International Agribusiness Programme Evaluation
A comprehensive understanding of the international agribusiness sector is paramount to success when evaluating businesses in this sector
A major international agribusiness organisation asked us to evaluate the efficiency of their marketing structure, which involved several regional offices in different parts of the world.
They wanted to understand the effectiveness of contract consultants that they used in various markets to carry out their marketing and customer service activities.
Our role was to analyse the current contracts and give clear, practical recommendations on how to deliver better value for money to the customer's stakeholders.
The discussions were surprisingly candid and open, and generated a wealth of information.
We began with a detailed analysis of consultant contracts, followed by an intensive programme of telephone and face-to-face interviews with the regional directors and a selection of the in-country consultants, trade contacts and clients.
The discussions were surprisingly candid and open, and generated a wealth of information. Key findings showed that the planning process for marketing activities was "bottom up", with little leadership from HQ. With little coordination between regional offices, management practices were inconsistent.
Consultant contracts differed greatly in structure and content, and had no direct link to the client's overall marketing objectives.
These issues meant there was little evidence that the international consultant network actually led to the achievement of the client's core marketing objectives.
We recommended modifications to the international consultant network that would achieve a more inclusive and coordinated approach to strategic planning and implementation.
- Giving HQ staff more responsibility for leading the planning process
- Developing in-house technical expertise at the centre
- Providing a clear statement of the roles of regional directors and in-country consultants
- Carrying out a formal staff assessment based on the organisation's strategic goals
- Standardising contracts
- Developing clear, results-focused reporting at consultant and regional office levels
The client followed up this project with a broader and wider-ranging review of its complete international marketing programme.