How We Work

Uncover profitable growth opportunities

Amphora Consulting builds strategy and strategic marketing capabilities for business to business companies. Our clients benefit from the near-term impact of clarity of strategic goals and alignment to these goals as well as the long-term benefit of embedding strategic thinking as a capability of organization. Unlike many consulting firms, we don’t just do strategy “studies,” rather we work with our clients to unlock what they already know, to enhance their skill base and to build real organizational capabilities.

Traditional consulting firms typically require highly leveraged teams, with senior partners spending limited time on each engagement. Our model is different. We bring senior and experienced partners to work directly with our client teams and help them develop the insights and frameworks themselves to manage their businesses to new levels of growth and performance. The result is not just a document delivered to the client organization but a management team who buy into the strategy, all speaking the same language about the strategy and all with a clear understanding of the principles and requirements of a good strategy.

We have a highly flexible engagement model that can be tailored to your objectives, timing and resources.  We have no army of junior staff that we have to keep busy, hence no minimum weekly ‘burn rate.’  We can speed up, slow down, or even stand down, as your priorities dictate.

In general, we add value through some combination of four roles that we play:

  1. Teaching – using our proven ‘Grassroots Strategy’ framework and examples, we create and deliver powerful and impactful executive education experiences that many of our clients tell us transformed their thinking and their careers
  2. Coaching – leveraging our decades of experience, we counsel teams through the application of the principles to real projects, helping them focus and refine their initiatives and turning good ideas into good business
  3. Facilitation – starting with our perspective on what makes a successful strategy, we can lead workshops to force your team to face the facts, reframe what they know and answer critical, but sometimes uncomfortable questions, in order to build consensus on strategic focus and implications
  4. Execution – where you have limited resources, or need to more very quickly, we can tap into our network of experienced consultants and field a team to do a traditional consulting engagement including analysis of internal and market data, competitive intelligence and especially ‘voice of the customer’

These roles are usually combined based on the specific requirements of your situation and can evolve as our relationship with a client ebbs and flows. 

Some previous engagements include:

  • For a fortune 50 diversified industrial company, over more than a dozen years, we ran a series of project-based workshops to both train emerging leaders on the principles of good strategic marketing and position key growth projects for success.  The engagement led to hundreds of millions of dollars in profit impact and fundamentally changed the culture of the organization to be far more market-oriented
  • For a medium sized chemical company, we partnered with a very lean internal strategy group to facilitate the development of strategies for all key business units and functions, culminating in a refresh of the corporate strategy.  We then facilitated a series of workshops to help clarify the required organization changes to position the strategy for success.  The result was far more cohesion on the leadership team and a turnaround in organic growth which had been effectively zero for many years prior
  • For a small, private-equity owned company, ran a series of workshops with their senior team to define and articulate a corporate strategy and the implications for their three major product lines.  We then led a small team to rethink the global organization in light of these changes.  The result has been a stabilization of the business and a new focus on innovation that has built a robust project pipeline and is beginning to produce a stream of successful new products.

Case Studies

Spray Foam Insulation

  • Situation: Client makes a proprietary ingredient, offering a slight performance advantage, for spray foam insulation but its ability to capture value is limited by a complex value chain
  • Objective: Find a route to market that does not conflict with existing customers and where the client can capture more of the value created
  • Outcome: Identified a military application – spraying tents in forward bases – where no one was providing the complete solution.
    • Testing showed the payback period via energy savings (reduced air conditioning costs) was less than 3 months.
    • Initial project was funded at $12.5 million in revenue – additional opportunity projected at $30 – $50 million in incremental revenue.

Tooling Software

  • Situation: Client makes tools and inserts for machining applications but was facing low-cost competition able to demonstrate near-identical performance in an increasing percentage of applications.
  • Objective: Find a way to get paid for breadth of solutions and depth of machining expertise.
  • Outcome: Launched a software-based offering to optimize tool usage that balanced set up time, productivity, and wear.
    • ‘Production’ version launched in early 2014 – revenues undisclosed
    • Winner of Carnegie Science Foundation Award for Advanced Manufacturing

Filtration Media

  • Situation: Small, unprofitable product line in a large market that was competing based on price discounting (up to 70%).
  • Objective: Determine if the product line should be discontinued or if there are opportunities to improve performance
  • Outcome: Determined that there was a niche (~15%) of the market where they had significant differentiation and could increase their prices by up to 800% and still deliver value to the customer.
    • Raised prices by 400%
    • Targeted specific opportunities, rather than broader market
    • Grew business by 300% in first year
    • Went from unprofitable to over 50% contribution margin