Featured Insights

Common Warning Signs Associated with Business Unit Behaviors

Written by Paul Giorgi and Emily Harig


Our infographic explores 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.

Middle Market Trends: Tariff Survey Results

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

How to Improve Post-Merger Integration

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.  READ MORE >

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. READ MORE >

Setting Them Up for Success: Acquisition & Transition in the Organizational Culture

Written by Jeff Alvis, featured in Pitchbook


There are more than a few stories about M&A deals that looked good on paper but never had lived up to their potential. Inattentive or poor culture integration is one of the main reasons that industry leaders cite when they describe deals that were unknowingly "set up for failure". As featured in Pitchbook, Jeff Alvis identifies 5 simple things your business can do to ensure an effective cultural transition during a merger. READ MORE >

M&A Blueprint: Three Keys to Executing a Successful Integration

Written by Jeff Alvis, featured in Middle Market Executive


While there are ideas on how to solve tactical issues – poor diligence, over-valuing synergies, failure to address potential cultural differences and many others  – we believe focusing on three key principals will help mitigate these concerns and lead to an integration that meets or beats expectations. READ MORE >

Keep It Short: The Case for Brevity in Meetings

Written by Bill Budicin, featured in CEO.com


Thomas Jefferson once said, "The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."  That quote is etched on the window of one of our conference rooms at Keystone.  As featured on CEO.com, here are some pointers on communicating with brevity.  READ MORE >

How to Generate More Value as a CFO

Written by Bill Budicin, featured in CFO Magazine


Adding value beyond closing the books and reporting financial information can be a struggle.  Here's how to break out of the 'bean counter' mold. READ MORE >

Middle Market Trends: Offshore Manufacturing and Sourcing

Written by Amar Shah and Danielle Moushon


As manufacturing costs in low-cost countries have increased, there have been several publications assessing whether it makes sense to re-shore production. Many of these publications have focused on the large corporate market. The Keystone Group’s experience working primarily with mid-market companies has indicated that mid-market companies face unique challenges and risks and need to have their own customized criteria and guidelines to assist them in their offshoring and outsourcing decisions. The Keystone Group administered a survey to mid-market C-level executives across multiple industries with the goal to document the current state of mid-market offshoring and outsourcing. READ MORE >

Trouble on the Road...How to Maximize the Outcome

Written by Brian Stewart, featured in Equipment Finance Advisor


When the level of distress in the trucking industry increases, what is the best path to maximize your return – what should you do? Of course there isn’t just one optimal course, but I will give you a path that we have found works very well. READ MORE >

The Effect of New vs. Old Trucks on Maintenance Costs and Fuel Economy

Written by Christophe Jeannin, Joe Zito, and Brian Marks


Over the past few years, trucking companies have been hit by what many have called the “perfect storm”: sky-high fuel prices, an unprecedented housing bubble bursting, and the resulting economic downturn which for many carriers is still a reality today. Carriers have taken notice of the number of company failures that have rocked their industry, and although most industry participants agree that a reduction in the supply side of the trucking market will be a good thing for those who remain, the road to supply and demand equilibrium has been a painful one. READ MORE >

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