Global Gray Matter LLC
Innovation: Strategy & Execution

Projects

Mission Accomplished.
Value Created.

Strategy & Operations = Execution

A $22M company in Northern California, focused on wholesale, distribution and manufacturing wanted to grow further, but found itself red-lined and running from one internal crisis to another, all while trying to get around to working on the necessary expansion projects for the business.

We discovered that the company had only ever evolved and grown organically and reactively. At no point had the internals of the company been designed and proactively built. While this isn’t unusual in business, it does have the effect of creating an effective limit on the business size. This company had reached that limit. It is very hard to run a company above a certain size without an appropriate sized leadership team and without properly collected and disseminated internal performance data.

The company had also experienced an almost 200% turnover in headcount the prior year. And, mission critical positions could remain unfilled for months at a time.

The solution required:

  • Upgrading the external service providers for critical functions such as HR and IT.

  • A complete redesign of how talent was sourced and on-boarded.

  • Transitioning the culture to a team-centric one: focused on problem solving and collaboration.

  • Identifying and eliminating production bottlenecks.

  • Rolling out the SAP Business One software that they had purchased for the manufacturing division but not yet deployed. Distinguishing between “Build-for-Inventory” products and “Assemble-to-Order” products.

  • Creating a Sales Order Acceptance function and Purchasing Dept for the manufacturing division of the business.

The results:

  • SAP Business One rolled out and generating vital data on materials and labor for multiple production lines.

  • Reliable and responsive HR and IT functions that now support the growth projects of the company.

  • Recruitment redesigned and Mission-critical positions filled within 1-2 weeks of becoming vacant.

  • New Functions/Depts and processes for the manufacturing division successfully implemented.

  • Production bottlenecks eliminated, capacity planning initiated and a future growth road map outlined.

  • Reestablishment of progress on the interrupted growth trajectory.


Operating Excellence: Single Location Turnaround

A $43M multiple location Company focused on residential services in the Southwestern USA needed to get their newest location on track. Since launch, as a green field start, the location had never achieved traction in the local market and there had been 5+ managers in just over 2 years.

It turned out that the location suffered from Asset Poverty: both a dramatic deterioration of the original physical assets deployed and a lack of skilled and motivated people resources.

The solution required:

  • An overhaul of the local recruitment practices in order to attract proper talent (for the first time), and installing a talented and experienced leader to nurture and grow the people over time.

  • In addition, the physical assets being utilized to generate revenue had to be refreshed and updated.

  • Neglected vendor relationships also needed to be rebuilt.

The results:

  • The location’s revenues increased by 228% within 5 months of the start of the engagement.

  • The location’s EBITDA increased to +30% from a -15% to -20%.


Creating Assets & Building Value

How do you turn a great concept (and much needed medical solution) into a professional company that investors are excited by? This was the challenge faced by a West Coast cardiologist and his wife.  They had come up with an idea for the next generation of external cardiac resuscitation devices, created a plastic model and filed one provisional patent.  What next?

The solution required:

  • Creating a company with the appropriate advisors and vendors.

  • Turning the initial provisional patent filing into an awarded US patent with multiple international filings and then identifying and significantly expanding the intellectual property into a novel and significant portfolio of more than 70 awarded and pending patents.

  • Raising over $2.25M in capital from a range of Friends & Family and Angel investors along with a seed investment from a major medical research institution.

  • Recruiting a talented engineer as a co-Founder, creating 7 generations of novel hardware, generating exciting results and a published paper from the medical trials.

  • Mapping out the Go To Market steps for obtaining regulatory approval and ramping up sales in multiple markets around the globe.

The results:

  • The Company was able to secure a Term Sheet for $10M with a pre-money valuation of $40M.


Raise & Deploy Capital, Grow & Create Value

So, you have a great consumer product idea. You have created some initial prototypes, but still need to go through multiple additional iterations in order to perfect it.  Then you will have to market and launch the product as well as to manufacture and sell it.  How do you get from here to there?  This was the situation that two West Coast Start-up Founders found themselves in.

The solution required:

  • Raising capital from Friends & Family (over $4.5M).

  • Identifying, creating and securing intellectual property (multiple domestic and international patents).

  • Creating branding and marketing.

  • Understanding and connecting with Customers.

  • Creating and maintaining sales channels.

  • Setting pricing and managing the features and benefits of the product models and accessories (product management and lifecycle monitoring).

  • Selecting and managing manufacturing vendors.

  • Managing logistics and warehousing.

  • Creating and managing KPIs.

  • Negotiating contracts with major media companies.

  • Identifying, managing and mitigating risks (operational, competitive and legal).

The results:

  • Grew the annual Revenues from $0 to $5M.

  • Navigated the Company to Breakeven.


A Midwestern Client found their professional services firm in the technology space in a declining spiral.  How to stop the decline before it became truly terminal?  What had changed about their market?  How could they regain profitability and grow again?

The solution required:

  • Accurately understanding the market (both the industry and the geography).

  • Identifying the evolution of the industry, the trends and where the Company and its services needed to be re-positioned.

  • Revamping the Marketing and Sales functions, hiring full time sales consultants and senior technical staff.

  • Developing vendor relationships within the technology solution channels.

  • Transforming from Time & Materials billing to Recurring Revenue based contracts.

  • Identifying and investing in cutting edge technology solutions that meet fundamental Client needs.

  • Systematizing the Company and how it executes on its Clients' business.

The results:

  • Brought the Company from an annual loss back to breakeven within the first year.

  • Increased the annual Revenues by 300% in the first year.

  • Rolled out new services and then increased them from 3% to 30% of annual Revenues.

  • Transitioned the business model successfully to a Managed Service Provider model.

  • Grew monthly contractual Recurring Revenues to more than 95% of monthly expenses.

Adapt or Die


A civilian Federal Government agency experienced a critical IT project stalling out.  The civil servants and prime contractors had been unable to get it back on track.  What steps should they take to resolve the problem?

The solution required:

  • Facilitating the Agile sprint meetings and asking key questions.

  • Separating the Technology design and implementation from the organization's Governance implementation.

  • Understanding the internal Customers, educating and selling them upon the solution in order to drive eager adoption.

  • Identifying nation's leading implementation firm for Enterprise and Government projects.

  • Coordinating with Senior Civil Servants and the Technology vendor.

Failure To Launch


A West Coast USA general contractor focused on high end remodeling wanted to reposition the Company as a luxury custom design-build company and to grow the business into an asset that he could step out of or sell within ten years.  How to get this accomplished efficiently, reliably and within a specific time frame?

The solution required:

  • Rebuilding the Marketing and Sales functions and all creative assets.

  • Implementing and tracking relevant Key Performance Indicators.

  • Identifying key market partners to create one or more virtual Design-Build teams.

  • Understanding the demographics and psychographics of ideal customers and how/where to reach and connect with them.

  • Mapping out the company roles, responsibilities and filling the roles with the optimum people.

  • Implementing updated financial tracking mechanisms.

The results:

  • Revenues grew by 4x.

  • Average project size grew by 10x.

  • Successfully launched an expanded market offering.

Building Custom Luxury


A private hospitality company specializing in luxury vacation rentals in North America wanted to expand both domestically and internationally.  They had identified that their existing business processes, systems and technology would most likely not be able to support this growth in a cost effective and efficient manner.  So, how to proceed?  What changes needed to be made, when and in what sequence?

The solution required:

  •   Understanding the fundamentals of the business model (both revenue generation as well as direct and indirect expenses) and identifying what was scalable.

  •   Identifying operational dependencies and scalabilities within the organization.

  •   Identifying operational and market risks.

  •   Identify current and needed business processes and how the company inputs, transforms and tracks data.

  •   Identify weaknesses in Sales and Marketing efforts and what needs to be done to make the process predictable and scalable.

  •   Identify the level of Operational maturity  in existing markets.

Creating a Luxury Experience