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Using an Internal Assessment to Define the Best Growth Opportunities and Clarify Investment Priorities, by Keith Pekau and David Rhoads, Fahrenheit Consulting Group, LLC

Since 2008, the economy has presented many challenges for manufacturing companies. Companies responded by streamlining manufacturing processes, reducing headcount and improving purchasing processes to reduce costs. While these actions improved profitability, many manufacturing companies are struggling to grow. Businesses in this position are oft en unclear about what opportunities to pursue first and how to prepare the organization for growth. Important first steps include obtaining internal profitability data and external market intelligence, improving decision making processes, and aligning performance measures and compensation with growth objectives. Of course none of this is possible without the leader embracing the need for change.

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Accelerate Profitable Growth by Listening to the Voice of the Customer, by David Rhoads and Keith Pekau

Every business wants to accelerate profitable growth. Growth generates cash to reinvest in the business and opens-up new career opportunities for staff. It fuels superior returns for investors and motivates acquirers to pay the highest possible EBITDA multiples. Growth also supports the local economy by creating jobs for new employees. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to achieve growth targets frequently fall short. While customers are critical to delivering growth, companies often have an incomplete or biased understanding of their customers’ needs. This customer information gap often leads to failures in strategy and execution. Voice of the Customer research helps bridge this gap by providing the customer insights necessary to identify and implement successful growth strategies.

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Answer These Questions Before Investing In A Potential Solyndra, by Jim McCreary, David Rhoads and Keith Pekau

Much has been written about investigations by Congress, the Treasury and the FBI about the $535 million loan guarantee the Department of Energy made to Solyndra before its recent bankruptcy. One untold story is how decision makers at the DOE appear to have failed to ask basic questions every investor should resolve before putting money into an early-stage company. In the spirit of treating this situation as a timely “learning opportunity” rather than speculating further about the motivation of people involved, Fahrenheit Consulting Group offers a few diagnostic questions (and some initial thoughts about answers) for you to consider. The goal is to share a simple framework you can use the next time YOU need to make a major investment decision. However, before we do, let’s recap the investment landscape surrounding Solyndra.

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Leveraging the Voice of the Market, An Interview with David Rhoads

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