All posts by Michael Roth

About Michael Roth

Michael Roth Advisors (MRA) provides clients with expertise in marketing and sales, both in turnaround management situations and in generating value for middle market companies.

At & After the TMA – a Bleak Prognosis for the TM Industry

At the Oct, 2013 TMA Annual, and for two weeks after, I met with a score of companies in the turnaround industry. Nearly all of them were suffering from weak revenues. Even worse, after 4-5 years of diminishing work, most firms still had no confidence that things would get better any time soon.

Unfortunately, it appears as if structural issues within the industry substantiate this lack of confidence. Continue reading At & After the TMA – a Bleak Prognosis for the TM Industry

Differentiating a Turnaround Firm to Win More Cases

In a nearly viral discussion on one of my LinkedIn groups, the originator asked (at some point long ago) if a period of free consulting was worth investing in to help secure a potential longer term relationship with a would-be client. In that discussion group, the question was asked within the context of an individual or “single shingle” consultancy. After more than 5000 comments over several years, the answer to that question remains decidedly inconclusive. Continue reading Differentiating a Turnaround Firm to Win More Cases

E&Y, WSJ & CFO Agree: Slower Growth is The New Normal

A recent E&Y report was especially sobering. It concluded that after 2-3 years of “recovery” it will be more difficult for companies to generate growth in the months and years to come. In E&Y’s words:

“Our research ….. suggests there is not going to be an early return to the business conditions that drove growth in the past decade. The economic forecast for the coming years is for a slow recovery and some slowdown even in the faster growing emerging markets, as demand in developed markets remains weak. To grow and succeed in such an environment will require that companies intensify their competitive efforts…Most growth will have to be won from competitors.” Continue reading E&Y, WSJ & CFO Agree: Slower Growth is The New Normal

Is the Turnaround Industry Really This Weak?

At the TMA Annual meeting last week In Washington DC, I found a nearly universal sentiment that the case flow and deal flow in the industry was still perilously weak. Just a sampling of the quotes that I collected:

  • “Case load is down significantly, we are currently involved in a pitch process that is actually deploying a reverse [fee] auction between us and a competitor on already discounted rates. Thank God that we have a diversified business.” Managing Director from a Large TM and Financial Consulting Firm
  • Continue reading Is the Turnaround Industry Really This Weak?

Two Turnarounds That Were 10 Years in the Making

In both of these cases, large consumer companies (Playtex and Revlon) had brands (Playtex Gloves and Flex Shampoo) that had not seen top-line growth in over 10 years. Playtex Gloves were under assault from low price, Asian imports and Flex was a case study in poor marketing management similar (except in scale) to New Coke. After years of success, Flex, a “value” brand was re-launched as a “premium” brand and soon saw its number 1 market share fade to the bottom-end of the top 10 brands. Continue reading Two Turnarounds That Were 10 Years in the Making

Don’t Let Dissembling Sales and Marketing Managers Derail a Turnaround

It is safe to say that the majority of companies in distress are experiencing weak top-line trends. Unfortunately, it is also true that in most cases, TM firms are ill equipped and unable to materially reverse their clients’ top-line woes. Continue reading Don’t Let Dissembling Sales and Marketing Managers Derail a Turnaround

Taking a Retailer from Worst to Best

The Situation

For many years, Duane Reade was the leading drug chain in the New York City metropolitan market. Some of Duane Reade’s stores were the highest volume per door drug stores in the entire country because of their high traffic locations. Yet Duane Reade in the mid 2000’s was hemorrhaging top-line sales due to the encroachment of competitors and their relatively poor customer shopping experience. Continue reading Taking a Retailer from Worst to Best

Generating a Positive Turnaround at a Healthy Company

The Situation

One of the largest consumer products companies in the world (at the time +$8 billion in sales) was seeking growth from a division with several brands that were more than 50 years old and had long ago peaked in sales and market share. The Company was Warner Lambert/Pfizer, the brands included Halls, Trident, Dentyne and Rolaids. Continue reading Generating a Positive Turnaround at a Healthy Company

Steps a TM Firm Can Take to Potentially Win More Projects

In my 12 years at one of the TMA’s “Finest” firms, I saw that firm win many competitive pitch’s by using a unique business development process that included:

  • Performing detailed pre-pitch research
  • Tailoring the presentation to the client more so than to itself
  • Focusing the presentation on more than the financial
  • Using operational consulting “carrots”

Continue reading Steps a TM Firm Can Take to Potentially Win More Projects