationships provided valuable perspectives and strategies for the company, enhancing its ability to navigate the complex insurance landscape effectively.

E-commerce Data Specialist To Optimize Boots Store on Amazon

Service Area: Technology

Client Type: Upper-Middle Market PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Business Intelligence & Analytics Consultant

Industry: Retail

The Need
Optimizing Amazon Sales Strategies for a Boot Manufacturer

An upper-middle market PE firm sought a solution to enhance its boot manufacturing and distribution portfolio company’s performance on Amazon. The goal was to move beyond basic B2B sales tactics and implement advanced analytics to optimize third-party digital channels.

The Challenge
Implementing Data-Driven Strategies in E-commerce

The boot manufacturer needed to transition from traditional wholesale tactics to a more sophisticated e-commerce strategy, particularly for its Amazon sales. This required understanding and leveraging Amazon’s algorithm through data analytics, focusing on SKU optimization, pricing benchmarking and Prime tag analysis.

How BluWave Helped
Engaging an Expert in E-Commerce Analytics, Amazon Optimization

BluWave connected the client with a consultant specializing in e-commerce and Amazon marketplace strategies. The consultant’s task was to gather and analyze data, identify key performance indicators and provide actionable insights for optimizing the company’s Amazon presence.

The Result
Enhanced Digital Strategy Leading to Improved E-Commerce Performance

The consultant’s work led to significant improvements in the company’s Amazon strategy. By focusing on SKU optimization and keyword analysis, the company was able to better align its products with Amazon’s algorithm. The result was an increase in visibility and sales, along with a strategic framework that the company could use for ongoing optimization.

Reasonable price, great output. Got both education and specific to-dos. Organized well.

Actionable and insightful. Answered several questions after the fact and helped us prepare for a board meeting – above and beyond.

-Director of Portfolio Management at PE Firm

Digital Marketing Demand Generation: Challenges, Solutions in Consumer Products Sector

Digital marketing isn’t just about being online anymore; it’s about making a significant impact where it matters.

At BluWave, we have seen firsthand the unique challenges businesses in the consumer products industry face. From navigating Amazon marketplace intricacies to tackling eCommerce optimization, the demands are as real as they are varied.

Let’s dive into these challenges and explore practical solutions.

eCommerce Ownership Transitions: Amazon Business Transfer

Transferring an Amazon business account is like passing a baton in a relay race; it needs precision. Timing is crucial, and there’s always a fear of dropping the goodwill you’ve built up. When it comes to asset vs stock deals, each has its pros and cons.

An asset deal can be cleaner, transferring only what you need. A stock deal, however, might maintain the business’s continuity better. The key is to understand your priorities and choose accordingly.

Unauthorized Reselling and Price Disputes

Picture this: an unauthorized reseller undercuts your listing, and now Amazon is knocking on your door to lower your prices. It’s a frustrating domino effect.

The solution isn’t straightforward but starts with strong policies and enforcement. Knowledgeable experts in this field can guide you in setting up these safeguards, ensuring your pricing strategy stays intact across platforms.

READ MORE: How To Raise Prices Strategically

Shopify and Beyond: Optimizing eCommerce Platforms

A Shopify site not meeting expectations is a common tale. The gap often lies in specialized skills, or the lack thereof. eCommerce optimization isn’t just about a pretty storefront; it’s about driving traffic and conversions through targeted search engine and social media strategies.

Bringing in a fractional eCommerce manager could be your game-changer, offering the expertise needed to optimize your site and expand your presence on other marketplaces.

Amazon for Global Expansion: A Focused Approach

Expanding globally through Amazon is like finding a new world of opportunities. But it’s not just about being there; it’s about making a mark. Balancing SEO efforts with advertising strategies is key.

Unlike generalist approaches, a focused expertise on Amazon can navigate the nuances of global expansion, optimizing your time and effort for maximum sales impact.

Brand Awareness and Retention: Creating the Flywheel Effect

High retention but low awareness – this scenario is more common than you think. The trick is in flipping this to your advantage. Improving awareness can kickstart a “flywheel effect,” leveraging your strong retention rates.

The right strategies in place, matched with periodic, economical tracking, can turn this potential into a revenue-generating reality.

Evaluating Digital Marketing Tactics: Beyond the Basics

eCommerce exposure is half the battle; the other half is understanding your digital marketing tactics. Are you making the most of your SEO? How effective are your PPC campaigns? Understanding these aspects is crucial in converting visitors into loyal customers.

External experts can offer fresh perspectives, assessing your current strategies and pinpointing areas for improvement.

Digital marketing in the consumer products industry is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. It’s a complex puzzle that requires understanding, skill, and sometimes, a helping hand.

At BluWave, we specialize in connecting businesses with the resources they need to tackle these challenges head-on. Whether it’s transferring an Amazon business, managing online marketplaces or optimizing eCommerce strategies, we’re here to ensure your digital marketing efforts are as effective and impactful as possible.

Set up a scoping call with our research and operations team, and they’ll provide a short-list of PE-grade, exact-fit options in less than a business day.

Optimizing Performance in Staffing: Business Intelligence Drives Branch Success

Service Area: Technology

Client Type: Lower-Middle Market PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Business Intelligence & Analytics Consultant

Industry: Staffing / Recruiting

The Need
Custom Dashboard for Branch-Level Profitability

The client, a commercial staffing company, sought to enhance branch-level performance by identifying key profitability metrics. The goal was to establish an ongoing reporting structure to manage and optimize the performance of salesforce, recruiters and branch managers.

The Challenge
Identifying, Implementing Critical Performance Metrics

The challenge was to discern which metrics were most closely correlated with branch profitability, and to build a dashboard that could accurately reflect and manage these indicators. The company aimed to use this data to inform strategic decisions for current operations and future branch expansions.

How BluWave Helped
Connecting with a Boutique Business Intelligence Consultant

BluWave facilitated the staffing company’s needs by connecting them with a boutique consultant specializing in business intelligence and analytics. This consultant was tasked with analyzing the company’s existing data, identifying key performance indicators and developing a comprehensive dashboard for effective branch management.

The Result
Data-Driven Insights Leading to Enhanced Branch Performance

The implementation of the custom dashboard provided the staffing company with valuable insights into branch operations. This tool helped identify the drivers of high performance, allowing the company to replicate successful strategies across other branches. The insights gained also informed the company’s expansion strategy, ensuring more accurate site selections for future growth.

Veterinary Business Needs Help with Complex Data Warehouse Software

Service Area: Technology

Client Type: Lower-Middle Market PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Business Intelligence & Analytics Firm

Industry: Technology – Software

The Need
Comprehensive Data Warehouse for Veterinary Business

The PE firm required a robust data warehousing solution for a new veterinary software platform under LOI. The project aimed to consolidate various data systems like CRM, general ledger, billing and payroll into a single warehouse for efficient reporting.

The Challenge
Integrating Multiple Systems into a Unified Data Platform

The primary challenge was integrating data from dozens of animal hospitals, each with local servers and different practice management systems. The firm needed a data warehouse that could handle various data sources and provide the capability for sophisticated data analytics and visualization.

How BluWave Helped
Identifying Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing Expert

BluWave utilized its extensive network to connect the client with a business intelligence and analytics firm proficient in healthcare data compliance and capable of setting up a full data stack. The chosen firm had to have the expertise to pull and visualize data from multiple systems while ensuring HIPAA compliance.

The Result
Streamlined Data Management and Enhanced Analytics Capabilities

The collaboration led to the successful implementation of a data warehouse that efficiently consolidated data from various systems. This new setup allowed for more sophisticated data analysis and visualization, providing invaluable insights into the veterinary business’s operations and finances, thus aiding in strategic decision-making across multiple portfolio companies.