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 research, 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 business analysis techniques to get under the skin of business information to gain critical insights, understand complex problems, develop intelligent change plans to deliver rapid results. 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
In-depth 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 strategic business planning and the creation of market competitive value propositions. Looking further out, our technology research projects support long-term planning, innovation and pathfinder initiatives.
“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.
UK / Japan
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. Specialist regulatory advice and technical solution viability assessment.
Multinational Engineering and Robotics Conglomerate
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. Technology research project delivery on reactor life extension technologies and their viability across sites.
UK / US / Germany
Multinational Transport Consortium
Business Improvement Planning and implementation support of complex technical problem resolution, safety management accreditation and organisational change management. Delivering solutions in conjunction with UK, US and Middle East teams.
Multinational Manufacturing & Logistics Conglomerate
Supported the Managing Director and Executive team to develop a 5-year strategic plan. This was delivered rapidly, signed off by the main board, upon which the team supported a programme of strategy execution and process improvement across business units to drive increased profitability, customer satisfaction and growth.
UK / US / Europe / Australia / Middle East and Asia
Business planning, strategy development and re-brand 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 methodologies. 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 strategic techniques they need for their teams to deliver ongoing success.
MEET THE TEAM
Marcus has successfully applied his passion for strategic business development and business transformation in both the private and the public sectors. Over the last 25 years he has developed systematic approaches to support effective business planning and growth, helping client organisations position themselves in key markets to maximise their competitive advantage, identify opportunities and secure major profitable contracts. Alongside this he has run major transformation, outsourcing and nuclear industry UK wide shared service programmes to deliver significant cost reduction.
Melanie founded Mercury Stone in 2009 as a consultancy focused on enabling organisations to achieve strategic growth and realise their business development goals. Melanie first applied her Utility sector experience to support the successful site nomination to build new nuclear reactors adjacent to Sellafield, the UK’s largest nuclear facility. Melanie has extensive experience in delivering market research programmes that are the foundation for effective strategic growth and business change. Her organisational expertise enable her to manage teams and run project offices to ensure business critical projects deliver to time, quality and cost.
Great strategies and plans are dependent on people for their formulation and effective execution. Adrian brings over two decades experience working with leaders and their teams to support the development of high performing individuals and organisations. Headline results are profitable revenue growth and reduced operational expenditure while driving up engagement and retaining talent.
Typical engagements apply systematic thinking approaches to assess the situation, provide insights and challenge where necessary, to develop the programmes which form the essential component within strategic change initiatives.
Dr Janet Wilson
Janet has extensive nuclear safety, technical and regulatory experience, gained as a senior nuclear industry regulator and then as Nuclear Assurance Director for the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
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.
John van Rooyen Myburg
John specialises in complex problem resolution and gaining the insights needed to achieve a step change in business performance. With a background in Lean Six Sigma in the financial services sector, John has a track record of identifying the root causes of issues and then supporting strategic change programmes to ensure they are effectively resolved.
A programme and project controls management professional with 20 years’ experience in the specification and delivery of large capital projects, business transformation and information programmes. Multi-sector experience gained running government and private sector programmes with P3e/P6/SAP/MSP systems experience applied in the nuclear, pharmaceutical, petrochemical and manufacturing sectors. Extensive nuclear experience working on decommissioning, reactor life extension and innovative fusion programmes.
An experienced business change and strategic programme development consultant. Extensive knowledge of both public and private best practice with hands on experience of partnership development, contract definition and systems/process optimisation. Proven ability to lead and deliver complex change and performance improvement programmes within large organisations, with a track record of successful programme delivery through the application of best practice models including Prince2, Six Sigma and EFQM business excellence frameworks.
Effective people management is key to organisational performance. As an employment law specialist, Michael provides day to day employment law support services as well as guiding senior management teams as to the most effective way to deliver strategic organisational change projects.
A Chartered Internal Auditor with a track record of design and implementation of effective governance, audit and risk management solutions in the public and private sector. Paul’s extensive experience includes leading major audit programmes for multi-nationals to ensure the highest standards of governance and investment control. Working with boards across numerous industry sectors, Paul ensures governance processes are aligned to meet international best practice standards while minimising cost and providing deeper and broader assurance to key stakeholders including Executive Boards, management and the audit committee.