It is important that prior to the workshop that the team produce some relevant information on market size, current market share, a list of customers (with turnover), competitors and product and/or service margins. Not all the information needs to be exact but needs to be good enough to help us understand the business. In addition having read through the workshop sections, all the executives need to do some thinking so that they don’t come to the sessions cold.
It is preferable to hold the Workshop off-site preferably at a hotel used to managing conferences or workshops. There will be ample opportunity for executives to make calls during breaks; apart from that it should be a cell phone free environment.
Antiva will provide a list of site requirements and data requirements and the schedule for the two days.
Day One - The Workshop
Morning Session 08:30 - 10:30 hrs
Future Scenario Analysis
This session is all about understanding what the shape of the market will be in three years’ time, and starting to understand how the business will need to change to fit into the market space. It's about starting to identify the opportunities that might arise. I ask the group a number of questions. What does the group believe the market will look like in three years' time? Is the market growing or shrinking? How will it change and what will happen to pricing, product demand (new products and old), number and characteristics of customers, effects of any new legislation, reaction of competitors, the costs of raw materials and the impact of economic change and political decisions?
Morning Session 11:00 - 13:00 hrs
Future Market Analysis
This session is all about asking where your profit is going to come from in the next three years. It starts off with analysing where the profit in the business is coming from currently, what products and services are in decline, which seem to be coming more popular and what new products or services are going to provide profit in the future based on work in the first session. This session focuses the mind on how the business needs to constantly evolve to ensure that profit will continue to come in. It is a critical session and its output becomes obvious when in a later session we look at concentration of effort amongst the R&D team, the marketers, the workforce and its assets.
Afternoon Session 14:00 - 16:00 hrs
Product Life Cycle Analysis
This session takes the output of the second morning session and takes a more in-depth analysis of the life cycle of each of the current products or services they sell. It establishes where the products are on their life cycle and tries to project how the curve for each of those will go over the next three years.
This session always brings into stark reality the fact that often many of the products are either at the end of their life cycle and need to be replaced by new products or that they have not been investing heavily enough in the more current products and are leaving opportunities on the table. It will also help them to give a timeline as to when new products will have to be launched to replace those that have dwindling profits.
Afternoon Session 16:30 hrs - Finish
Customer Portfolio Analysis
It is important prior to this session that data on customers is available such as customer spend and the products that they currently take. Using this data we plot on a matrix the "cash cows", the "dogs", the current and future "stars". This forms the basis for putting together specific account plans for each customer and identifying those that should be either dropped because they are not profitable or not big enough. It also helps to identify the key strategic customers and we spend some time discussing what needs to be done to exploit the relationships. Finally when this has been done we ask what potential customers should be "Target" customers. Which of our potential customers are being serviced by our competitors that we would like to have a specific account plan to win and what are we going to do to bring them over.
This is quite an important feature of the whole exercise. It’s been a hard day and a lot of revelations have come about through the discussions. People are becoming more creative about how they are going to face the future and you tend to feel that the management team is beginning to gel as they understand some of the tasks ahead of them. The Dinner helps them to discuss their ideas in a more informal environment and usually you can feel the team getting excited about the future.
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