Business Support For Profitable
Growth & Performance Improvement
Mercury Stone specialises in serving complex and highly regulated markets, including Nuclear Engineering, Energy, Outsourcing, Logistics and Financial Services. We work with businesses to improve their performance, develop long-term plans for strategic growth and, most importantly, ensure that those plans are effectively executed.
Our focus is on delivering profitable growth while creating long term competitive advantage. We provide joined-up business support through our strategy development, business planning, strategic marketing and transformation programme delivery, all tailored to meet your business requirements.
Services can be provided stand alone, however our contribution is greatest when service elements are brought together to create joined-up programmes, INSIGHT > STRATEGY > ACTION. Our approach is to work as partners and supporting the business to achieve goals while leaving a legacy of enduring processes and capabilities to enable ongoing growth.
“The best vision is insight” Malcolm Forbes.
Applying an intelligence led approach to understanding market, competitor and internal business dynamics to inform development plans.
Getting to the heart of a problem is key to transforming business performance. We apply proven analytical techniques to get under the skin of business information to gain critical insights, understand complex problems, develop intelligent solutions to ensure the right change happens. Our flexible approach can identify quick wins in the short term, while longer term strategic changes come into effect.
“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster” Sun Tzu
Market research is the critical groundwork to create informed and underpinned plans. Our market opportunity assessments are focussed on gathering intelligence, insights and ideas to support long term business planning and the creation of market competitive value propositions.
“What gets measured gets managed” Peter Drucker
Effective performance needs to be set into context. Benchmarking can provide a powerful reality-check and clarity as to “what good looks like”. This informs business plans is a start point on the road to delivering focused change to improve competitiveness. Long term, the right set of performance measures supports the creation of smart performance dashboards to monitor progress against delivery of the business plan and ensure focus and performance are maintained.
Rising to Challenges and Opportunities.
Supporting and enabling leadership teams work on their business as opposed to in their business to drive strategic growth and development.
Every business is presented with unique challenges and opportunities. For some, the time will be right to take a fundamental review of their strategy and market position, current and desired. For others, the focus may be on a specific area of the business which typically will require one of 3 things; increased sales, reduced cost or innovation. Here our Think-Tank capability will enable options to be explored, support generation of new ideas and create informed strategies for growth and transformation. Often as a precursor to such an initiative, Mercury Stone will be engaged to undertake market research to stimulate and inform discussions. In every case we bring a fresh perspective and support and facilitate individuals and teams to identify new beneficial ways forward.
We believe robust business plans are built on firm foundations; sound market intelligence, an assessment of business capabilities, a clear business model and a strategic route-map for focused development. But, truly great business plans are the ones that go the extra mile, presenting a vision for the future that energises staff, is compelling to customers and gains the support of investors and stakeholders. Our proven process for business plan development succeeds because; it is systematic, we work hand in hand with key members of the lead team and finally when the plan is almost complete, we take great care to crystalise key messages to enable effective presentation which is often key to gaining buy-in and board support.
Great technical solutions need to be translated into compelling value propositions that clearly present the competitive advantage of a service or product. While many think value propositions are purely to do with sales and marketing, our approach reaches out further to encompass the operational and manufacturing capabilities as well as overall business model required to deliver the service effectively and profitably. The best proposition development programmes sit within the business plan, are informed by market research and are aligned with business improvement programmes to ensure the proposition promise can be delivered. This is the very best start point for any strategic selling programme.
Strategy is nothing without action.
We work hand in hand with client teams to ensure change initiatives are delivered, strategic growth targets are met and key contracts are won.
Our programmes transform operational performance to improve competitiveness and ensure that changes are fully aligned to delivery of the business plan. The result: more effective use of existing assets and the identification and introduction of critical new capabilities.
Effective marketing programmes prepare the ground for sales success. This is particularly important in complex and often technical markets where it is all too easy to see great propositions get lost in translation. We ensure that internal experts and external marketing resources work as one to deliver strategic marketing programmes. The outcome is for customers to recognise the advantages your business brings and to be positioned as the preferred choice ahead of any formal sales engagement.
Complex strategic selling often takes place over long timescales, engages many parties and has to comply with exacting procurement protocols.
Success requires the application of a systematic approach to bid management to ensure a co-ordinated, high quality response; but winning is also about ensuring that the special differentiating qualities of your bid shine bright. So yes we work hard on the detail, but the final focus is making sure the logic of the bid is expertly presented as a compelling argument.
Our contribution is greatest when service elements are brought together to create joined-up programmes that deliver tangible results. We work as an extension of your team with an emphasis on knowledge transfer, to ensure that when a project is completed, the foundations are in place for further growth and performance improvement.
The following examples depict typical engagements:
Established in 2009, Mercury Stone supports clients in delivering strategic business development initiatives across the Nuclear, Energy, Engineering, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial Service and Business Process Outsourcing Sectors. We do not publically disclose individual clients. Examples of relationships and engagements include:
Economic Development Company
New Nuclear reactor and related National Grid developments gaining political and commercial support for the initiative through the development of a compelling business cases and effective engagement with stakeholders.
Specialist Rail Operator
Market assessment leading to a strategic repositioning, business plan and successful business development programme that secured £100m+ of contracts and delivered a balanced contract portfolio across key market sectors.
World Class Nuclear Infrastructure Services Alliance
Supporting the launch of a 15 year £1.1Bn contract to modernise operational practices on a complex nuclear site. Facilitated joint working across partner and client companies with the development of effective mechanisms for measuring and demonstrating performance and value.
Leading Mobile Telephony Provider
Developing differential customer management models to maximise revenue from high value customer groups supporting the ongoing development of the UK’s largest outsourced call centre operation in the UK mobile market.
Specialist Financial Services Provider
Coaching lead team and overseeing key improvement initiatives required for the business to achieve higher value supplier status in its client’s supply chain accelerating growth and improving margins.
Specialist Nuclear Engineering Services Provider
Market entry planning for the UK market. Providing an efficient growth path to reduce “burn rate” and develop early revenue streams.
Supporting the creation and delivery of a development programme for a new engineering division. Included a successful organic and acquisitive growth plan that has secured major framework contracts and extended the service offer to enable higher margin turnkey project delivery.
UK / US / Germany
Multinational Transport Consortium
Business Improvement Planning and implementation support including data analysis for complex technical problem resolution and management information system development.
Leading Banking Group
Conducted root cause analysis of significant and complex account related data issues that had regulatory focus. Developed fit for purpose solution working with IT partners to test and implement.
Brand Identity development in support of corporate repositioning, strategic change programmes and major tender capture plans. Working with both major corporates, the public sector and social enterprises.
Why we are here?
Our mission is to help our clients succeed by setting the right strategic direction, becoming more competitive and winning profitable new contracts.
We believe that the surest route to long-term success comes from adopting a systematic approach to strategic business development and to this end we have developed and applied a range of proven processes and advanced MI systems. Our experienced consultants work hand in hand with client teams to explore challenges and opportunities, create actionable plans and most importantly follow through to ensure great plans deliver even better results.
Execution is everything. Our team members work hand in glove with clients to provide the additional expertise and resources to ensure that critical moments in a business’s growth are a success; whether it is implementing improvement programmes, creating a new vision for the company, or working into the late hours to ensure that landmark contracts are secured or critical projects are delivered. Our partnership approach ensures our clients are equipped with the advanced systems, processes and people to deliver ongoing success.
MEET THE TEAM
Dr Janet Wilson
More recently Janet served as an Executive Director for Horizon Nuclear Power, helping found the company to build the next generation of nuclear reactors in the UK.