Catalyzing PEER Group’s Growth Journey

Winner, 2019 Canadian CMC Project of the Year 

This mini case study is part of our ongoing series profiling the Winners of the Canadian CMC Project of the Year Award, showcasing Canada’s best management consulting engagements. Winners are nominated for an international Constantinus Award. See more profiles.

Project Lead, BDC Advisory Services:

David Schincariol, CMC, Executive Advisor, High-Impact Firms, BDC Advisory Services

Additional team members included::

Kelly McDougald, Executive Advisor, Glenn Yonemitsu, FCMC, Managing Director, Executive Advisors, Ontario, and Swami Sundarrajan, Business Advisor

Background – The Challenge

The PEER Group Inc. is the largest supplier of factory automation software to equipment makers and factories in the semiconductor and related industries. The company helps lower the cost of automation for its customers by solving their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems.

The delivery team identified a need for a more compelling growth plan and a partnership was initiated with PEER Group to catalyze growth planning, expand geographically, and develop its people and processes to better lead a growing global firm.

As the company explored opportunities for additional products, new geographies, and acquiring other companies, the project also sought to help PEER Group develop leadership talent from within and build the ability to delegate with confidence. 

Engagement Review – The Solution

BDC’s Growth Driver Program (GDP) was created to support high-potential and high-growth companies like PEER Group increase their success rates as they scale up. The GDP is a long-term (multi-year) engagement, where the BDC team partners and supports CEOs as they pursue growth journeys.

The GDP is unlike a typical management consulting engagement where the delivery team interviews, researches, and recommends. Rather, the GDP helps lead the client on a journey of learning and discovery.

BDC’s delivery team conducted both internal and external assessments to help PEER Group build its foundation and identify market growth opportunities. The team assessed 3 key areas of focus to improve the company’s trajectory of growth and develop its team to be well positioned for an acquisition. These areas were profitability, leadership, and financing.

The delivery team helped strengthen the company’s disruptive value proposition by re-examining the opportunities present in the industry, while exploring adjacent industries for new growth potential.

The project addressed the initial objectives set out by both the client and the delivery team; by enabling the company’s leaders to better drive new ideas, it served as a catalyst for systemic growth.

Additional Project Details

The project involved researching and developing plans across multiple countries.

Forming the Project Team
At the outset, we worked with the CEO to identify executives for the project team. We encouraged a broad group of executives so full cross-enterprise impact could be achieved.

All team members were defined up front and during a kickoff meeting, the process and roles were explained and agreed across the team. An interview process allowed each team member the opportunity to discuss their role as well as concerns and issues. As new skills were needed, new team members were introduced for predefined activities leveraging their core skills.

The client team consisted of 6-8 top leadership staff as well as the CEO.

Project Plan
A detailed project plan was agreed in writing both with the client and internally with the delivery team. The Business Advisor on BDC’s team managed the resources, monitored the time and the critical path.

At the end of each phase, BDC provided a deliverable that summarized the journey to date, complete with key findings. The deliverable was not to provide recommendations, but to help the leadership team recall the journey so that they may replicate it on their own once they have completed the GDP program.

In phase 2, we developed a detailed action plan to implement the results of our project with the client’s wider team inside the organization.

In addition to Certified Management Consultants (CMCs), the project team included MBAs, CPAs and PMPs as well as the part time QA resources of 2 independent reviewers.

The project was designed to have a preplanned journey of workshops as well as a weekly communication meeting. The in-person workshops were augmented with regular email communication documenting the progress to goals as well as a Sharepoint-shared Excel-based action plan communicating commitments to dates and deliverable status.

Ethical Code
In addition to BDC’s own Code of Conduct, since CMCs were engaged in this project, it was governed by CMC-Canada’s Code of Professional Conduct. To ensure this was followed, BDC defined and agreed up front our responsibility to the client, to the profession, to other members and to the public.

The Results

The The Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) Growth Driver Program (GDP) was extremely successful with PEER Group.

The project addressed the objectives set out by both the client and the delivery team. By enabling the company’s leaders to better drive new ideas, the project served as a catalyst for systemic growth.

With added focus, clarity, and confidence, PEER Group has increased revenues and profitability. In addition, because of the clear growth strategy which includes a strategy to start acquiring, PEER Group was instantly more profitable and able to attract new customers which has led to employment growth and the company’s most successful year ever.

Feedback has been extremely positive from the client.

At the beginning and end of each phase, a scorecard was used to measure and ensure that the project impact was realized across the predefined impact measures.

“The BDC consultants facilitated our leadership team through a process and model of best practice, providing a catalyst for our own growth and abilities. The Growth Driver Program gave us the clarity and confidence to leverage our foundational position more productively, and helped accelerate our growth.”

- Mike Kropp, President & CEO, PEER Group