Maradyne Corporation Grows Its Business Back To Profitability Despite a Tough Economic Climate

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CHALLENGE:
Maradyne, a subsidiary of Dreison International, had been operating successfully for years by providing components and accessories to the truck, bus, custom vehicle, and construction/industrial equipment industries. By mid 2001, Maradyne’s sales and marketing staff lacked clear focus and were essentially uninformed about the emerging trends in the marketplace. Led by a general manager better versed in manufacturing than growing profits, sales were sluggish. In spite of such challenges, they were only down 5% during this economic slowdown. Of greater and more fundamental concern was the business’ ignorance of marketing conditions, distributor needs, prospecting information and general tracking and reporting. Christina Urbank, now Director, Sales and Marketing, looked back on those times and said, “It is very easy as a company to get introverted. Each of our separate product divisions had independent management. This ‘silo approach’ resulted in each division succeeding or failing based on the individual managers. Due to an overall lack of direction, turnover was high.” The result was an inability to forecast market place opportunities and, ultimately, to predict the firm’s sales growth. Dreison president, John Berger spotted this and contacted Birol Growth Consulting to address the situation.

SITUATION:
Maradyne needed to gain a clearer understanding of their marketplace and how the staff could best manage distribution, products, pricing/profitability, and competition to develop an action plan to confidently deliver aggressive, achievable growth. The structure of sales management as well as the growth potential of sales territories needed to be simplified in a systematic way. With a difficult internal situation, a very competitive environment and a nagging recession, Dreison president John Berger retained Andy Birol of Birol Growth Consulting to stabilize, redirect, and help Maradyne to grow.

THE BGC SOLUTION:
John Berger recounted Andy’s efforts to assess the business’ situation and to move it forward. Berger says, “Andy interviewed management to assess all roles in the company, traveled with the sales force to understand customer and sales rep strengths and weaknesses—opportunities and threats.” After helping John to restructure the Maradyne management team, Andy began working directly with Christina Urbank, Maradyne’s newly appointed Director of Sales and Marketing. Christina describes Andy Birol as a “fresh set of eyes” who came into this situation. It was a difficult situation due to frustration among employees, but Andy made it clear to all involved that he was there for the good of the overall company, not any group within the company. He was not shy about telling anyone, including the owner John Berger, the ‘straight scoop’. After getting used to Andy’s no-nonsense approach, champions emerged within the company who bought into Andy’s ideas. The company was restructured through eliminating the outside sales force. Andy recognized the potential of the customer service department and worked with Christina to help the function to grow more sales from customers and prospects. Andy coached and supported the entire sales and marketing team during this challenging transition. He also oversaw the creation and acceptance of a company marketing plan and sales forecast, compensation system, trade show and on line campaigns, and the creation of a new company culture.

CLIENT RESULTS:
The company has returned to profitability. The new internally driven outlook developed by Maradyne management and Birol Growth Consulting has stabilized Maradyne and enabled the company to meet Dreison corporate objectives. An experienced and motivated team led by those champions is now in charge—and while the business is not yet growing at pre-recession levels—the firm is hitting its monthly sales goals. New growth initiatives are in place and, over the longer term, the prognosis is excellent. In conclusion, Christina Urbank describes the new sales and marketing culture as healthy and proactive. “People here are buying into the challenge of growing their business.”

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