Driving change with senior level leadership
Case Studies
From R&D Markets to Manufacturing – Strategic Planning

A profitable early-stage nanotechnology company with success in R&D markets was looking to move its capital equipment product into manufacturing. The company was being led by technologists from the founding team that lacked the requisite business planning and high-tech manufacturing experience to do so. Opportunities to accelerate growth and expand into manufacturing markets would be lost if the company didn’t act quickly. Our Interim Executive was hired to write the business plan and lead the company’s expansion into new markets. 

Interviews of the founding team and a customer discovery project revealed a unique value proposition based on nanotechnology expertise but also revealed key weaknesses as customers perceived a lack of product maturity and operational excellence. The business plan focused on the financial, operational and hiring requirements that would quickly meet manufacturing customer needs. Within months of starting, growth financing was secured and lead positions in engineering, operations and sales were hired. Within the first year three new products were introduced, first manufacturing systems were in production and an international sales team was fueling revenue growth of 200%. 

Our Interim Executive successfully:

  • Led the expansion of product lines by focusing on key R&D and manufacturing markets, becoming an industry leader with over 325 systems sold worldwide 2004-2012.
  • Combined 2010-2011 revenues of $35M with 525% growth in revenue 2007-2011 with sustained profitability that averaged 12% of revenue 2007-2011.
  • Top-50 ranking for manufacturing companies, Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, 2009-2011.
  • Recruited executive team including CFO, VP of Sales and Marketing, VP of Technology, and VP of Engineering.
  • Hired European and Asian Sales Directors and expanded overseas sales channels which accounted for more than 60% of revenue, led by sales in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Israel, China, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.
  • Closed key manufacturing system contracts including a seven year $25M Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with a leading solar panel manufacturer.
  • Negotiated key supplier agreements, including long-term contracts with contract manufacturers.
  • Led the hiring of an investment banker and assisted in the sale of the company.
  • Business strategy and plan was featured in a 2010 Harvard Business School case study.

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