After years of decline within Ontario’s manufacturing sector, the City of London was looking for new and innovative ways to continue economic prosperity and growth. After evaluating the City’s strengths, a non-profit organization was looking to obtain support from the London City Council, among various other partners to build investment around its Medical Devices Sector.
In order to assist the City of London in increasing the role and contribution of medical devices in the community’s economic future, Schroeder & Schroeder Inc. was commissioned to create a detailed business plan. The proposed Business Plan needed to establish a vision and roadmap to accelerate the growth in the London Ontario Medical Device Sector.
Within this context, the organization sought to seek assistance with the development of a detailed action-oriented business plan that included the following elements:
- A brief quantitative market overview of the medical device sector’s current contribution
- A brief comparison with other similar sized Canadian communities
- A detailed list of promising sub-sectors and technologies that represented the strongest growth prospects for London’s medical device industry.
- A list of action steps and target sub-sectors including timing and the financial and human resource requirements needed to deliver on these sectors
- Forecasted benefits from a fully realized plan (jobs, investments, research dollars, new companies, etc…)
- A proposed budget
The main challenges we faced in conducting this project related to:
- Stakeholder Differences – This project had various stakeholders whose needs and opinions needed to be reconciled in order to develop a plan that all parties could agree upon.
- Vision – At the beginning, there was limited articulation of the proposed vision of the project. Vision needed to be confirmed and communicated to all stakeholders
- Initial Uncertainty – There were many challenges at the beginning of the project due to miscommunication between stakeholders. Several key inputs that were expected at the beginning of the project fell through, forcing our team to adapt to new expectations.
Our approach to the project included building off of the work that had been done in the past as well as the knowledge that the local public and private sector leaders in the medical devices community had. The work was conducted in 7 phases:
- Background Research and Preparation – this phase consisted of confirming the design of the project methodology with the organization; identifying the work conducted to date; and in general, preparing for the project research phases, including the development of an information gathering template.
- Review of Existing Work – This phase consists of conducting the required review and examination of Medical Device sector work that had been done in the past to position London as a centre for Medical Devices. Some limited research based on web sites/literature reviews was also conducted to fill in any key missing information. It addressed the key topic areas as identified in Phase I.
This phase consisted of 2 steps:
- Step 1: Review existing Medical Device sector work
- Step 2: Conduct literature research
- Creation of First Draft of Report / Business Plan – This phase was used to document the initial findings of the study.
- Conduct Key Informant Research – This phase consisted of conducting interviews with selected key informants. Interviews were also supplemented with a limited number of surveys. This phase addressed the key topic areas as identified in Phase I.
This phase consisted of 2 steps:
- Step 1: Feedback and preparation for key informant interviews
- Step 2: Interviews with key informants
- Step 3: Analysis of results and documentation of key findings
- Analysis – This phase was used to analyze the results of all of the data collected.
- Creation of the Second Draft of Report/Business Plan – This phase was used to document the final findings of the research project study and to get final input from the organization’s project Steering Committee
- Creation of Final Report/Business Plan – Finally, we documented the final results of the research in the form of a business plan.
The Art and Science Difference
This project required extensive political and negotiation acumen to help bring together conflicting views into a plan that all parties could buy into. Our policy to place a partner-level consultant on every project ensured that the project outcomes were aligned with its overall business objectives. Using our Art & Science of Transformation® methodology, we were able to create a business plan that not only focused on short-term results, but one that also was sustainable and had long-term vision.
At the conclusion of the project the key success factors had been achieved, and the client was highly satisfied with the project solution and the value added by Schroeder & Schroeder.
The client now had:
- A strategic vision and position of the Medical Devices Sector – including the guiding values and core purpose concepts and principles, which are seen as important by the London’s Medical Device stakeholders.
- An envisioned future – including 7 key goals that the City wanted to achieve over the next 5 years.
- An operational strategy: – the findings from the research conducted pointed almost exclusively to “systemic” issues within the Medical Devices Sector within London.
- An analysis of subsector focus and “business strength” issues.
- A list of 3 projects that the city could initiate to help achieve its Envisioned Future.
- An order of magnitude of costs and project timing.
- A cost benefit analysis for years 1, 3, and 5.
- Recommendations around an implementation plan along with a schedule, measurement, and tracking approaches.