When senior industry executives need innovative strategies that optimize decision-making, they turn to CRA. Our consultants blend decades of industry knowledge and with a deep history of world-class economic expertise. It’s a unique and powerful combination that enables CRA to anticipate trends, focus on the highest value-at-stake issues and opportunities, and deliver sustainable, forward-looking strategies that set our clients apart from their peers.
CRA helps make corporate and business unit planning processes more effective. We start with the issues that impact key sectors of the business. We have a detailed understanding of industry drivers, and we know how to work with management teams to help them interpret and anticipate how critical issues influence business performance.
We typically utilize a top-down/bottom-up process when working with client teams. The top-down element captures the requirements of the senior executive leadership team to outline strategic direction, as well as overall goals. The bottom-up element reflects the detailed strategies and resource requirements identified by business units and/or key functional areas to deliver on the corporate vision and objectives.
Intellectual property strategy
CRA helps clients navigate the minefield of IP risks and opportunities. Intellectual property and other intangible assets are critical components of the net worth and overall shareholder value, but many companies fail to appreciate and take periodic inventories of these assets, so they are often under-exploited. Patents, pending patent applications, trade secrets, and licenses to these assets are the most financially-significant types of intellectual property biotechnology companies possess. CRA helps plan, protect, and defend our clients’ IP assets, while also safeguarding brand recognition, so that trademarks, service marks, and copyrights are not violated.
At a time when companies of all sizes and industries are under pressure to leverage what they have already developed in the form of incremental revenue streams and new opportunities, it’s critical that consideration is given to periodic IP audits and strategic analyses. CRA knows IP.
Market positioning and growth strategy
CRA works with companies to develop growth strategies. We know how to assess existing business portfolios and investment opportunities and identify those that offer the greatest opportunity for capturing high-return, organic growth. We also know how to apply our market and regulatory insights to identify explicit opportunities for our clients particular circumstances. We work with management teams to identify implementation requirements and risks and to outline performance metrics and targets. Our consultants also work with senior management to help communicate growth strategies to company boards and other key stakeholders.
Merger analysis and integration
CRA helps clients realize the maximum value from a merger, acquisition, or divestiture through a well-defined framework:
- M&A activities must be grounded in a corporate or business ambition and strategy that is shared by the management team
- The value of the target is unique to each potential acquirer/partner and can only be determined by an advisor with deep understanding of the products, markets, technologies and competitive environment of both the client and its target
- Conventional financial reviews and forecasts are not sufficient – they must be complemented by a strategic characterization of the partner/acquisition target and an assessment of the fit and synergy potential of both partners
- Key risk factors and uncertainties must be identified and assessed; these can include cultural differences, excessive initial valuation of new products, and higher environmental liabilities than initially disclosed
Our consultants act as your advocate in the process, working with you to shape the terms of the deal or advising you to walk away when appropriate. Unlike investment banks, we are not typically rewarded on the basis of a “success fee,” nor do we advise on transactions for which we provide capital. This enables us to act as impartial arbiters in the process. Our independence is particularly valued by investors and directors who might be evaluating competing investment opportunities, or who are under pressure to make potentially expensive, complex, and liability-laden decisions based on limited data.
Our transaction advisory services include M&A process support, privatization, and negotiation support.
CRA helps clients discover unmet market needs, evaluate the potential of new markets, assess product uptake, understand the competitive landscape, and develop short- and long-term forecasts by both geography and product. New opportunities take many forms, each of which deserves a thorough evaluation of upside, cost, and risk.
In addition to evaluating new products and technologies, CRA applies its rigorous analytical approach to help our clients assess a range of other market opportunities, such as entry into new geographic markets, expansion into new distribution channels, and launching new specialties. Regardless of the specific circumstance and opportunity, CRA’s assessments are forward-looking, explicitly anticipating stakeholder reaction and competitor response.
Organization and performance improvement
Effective management processes drive strong financial returns, so determining areas of weakness and applying corrective measures is a fundamental undertaking for a company seeking competitive advantage. CRA’s approach is governed by the necessity of aligning management processes and company strategy. We employ diagnostic tools that reveal areas of weak performance and then apply proven methodologies that lead to positive, lasting changes.
All engagements begin with basic inquiry. Where is value leaking out from core business processes? Are underlying capabilities fully exploited? What is the gap between processes in place and best practices, and how might you better stand out from competitors? CRA’s powerful capabilities in the following disciplines have helped our clients develop and follow thoroughly-researched plans for action that have enabled them to produce sustainable, bottom-line results.
- Supply chain management: CRA helps clients improve the effectiveness of contracts with third-parties and ensure that spend is appropriately aggregated and in-line with commercial realities.
- Capital-management effectiveness: Effective management of multi-billion-dollar capital programs is critical for overall corporate growth and performance. CRA deploys business process design and portfolio tools to increase the expected value of the investment portfolio, ensure that capital budgets are appropriately defined, and that capital management processes produce incentives for top performance in third-party delivery.
- Pricing effectiveness: CRA’s pricing and segmentation offerings help firms reduce product complexity and cost, and better align offerings to market needs.
- Risk management: CRA examines and compares organizations’ methodologies for managing and reporting risk against industry best practices, and we can propose new approaches, technologies, and protocols that help your business more effectively manage risk without compromising commercial agility.
Portfolio planning and optimization
CRA helps clients develop product and portfolio strategies that leverage competitive advantages and optimize marketing and sales resources to deliver an acceptable return on marketing investments. A critical aspect of any strategy assignment is to identify and prioritize segments based on profit and growth potential and determine segment-specific strategies (sales, marketing, pricing, channel, etc.)
Our recommendations are always based on rigorous quantitative analyses and centered on the unique features and benefits of a product. Clients rely on us for:
- Segmentation analyses: We quantify the opportunities within specific segments, focusing on potential returns to account management and field sales efforts.
- Competitive positioning: We conduct studies to determine the optimal marketing strategy in light of competitive opportunities and threats, including assessments of the product lifecycle and franchise implications of positioning options.
- Sales and promotion strategies: Our consultants are experts in weighing the costs and impact of promotion on brand awareness and, ultimately, on changes in buying patterns.
- Distribution channel strategies: We assess channel profitability and take into account competitive and managed-market trends to seek competitive advantages for our clients.
- Financial modeling: In combination with our market research expertise, our skills in financial modeling often yield recommendations that benefit clients.
R&D decisions and strategy
CRA can help companies select candidates and technologies and then manage a portfolio of alternatives to maximize shareholder value. We understand all aspects of the R&D process—discovery, manufacturing, and regulatory. This domain expertise combined with our experience in assimilating market expectations, allows us to help improve decision making. Additionally, our expertise in combining R&D, market uncertainty, and decision-flexibility into actionable strategies helps us to improve the speed and fidelity of R&D decisions.