Case History

Working alongside sales and marketing management to grow revenues and break into new markets

Problem

A food company producing biscuits typical of one of Italy’s regions.
It is an historical, upmarket brand. Their assortment is very limited, practically limited to a single product.
Turnover has been stable for several years. Sales have suffered from generational change as young consumers gravitate towards trendier products. Revenue is highly concentrated. The quality of the product is generally recognized as the best on the market.
Company image is a direct consequence of a quality product. The company is known to be competent,  trustworthy and is held in high regard by the main retail chains.
Retail pricing is premium level.

Solution

A manager from Contract Manager is selected to work alongside Sales and Marketing management with the aim of carrying out the following actions:

  • identify new market opportunities in similar segments
  • develop new products to complement existing product lines
  • support Sales and Marketing in their negotiations with the main retail chains
  • support sales agents in increasing pressure on smaller local customers
  • seek new distribution options
  • develop new reports to support sales communication with customers
  • further strengthen the image of the product range
Actions

The customer was made the focus of the entire Sales and Marketing staff, through coaching and field support.
A new line of organic breakfast biscuits was developed and launched. This soon led to full use of production capacity, thus reducing fixed costs and improving profitability.
A search was made for the acquisition of a bakery brand to complement existing products. One was identified and acquired.
To boost short-term revenue, the company invested in flyers for use at points of sale.
The sales agent network was given ongoing assistance and pressed for results, providing advice on tailored solutions for their customers. This led to faster responses to customers’ requests.

Results

Thanks to the actions undertaken, revenue rose by 16% in the two years of Contract Manager’s intervention (+10% the first year, +6% the second year).
Sales agents showed the best increase (+22% over the two years).
A new product line, compatible with previous production lines, was launched, allowing the company to break into a new market providing significant revenues (breakfast biscuits).
A  well-known chocolate producer was acquired, opening up a process of diversification into growing, non-mature markets.