Operational Improvement

Today’s Government Contracting market is more competitive than ever.  Customers are demanding more efficient delivery of contracted services, pushing R&D costs to contractors and demanding increasingly competitive pricing.  The most effective companies in the market drive efficiency based on market and price demands, balanced against growth investments.  We support executives with detailed financial and operational analysis, customized benchmark data, cross-functional expertise and a proven methodology for generating results and implementing change.  Our work in this area is tied to M&A integration activities or executed as stand-alone projects in support of business turnarounds, restructuring actions, or wrap rate and cost competitiveness imperatives.

Organizational Design & Optimization

We work closely with executive teams to design and implement new or improved go-to-market organizations based on portfolio-specific growth initiatives, market-specific business models, management spans of control, and cost competitiveness.  Our work in this area is grounded in detailed analysis of markets, customers, and business development requirements and traditional organizational design methodologies.  Once go-to-market structures are in place, we help companies implement and optimize shared services strategies and functional support organizations such as IT, Finance and Accounting, and HR based on company-specific strategies for matrix, line, centralized, and / or decentralized requirements.

Cost Benchmarking & Restructuring

Our advice and analysis in this area ranges from specific functional cost analysis to holistic enterprise-wide competitive benchmarking of fringe, overhead, G&A and manufacturing operations costs.  Arena’s proven methodology includes detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis of an organization’s current and future financial performance, the application of proprietary cost benchmarks, competitive intelligence, and company and business model-specific budgeting, planning, rate and cost modeling, and implementation support.

Process Improvement

Our support in process improvement is often closely tied to integration, restructuring and/or business systems implementation activities.  Our methodology includes detailed analytics, assessment of best-practices and mapping of existing and planned business processes, as well as facilitated sessions and implementation planning.  High priority business process areas typically include business development, R&D, shared services and IT.  In addition, our team has experience with industry-standard project management methodologies, Six Sigma and manufacturing operations.

Change Management

Nearly all corporate initiatives must include some level of change management planning and attention to associated communication, cultural impacts, and short and long-term strategic objectives.  Our M&A integration and operational improvement methodologies all include advice, facilitation, and planning for effective change management.  Our data-driven analysis and market-based benchmarks, coupled with executive counseling and communication strategies, help drive successful change efforts, whether confined to a business process or applied to an enterprise-wide transformation or large-scale integration effort.

Examples of Our Work

  • A CEO of a multi-billion dollar services company hired us to baseline his company’s indirect costs and wrap-rates to determine relative competitiveness in current and future markets
  • The CFO of a major defense electronics business relied on us to help stabilize and turn-around a troubled division, maximize program profitability, and create cost contingency plans in the event of substantial and sustained declines in the business
  • Private equity firms have hired us as part of due diligence support to assess cost savings potential of M&A targets and develop post-close plans for achieving identified cost synergies
  • We teamed with a CEO of a leading consulting firm to help implement multiple operational initiatives focused on indirect cost reduction, utilization of direct resources, functional shared services, and business development effectiveness, all with an underlying imperative of ensuring the client maintained the highest customer service levels and brand image in the industry.
  • We supported a $2B government services firm with their integration of a new acquisition into an established business area.  Our analysis included overall go-to-market design of the operational organization as well as organizational and cost benchmarking of all business functions supporting the new, integrated division.  We worked closely with the corporate finance team to develop target wrap rates, budget models, and implementation plans associated with labor and non-labor cost reductions and, in some cases, additional investments.
  • We worked closely with the executive leadership team of a major government services firm to develop an overall communications and change management plan to support a large acquisition.  We provided executives with best practice methodologies, tailored to their priorities of developing new, combined Vision, Mission and Values, leveraging and implementing a long-term cultural transformation, re-branding the entire enterprise, and effectively communicating and implementing organization and strategic changes.

Example Operational Improvement Projects