Supporting Private Equity, CEOs and Boards of Directors, Dr. Oliver has assessed the strategic environment and developed innovative strategy for companies ranging from small to Fortune 500. Strategy breaks into three types: core business, adjacent or white space strategy. All strategy needs to be data-driven—drawing from historic company data and market trends. Strategy needs to consider what types of disruption could happen in the industry, not merely what has happened in the past. Companies have the best strategy when they look for opportunities to be part of the next wave, not just react to what others are doing. Strategy is important for government agencies as much as for successful private companies.
Mississippi Department of Human Services – the Executive Director of Mississippi’s Department of Human Services heads one of the largest agencies in the state. Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the country—the demand for service s is high, but funds are constrained. The Agency has been hampered with inadequate investment in systems, silo mentality, and personnel stretch too thin across the state. Dr. Oliver led a team to assess the issues then facilitate planning for the future of this crucial part of social services in Mississippi. As strategy for this core business of the state, the challenge was to improve process, systems, funding sources and staff capabilities.
Schutt – Assisted the Private Equity investors and senior management of one of the top 2 manufacturers of football helmets to adjust strategy based on changing demographics. Schutt faces competition from Riddell, who gets lots of positive press by “owning” the NFL teams. The Riddell name appears right on the helmets of many of the star players junior athletes want to emulate. At the core of strategy for Schutt is market segmentation. Football remains very strong in some parts of the US, but is giving up market share in others. In addition, Schutt believed it held the #1 slot, but did not have a clear sense of segmentation or the unique value proposition for each segment. Dr. Oliver led a team who collected and analyzed the data – locating and using a variety of sources including team lists on the Internet, interviews with sales representatives and even visits with local equipment retailers. The result was the basis for segmented strategy, allowing Schutt to take better advantage of the largest segment where it is the market leader—high school teams. As strategy for this core business, Dr. Oliver helped Schutt better serve existing customers and capture greater market share in the base business.
Team Express – Assisted the Private Equity investors and senior management of a leading on-line retailer of sports equipment and apparel. Private Equity investors were eager that management drive revenue up quickly in this low-growth industry. Thus, Dr. Oliver’s team helped management assess market segmentation, historic growth and the seeds for faster growth by segment. This culminated in a strategy off-site that made fundamental improvements in market direction.