Arkaro - Case Studies

Case Studies

Working mainly in the chemicals and food ingredients industries here are some
summary case studies of Arkaro’s successful client projects.

Commercial Excellence

In order to meet better their customer need, Solevo, a provider of agricultural and chemical inputs in Africa, recognised the need to become more customer centric. They decided to train salespeople on a Commercial Excellence transformation.

Stéphane Constant CEO noted “We wanted experienced support to help us with our Commercial Excellence transformation – A team that could rapidly engage with our sales team, secure confidence building quick gains as well as a sustainable value generation for years to come”.

 Arkaro has been selected to help Solevo on its Commercial Excellence journey. The sales team learned how to uncover customers’ needs and to develop winning value propositions for sustainable growth : by better understanding the customer needs, with better forecasting sales, by enabling customers to receive the right product at the right time, and therefore generating improved customer satisfaction.

Commercial Excellence training in Africa
Commercial Excellence training in Africa with Solevo
Arkaro Business Consultants Commercial Excellence Training
Commercial Excellence Project, Arkaro Business Consultants

Matthieu van Bree,
Head of  Industrial Chemicals says

“Having completed the programme we are already looking forward to strong double digit growth with the target customers, and further gains expected in the future as more customers are taken through the programme”.

An internal survey was run several months after the training programme with the following responses.  

  • 100% respondents – satisfied or very satisfied with the programme
  • 100% – the programme has changed behaviours
  • 66% – customers interact differently following the programme
  • 93% – confident that they have secured new business because of the Commercial  – Excellence process
  • 93% – confident that they can train the Commercial Excellence process to new colleagues

Magaye Niang salesman in Senegal reflected on change journey and how he will approach customers in the future 

“I believe that this particular training has opened my eyes. This training got me reinvigorated as a salesman.
It’s as if I am a fresh salesman again. It’s a new start.”

Cost reduction project management

A USD 800 million food and beverage ingredient supplier hired a large consultancy to identify cost reduction opportunities for its business. Whilst the insights gained were first class, the organisation was struggling to move into execution mindset to secure the needed cost savings. Arkaro was engaged to help build the missing pieces including

  • Project management tools to help measure baseline performance, establish meaningful targets and monitor performance.
  • A managing process to ensure prioritisation on the right work and address project execution challenges.
  • … and perhaps most importantly supporting and coaching people through the change. Project management, with broad visibility on activity, had not been part of organisation’s culture creating some concerns as the work started.

A pilot programme was established in North America and then rolled out globally. At closure of five-year programme, recorded savings were 30% greater than the initial challenging targets. Further, all plants had adopted the same high level of continuous improvement providing strong capability for the future.

Arkaro Business Transformation project with MaltEurop

 As the downstream global brewing industry was consolidating, Malteurop engaged into a global program focusing on asset productivity and cost reduction to ensure sustainable profitability.

The organisation was motivated for change and many project concepts soon emerged. However, it soon became clear that there was a need to structure program management, with common rules for shop floor and top management teams regarding project selection and prioritisation. In addition there was a need to design a forecast system connecting leading KPIs with planned savings and ensure that resources were deployed effectively.

This is where Mark’s contribution proved to be highly valuable. His analysis skills, his ability to interact empathetically with all levels of the organization and lay down an unbiased diagnosis combined with his vast continuous improvement toolbox and business transformation experience applied to our specific case were key to the success of the Malteurop program deployment.

Laurent Descotes
Group Industrial Performance &
Continuous Improvement Director, Malteurop

Sales & Operations Planning implementation

A medium size European food ingredients business was struggling with poor customer delivery performance. Efforts had been made to use sales and operations planning (S&OP), but the design of the process caused the team to be over-whelmed by transactional detail and it was eventually abandoned. Arkaro helped the business team re-design the S&OP process to work at the appropriate level of detail and time horizon. By selecting relevant KPIs the business was able to target key areas of underperformance and resolve successfully.

Enhancing profitability

A joint-venture was facing a profitability challenge. Shareholders were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with investing more cash into the business with low profitability. The need for a turnaround was clear but there were differing views on which customers to target, which investments to make, and where to target cost savings.  Arkaro was engaged to help drive insightful analysis of the drivers of cost and profit, and model the financial impact of various strategic choices and facilitate decision making.

Product Line Profitability

A small food ingredients supplier found itself with an extremely complex customer and product portfolio – and a very low profitability. The management team had been tasked to drive major improvements to the business profitability. As well as helping with analysis Arkaro coached the management team to understand the drivers of profitability and establish rules for simplifying the customer and product portfolio and enhancing profitability.

Arkaro working with Diamalteria, Italy

“Diamalteria is a rather small business with 20 mln Euro turnover but a wide range a very wide range of SKUs had grown over the years to serve a multitude of small and large B2B food ingredient accounts. Mark helped us tremendously in harnessing and streamlining complexity.

Despite his long experience with large organizations, Mark has understood very well the dynamics and people in a small business environment. Mark could adapt the world-class approaches of the industry giants to suit our reality. Mark was an attentive listener, he helped the top management to formulate the right questions and he then worked with the teams to crunch numbers in order to bring meaningful answers.

More than a consultant, Mark was also a coach who left us with new capabilities.”

Jeremy Leroux, Managing Director

Working capital improvement

A multi-national agricultural and industrial products distributor had been recently acquired by private equity investors. The new leadership team recognised the urgent need to reduce working capital with initial focus on sourcing. Arkaro engaged with the team to change the mindset and recognise working capital productivity as a key driver of growing business value. Building on this new perspective, Arkaro quickly facilitated a plan with USD 40 million savings qualified and an execution process developed. Within weeks of starting the project millions of savings had been secured and a managing process established to ensure capture of the remaining plan.

Innovation strategy and execution

Mark can adapt on his innovation consulting experience to the start up world. Founders from an EPFL, Switzerland spin-out engaged Arkaro to develop a go-to-market strategy. There was strong belief in the technology but the team lacked market insight and experience to move forward. By transforming thinking from asset forward toward a market back approach, opportunities were explored to find potential fits for the technology. The discoveries help secure seed-round funding. However, choices needed to be made, with a strategy process, for successful execution. The start-up is now focussed executing selected targets with pilot and commercial supply chains planned.

More to follow..