Prescient Improvement Strategies
Vision. Experience. Process.
Do you or your portfolio companies ever run short on executive bandwidth for a day, two days, a week, a month or even up to a year?
Is your cash burn rate higher than the associated achievement rate?
Have you been disappointed by talented new-hires who fail to bring your team together or deliver on their potential?
Do you need an experienced MacGyver to fix the problems, who spins up to speed in a day or two, can assess and engineer a solution to any problem, and can motivate your team?
Do you know you have a problem, but haven't diagnosed exactly what it is yet?
Do you have valuable people who may also be part of the problem?
We solve problems, large or small, which a lack of executive bandwidth, internal politics or an inability properly diagnose may have kept you from fixing.
The Improvement Strategist’s process includes: communication of expectations to the entire team before the process begins, research both your current practices and alternative, model development and comparison of potential solutions, all of which is followed by full team communications and explanation of the strategy recommendation.
The process is consistent across industries, occupations and avocations, however the more complex and/or complicated businesses may take more effort to model.
We can help you identify deficiencies and define goals in all operational areas of your company, and then build a custom scoreboard to measure potential strategy mixes against those goals.
In many cases, we will ask questions that you have not explored.
DEFINITIONS: Improvement Strategist & Data Driven Strategic Improvement Modelling:
The Improvement Strategist combines a data-driven scientific method with their vast experience to ask insightful questions, the answers to which will be used to set the metrics for your strategy. Multi-industry experience is vital, as are curiosity and well-honed people skills.
The Improvement Strategist has the uncanny knack for quickly diagnosing the true issues, and for making sure that everyone is educated and feels as if they have been heard.
Every aspect of your business must be included in order to is measure and compare potential strategies in financial terms. We then create, define and compare multiple strategy mixes to improve your company and exceed your goals.
Identifying and quantifying potential strategies is especially pertinent for 1) growing companies in advance of raising capital, and 2) for companies in the process of implementing change where company politics can be an impediment.
Every Strategy involves solving the People Problems which can prevent improvement.
Every company has people problems. Getting everyone to work together to achieve the same goal is the definition of effective leadership. At Prescient, we have the tools, techniques and experience to align every team member to embrace the chosen strategy. Founders, inventors, rock stars and prodigal sons/daughters included.
Our Strategic Improvement process and & models require delving into each department's operational options, asking the tough questions, and breaking through the shell to expose the true potential of a company. We employ the 5-year financial proforma as our scoreboard as a tool to measure improvement.
Choosing the optimal mix of strategies.
The right strategy mix is one which your team can and will execute. The choice requires an accurate, understandable, forward-looking financial model which compares combinations of potential improvement strategies over time. A good model literally stacks strategy mixes on a scoreboard so that the best strategy becomes obvious to you and your team.
You job is to get your team on board with the improvement strategy, from top to bottom, including the newest to longest-standing employee, crossing all capabilities and experience levels, and including those who are not excited about any change at all.
And to just to make you job harder, your company has many components (product, manufacturing, marketing, finance, sales, etc.) each of which may need its own strategy. While industry-specific experts can identify existing problems in specific categories, forward-looking modelling is the crucial step that most consultants either skip or don’t even know about. The combination of smarts, experience and accurate modelling makes choosing the best strategies an obvious decision based upon data.
What Does A Prescient Client Look Like?
We believe that cross-industry experience is a crucial catalyst for out-of-the-box thinking, and therefore we have no industry preference. At Prescient, we only works with companies who have made a conscious commitment to improve, but which may not have the executive bandwidth to execute or are not sure of where to start.
While client companies usually range from start-ups to revenues of less than $20o Million, our “bench” is deep enough to undertake most any size project or specific industry need. In 2016, we have worked a project for a $60B company, for companies positioning them selves for $5 to 20M capital raises, and some that are still being formed based upon a business concept.
The Prescient Pipeline:
Our clients find us two ways: through professional investors, attorneys, and accountants, and from other clients. We work closely with small investment banking firms, VCs, Private Equity investors and family offices to support companies which are not yet ready for their next round of funding, which may need help pivoting to a new strategy, or both. The latter is especially true in family-owned and/or founder controlled companies.
The Prescient Process:
- The Improvement Strategist combines a data-driven scientific method with their vast experience to ask insightful questions, research alternatives, set metrics, implement a predictive comparative model and make recommendations for a solution at given point in time.
- Improvement Strategist are rarely young, nor have they spent their career in a single industry. Multi-industry experience is vital, as are curiosity and well-honed people skills.
Anybody with a spreadsheet can create a financial model. Building a predictive strategic improvement model requires discipline, unlimited curiosity, and the knowledge to when to probe deeper to find solutions. Breaking down each business into its smallest pieces, adding and deleting, changing and innovating as needed, and reassembling using predictive models metrics results in an improved company. Generically referred to as the scientific approach to systems engineering, we think of it as modern business engineering.
While no two companies are exactly alike, our approach is consistent:
- Listen to every constituent. Ask questions. Define goals. Capture details. Review.
- Build a base model. Research. Ask more questions. Develop multiple strategies for each business process (product development, manufacturing, staffing, marketing, sales, fundraising, etc.).
- Expand and refine the model.
- Compare multiple "mixes" or "stacks" of strategies. The right mix will be obvious.
The Prescient Teams:
Every client works with a Prescient improvement strategist who then hand picks the team needed to match the needs of the client. Our chief modeler, Toby Reiley, builds the core model for each client, and then works with the improvement strategist to incorporate the client's exact needs.
Three Steps to Improvement:
STEP 1 -Immediate (one to two weeks):
- Understanding the existing business: purpose, goals, people, products, market, costs and revenues.
- Entering the company’s financial statements into an accurate financial model with a 5-Year pro forma.
- Communicating findings to all stakeholders, including prospective investors.
STEP 2 - Very near future (four to eight weeks):
- Verifying certain company assumptions (market, costs, etc.)
- Identify effective improvement strategies through accurate modeling. The model:
- Reflects today’s market, products, processes and cash flows.
- Identifies and focuses on the “sensitivity” variables which drive the business, while ignoring the statistical “noise”.
- Compares potential improvement strategies using a comparative 5-Year pro
- Identifying and explaining potential improvement strategies to you team and coach the team on how to view their decision from different angles.
- Choosing the best strategy for improvement.
STEP 3 - Improvement Implementation (two to 24 months):
- Operational, marketing, project and/or product management available on full-time or part-time basis.
- Contract COO, GM, product/project management, marketing and sales management services.
While the Three Steps are chronological, you may choose to only undertake Step 1 or Steps 1 & 2.