We’d like you to meet a few of our clients. These organizations have gone through strategic planning and implementation with us, some over a decade ago. Here’s what they’ve accomplished to-date.
QuestAir Technologies Inc.
Founded in 1996, QuestAir Technologies Inc. (TSX: QAR) is a developer and supplier of proprietary gas purification systems for the biogas and industrial hydrogen sectors. In Q2 and 3, 2007, we worked with Questair management and board to develop a strategy and action plan to transform the organization from an R&D culture dependent upon investment funding to a growing, commercial success.
â€śIn order to effectively revise our strategy, we needed to master our situation. Ralston Consulting helped us gather and make sense of the information on a tight timeline. Their work was very thorough, and significant in helping us frame and comprehend the current reality.
Despite the aggressive schedule and fixed deadline, we could not short-circuit the strategic planning process. Gary provided constant, timely and material support to me and to the team in driving to develop an integrated answer to the challenges we face.
Ralston Consultingâ€™s decision-making process was particularly valuable â€“ executive management and board moved from a range of viewpoints to a true, thoughtful consensus about our strategic direction in the course of two days.â€ť
– Jonathan Wilkinson,Â President and CEO (former), Questair Technologies Inc.
Since our engagement, and in alignment with the strategy, Questair successfully renegotiated its relationship with energy giant, Exxon-Mobil, completed a successful round of financing, refocused on the emerging biogas market, restructured for commercial delivery, and by Q1, 2009 posted the first profitable quarter in the companyâ€™s history! The firm completed aÂ successful merger with Xebec Adsorption Inc. in Q2, 2009, and is strongly positioned to grow with market demand for clean energy, hydrogen and renewable natural gas.
Dynamix Engineering Ltd.
Ralston Consulting Inc. helped the founding partners develop the business strategy forÂ Dynamix before the doors were even open, and supported them through their first years of operation.This article, published a year after launch, summarizes nicely their achievements in their first year, growing from 12 to 22 employees – a testament to strong planning and execution.
In September, 2007, Ann and I were honored to be invited to Dynamix Engineering’s 10th anniversary celebration. The firm has been among the “Fast 50” in Columbus, Ohio several years running. They now employ 60 people, and are listed among the top 100 engineering firms in the nation, based upon annual revenue for MEP design work. For more info, visitÂ www.csemag.com/giants. They remain an active client for Ralston Consulting Inc. to this day.
“Ralston Consultingâ€™s motto is â€śAccelerate Business Growthâ€ť; but in many businesses, growth cannot occur without a smooth chassis on which to run. Our group was part of an internally-focused healthcare organization with attendant operational inefficiencies. The Ralstons helped us identify and rectify burdensome procedures that did not contribute value to our final product. After considerable analysis and revamping of procedures, and defining clear goals for staff training and assessment, our processes are more streamlined, our staff more productive, and weâ€™re able to hit client timelines more quickly, in a more cost effective manner. We simply could not have achieved these results without the advice and expertise of Ann and Gary.
We are now transitioning our business into a standalone operation outside the infrastructure of a larger organization. It would not be the successful venture we expect it to be without the Ralstonsâ€™ significant contributions to our business roadmap.
Thanks, Ann and Gary!”
– Lauren Lent, MS
Women in Film and Television – Toronto
WIFT-T is one of many WIFT chapters around the world, representing over 10,000 members working in screen-based-media. By 1997, after 13 years of operation, the Toronto chapter was losing members – it was no longer relevant to their careers. Fundraising was becoming increasingly difficult. The Board of Directors, instead of governing the overall direction of the organization, was entangled in actively managing operations, at times meeting weekly – WIFT-Toronto had lost its way.
Since our strategic and implementation work, the turnaround has been nothing short of amazing. Joan Jenkinson, Executive Director at WIFT-T at the time, reported:
“WIFT-T is now more professional, more widely known, and has a much greater impact on members’ careers. Membership almost tripled, with higher retention. We have far better corporate and government sponsorship. Budget has tripled, with a cash surplus 2 years in a row. The Board can now focus on governing, so it is much easier to recruit and keep good Directors. Based on the success of WIFT-T’s planning process, I recommended RCI to HotDocs! (see next entry) for its complete overhaul, resulting in HotDocs’ exponential growth and success.”
In 2001, we were pleased to help WIFT-T revise itsÂ strategic plan for the next 3 years.
TheÂ HotDocs! Canadian International Documentary Festival exists to showcase and advance the state of documentary filmmaking in Canada. Already successful, but wanting to take the event to the next level, the HotDocs! Board approached RCI (on the strength of the results at WIFT-T) to facilitate their strategy session. The strategy session was a success, and led to implementation work.
HotDocs! ’99, (May 5-9, 1999 Toronto, ON), was the first festival to be run using this approach. In addition, a new CEO, Chris McDonald, was hired in October 1998 to execute the festival.
“I came in without festival experience. The strategic plan saved a lot of orientation time for me, and for the board. It gave a broad stroke direction without restricting our freedom in implementation.”
Thanks in part to our work, the HotDocs! team, with a new CEO and many new staff, produced as a first effort what was widely acclaimed as the best HotDocs! event in its history, only to best itself again and again in the years to follow. Today in 2009, ten years later, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is the largest documentary festival, conference and market in North America.