2019 was a great year at The Keystone Group! The firm completed a combined 45 projects across the U.S. and internationally for both new and existing clients. Keystone was recognized as a top consulting firm by Vault, ranking 19th across all firms and ranking 1st for firm culture! In addition, new members joined the team and Keystone made a difference by raising money for charity during its 9th annual softball tournament. For a complete overview of 2019, see the infographic.
Keystone is proud to have introduced six new members in 2019: Doug Allen, Paul Giorgi, Kurt Gutwein, Abby Huelfer, Paige O'Piela and Guillermo Tinoco! These talented individuals come from various universities and academic backgrounds, and are eager to help our clients in solving their most difficult challenges. To learn more about our new hires, click on the link below.
September 2019 marked Keystone's ninth time hosting the Annual Chairty Softball Tournament benefiting Camperships for Nebagamon. The tournament raises money to help deserving boys and girls to enjoy life-changing experiences while diversifying and enriching the camp community. CIBC fought hard against Keystone's team to take home the trophy for the third year in a row. Thank you to all of the teams, donors, and volunteers for helping to make this tournament our most attended and successful one to date! We look forward to making a difference in the lives of these children for years to come.
JEFF ALVIS APPEARS ON M&A UNPLUGGED
On this episode of the M&A Unplugged podcast, Keystone Director Jeff Alvis talks about the firm's involvement in mergers and acquisitions, from the diligence and planning phases all the way through realization of synergies. The discussion also covers the role of culture and the importance of planning. Jeff conveys to listeners that integration should never be an afterthought.
Keystone is proud to be recognized as a top tier consulting firm to work for in Vault's 2020 Consulting Firm Rankings. Among other honors, Keystone was recognized as the #19 Best Consulting Firm, #5 Best Boutique Consulting Firm, and #1 for Firm Culture. Vault rankings are based on consultant survey responses and are evaluated across eight different criteria including prestige, culture, work-life balance, and ability to challenge.
COMMON WARNING SIGNS ASSOCIATED WITH BUSINESS UNIT BEHAVIORS
Written by Paul Giorgi and Emily Harig
Our infographicexplores the behaviors and early warning signs associated with five common business cases, including overly focused top line growth, concentrated senior management structures, operation and productivity focuses, highly customized product portfolios, and short term financial result prioritization. Are any of these behaviors being exhibited in your company? Learn how to identify the warning signs associated with these strategies before they start impacting your bottom line.
Written by Emily Harig and Amar Shah, Contributed to by Ryan Budicin
The Keystone Group recently conducted a survey-based analysis to learn more about the impact of recent tariffs on the middle market. Respondents included a variety of industries and largely represented the middle market with 81% having revenues under $1B. Of the respondents, nearly 75% reported having to pay additional tariffs in 2018 and 2019, and 58% are considering alternate sourcing locations. Our infographic summarizes the survey results. For further details, see our full report.
Written by Jeff Alvis and Christophe Jeannin, Featured in Mergers & Acquisitions
Customer defections are a key reason for why more than half of all mergers fail to deliver the intended improvement in shareholder value. While merged companies focus on the quick capture of synergies, they typically lose sight of customers - just when the risk of losing those customers is at its highest. As featured in Mergers & Acquisition, Jeff Alvis and Christophe Jeannin address the reasons why this occurs and identify the "Must-Do's" for all deals.
MIDDLE MARKET TRENDS: MANAGING SKU PROLIFERATION FOR DISTRIBUTORS
Written by Amar Shah, Danielle Moushon, and Sunil Agarwal
Particularly for distributors, the constant pressure to carry a larger variety of products can be misleading. Adding new products can lead to new customers, increased sales and a higher switching cost for customers. However, a large portfolio can also add hidden cost and complexity to the business, creating narrower margins and reducing overall profitability. This is called SKU proliferation. The analytical process of developing and implementing a strategy by SKU is called product rationalization. Also known as product portfolio optimization, successful SKU rationalization results in an increase in profitability, decrease in working capital, and improvement in customer service levels. The overall complexity of running the business will drop as the portfolio becomes more streamlined.