Case Study 2 – Family Business Succession and Strategic Planning


Headquartered in Northeast Ohio and serving customers worldwide, the company provides engineering, manufacturing and logistics solutions to aerospace and industrial markets. BDS was retained to develop a strategic growth plan and a succession plan to define new executive roles following the impending retirement of its founder and CEO.

What We Did

In 2010, the BDS team conducted an extensive SMARTGrowth ™ assessment including interviews with executives, key staff members, and members of an outside advisory board. Additionally, voice-of-the-customer interviews were conducted both in person and through telephone interviews. A two-day strategic planning workshop was facilitated by BDS to review information garnered from the assessments and customer interviews and to create a company-wide growth vision statement developed through consensus of the owners and senior management team. BDS also facilitated the development of a succession plan for owners, family members and executive staff in preparation for the impending retirement of the founder and CEO.


A growth vision statement was developed and agreed upon by the owners and executive team which contained specific revenue goals to be attained over a 10-year horizon, company core values with respect to exceeding customer expectations, and a commitment to its employees to become an employer of choice. The completed strategic plan included key initiatives, strategies and tactics to be implemented by a core team and included responsibilities and ownership for specific objectives. A phased succession plan was also developed, outlining new responsibilities and a realignment of its current management team, allowing the founder and owner to transition from his role as CEO over an 18-month period. A new CEO and COO were named and their respective roles and responsibilities were communicated to employees, customers, key suppliers and outside advisors. In 2012, BDS was asked to conduct a strategic check-up following the initial roll-out of its 2010 strategic plan. The check-up aided the ownership and senior executives in assessing their progress to date against the growth vision defined in 2010 and articulated specific areas for focus and improvement for the next year.