Cross-selling through Industry Specialization for a P&C Insurance
The ACE Group is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance. Fox Management Consulting worked with the ACE Group to identify existing cross-buying that could be leveraged as part of an industry focused cross initiative. Fox MC provided ACE with an operating model to endure success of the industry specialized initiative. Read more.
The Opportunity in Healthcare for Patient Collections
Akcelerant is a provider of software and services to the financial industry. In 2014, Fox Management Consulting explored opportunities for strategic growth for Akcelerant for its existing product base and in new markets. Read More.
Alencon Systems, Inc.
Crafting a Business Plan for a Renewable Energy Firm
Alencon Systems is an early stage renewable energy firm that designs and manufactures inverters that improve the efficiency of power plant solar arrays. In 2010, Fox Management Consulting developed a business plan and financial projections for Alencon, and this plan helped to raise an additional $3M venture funding. Read More.
Alpha Office Supplies
Growing the Double Bottom Line for an Office Supply Company
Alpha Enterprise Group provides office supplies, furniture, flooring, janitorial supplies, paper, computers and accessories to government, non-profit and commercial entities. Fox Management Consulting provided Alpha with a strategic plan to identify, assess and capture growth opportunities. As a result, Alpha received a $500,000 line of credit helped by the financial work completed by Fox MC. Read more.
Embracing Retail in Correctional Facilities
ARAMARK Correctional Services (ACS) is a division of ARAMARK that provides a wide range of food, commissary, facility and other customized support solutions to over 500 correctional facilities across North America. Fox Management Consulting provided ARAMARK with a detailed strategy that created a sustainable window of opportunity to increase ACS’s market share in the correctional commissary market. Following the project, ACS has made a $250,000 investment to implement the project. Read more.
Solutions for a Smaller Firm
BI-SAM provides a comprehensive software solution for performance, attribution, risk, and reporting for financial services. Fox Management Consulting was engaged to assess the potential success of BI-SAM’s proposed offering for smaller firms. BI-SAM was provided with a marketing plan that detailed specific short, medium and long-term action items to help reach out to new markets, create a need for their products and acquire profitable customers. Read more.
Defining a Market for CSAs
The CCEDC engaged Fox MC to develop a marketing plan for regional Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs that have farmed for less than 10 years. The team conducted extensive primary and secondary research to determine the target market for CSAs, articulate a unique value proposition, and create a guide to help new CSAs position and market themselves effectively to expand their CSA memberships and reduce member turnover. Read more.
Finding Sustainable Business Models
The CCEDC received a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant to fund research in the agricultural sector. They engaged Fox MC to identify the most successful business models for specialty crop farmers in 6 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania. The team was tasked with determining the characteristics of specialty crop farming business models that lead to a high rate of profitability and to a decreased risk for farmers. Read more.
Entering the North American Cold Chain Monitoring Market
Ceebron is a privately held company based in Sydney, Australia that has developed the Smart-Trace online monitoring solution which evidences product temperature compliance for perishable goods up to customer delivery. Fox Management Consulting was engaged to develop a North American point of entry market strategy and corresponding business plan. Ceebron intends to use Fox MC’s deliverables to present to potential investors and will incorporate knowledge gained from the consulting process into their expansion efforts. Read more.
Change Begins with a Simple Sari for This Indian Social Venture
Horns blare. A moped pushes its way into the visual anarchy of West Bengal traffic. The sun beats down through a thick haze of pollution. Meanwhile, four Fox School MBA students thread their way onto a side street.
The students stop at a small building in the heart of Kolkata, the international headquarters of Sari Bari. Through Fox Management Consulting they are here to help Sari Bari operate more efficiently and increase the revenues that fund their social mission of helping women who are stuck in, or at risk of entering, the sex trafficking industry in India.
“One of their biggest tasks is workforce development,” says Austin Litteral, an MBA student who worked on the project. “It can take a full year to help a woman rehabilitate physically and emotionally to the point where they can work.” Among other skills, the women often need basic reading and writing skills so they can sign their names and fill out standard forms.
When the women are ready, they are taught to sew to reshape second-hand Saris into brilliantly colored blankets and handbags. Younger women are employed to make the kanthas, traditional Indian blankets sewn from layers of retired saris.
Kantha blankets require long, straight lines of cutting and hand sewing which can be difficult for older women with less dexterous hands. To address this, Litteral explains, “Sari Bari introduced a new line of clutches years ago which required shorter cuts and were easier for the older women to sew.”
Planning new products to better serve employee needs is one of the many adaptions Sari Bari has made in order to balance its social and financial priorities. For the MBA students accustomed to addressing only one bottom line, the project was a lesson in creating synergies.
Litteral recalls, “At one point we suggested to management that they restructure workflow for efficiency, and they responded, ‘If we do that, it will open up more warehouse space for us to hire more women.’ Those were the terms they were thinking in.”
Louis M. Tritton served as the project executive for the Fox MC team, utilizing her years of experience in ecological consulting to offer recommendations and support. She noted that, given the unique demands of Sari Bari’s work, her team couldn’t simply consult from home.
“The Fox team immediately recognized the value of visiting the production sites, talking with sewers and managers, and observing the business in person,” Tritton said. “The trip to Kolkata made their recommendations practical and feasible.”
The team provided Sari Bari with a model for tracking costs and managing outputs more effectively, as well as recommended pricing and process improvements that should allow Sari Bari to meet and grow the sizable demand for their products.
Litteral’s teammate, Dorie Heald, said the project utilized the breadth of her MBA training. “HR, production, marketing, logistics, managerial accounting—we got to use all of that in our project. Plus, it felt good to know our changes would ultimately help Sari Bari employ more women.”
Back in Kolkata, a door opens. The students step into a room filled with women’s voices and brightly colored cloth. Like the women themselves, the students are hopeful that each piece they pull together will help Sari Bari become a stronger, more cohesive whole.
Fox Management consulting has completed over a hundred projects for non-profits, start-ups, and businesses around the world. Connect with us to learn what we can do for you.
Learn more about Fox School MBA programs.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Increasing Individual Donor Giving
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the largest and oldest hospitals in the world. The CHOP Foundation, CHOP’s philanthropic arm, engaged Fox MC to evaluate their resource efficiency and expand their use of digital marketing to increase individual donor giving. Read More.
Clef Club Keeps Things Jazzy With Fox MC Partnership
What do jazz musicians Billie Holiday, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, and Grover Washington Jr. have in common?
Holiday’s resonant tones were just babbling when she moved to Philadelphia as a toddler. Tyner’s strong left hand, distinctive in his low piano bass lines, could barely depress a piano key when he was born here in 1938. Brown, Gillespie, and Coltrane each made Philly their home during formative years of their adult lives. Washington even called Temple University home, receiving his doctorate in music composition from the School of Music.
These musicians also shared the struggle of being African American in a world that condoned segregation. Barred from Local 77, Philadelphia’s largest musician’s union, African American musicians banded together to form Union 274 in 1935 with distinguished members like Gillespie, Coltrane, and Nina Simone. In 1966, the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts opened as the Union’s social hub, becoming a regular destination for jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Max Roach. The Clef Club was the first facility ever designed specifically for jazz, and today continues to preserve Philadelphia’s incredible jazz legacy.Fox graduate Meco Sparks became very familiar with the Philadelphia Clef Club in the spring of 2016 while participating in her MBA capstone project. Through Fox Management Consulting, multi-disciplinary MBA teams are paired with experienced professional advisors to complete strategy consulting engagements for businesses, non-profits, and start-ups. (To complete a project with Fox Management Consulting reach out to us today.)
Sparks looked for team members with diverse strengths and compatible working styles. “My team worked really well together,” she recalls. “Everyone carried their workload, and our meetings always involved lots of laughter.” The team applied to work with the Clef Club because they recognized the project would be rewarding. “We knew right from the beginning that our team would have a big impact.”
The Clef Club engaged Fox MC to design a five-year strategic plan. Sparks quickly discovered a staff that was deeply engaged in the organization’s mission.“They were passionate about music, jazz, and kids,” she recalls. They were looking for help translating that passion into a sustainable business plan. “No one on their staff had a business background,” says Sparks. The Fox MC team provided that background, drawing on career experience in finance, marketing, and management, in addition to their MBA coursework.
Sparks and her team worked to measure each of the Clef Club’s five programs against its mission and revenue needs. Their recommendations included increased opportunities for partnership and funding, guidelines for developing a sustainable organizational structure, and growth plans for crucial programming central to their mission. “The project really pulled in all of my MBA experience,” says Sparks. “We worked with the board, executive leadership team; we got to step back and analyze the problem from a high level.”
Fox MC has completed over a hundred projects in the non-profit sector, but this one remains special. “The thing that was so elating to me,” says Clef Club artistic director Lovett Hines, “was that the students were so interested in what we were doing. It has been a tremendous marriage.”
The partnership with the Clef Club continues. This fall, Fox MC completes their third project with the organization to implement the recommendations made by Sparks’ team. Sparks herself enjoyed the project so much she joined their advisory board at the start of 2017. “We spent a lot of time organizing and visiting. They were very open to us,” she says. “It inspired me to stay involved.”
Fox MC has generated more than $42 million in new donations and grants for the non-profits we’ve worked with. Put our strategy consulting teams to work for your non-profit today.
Clef Club of Jazz
Fox MC develops strategic plan for the Clef Club of Jazz.
View the video.
Expanding Regional Market Share
COFCO approached Fox MC for a plan to revitalize its image. Despite their long history and excellent track record, they were not the “go-to” provider for many local firms. Fox MC was brought on to create a marketing plan that would increase COFCO’s visibility and drive new customer engagements. Read more.
Collaboration Sparks Reimagined Curriculum for Tomorrow’s Workforce
Engaging a community and its leaders to build an innovative, entrepreneurial workforce is a huge challenge. However, Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI), with support from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has done just that — and the momentum is not showing signs of slowing down.
NVI’s work has helped grow more than 32 businesses, train more than 3,000 students and workers and implement an entrepreneurial curriculum in a region hit hard by the closing of a Mitsubishi plant in Adelaide, the capital city in the state of South Australia.
Matt Salier, Director at the New Venture Institute, TL Hill, Managing Director at Fox Management Consulting and The Center for Executive Education and Michelle Histand, Director of Independence Blue Cross Innovation, outlined NVI’s journey during their May 28 presentation “Transforming an Innovation Ecosystem in South Australia (or Looking Far Afield to Find Inspiration at Home).”
Universities have a responsibility to train the next workforce through an adaptable, enterprising curriculum, Hill says. In 2013, Flinders embarked on its mission of creating a path to innovative thinking that would benefit not only the university but also the 1.2 million residents who lived in the surrounding community.
Because of Fox’s strong business curriculum and the demographic similarities between Adelaide and Philadelphia, the partnership with Flinders seemed a natural fit. Fox Management Consulting used its expertise to help bring Flinders University’s vision for the future of education to life.
The key to being transformative in education is to be more industry-led, recognizing how businesses are developing and making adjustments to move forward.
“The research is to put industries’ needs at the center and say what is needed to be successful in the future. We tried to take that model to Flinders as well,” Hill says.
With an early framework in mind, Flinders brought 1,000 business people together to think about what competencies should be driving the university’s transformation as it moved toward being more innovative and entrepreneurial in its overall educational offerings.
“We believe that innovation stretches across all disciplines,” Histand says. “So the idea was not to do ‘innovation instead’ but to do ‘innovation with.’”
New Venture Institute successfully worked with government officials to create “entrepreneurial schools” where curriculum built around innovative thinking begins early in a student’s development.
“We better be working with the supply chain of students coming through, particularly from elementary (what Australia calls high school), but even beyond that,” Salier says.
Hill envisions bringing the work being done at Flinders back to Temple and the city at large.
Both Flinders and Temple recognize the importance of being good community partners, he said. To do that, it’s important to recognize the need to “keep one foot in the university setting and one foot in the community.”
Flinders is working with cities located near the campus to think more creatively in working with residents, businesses and industries to improve conditions.
“There are a range of things that have enabled us to have more of an impact in moving the needle on economic areas outside of our own closeted world of the university,” he said.
What is important to keep in mind, Salier said, is to keep pushing the edge of what is possible.
Improving Turnover Among Direct Sales Representatives
Comcast Corporation is a leader in media and technology. Comcast engaged Fox Management Consulting to identify why DSRs terminate with Comcast and to recommend tactics for reducing the DSR turnover rate. Comcast was provided with specific recommendations for reducing the overall turnover rate as well as a Cost of Turnover model, which evaluates the financial implications and cost-savings related to a reduction in the turnover rate. Read more.
Implementing an Enterprise Risk Management System
One of the U.S.’s premier heavy civil contractors engaged Fox Management Consulting to consider the implementation of an Enterprise Risk Management system. The construction firm was provided with best practices for implementing an ERM system, including costs and benefits, as well as a comprehensive overview of the risks inherent to the industry. Read more.
Tapping into the United States Home Brewing Market
Since 1977, the Australian-based Coopers Brewery has successfully manufactured and sold its homebrew kits and ingredients in 26 countries worldwide. Coopers engaged Fox Management Consulting to identify ways to maximize sales of their homebrew kits and ingredients in the United States. Coopers was provided with a go-to market strategy for a new market of recreational homebrewers as well as strategies to innovate the traditional homebrewing supply chain. Read more.
Improving Managed Long-Term Care through Technology
Cyrus-XP is a health information technology company that seeks to improve healthcare quality for all individuals through advanced technology. It offers the Lychee software platform as a service, which provides care managers, patients, and caregivers with a solution to integrate all technology aspects needed to efficiently provide Managed Long-term Care (MLTC). Fox Management Consulting helped Cyrus-XP grow its Lychee platform by developing a five-year strategy and business plan, accompanied with a financial model and an investor deck. Read More.
Dominion MidAtlantic Associates
Developing a Marketing Plan for a Real Estate Developer
Dominion Mid-Atlantic Associates (DMAA) is a successful real estate developer whose mission is to establish economy-boosting projects in the United States by seeking foreign investors for these projects. Fox Management Consulting developed a marketing plan for DMAA’s first project, Blandford Heights. Fox Management Consulting recommended that DMAA take advantage of the potential that exists within new markets as well as providing a combination of marketing tools to gain access to potential investors. DMAA has since generated $100,000 in sales efforts. Read more.
Global Expansion Strategy for Eco Whisper Turbines
Renewable Energy Solutions Australia Holdings Ltd. (RESA) is an emerging provider of clean energy solutions. The company owns, designs, develops, installs, and maintains mid-sized Eco Whisper wind turbines for commercial and industrial customers. Based on Fox Management Consulting’s research, the U.S. was chosen as the most favorable country for RESA to enter. A strategic market entry plan was then developed for RESA to successfully enter the U.S. small wind turbine industry. Read more.
Developing Sustainability and Exploring Expansion
Fair Food is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2001 to bring locally grown food into the Philadelphia marketplace and to promote a humane, sustainable agriculture. Interested in expansion to under-served Philadelphia neighborhoods, Fair Food was provided with information on exploring a Farmer’s Market option as well as improving profitability at the existing location. Read more.
Fox Board Fellows Tackle the Challenges of Fundraising
“People are funny about money,” said Corinne O’Connell, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia.
On November 3rd, 2018, Fox Board Fellows hosted a workshop to address the struggles of nonprofit fundraising.
As the featured guest speaker, O’Connell brought her twenty plus years of experience in the field of fundraising to share with the MBA students by presenting her strategic thought process when asking for donations.
“The nonprofit world is being challenged,” said Ellen Marshall. As an advisor for Fox Management Consulting and Strategic Clarity Advisors, Marshall has been working in the nonprofit realm for over twenty years, and attended the workshop in order to better understand the Fox Board Fellows program. “For nonprofits to meet the growing needs and address this massive game-changing changes, it can’t be like it was back in the day.”
One of the most pressing obstacles when managing a nonprofit is maintaining financial stability. Money is a very sensitive issue, which makes it especially difficult for board directors when asking for donations and allocations from individuals and large organizations. In addressing this issue, and reinvigorating the purpose of the nonprofit’s endeavor, O’Connell spoke about how she manages to keep her purpose clear and strong while persuading potential donors to believe in her cause.
Her nonprofit Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia was established in 1985 as an independently chartered branch of Habitat for Humanity International, the largest home building nonprofit organization in the world.
“There is never enough money, and there is entirely too much need,” O’Connell said. “To put that need into context, 800 people call us a month. 800 people. We’re right now building 12 houses a year and repairing 100.”
As a member of the board for a nonprofit, fiscal responsibility is central to managing a successful organization, because nonprofits aren’t in business for monetary profit, they fundraise for a cause.
As CEO, O’Connell spends about half of her time asking donors for monetary support. The concept of fundraising is central to the survival of not for profit organizations, allowing them to fully provide for their community.
In her explanation of how to successfully fundraise, O’Connell emphasized the importance of maintaining existing relationships in order to foster strong donor loyalty. She asserted that, for most people, numbers and statistics are not convincing enough to connect them to the cause. There needs to be an underlying purpose that the potential donor can connect to, a cause that they can identify with, reflected in their own lives.
“You know what works? Empathy,” O’Connell said. “You gotta make a connection with people, you gotta create empathy, and you have to have people feel and know that they are empowered and that their gift counts.”
To create these connections, she suggested treating any kind of support with the same level of gratitude as with a large six figure donation. Empathy is the reason people will care about a nonprofit’s cause. “The why. That is why people give,” O’Connell said. “Start with the why, and it’s a personal thing.”
O’Connell’s speech heavily focused on the necessity to create interpersonal connections and build a relationship with the potential donor, in which effective communication and having a strong sense of the organization’s purpose will lead to success.
“She presents Habitat in such a way where she hones it down and says this is how you can help, by supporting this organization and talking about the breadth and depth of what they do, not just that they do it,” Marshall said about O’Connell’s presentation. “Telling that story and talking about what it means to have a passion or drive simplifies that complexity and helps people understand that they can act.”
Fox Chase Cancer Center – Bariatric Program
Establishing a “Best-In-Competition” Bariatric Surgery Program
Temple Health Bariatric Program is a weight loss and metabolic surgical service line operating in two locations. Fox Chase Cancer Center aimed at establishing a “Best-In-Competition” bariatric program. Fox Management Consulting provided a long term renewable business model for increasing volume in the programs patient pipeline as well as a strategic plan that focused on “Best-In-Competition” strategies, capabilities and marketing tactics that Fox Chase will need to drive sustainable long-term patient volumes. Read more.
Fox Chase Cancer Center – Department of Genetics
Expanding Genetic Risk Assessment, Counseling, and Testing Services
Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) is one of the country’s leading cancer research and clinical organizations with a history of over 100 years in cancer treatment and research. Fox Management Consulting was tasked with developing an expansion plan for Fox Chase’s genetic risk assessment, counseling, and testing services. Fox Management Consulting provided a strategy that included strengthening the Department of Genetics operational foundation to provide risk assessment services more cost effectively and to expand in phases. FCCC has since invested $150,000 to implement Fox MC’s plan and hired a member of the student team to continue with the project. Read more.
Fox Chase Cancer Center – Lung Cancer Screening
Low Dose CT Scan for Lung Cancer Screening
Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) is one of the country’s leading cancer research and clinical organizations with a history of over 100 years in cancer treatment and research. FCCC engaged Fox Management Consulting to assess the market and the available offerings for low dose CT scan lung cancer screening. FCCC was provided with a comprehensive marketing plan, detailed financial model, and opportunities for grant funding. Read more.
Fox Chase Cancer Center – Partnership
Managing Strategic Partnerships within Comprehensive Cancer Care
Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) is one of the country’s leading cancer research and clinical organizations with a history of over 100 years in cancer treatment and research. Looking to design an optimal business model for their Gastrointestinal Service Line, FCCC was provided with recommendations for current partnerships that will promote sustainability, market share, value, revenue, outcome, and quality. Read more.
Global Financial Services Firm
Reaching New-To-Credit Customers, Ages 24-34
“Bank ABC” is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of a leading global financial services firm with assets of over $2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The Fox MC team created a marketing plan for Bank ABC’s new suite of innovative loan products targeting the millennial generation’s financial needs. Read More.
Habitat for Humanity
Fox MC partners with Habitat for Humanity, Philadelphia.
View the video.
A Market Entry Strategy for a Health Technology Startup
Based in Australia, inRemedy is an early-stage technology company with a vision to launch a health-focused mobile and web platform intended to ease the burden of managing chronic diseases. inRemedy was searching for a US market entry strategy for this technology. Fox Management Consulting provided inRemedy a market entry strategy, through two similar, but distinctively separate products. Read more.
Insurance Australia Group
PSI Global Resilience
Insurance Australia Group, the parent company of a general insurance group with global operations, is the Co-Chair of the Board of the PSI Initiative. The PSI Global Resilience Project seeks to deepen understanding of disaster risk reduction activities globally in order to promote greater and more effective action by the public and private sectors. Fox Management Consulting provided research that IAG and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative published in a report titled, “Building Disaster Resilient Communities and Economies.” Read more.
Accelerating Employee Performance By Gamification of the Onboarding Process
Kenexa provides integrated business solutions for human resources to companies across the globe. The firm engaged Fox Management Consulting to identify differentiation opportunities for one of its Recruitment Process Outsourcing products. The team evaluated a few options, ultimately recommending a gamification strategy to help accelerate employee onboarding. Read more.
Kimberton Whole Foods
Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan for Family-Owned Grocer
Mainstream retailers have recognized the opportunity for growth by expanding their organic product selections. There are also new distribution channels, such as home delivery, which are a threat to consumer loyalty for the KWF brand. KWF engaged Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) to develop a strategic marketing plan that enables KWF to succeed in this increasingly competitive landscape. Read more.
Developing a Business Plan for a Health Technology Startup
konciergeMD (kMD) is a technology startup with the primary goal of improving patient health outcomes and patient loyalty through an enhanced doctor-patient relationship. Fox Management Consulting was engaged to determine if there was a market need for kMD’s product and overall profitability under various conditions. Fox Management Consulting determined that there is a need for kMD’s product and provided two strategic options to follow. Read more.
South Florida Market Expansion
Ligne Roset is a French contemporary, high-end furniture manufacturer with 26 ‘franchised’ single-line stores in the United States. Fox Management Consulting was engaged to explore and recommending a sequence of South Florida markets in which Ligne Roset can expand. Fox MC provided expansion suggestions as well as suggesting several changes to the POS system. Ligne Roset has used this information and acquired a new store in New York City. Read more.
U.S. Market Entry
Based in Kent, UK, Martec is a private company specializing in the design and manufacture of innovative interconnection solutions. Martec engaged Fox Management Consulting to consider expanding to the United States. Fox MC found that there is a unique space for Martec in the U.S. and a detailed implementation plan regarding setting up sales office(s), staffing and communicating the value proposition to the market were provided. Read more.
MidAtlantic Farm Credit
Increasing Capital for the Sustainable Agricultural Sector
MidAtlantic Farm Credit (MidAtlantic) is a lending cooperative with a mission to make agricultural credit accessible to all who are creditworthy. Fox Management Consulting was enlisted to research the emerging sector of organic, sustainable, and local farmers to better understand their needs as MidAtlantic’s potential customers. Fox MC provided a research report that highlighted the opportunities and challenges for this new generation lending space, a strategy recommendation for how to target the new generation farmers, and a credit model and guide for loan officers to assess loan candidates. Read More.
Mosaic Development Partners
The Blue Hotel, Restaurant and Event Space
Formed in 2008, Mosaic Development Partners, LLC is a Philadelphia-based commercial real estate development company. Mosaic engaged Fox Management Consulting to develop a conceptual framework for the hotel, restaurant, and event complex. Mosaic was provided with six target markets to focus on as well as strategic operating and marketing recommendations that will maximize the potential of the Blue as a unique and differentiated destination with diverse clientele. Read more.
Multinational Financial Services Firm
Marketing Financial Services to Young Adults, Ages 18-24
The client is a privately held, multinational financial services firm that provides investment management and administration services to over 20 million people worldwide. The Fox team researched the young adult segment, ages 18 to 24, and provided the client with specific recommendations on how to reach this segment and estimates of the market potential of this demographic. Read More.
New Report Highlights Critical Importance of Pennsylvania Agriculture
You probably already know Pennsylvania is the mushroom growing capital of the world, that it’s flush with cows and laying hens, and that each year it ships jaw-dropping quantities of potato chips and pretzels.
But did you know the state is the top producer nationwide for export-grade hardwoods? How about that it boasts the top horse breeding farms in the country? Or that it ranks second in the nation for organic farm sales?
A comprehensive new report by Fox Management Consulting (involving 50 students, and 5 advisors) and Econsult Solutions, commissioned by Team Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, examines threats and opportunities facing agriculture in Pennsylvania. With $136 billion in yearly output and over 9-percent of all PA jobs, the future of the sector is intimately tied to the future of the commonwealth.
Changing Consumer Preferences
Customers, like agriculture, are changing. Bill Black, who oversaw the Fox Management Consulting class which accompanied the project, remarked, “I don’t think anyone realized the level of consumer interest in organics and local. It’s just one of the things that crept up on the marketplace.”
Between 2012 and 2016, production of organics in Pennsylvania more than doubled, topping $659 million in 2016. Yet many farmers are still reluctant to adopt organics, unsure if the trend will stick.
Meanwhile, some consumers are moving away from dairy altogether. In the last few years, milk dumping became a major concern for farmers across the nation as consumers moved towards alternative products, like soy and almond milk.
Bill Kitsch works closely with farmers in his role as vice president and agricultural lending manager with PA-based Ephrata National Bank. He worked as an advisor on the project and says the agricultural sector faces unique constraints in adjusting to changing demand.
“Farmers have to make decisions about how many hens to buy or how many cows to bring to milk 18 to 24 months in advance.” Kitsch explains this long time horizon makes it difficult for farmers to be agile as consumer preferences are in flux.
The report also pointed out that Pennsylvania lacks sufficient milk and protein processing facilities. This leaves farmers trucking milk long distances, decreasing its shelf life, increasing costs for farmers, and reducing the economic benefits to the state.
To better support farmers, Fox MC and Econsult recommended increasing processing capacity within the state, education opportunities, and financial support for farmers as they adjust their operations to line up with demand.
Opportunities for Marketing Collaboration
Even as farmers wrestle with organics, Pennsylvania is already well-positioned to respond to another consumer trend. With 88.3-percent of state farms owned by families or individuals and more than half selling less than $10,000 each year, the state is primed to meet consumer demand for traceable and local food.
The PA preferred brand, approved in 2004 and enacted in 2011, already markets the state’s agricultural wealth. The report argues that PA Preferred should shift its brand identity to become even more synonymous with local goods and traceable food.
PA Preferred Brews, launched in 2017, is a subsection of PA Preferred aimed at supporting Pennsylvania’s $5.8 billion brewing industry. To qualify, breweries must brew in, and use agricultural commodities from, Pennsylvania. In addition to providing branding, the program promotes branded taps, handles, and coasters at venues across the state and has partnered with the Penn State Extension to further support local hops growers.
Programs like PA Preferred create increased value for food manufacturers, producers, and consumers. Through continuing to innovate under this brand, PA can bring new growth and synergies to other sectors with agriculture.
Building the Next Generation of Farmers
While marketing, education, and incentives are helpful in supporting farmers, the state faces another challenge. With 75,000 new and replacement jobs opening in the sector in the next decade, accounting for approximately 2-percent of all state jobs, developing a new agricultural workforce is a major concern.
“There aren’t enough young farmers because they see how hard their parents and grandparents are working and they see how little they’re making,” explains Black. “If the Department of Agriculture can help farmers be more profitable, then the industry would be more attractive to younger farmers.”
Increasing automation is driving a need for STEM skills within agriculture. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has encouraged several programs to support education, including the Jobs that Pay Apprenticeship Program for STEM Jobs in Agriculture, introduced by the Wolfe Administration in 2017.
The report also encourages loan forgiveness programs for high-shortage careers like large animal veterinarians, increases in agricultural education in existing STEM programs, and exploration of an ex-offender to work program to alleviate workforce shortages.
From climate change to new technologies, consumer preferences to workforce shortages, this analysis from Fox MC and Econsult Solutions highlights that many things about the future of Pennsylvania agriculture are uncertain. Yet when it comes to the strategic importance of the sector for Pennsylvania, and the significant impact that state policies and incentives will have on its future, the report leaves little room for doubt.
Fox Management Consulting completes multiple high-value projects each year for corporations, SME’s, start-ups, and non-profits. Put our dedicated MBA teams and experienced industry advisors to work on your next strategic challenge.
Pennypack Farm and Education Center
Developing an Expansion Plan for a Local Farm
Pennypack Farm and Education Center (PFEC) is a non-profit, community supported agriculture farm (CSA). Fox Management Consulting provided PFEC with a business expansion plan and since the conclusion of the project, the farm has expanded to a second site, adding additional CSA shares. Read more.
PHH Arval provides fleet management services to commercial clients across the globe. Fox Management Consulting worked with PHH to identify locations where truck mechanic and certified collision adjuster talent could effectively be recruited. Based on the labor pool and salary information, PHH was provided with six viable locations for contact centers. Read more.
Developing a Business Model for A Mobile Fashion App
PickN’Tell offers an innovative mobile fashion app, proprietary mirror technology, and social media platform that enhance the shopping experience for consumers, while working directly with retailers to drive store traffic and provide consumer data. In August 2011, PickN’Tell engaged Fox Management Consulting to develop a business model and market entry strategy to build on the potential of this multi-sided platform. Read more.
Understanding the Real Value in the Biological Microscopy Market
RealView Imaging Ltd. (RealView) is an angel-funded Israeli startup company that has developed an innovative 3D visualization technology. Fox Management Consulting worked with RealView to perform a comprehensive strategic exploration and analysis of industries using scientific visualization techniques. Fox MC identified the biological microscopy segment as the most viable and that RealView pursue a strategic alliance partnership with one of the top software development firms in the microscopy industry. This will allow RealView to expand into other applications such as bioinformatics. Read more.
Entering the Sharing Economy
Setaway is an early-stage start-up company that aims to be the leader in Peer-to-Peer Recreational Vehicle rentals. Fox Management Consulting provided Setaway with the fundamental information needed to create an effective and differentiated market entry, business plan and financial projections. Read more.
Creating a Go-To-Market Strategy for US Entry
Simply Business is a UK-based online brokerage company dedicated to helping small business owners meet their insurance needs quickly, easily, and inexpensively. Fox MC designed a robust digital marketing strategy to support Simply Business’s entry into the US market. Read More.
Reaching a B2B Market with Sustainability Planning SaaS
Many small-to-medium-sized firms do not have the funds to engage full consulting services. However, these companies still seek to implement thriving sustainability programs. To address this need, Sustrana developed an online platform that provided firms with “do it yourself” tools to help them build sustainability programs. Sustrana aimed to gain more traction in the B2B market and understand the best methods to reach potential clients. Read more.
Creating a Business Plan to Promote Growth
After a year of operations, THVI had a clinical team positioned to thrive, but still needed a concrete business plan to successfully compete in a regional, and national, environment. Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) developed a plan that both guided THVI’s growth and served as a tool for engaging prospective donors. Read more.
Temple Performing Arts Center
Developing a Marketing Strategy for a Performing Arts Center
The Temple Performing Arts Center (TPAC) operates with a purpose to offer cultural and academic programming to the Temple community and the Philadelphia region. Fox Management Consulting provided TPAC with a strategy to successfully maximize the potential of the center, including opportunities to increase event attendance, improve bookings, engage donors and build financial longevity. Read more.
A Future Direction for Online Learning
Founded in 1884, Temple University is the 26th largest provider of professional education in the United States with more than 37,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Unsure of whether to make a broader commitment to online learning, Temple’s acting President, Richard M. Englert, engaged Fox Management Consulting. Fox Management Consulting recommended that Temple improve and increase its online offerings due to demand across various market segments, proliferation of technology and pressure to remain competitive. Read more.
Physician Assistant Program
Temple University’s School of Medicine (TUSM) is dedicated to excellence in education, research and patient care. Fox Management Consulting was working with TUSM to search for new, program-based revenue streams. Fox MC recommended that TUSM is ideally positioned to enter the PA education market and create a standalone PA program within the school. This will also allow TUSM to create a greater level of Interprofessional Education (IPE) integration in the medical school curriculum. Read more.
Temple University CFO
Improving Customer Service in Response to Increased Expectations and Accountability
Temple University President Neil Theobald convened a task force to investigate customer service shortcomings in support departments. Fox Management Consulting worked with the task force to investigate the subpar service. Fox MC proposed both systemic and department specific recommendations to improve customer service which the Facilities Management Department began to implement after the project concluded. Read more.
Temple University CFO
Identifying University Treasury Best Practices
The Temple University Treasury Department, reporting to the CFO and Treasurer, is responsible for cash management, bank relationships, borrowing, credit ratings, short-term investments, and institutional liquidity. Fox Management Consulting conducted a study of best practices and organizational structure and design among peer universities and corporations of similar sizes. After the project’s conclusion, the TU Treasury received approval to allocate $200,000 to implement Fox MC’s recommendations. Read more.
Temple University Controller’s Office
Procurement to Payment Study
Temple University is a state supported, public Research I university with an international reach and enrollment of over 37,000 students. Temple University Controller’s Office engaged Fox Management Consulting to identify areas of improvement in its current Procure to Pay (P2P) practices. The Controller’s Office was provided several recommendations to mature P2P functions for the University. Read more.
Temple University Controller’s Office
Identifying Solutions for Continuous Improvement
Founded in 1884, Temple University is a research intensive institution with an enrollment of over 37,000 students. After experiencing ongoing reductions in state support, Temple engaged Fox Management Consulting to evaluate new initiatives that will allow Temple to maintain its support of the University’s mission in the most efficient and cost effective manner. Fox MC’s recommendations provided key pieces of infrastructure necessary to support Temple in achieving its research goals as well as creating a significant increase in cash flow. Read more.
The Motivations Behind Individual and Corporate Giving
In 2017, charitable giving exceeded $410 billion across America. Out of that total, individuals donated $286.65 billion and corporate giving amounted to $20.77 billion.
In 2016, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the nation’s first children’s hospital and a nonprofit organization, received five million dollars from the Wawa Foundation, Wawa Inc.’s nonprofit corporation dedicated to philanthropic ventures and charitable giving, which went towards the development of the Wawa Volunteer Center in CHOP.
Why did Wawa invest that much into the volunteer program, and why is philanthropy such a large part of the maintenance of nonprofit organizations? Neil Batiancila, the featured guest speaker for the February 9th Fox Board Fellows meeting, explains the motivations behind individual and corporate philanthropy while detailing his own experience in the field.
Batiancila, a 2011 Fox MBA graduate, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Political Science in 1999, but instead of pursuing an expected career path, he began his philanthropic journey as an Americorps member.
After spending a year in Philadelphia as a volunteer teaching elementary students at the Hartranft John F. School, he joined City Year, an educational nonprofit located in Boston, and stayed there for 10 years as Co-Executive Director of the Philadelphia branch.
He worked for Aramark, a food service corporation, as Director of Community Relations for a period of time before joining CHOP’s staff as their Executive Director of Campaign Operations, and stayed there for 7 years. In March 2017 he received an offer for the position of the Chief Development Officer at Philadelphia Zoo and has been working there since the beginning of 2019.
Batiancila’s philanthropic nature stems from the environment in which he grew up. Both of his parents were physicians and immigrants who gave back to their communities in the Philippines. His father returned to the Philippines to fundraise for the implementation of a critical care facility on the island where his older brother and best friend passed away without access to any local emergency care resources. With these kinds of values embedded in his family, Batiancila went on to work for several nonprofits following the same kind of giving nature.
In order to successfully draw in potential donors and those who are willing to give, Batiancila encourages nonprofits to provide an experience that inspires a deeper connection with the nonprofit’s purpose and to find those who can personally connect to the values of the organization.
Batiancila mentions the importance of building a strong fundraising infrastructure that is able to help the organization grow its donor pool and maintain its current givers.
“One of the hallmarks of strong corporate philanthropy is to facilitate workplace giving, and to develop this philanthropic culture within the organization,” Batiancila explains. “Like anything in the world, if you want people to do the right thing you have to make it easier for them to do so.”
When CHOP launched a 2-year campaign the first to know and the first to celebrate were the employees. They wanted to make sure that the employees were included first and foremost to show that they held significance in the decisions and they were cherished enough for the hospital to share and celebrate this news with them first. The hospital makes a point to emphasize their employees’ value, and in doing so bolsters employee morale so that workplace giving is not so much enforced as it is an act of appreciation.
One of the reasons for charitable giving on both the individual and corporate forefront is to make a difference and for the altruistic sense of self-empowerment that comes with any kind of philanthropy. Giving to the greater good is the heart of philanthropy.
“Most people are charitable in this country, they give because the plate comes across on Sunday. It’s part of the ethics of America to give forward to other communities,” Batiancila said. “When people are appreciative of their experience, they like to express that and share it through philanthropy,”
On the corporate side, there are tax incentives to philanthropic giving, with the Educational Income Tax Credit program, which reimburses the money spent giving to nonprofits. It is an effective opportunity to advertise their company and create brand awareness at a much cheaper price.
Charitable giving also reinforces the alignment of goals and brand values that will benefit the business. Doing well by doing good, says Batiancila, is a branch of cause marketing. Aligning the corporation with a nonprofit that fits its values is a smart business investment.
Giving to a nonprofit also opens doors for company networking, the more organizations the corporation is exposed to, the stronger its community network. Strength is your reputation, Batiancila says.
The Quarter Design
Launching New Services to Train the Millennial Workforce
The Quarter Design was founded by Eugenie George in 2015 to help millennials in the Philadelphia region through their quarter life crises. With the help of Fox MC, they pivoted their services to train and consult for companies working with millennials. Within 2 months of project completion, they had secured three jobs within the desired segment and had several other qualifying leads. Read More.
This Fox School Entrepreneur Is Making Social Media Interactive
Jessica Rothstein describes herself in many ways.
“I’m a confident problem solver. I gravitate toward problems that are meaningful to me. And I’m not afraid to fail.”
One word is notably absent from the Fox MBA’s self-description. “I don’t think of entrepreneurship as a personality trait,” Rothstein explains. “Everyone is entrepreneurial these days—it’s what the workforce is calling for.”
Rothstein may not use the word herself, but of all the careers she tried, entrepreneurship was the one that stuck. “I studied mechanical engineering at Lafayette College, and by the time I was a sophomore I realized I didn’t want to be an engineer,” she says. She stayed engaged in her education by designing a water filtration system for a small community . “We tested it with a family in Haiti,” she recalls, but decided against pursuing the project after graduation.
Instead, Rothstein worked as a consultant, helping companies design better products and use their resources more efficiently. “I did that for about two years, and one day I got a call asking if I wanted to play lacrosse for the Israeli national team,” she says, laughing. “Someone was going to pay me to travel the world. How could I say no?”
Israel was an incredible adventure full of new experiences, but Rothstein was still the same problem-solving adept. “The organization that hired me was trying to develop the sport of lacrosse in Israel,” she says. “At that time, they were growing very quickly but their structures weren’t built for that growth.” Rothstein became the interim director of business development and helped the organization restructure to accommodate that growth.
Meanwhile, Rothstein was also working on a personal problem. “I loved Israel but I missed my friends! Social media lets you talk with people, but I missed sharing experiences,” she recalls. Rothstein started sending her friends scavenger hunt-style tasks to complete. After each task they would send her pictures and stories, allowing them to build new experiences together from across the world.
“When I came home in 2016 my friends and I realized we were on to something,” Rothstein says. Bucket was born, a mobile application designed to bridge the gap between digital communication and in-person connection.
In 2016, Rothstein decided to pursue her MBA. “I was looking for places that had resources for a start-up business,” she recalls. Rothstein had heard of Ellen Weber, executive director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at the Fox School. “Ellen was one of the first early-stage investors in Philly, and she is a leader in the investor scene here,” Rothstein says. “I knew that I wanted to work for her and get to know her.”
Rothstein found the connections she was looking for at Fox. She began working for Weber at Robin Hood Ventures, a network of angel investors that Weber runs. Her team continued developing Bucket, winning the Laura Bush Seed Fund Grant from Temple University and receiving over 1,000 social media likes in one week.
Rothstein has even had opportunities to use her experience to help other companies through Fox. As part of her MBA capstone through Fox Management Consulting she worked with bSafe, a mobile safety application which allows users to quickly notify friends and family when they have safety concerns.
“Tangibly and intangibly Bucket mirrored bSafe. Starting a business always has some of the same aspects and ambiguity,” Rothstein explains. “You are constantly sprinting in one direction and hitting a wall, so you go the other way. You never know what you’re going to hit, so you’re also trying 50 different angles. That’s the mindset you have to have when you’re working on a project like bSafe because the problem will change every day.”
bSafe engaged Rothstein and her colleagues to design a market launch strategy for the app and create an investor deck, which Rothstein was uniquely positioned to do. Through her work at Robin Hood Ventures, Rothstein reviews dozens of new business proposals each week, deciding which projects will pass to the next stage.
“I have exposure to 40+ incredible people in that network who are early-stage investors and take the time to explain their decisions to me, and have trust in me,” Rothstein says. “That has given me some tangible skills that I was able to use with bSafe.”
MBA student teams work with project executives, experienced professionals with specific expertise in each project area. “I’ve worked with two incredible project executives-Nicole Naumoff last semester and Tess Kristensen this semester. In some ways, I’ve learned more from them than from the actual projects,” Rothstein says.
Rothstein has also loved working with her MBA cohort. “The Temple program is not the typical MBA class of former consultants and bankers. Every person in our class comes from a different background and is passionate about something different. That’s the number one thing I’ve really enjoyed.”
This spring as Rothstein graduates she will be entering a rotational program with Comcast and preparing to launch Bucket publicly, but she already knows that more start-ups are in her future.
“My dream is to open a theme park run completely on kinetic energy that serves people with physical disabilities-a therapeutic theme park. Overcoming physical challenges is hard work and I’d like to help people who are on that journey.”
Call her what you will—problem solving, curious, visionary, or entrepreneurial—Rothstein bears watching. Wherever she goes you can bet that innovative solutions to nagging problems will follow close behind.
Hundreds of dedicated MBA students like Jessica Rothstein pass through Fox’s doors each year. Put their energy and experience to work on your next business challenge through Fox Management Consulting.
Taking VeraTemp Global
Brooklands is a ten-month old company in Florida run by a small group of investors and entrepreneurs. VeraTemp(+) is the brand name of the non-contact thermometer in Brooklands’ portfolio of medical devices. Fox Management Consulting worked with Brooklands to create an implementation plan that would enable Brooklands to effectively manage their business through a time of drastic internal expansion. Fox MC recommended pursuing a global licensing strategy, which had the highest projected ROI. Since the project, Brooklands has invested $500,000 in marketing and product redesign for VeraTemp. Read more.
Creating Value Through Sustainability
Wawa, Inc. operates more than 570 convenience stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Fox Management Consulting worked with Wawa to develop a business case for future and green initiatives. Since the project’s conclusion, Wawa is integrating sustainability communication into plans for new stores in established and new markets. Read more.
Improving Client Acquisition
Willis Re helps insurance companies remove risk from their books by finding reinsurers willing to assume those risks. Fox Management Consulting worked with Willis Re to investigate how insurance executives make reinsurance-purchasing decisions in order to increase success rates at winning proposals. Willis Re was provided with strategic recommendations to improve its selling process. Read more.
Willis Re is a leading global insurance broker. Fox Management Consulting was engaged to identify strategies to incorporate the theme of resilience to support the sales and marketing of insurance and reinsurance and recommended that Willis Re establish a link between resilience and sustainability. Read more.