Repositioning an Early Pioneer and Technology Leader for Sustainable, Profitable Growth
BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Increased competition and decreased profitability
As a technology leader and pioneer of microfocus X-ray inspection equipment, FEINFOCUS grew quickly in its early years. With U.S. headquarters in Simi Valley, California and branch offices in California, Georgia, Ohio, and Connecticut, the company had excellent access to its U.S. customer base, but the vast U.S. operational footprint came with high costs, organizational complexity, and limited capital for field service, R&D and new product development.
As new and existing competitors invested in new technology, several long-term employees left the company to explore new challenges. FEINFOCUS needed to streamline operations, restore customer and employee confidence, and recapture its stellar reputation and leadership position.
SOLUTION: Commitment to a transformational growth strategy
FEINFOCUS shareholders were eager to reevaluate the company’s transformational growth strategy. Selecting the operational management services and expert guidance provided by Lance A. Scott, founder & CEO of Alliance Technologies, FEINFOCUS employed a multi-pronged approach:
Alliance determined that fewer but more sophisticated U.S. offices would be more effective in serving North American customers. The U.S. headquarters were relocated to Connecticut and the West Coast offices were consolidated in Silicon Valley. These two locations served as centralized hubs for customer demonstrations, highly regarded X-ray inspection services, service and repair facilities, and worthy venues for sales meetings and organizational team-building. Key employees from other locations were invited to work remotely as regional sales managers, field service support, or applications engineers.
Recapturing the company’s pioneering spirit and technology leadership was a critical foundation for enabling transformational growth. Not only did FEINFOCUS need to reestablish its industry-leading position, but Alliance also recommended development of systems to serve the higher-volume electronics production industry by creating modular system designs that improved manufacturability, serviceability, and overall costs. Selectively outsourcing non-critical components for manufacturing in low-cost regions also helped restore the path to sustainable long-term growth.
Embracing the After Sales Market
The new management quickly realized that FEINFOCUS’ expansive installed base provided an opportunity to restore customer satisfaction and offer new technologies, training, upgrades, and service packages. The new strategy aligned with customers’ interests and brought new revenue and profitability streams. By embracing the total cost of ownership model, FEINFOCUS developed profitable long-term relationships rather than one-off sales.
Sales and Marketing Services
To communicate the company’s compelling story, Alliance created effective sales and marketing tools, improved the company’s website, and developed a thought leadership position through publication of white papers, technical articles, case studies, and educational webinars and seminars that helped reach a broader target audience. The new leadership introduced a key account management strategy focused on building international relationships with industry leaders and attaining preferred positions on approved vendor lists. After being promoted to global managing director, Lance Scott also reinforced the company’s international network to better support the rapidly evolving global dynamic.
Corporate Development Services
The team also established strategic alliances with cutting-edge academic, commercial and industrial consortiums focused on advanced manufacturing technologies. This alliance development boosted FEINFOCUS’ ability to accelerate technological development and market penetration, yielding countless mutual benefits.
RESULTS: Industry recognition and acquisition for growth
Five years after initiating the transformational growth strategy, FEINFOCUS had experienced a dramatic increase in sales and profitability. Over that five-year period, the company regained its standing as the industry leader in technology, quality, and award-winning technical support.
Continued success prompted FEINFOCUS to engage Alliance senior management to prepare a comprehensive business plan to attract strategic investment partners. This work culminated in the friendly acquisition of the company by Comet Holding AG (SWX: COTN) in May 2004, with Lance Scott serving as the sell side M&A advisor throughout the partner assessment, negotiation, due diligence, and post-transaction integration.
FEINFOCUS was honored as one of Connecticut’s 50 fastest-growing technology companies by Deloitte’s Fast 50 program, and was a recipient of the esteemed Frost & Sullivan business development strategy leadership and product innovation of the year awards, and consecutive service excellence awards from Circuits Assembly Magazine.
Navigating the Challenges of the American Marketplace
Understanding and overcoming the challenges of the American marketplace can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor for international advanced manufacturing companies attempting to develop their own strategic growth plans. However, with guidance from cross-functional experts for the Americas region, advanced manufacturing companies can navigate market intricacies that could otherwise derail the course to profitable growth. That’s when your company’s business becomes Alliance Technologies’ top priority.
For more information about how your company can put Alliance Technologies’ proven approach and Americas-focused expertise to work, contact us or