How Can Brand Strategy Turn Your Brand into a Religion?

November 21, 2013 - Ben Bidlack’s approach to investing in brand strategy is robustly simple. Effective brands engage their internal and external audiences, transforming them into ardent fans. If brand religion is the goal, Bidlack’s approach to brand building is anything but mystical. He starts with a hard, nakedly honest assessment of a company’s actual position in the world. He extends the assessment outward to the full set of competitive brands and offerings, and inward into the mindset and needs of prospects. The challenge is to develop the one, possibly two, emotionally compelling and overarching brand strategies that account for insights in all three areas: company capabilities/culture, competition and customers. And finally, he helps the company express that single brand idea, and deliver on that promise, through every pore of the organization.

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How Can Turnaround Professionals Make Things Happen?

September 21, 2013 - Turnaround artists are both respected and feared in the management field. You often learn a company is in trouble when the turnaround artist arrives. Everybody in the company expects a shakeup. Send out the resumes, the sheriff just rode into town. Neil Minihane chuckles at the image of the turnaround artist as somebody with a short temper and a bad attitude. A West Point graduate who still gets up early and wears a high-and-tight haircut, Minihane insists, “I’m a turnaround guy. Not a turnaround artist. Not a turnaround expert. Just a turnaround guy.” In other words, he’s a normal human being with a job to do.

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What Does Lean Manufacturing Really Mean?

June 21, 2013 - What does “Lean Manufacturing” mean? What does it take to implement Lean Manufacturing? And is “Lean Manufacturing” necessarily “mean manufacturing” as critics of this zero waste approach to making things have suggested? In this article, InSights talks with Joachim Fischer, a life-long practitioner of the art of Lean Manufacturing, to explore the answers to these questions.

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Does Your Strategy Hold Up Under Pressure?

April 21, 2013 - The CEO develops strategy,
the Board approves it.
Well, not quite.
Not any more anyway.

Why? Corporate directors have long had the responsibility of seeking to assure the long-term viability of the companies they serve, specifically to maximize long-term value. While this standard has been in existence for decades, its application is shifting rapidly. Boards are increasingly seeking to understand not only what their companies are doing, but also why those things are being done. And they want to contribute their own ideas.

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How Do Successful Retailers Deal with Economic Ups and Downs?

February 21, 2013 - Consumer-focused companies, such as retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, experience good times and bad times. Yet some companies seem to consistently outperform their peers regardless of economic conditions. Recognizing this anomaly, HighPoint InSights posed the following question to HighPoint’s retailing expert Karen Schwichtenberg:

What do high-performing retailers do well, regardless of economic conditions?

Schwichtenberg responds by outlining three simple, yet profound principles.

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How Can You Get More ROI from Your IT Investments?

November 21, 2012 - Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have gotten a bad reputation, as have CRM, HR and data warehouse projects. Most CFOs will tell you that large-scale IT projects always cost more than budgeted, seldom deliver on their promises, and often falter or fail before they go live. Further, the big companies that make enterprise software, such as SAP and Oracle, extract enormous profits for themselves and their consulting partners.

Bob Kaplan, Senior Advisor for HighPoint Associates comments, “When you look at academic studies, what you see is that for the past twenty years people have been writing papers on how the vast majority of big-scale IT projects either come in way over budget, under deliver, or just completely fall apart.” Does Big IT really deserve its bad rap?

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How Can You Make Strategic Sourcing Strategic?

September 21, 2012 - Strategic sourcing is not just another term for “beat up your suppliers.” In fact, when fully and properly deployed, the goal of strategic sourcing is competitive advantage first, cost considerations second. Yet in many corporations, strategic sourcing simply equates to getting the best price at any cost. An unrelenting focus on numbers sidelines the pursuit of strategic advantage. This kind of misguided strategic sourcing preempts taking advantage of a true strategic approach.

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Can You “Manage” Enterprise Risk?

April 21, 2012 - Disasters, both man-made and natural, have generated a lot of public attention in the past few years. According to data collected by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), natural disasters cost the world’s economy $35 billion in 2009 and $110 billion in 2010. Disaster losses more than tripled to $380 billion in 2011. You can’t predict them, but you can mitigate their effects.

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Is Your Company Ready Beyond the IPO?

December 21, 2011 - While the IPO market has not recovered to pre-recession levels, the number of IPO filings over the past 24 months is more than double that of the previous 24, and the trend may continue. This looks to be good news for investment firms with stakes in recovering or growing enterprises. Or is it?

In this article, HighPoint Associates’ Senior Advisors Henry DeNero and Kevin Ventrudo talk with Bennett McClellan regarding tips and lookouts for executives and investors considering taking their companies public.

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Sumeet Goel Discusses HPA’s Business Model with Jason Sanders

August 21, 2011 - HighPoint Associates utilized a unique approach to the delivery of high value management consulting services. The company manages a network of over 500 experienced, independent professionals from diverse industry and functional backgrounds providing best-of-class, customized advisory services for growth-oriented companies. Sumeet Goel, HPA’s founder and former McKinsey consultant, discussed his company’s history, future and current business model with Ivy Exec’s Executive Search Practice Leader, Jason Sanders.

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