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Case Studies

Exolta prides itself on results.  Our advisers have many years experience of working with small, medium and large businesses in many countries.  No matter what stage of their business evolution or maturity, each of these companies had one thing in common: an overwhelming ambition and desire to grow.  We consider these attributes important prerequisites ahead of engaging with our clients as often the lack of these tenets makes it difficult to develop the momentum and passion to implement our recommendations and to see the co-developed strategy through to a profitable conclusion.

In each of the examples provided in these case study pages, we set out case studies of work specifically performed by members of our team.  The structure for each case study includes the client sector and characteristics, the challenges they faced and the results our advisers helped to deliver.  Want to know more or discuss the engagements articulated, contact us here.

  • Mentoring & Coaching

  • Operational Improvement

  • Business Growth

  • Fundraising & Finance

  • Exit Planning

A UK wide Training Provider

Exolta were approached to provide coaching to a UK wide training provider. The training provider was struggling to meet forecasted revenue targets due to what was perceived as an underperforming sales function.

Through the high calibre associate network maintained by Exolta an industry veteran was identified to work one-on-one with the training provider chief exec. The existing issue was analysed and underlying problems identified. A corrective action plan was agreed at board level and implemented with the pro-active involvement and coaching of Exolta. Part of the plan involved the re-alignment of roles within the sales and marketing function and ultimately the removal of certain members of the team whose under performance had been accepted for too long.

Within a short period sales results came back on forecast and the driven and motivated sales team commenced the journey of recovering the original budget.

It should be noted that one major unforeseen benefit was also delivered in that an unmet need for online training materials was identified. The development of an online product line was accelerated through the acquisition of New IP Development funding sourced by the Exolta associate. These have proved highly successful and delivered new product revenue not originally available.

A leading UK law firm

A senior member of the Exolta team provided support to the Chief Executive and Managing Partner of a leading UK law firm over a number of years.

Key client challenges related to the legal services reform and the challenge of the introduction of Alternative Business Structures (ABS).  With increased competition, diminishing referral fees and the challenge of new market entrants, the law firm concerned wished to develop a strategy to focus on its core strengths whilst developing additional capabilities to differentiate it from the prospective new entrants.  The senior management team had an exceptional vision and had mapped many of the key aspects of implementation with sufficient granularity that the plan could be implemented.  However, in keeping with many traditional partnership structures, other soft challenges existed in respect of obtaining the necessary buy in from other equity partners.  Not just with regard to the strategy, but also the necessary business change to achieve a smooth and effective implementation.

The Chief Executive recognised that an independent sounding board was required and a member of our team was engaged to provide support, mentoring and guidance in respect of the equity partner and senior staff engagement and change programme.  Over the course of a three year period, the Chief Executive would meet regularly with our adviser to discuss progress and to jointly develop new responses to the ongoing challenges faced.

The result of this support and guidance was a successful implementation of the core strategy and the delivery of the desired outcomes.  Benefits included the finessing of the communication programme, the independent facilitation of  planning meetings and the impartial support of the adviser in dealing with objections and questions relating to the desired change and strategy implementation.   Feedback from the Chief Executive indicated that he himself had developed his skills and competencies for dealing with complex change programmes and that much of his new skill-set could be directly attributable to the relationship with his mentor

A large Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB)

Over the course of a five year period, one of the Exolta team members provided coaching and mentoring support to the Finance Director of an NDPB in his quest to implement a series of dramatic changes and undertake a move towards a more integrated organisation at a time when much of their responsibility was being devolved both in operational terms and in terms of budget.

Work here manifested itself as a series of regular meetings and discussions to determine the key change issues faced and to ensure that the implications, options and potential future scenarios were understood fully by the FD.  Additional work was performed to equip the FD with the necessary organisational change skills to pre-position him as the key sponsor for the change in the business.

The FD reported that the adviser had provided both stimulating challenge to his pre-existing thinking and also a support framework to facilitate his own ‘personal journey’ in respect of the development of a set of new personal skills to allow him to manage the transformation of the organisation.  Other benefits included the introduction of more robust management practices and an opportunity to benchmark the processes against best practice in other organisations utlising the knowledge and experience of our adviser.

For a no obligation discussion or for more information, please contact us here.

Leading European CD/DVD Wholesaler

This leading wholesaler of CDs and DVDs wanted to explore the prospects of achieving more commercial/cost effective terms for supply by partnering for the procurement of its core products.

One of the Exolta consultants led the team responsible for modelling out various procurement scenarios and established the guiding principles for a new procurement operation.  Work included financial modelling, process improvement/redesign and organisational change.  Final recommendations were developed leading to new commercial agreements.  The benefits to the client included an identified minimum saving of £19m per annum in respect of product procurement costs  essentially contributing the same to the bottom line for the business.

Large listed Property Management Business

This listed business decided that an improvement was needed in respect of its financial management practices.  After a detailed discussion with the finance team, a project was initiated to redesign the core financial processes  across all business units.

One of the senior members of the Exolta team led the initial review and was responsible for the redesign of the core management practices.  Over a period of six weeks, new processes were designed, tested and rolled out across the business.

Within three months, the time taken to achieve financial close was reduced from 90 days to less than 15 days.  The new processes successfully contributed to the finance team achieving their targets whilst reducing the effort required to achieve close.

UK based Pre Revenue 'dot com' business

In keeping with many new businesses in the connected economy, this company had an excellent business proposition, an ambitious and capable management team with the cornerstone of a profitable operation raring to go.

However, the business lacked key governance processes and had not implemented many of the necessary financial controls to provide comfort and assurance to investors that investment would be well managed and would materially contribute to establishing a robust and profitable business.

A member of the Exolta team led the development of an operational improvement programme which comprised a series of initiatives to put in place the necessary framework for governance.  Additional activities performed included the programme management of the implementation of the new processes, the testing of the controls, recruitment of key staff to work within the business in the areas where more assurance was required.  Benefits to the client included the achievement of a ‘clean bill of health’ during a bank due diligence exercise leading to the provision of funding and ultimately, the processes led to an improved and reduced waste business operation.

The bank commented that the newly implemented processes had allowed this start-up business to ‘present a degree of maturity which led to increased comfort that the investment would be used wisely’.  Three years later the business owners sold their interest and allowed the initial investors to exit on a multiple of twelve times money.

SME Experiential Marketing Business

Exolta‘s consultant worked with the business over a sustained period to develop a comprehensive business strategy.  Much work was undertaken in respect of performance improvement and operational effectiveness for the business.  This included a full benchmarking study to assess the quality of the finance function compared with ‘best in breed’ organisation and also with the broader small to medium size business sector.

Further work was completed in respect of the development of an account management and client relationship management function with the sole remit of enhancing the prospects of further work with existing clients and allowing the business to follow a systematic approach to determining their clients’ unmet needs.

Further benefits included the development of a KPI regime to help the business understand its performance against a set of measures designed to provide the management team with a ‘dashboard’ for real time performance.

For a no obligation discussion or for more information, please contact us here.

UK based Recruitment Agency

Exolta were presented with the challenge of defining a strategy on behalf of a UK Based recruitment agency who were finding growth rates subsiding and margins being eroded in what is a highly competitive marketplace, awash with ‘me-too’ suppliers.

The strategy that was devised came about through two Exolta partners working directly with the recruitment agency owners. Using a proven analysis methodology the Exolta team first performed a detailed market analysis including face-to-face meetings with clients to understand what the real challenges were companies faced in this sector. Undoubtedly the provision of personnel was important but clients also sought to work with companies who could take responsibility for project delivery.

A new strategy was devised based on these findings and once buy in was secured from the board an exercise was put in place to re-skill certain members of the existing team and provide them with the ability to deliver rather than simple source for projects. The initial projects were supervised by the Exolta team who “rolled up their sleeves” and got directly involved. This approach allowed skill transfer to take place during the project and today a full project delivery team is available for mobilisation when required.

Not only did this new strategy deliver new revenues to the Exolta client but it also led to them experiencing a much deeper relationship with their client which greatly improved their success rate in filling vacancies.

Pre Revenue Green Technology Company

The Exolta adviser worked with a business that had developed an advanced thermal conversion process, or otherwise described as ‘flash pyrolysis’, which provides a unique solution to some of the key environmental challenges facing the world today, including atmospheric pollution, waste management, and sustainable energy. Our consultant worked with the business over the course of a four year period helping the shareholders and management team:


    • Identify potential funders and to facilitate introductory meetings and negotiations.  Funders included international banks, private equity investment and government / state funding


    • Identify joint venture partners and to facilitate introductory and negotiation meetings. Partners included global retailers, energy businesses, and technology companies


    • Professionalise the business and identify skill gaps within the management team.


As a result of our consultant’s work, the client has:


    • Secured private equity and state funding


    • Achieved strategic partnerships which have enabled the business to enhance its service offering and streamline its supply chain


    • Built and launched two fully operational plants, key to proving the concept was commercially viable


    • Expanded overseas with sales being achieved in North America and Central Europe


    • Strengthened the management team


European Executive Aviation Business

This aviation business was brought about as a result of a leveraged acquisition by a major leisure and hospitality group.  Our consultant worked closely with management to develop a detailed strategy for enhancement and grooming of the business with the intention of making it more robust, profitable and market leading ahead of a major capital event. Work completed included value creation initiatives such as:


    • Development of a detailed strategy


    • Assessment and development of a Management Team Development plan


    • Assessment and restructuring of the balance sheet for the business


    • Assessment and development of an airfield asset acquisition programme


    • Development of a plan for a major airfield asset under their ownership.


Global Coffee Chain

Owned by a FTSE listed business, a member of the Exolta team worked closely with the management team and Chief Executive, to develop a global expansion plan for this global coffee business.  A fully developed plan and reasoned strategy identified the expansion prospects in over 70 key territories.  Additionally, the work identified acquisition targets in a number of countries. Work completed included value creation initiatives such as:


    • Development of an acquisition plan


    • Development of a prioritised country role out plan


    • Identification of over £50m of low risk expansion opportunities


    • Assessment and finessing of a detailed implementation plan to deliver the value identified


Private Equity Backed Health Services Business

The challenge for our consultant was the successful integration of two businesses that deliver specialist healthcare and education services following the client’s £100 million acquisition.

Our consultants led and managed the client’s integration team and developed the first 100 day post deal integration plan. The plan focused on the principal integration areas of the combined entity namely:


    • Branding


    • Communications


    • Finance


    • Property


    • Legal and in-house counsel


    • Information Technology management


    • Human Resource management


Further work included the management of the process of seconding staff into the client’s business to assist with the migration of the finance, HR and IT systems for the first three months of the integration.

In addition, our consultants assisted in the selection and recruitment of a number of external staff. The client has successfully integrated the two businesses and is on course to achieve £15 million of cost savings in the first 12 months of combined trading.

Additional benefits delivered included improved marketing, brand profile and operational efficiency, the client has improved occupancy rates by over 50 per cent.

For a no obligation discussion or for more information, please contact us here.

A European Technology Company

Exolta‘s consultants worked closely with the client to develop a commercial information memorandum (IM) setting out the business’ proposition, its uniqueness and the nature of the investment opportunity.

Following the development of the IM, the proposition was promoted amongst a network of High Net Worth Individuals, Banks, Private Equity houses, Family Offices and other funds.  The process was entirely managed by our consultant and the funding round was successfully completed within eight weeks raising £10m against a call for £8m.

Specific activities included:


    • Development of the IM


    • Grooming the management team for their pitch


    • Due diligence in respect of potential competition


    • Deal structuring


    • Undertaking the role of transaction advisor/architect


UK Care Home Group

A care home group found themselves in a position where they needed to re-negotiate their bank finance and working capital facility.  Our consultant undertook a detailed Independent Business Review to determine the commercial viability of the business.

Having made detailed recommendations and modelled the financial position and forecasts for the business, our advisor worked closely with the management team to prepare a pitch to the bank to secure additional funding.

The client was successful and having implemented the recommendations made, went on to return the business to a profitable position within eight months.

For a no obligation discussion or for more information, please contact us here.

UK Private Equity backed Services Business

Our consultant was employed by a private equity company that had recently acquired an under-performing business with revenues of approximately £20 million. The client wished to achieve a return on investment of 12% upon disposal after 24 months.

To achieve this return, our consultant undertook a strategic review of the invested company. This provided a clear understanding of the business’ product offerings, its business processes and operations, and its market position. From this review, our consultant was able to identify two key initiatives which would increase profitability, and hence the value of the business upon disposal.

In terms of implementation the team advised the business to rationalise the product offering by ceasing supplies of its low margin products which required considerable management attention to maintain the customer relationship. Management was then able to focus on establishing customer relationships for its high margin products which drove revenue growth and increased profitability.

Secondly, our adviser identified a potential cost saving of around £1 million in the business’ regional warehousing and distribution operations. This was achieved by implementing a central resource planning system and central warehousing operation. This created a lean supply chain, increased working capital, eliminated regional warehousing costs and removed the opportunity for shrinkage. The cost saving was achieved without negatively impacting service quality.

The business was able to increase its turnover as well as improving its gross and net margins. As a result, they were able to achieve the necessary profits for our client to make its desired return on investment.

A leading UK retailer

The business was largely family owned when our adviser first worked with them.  Over a relatively short period of time, an independent business review was completed followed by the development of a strategy for the planned exit of the family and the introduction of private equity.  Originally planned to be a £20m transaction, after our adviser’s intervention, the deal completed at £50m.  Work completed included value creation initiatives such as:


    • Development and implementation of a store KPI programme


    • Assessment of cannibalisation of store sales through physically close stores (leading to store closures and enhancement of profit)


    • Assessment and reconfiguration of the supply chain (including the closure of the UK based manufacturing plant and relocation of supply to the Far East)


    • Assessment and grooming of the management team/identification of requirements for new/additional management to deliver the strategy


    • Assessment and implementation of cost reduction opportunities.


For a no obligation discussion or for more information, please contact us here.