SOAR Stories




Paul Berney 

#1 CEO Paul Berney & Associates 

Working  with many first and second stage companies as a consultant focusing on strategic planning for all functional areas of their business models I touched many industries and landed an partner equity relationship with a software provider to the Extended Health Care Industry.  We continue to be the first company to provide this industry with an open source platform that will meet the State and Federal Governments mandate to bring this industry into electronic records by 2010. 

#2 Sr. VP Sales and Marketing: 03/01 to 08/01 

Capitalized on greatest growth and profit opportunity through innovative sourcing.  Ferreted out low cost manufacturing capability to develop line of residential gun safes that could penetrate the price points and weight and cube restrictions of mass merchants.  Started a sourcing and development project in Korea and China with specific timelines.  The project was on track within five months. 

#3 Sr. VP Sales and Marketing: 03/01 to 08/01  

Improved customer service 30% and raised average growth margins by 10% in just five months.  Sales forecasts were off 50%-30 days out compromising customer service, inventory, and profitability.  Implemented a customized process that was actionable and measurable 30, 60, 90, and 120 days out with variances that required accountability.  Within 60 days improved to 20% accuracy-30 days out and balanced inventory eliminating need for fire sales to lower inventory.  

#4 Sr. VP Sales and Marketing: 03/01 to 08/01  

Developed strategic plan successfully stimulating company growth and profitability.  Company had no strategic plan.  Developed planning process and executed the sales and marketing components with time lines for manufacturing and other functional support.  Established: new product development focus and procedure; forecasting focus and procedure; offshore sourcing program; diversified the Product offering for home use and expanded into the home builder market channel; strengthened the Liberty brand equity through a compatible partner licensing strategy with Harley Davidson and Baretta; launched a full e-commerce B2B and B2C web site strategy for vendors and consumers; executed a comprehensive dealer handbook through an annual meeting process; realigned the sales area and set MBO targets for channel of distribution and dealer channel that resulted in attainment of target for the last 3 of the 5 months.  In addition, negotiated two new major accounts with Home Depot and Menards.  

#5 VP Marketing: 08/95 to 02/01 

Entered new product category, growing it from infancy to market leader, generating $50M in sales.

The company did not offer strollers, the second largest juvenile product category.  Developed a close partnership with the market leader in China.  Co-developed a highly proprietary and patented line of Cosco Branded strollers, targeting all price points within the category.  Within two years held a 15% market share and penetrated all price points.  Entered best segment through licensing strategy with Eddie Bauer, Disney and NASCAR.  Within 5 years led in market share in stroller category. 

The same was undertaken with the Home Products Division where the company did not offer ladders even though they where the market leader in the step stool category.  A highly proprietary, patented line was developed with a Korean partner and launched.  After two years we had captured an 8% share of the very large ladder market.  

#6 VP Marketing: 08/95 to 02/01  

Turned around failing advertising and creative departments.  Advertising and creative departments were not meeting the company’s needs.  Quality of the catalogues and creative ads constantly criticized.  Morale was low, turnover high, and talk of outsourcing on the rise.  Rallied staff and Product Managers to formulate a process including parameters and priorities for massive number of projects.  Entered contests, winning five awards for packaging, ads, and catalogs.  Service levels to the organization for advertising and creative services was consistently at the 97 to 100% level.   

#7 VP Marketing: 08/95 to 02/01 

Developed brand equity, moving into #2 in consumer recognition behind Fisher Price.  Developed Marketing and Strategic Plans building a case for brand equity through low cost positioning.  Created a new corporate logo and packaging, and phased in the new identity to all signage, advertising, letterhead and business cards.  Convinced manufacturing partners to contribute 1% of their cost of goods to an advertising fund.  Changed negative perception of company to that of a market leader with innovative products.  The 1% contribution from suppliers grew to over 1 million dollars and led the company to become one of the top advertisers in the juvenile industry, contributing to consumer acceptance and demand.  

#8 VP Marketing: 08/95 to 02/01 

Generated in excess of $110M in sales by co-branding to penetrate higher-end segments.  Negotiated license with Eddie Bauer generating $20M in sales during the first 2 years and $50M annually thereafter.  Negotiated contract with Disney, generating over $20M in sales.  Negotiated a NASCAR license gaining a niche to build incremental market share and channel penetration and contributing over $20M in gross sales.  Just prior to leaving company, revised licensing strategy that involved Cosco as a licensor and had 4 compatible manufacturers and market leaders on side.  

#9 VP Marketing: 08/95 to 02/01 

Increased revenue threefold and decreased cost from 3% of net sales to 1.2%.  Realigned staff to better reflect the costs being allocated and put a freeze on discretionary spending until the critical mass gross sales level caught up to the desired objectives for each year.  Sales went from $135M to $500M within five years.  

#10 VP Marketing: 08/95 to 02/01 

Targeted new categories, dramatically growing market share for each division.  Focused on licensing, acquisitions, and new product development of over 60 products.  Added $70M with acquisition of Oklahoma Smith and $200M with acquisition of Safety 1st.  Achieved 5-year goal of a half billion dollar critical mass becoming an undisputed major player in the business.  Entered four new categories.  

#11 General Manager: 08/87 to 08/95 

Reengineered company, combining two divisions, decreasing overall margins from 24% to 35%.  Consolidated a furniture plant and a bottle feeding plant that had not been profitable and lacked critical mass.  Negotiated with the city of Brantford for tax concessions for a 5-year period and contracted for the building of a facility that would flex with the growth of the business while keeping the overheads under control and in line with the revenue generation.  Both operations went from a combined space of 60,000 square feet to a 35,000 square foot facility with flexibility for occupying an additional 15,000 square feet.  Overhead costs were lowered by $150,000.  The new facility was a non union shop bringing labor costs down almost $2.00 per hour. 

#12 General Manger: 08/87 to 08/95 

Grew sales by 250%, from $7.5M to $18.5M, by brining in two major accounts.  70% of the business was coming from one customer with low margins.  Developed and implemented strategic plan.  Focused on new products and mix and provided advertising support on higher margin products.  Within two years main customer was only 40% of the business and a major growth account with margins in the low 20's to 33%.  Brought in two major accounts, Canadian Tire and Zellers.  Growth allowed company to hire more sales people and a marketing support person.  Over the next 6 years grew the business to over $35 million and contributed to a gross margin of 37%.  

#13 General Manager: 08/87 to 08/95 

Increased channel penetration from 5-20% by establishing multi-level communications campaign.  The independent business segment accounted for 20% of the national business, yet Evenflo was only doing 5% with them.  Set up a telemarketing department to deal with this channel.  Implemented ongoing contact through monthly newsletters and specials.  Focused on building credibility and gaining support. In addition, set up a co-op advertising fund matching independent business expenditures. 

#14 General Manager: 08/87 to 08/95 

Developed brand equity to become market share leader in a variety of juvenile categories.  There was no brand identity.  Developed five-year strategic and annual marketing plan.  Phased –in new packaging and a new Evenflo Logo.  Conducted brand equity study revealing a steady rise in both trade and consumer confidence.  Brand rose to a premium high quality brand position.  Became the market share leader in the car seat, high chair, play-yard, breast feeding and bottle categories and number two, behind Fisher Price, in overall market share and brand awareness.  Fisher Price outspent company 10 to 1.  

#15 General Manager: 08/87 to 08/95  

Improved overall efficiency 20% and reduced employee turnover.  Plant lay out and efficiencies were lagging.  Government assistance program funded 80% of the cost.  Conducted study and implemented recommendations fully funded from cash flow with no capital cost contributions from the parent company.  Scrounged surplus equipment form other US plants and auctions.  Addressed ergonomic, efficient flow, and automation needs.  

#16 General Manager: 08/87 to 08/95  

Improved operations and plant efficiencies by 13%.  Executed an MRP implementation process.     Improved forecasting to 90% accuracy 30 days out and 70% accuracy at 120 days out.  Led the corporation on forecasting accuracy.   

#17 The Borden Company: 02/80 to 08/87  

Met sales targets and improved forecasting to 90% accurate 30 days out.  Sales department was not effective in hitting sales target or keeping the brokerage network in place and focused.  Realigned the sales department into category and channels.  Implemented a forecasting system with accountabilities.  In addition, developed and executed a state of the art Broker Management Quarterly review system with quarterly regional meetings. 

#18 The Borden Company: 02/87 to 08/95  

Increased gross sales by 30%, and improved profitability by an incremental 6%.  Needed to develop new products capitalizing on regional opportunities and regional key accounts while generate higher margins.  Developed an acquisition plan and new product plan to capitalize on the strong Brand Names Borden owned.  Acquired two pasta lines, Cremette and Primo, and Old London Melba Toast.  In addition, developed 3 compatible new products in aligned categories.  

#19 The Borden Company: 02/87 to 08/95  

Entered and controlled private label business that had been eroding market share.  Crafted strategic marketing plan to support controlling this business as a key strategy to protecting branded business.  After two years, controlled the segment and put one major private label company out of business.  Built the margins into the overhead structure where most of it fell to the bottom line.  Set-up manufacturing in off-shifts and passed costs onto the customer.



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