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ORCHANGO’s Edmond Mellina came onboard as interim Vice-President of Corporate Development and General Manager of our US operations. He was critical to adapting our firm to its drastically changing IT market.

Edmond has the ability to create a plan, sell it internally and put the necessary efforts behind it to make it happen. He regularly challenged the organization to think outside the box. A great motivator, his positive energy was very contagious during these changing times.

Edmond has the ability to focus and align people behind a business plan. He played a lead role in re-organizing the firm to enable our geographic expansion, and evolve our strategy to respond to changing trends within our industry.

— Chetan Mathur, Founder and CEO

CHALLENGE

Operational challenge

Sage had started to expand beyond its traditional Toronto market, establishing for the first time a regional office (in New York City, to serve the US market). The new office enjoyed a great start, securing marquee clients.

However, as its volume of business grew, the situation quickly deteriorated: turf battles, conflicts & frustration between the two offices; operational issues; low morale & productivity in field office; depressed sales funnel; re-sourcing problems impeding the ability to sell services; sub-optimal variable costs; serious account receivable aging; accountability vacuum; individual performance issues not being addressed.

Market challenge

Bigger picture, Sage was faced with a tough strategic challenge: its traditional market was rapidly becoming a commodity business; while its core services and business development expertise were well suited to technical buyers (i.e. CIOs), the purchasing power was moving to line of business executives; and to make matters worse, its primary source of sales leads was turning into a direct competitor.

SOLUTION

Operational challenge

After addressing the most pressing operational issues, we analyzed the business thoroughly. We developed a program of change to correct the situation and accommodate Sage’s growth.

We redesigned the organization and its core processes, striking an effective balance between the need for centralized controls and the reality of a decentralized operation. We clarified and enforced the roles, authority levels and responsibilities of the various players.

We developed a Balanced Scorecard. We designed and implemented a performance and reward system, which we leveraged to engage, motivate, focus and align employees at all levels.

We coached the managers as they worked on implementing the changes throughout the operations.

Market challenge

We facilitated strategic planning sessions with the executive team, leveraging our proprietary Strategic Organizational Diagnostic methodology. The process enabled senior management to reach a strong consensus about the levers and barriers of success.

We leveraged these insights to adapt the strategy, business model and services to the changing competitive landscape. We devised a series of internal changes to align the organizational resources and its capabilities with the updated strategy.

Finally, we guided and coached the management team as they implemented the necessary change.

OUTCOME/IMPACT

Operational challenge

The culture of conflicts was replaced with a highly collaborative environment.

The situation was turned around successfully: gross margin increased by 5 percentage points; aging of account receivables decreased from 90-120 to 30-60 days; re-sourcing turnaround improved from 2 weeks to 2 days; and the sales funnel was re-built with blue-chip clients. As a result of these improvements, the New York office generated 33% of Sage’s total revenue, with a 17% EBITDA.

Market challenge

Sage executed its strategy and navigated successfully the sea change in its core market.

PROJECT SUMMARY

  • Strategic planning
  • Change management
  • Change coaching
  • Operational turnaround
  • Cultural change
  • Organizational diagnosis & realignment
  • Acquisition & development of new strategic capabilities
  • Business process redesign
  • Clarification & enforcement of roles and responsibilities
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Performance management & reward
  • M&A activities

CHANGE TIMELINE

  • Phase 1 | “Preparing for the change journey”: 1 month.
  • Phase 2 | “Putting to sea, away from the abyss”: 2 months.
  • Phase 3 | “Navigating the treacherous sea of change” and Phase 4 | “Passing the lighthouse and reaching the safe harbour”: 12 months for both phases.

ABOUT SAGE INFORMATION CONSULTANTS

Sage Information Consultants is an international consulting firm who helps clients transform their business and effectively leverage technology.

Sage is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Envoy Communications Group (NASDAQ: ECGI, TSE: ECG). Envoy is an international design, marketing and technology company with offices throughout North America and Europe. Combining strategy, creativity and innovation, Envoy’s interconnected network of companies delivers business-building solutions to over 200 leading global brands and has successfully completed assignments in more than 40 countries around the world. Envoy clients include adidas-Salomon, BASF, Castrol, CDNOW, FedEx, Honda, JPMorgan Chase, Lexus, Microsoft, Nissan, Panasonic, Safeway, Sprint Canada, Steelcase, TD Securities, Toshiba and Wal-Mart.

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