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Case Studies

Case Study One

Introduced by a major bank Barry facilitated for the management team of a specialist road transport business and discovered 11% of sales were high profit, 25% average profit, an extraordinary 62% low profit and 2% were loss incurring. Facilitating a Strategic Business Plan and progressively updating it over time helped the business become more profitable.

The improved profits increased the business value and return to shareholders when it was subsequently sold and it continues as a client.

Case Study Two

The Department of Human Resources Victoria required expert advice for the Victorian Charities Freight Service (transport) which it funds. Barry was retained for the initial project and provide subsequent assistance for additional issues.

Case Study Three

Introduced by a bank Barry facilitated a Customer Profitability Workshop for the senior management team supplying to the building and allied industries and found that 25% of sales were at a low profit or loss. Facilitating a Strategic Business Plan and updates for senior management has helped the business improve profitability, cash flow and strengthen the business.

Case Study Four

Succession Planning – Two professional services businesses with joint ownership of a third business had been having merger talks for a year with little progress. Both businesses were long-standing and had succession issues.

Barry facilitated a merger plan. The merged business with greater staff numbers enabled directors to take annual leave without leaving the business short staffed. Two directors and shareholders subsequently sold their shares and retired.

Regular workshops are facilitated to maintain and update the Strategic Business Plan. That keeps the people and business energised and continuously improving.

Case Study Five

Two businesses, a commercial builder and manufacturer of carpentry components, had a common single owner. The manufacturer had performed poorly for years, virtually only breaking even. Barry facilitated problem-solving workshops with the owner to try to restore the business to profitability. The owner was unable to do so and, through training on problem-solving tools he concluded the smaller business was a “dog” and should be sold. He sold the business to his manager and continues to supply product to it.

He freed up capital and is now able to concentrate his energy on his main, long-standing commercial building business without the distraction of the “dog” business.

Case Study Six

Facilitation is also undertaken for non-profit organizations. A client with a new chairman requested facilitation of a one day planning workshop. The outcome was clear information which was then incorporated into their Strategic Business Plan. The organization continues as a client through membership of MSA Leaders.

Case Study Seven

Using the Customer Profitability Analysis tool, a successful transport operator with depots in two states found that working for a major retailer was not only not profitable but in fact loss incurring.

The managing director tried to negotiate with the supermarket to change the pickup and delivery arrangements or increase the rates to make the work profitable but was unsuccessful. He then took the commercially sensible and rational step of ceasing to do the work.

Having the right tool and a sounding board enabled the managing director to say “No thank you” to continuing with the work.

Case Study Eight

An introduction by a bank to a struggling franchisee led to facilitation of a Strategic Business Plan. The plan included process changes, increased prices and returned the business to profitability. The bank was then able to increase lending to the business to fund a property purchase.

Case Study Nine

A transport company introduced by the Victorian Transport Association was suffering from low profitability was found to have 61% high profit sales, 13% average profit, 13% low profit and 13% loss incurring. Arguably the profits from the low profit were consumed by the loss incurring meaning 26% of sales generated nil profit. The directors worked long hours and every Saturday.

Now, 42% of sales are high profit, 44% average and only 14% low profit. Also, the directors do not work most Saturdays and have 4 weeks annual leave. They run the business rather than it running them. The business continues as a client and the directors value Barry as a “sounding board.”.

Case Study Ten

An overseas manufacturer was keen to purchase an Australian manufacturer it had spent years learning to become familiar with.

Investigations included facilitating a Strategic SWOT Analysis with senior management at the business proposed to be acquired which identified the business was a dog. A recommendation was made that it was only worth book value. After careful thought the prospective purchaser decided not to proceed and avoided a $16m mistake and headache.

Sometimes “Probably not” or “No” is the right answer.

Case Study Eleven

A successful professional services firm had its Strategic Business Plan reviewed and updated quarterly. The firm appreciates the value of external facilitation and refers clients who also benefit from the process.

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