Case Study: An Innovative Growth Strategy Helps Re-Establish Market Identity for a Global Manufacturing Company

February 20, 2018

Whitman Controls Corporation has always been an established industry leader in pressure and vacuum switch manufacturing, but developments in the marketplace, including several growing competitors, threatened the company’s differentiated position. Recognizing the evolving landscape in the switch industry, Whitman Controls engaged LDR to help raise brand awareness and refresh the long-term growth strategy.

Competing with Industry Changes

With more than 40 years of experience in manufacturing miniature pressure, vacuum, temperature and liquid level switches, Whitman Controls has earned its position as an industry leader. But when larger industrial manufacturers began entering the market, the company recognized a need for change to stay ahead of the competition. Competing in the increasingly crowded global marketplace would require product, process, and strategy innovation.

According to  top CIOs and CEOs, 67% of companies reported using innovation to grow and differentiate themselves from their competitors. 50% of the surveyed companies said that innovation helps them attract new customers and build loyalty with their existing customer base.

In consultation with Whitman Controls, LDR was able to develop a comprehensive plan to re-ignite top-line growth and build brand awareness in an industry that Whitman Controls once dominated.

Drafting a Strategic Growth Plan

The LDR team, led by Principal Will Brame, conducted an in-depth review of the internal and external challenges facing Whitman Controls. They evaluated customer-facing systems and organizational and operational effectiveness, as well as key business and industry trends. The analysis uncovered several critical areas in need of improvement, including the need for reinvestment in marketing, and a more streamlined ERP software platform to align customer relationship management with sales, production, and accounting.

The custom growth strategy consisted of team optimization, marketing investments and process improvements. LDR recommended and helped implement the following changes:

  • An aggressive marketing campaign, focused on refreshing the Whitman brand with customers while building on the company’s existing foundation in the marketplace
  • The identification of key uses of marketing spend, including building dedicated sales & marketing teams and evaluating industry publications that targeted key end-users
  • A complete website overhaul providing a simple platform for customers to learn about and purchase the company’s products online
  • Engagement with an engineering firm to diversify Whitman Controls’ product offerings
  • Evaluation and identification of ERP software to more strongly align CRM and marketing functions with the key functional areas within the firm

Gaining Traction Through Comprehensive Innovation

By leveraging existing assets and introducing timely change, Whitman Controls was able to foster a culture of innovation that has resulted in significant revenue growth. In 2017, YTD sales were up ~5% year-over-year, this despite losing several key clients to acquisitions. Despite an increasingly competitive industry landscape, this upward spike quickly demonstrated how invaluable the ability to innovate and rapidly execute change is to staying ahead of competition.

Specifically, the company’s updated website offers a more user-friendly experience to help support their new marketing efforts. As a result, Whitman Controls was able to boost web traffic, convert more customers and increase sales. Correcting the organizational inefficiencies and better aligning the key functions of the firm also helped improve gross profit drastically year-over-year.

In 2018, Whitman Controls plans to supplement its internal innovations with new product offerings, which are expected to continue cultivating success in the years to come. The LDR team helped elevate Whitman Controls’ strategy and provide them with a vision and actionable roadmap to support future growth.

LDR is a growth and innovation advisory firm focused on providing advanced problem solving, leadership, and investment acceleration services that help businesses achieve their goals. LDR operates as a conduit between capital providers and invested companies to seize opportunities, develop innovation capabilities, and accelerate operations with the goal of maximizing ROI for all stakeholders.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *