Our Case Studies

With Marathon’s track record, expertise and approach explained, how would it all come together to help grow and sustain a business?
How would our work benefit the customers, shareholders, stakeholders, leaders and staff?

These real-life case studies show what we do and how we do it.

A hospitality trade supplier

Strategy & organisational design

The challenge
The operational structure was not geared to support the organic growth of the business. Processes and standard operating procedures were not well designed and documented, resulting in a lack of alignment between business teams. Unsatisfactory debtor collections and stock management practices harmed cash flow and profitability.
The objective
Redesign the business model and operating model to gear the business for growth and strengthen its balance sheet.
The action
Marathon held leadership and strategy alignment workshops. High-level business processes were redesigned and documented. We helped the client to develop a franchise model to scale the business. The business systems for debtor collection, stock management and supply chain management were all redesigned.
The result
The actions brought essential organisational clarity and alignment. What followed was a leaner organisational structure with well-defined, efficient business processes. The successful franchise model gave the business a national footprint. The net result was an increase in turnover of 25% on average over a six-year period.

A manufacturing solutions company

Organisational design

The challenge
The business had been growing its client base and international footprint significantly. It was now time for innovation in the management structure to improve its functioning, efficiency and execution of strategy.
The objective
Design a new management model, empower and equip a new breed of young leaders to reduce operational pressures on senior leaders.
The action
It was necessary to redesign the organisational structure and implement new management practices. Management team members were provided with tools to improve employee engagement across all levels of work.
The result
Marathon’s work resulted in a redesigned organogram. A new generation of leaders stepped forward. Management practices were redesigned for business needs and future plans. All this paid off in high staff morale despite a tough business environment.

A primary wine producer and marketer

Business model innovation

The challenge
Establishing a new, competitive agricultural business group to attain several strategic objectives for the various stakeholders.
The objective
Design and implement a new generation agricultural business that could create significant value for a diverse group of stakeholders.
The action
Marathon facilitated workshops to develop strategy and to plan the business model for the new entity. Structure followed strategy and a new business organogram was developed. Stakeholder information sessions were held to obtain support. Third party solution providers were briefed and, finally, project management drove the successful implementation of the new design.
The result
The new business achieved above industry average revenue growth year on year. Significant shareholder value was created. The components, now joined in one business, became more competitive globally. The new enterprise became a trend setter for similar businesses.

A tourism services business

Strategy & organisational design (structure)

The challenge
Transform an entrepreneurial business into a more professionally managed business that adequately aligns the interests of various key players.
The objective
Align the leadership team around a strategy that caters for both their opportunistic drive, as well as their need for proper management planning and governance – a solid launch pad for opportunity.
The action
Strategy workshops were followed by business model planning workshops. With strategy and business clarity, the structure could be tailored to deliver and the business organogram was produced. Staff information sessions helped to ensure alignment and support and appropriate training helped to ensure successful execution.
The result
The programme delivered improved leadership focus and capacity. The bottom line responded with industry average revenue growth year on year. A healthy balance was established between pursuing new opportunities and maintaining focus on existing operational priorities.

Retail in-store marketing agency

Organisational health (clarity & alignment), strategy & organisational design

The challenge
The business grew exponentially over a short period. People and system capacity had to be developed to support a scalable business model for growth.
The objective
Align and coach the leadership on the key strategic objectives of the business. Redesign the organisational structure and develop the required talent. Design operating processes, policies and procedures and develop a monthly and annual governance process to ensure that strategic, operational and tactical objectives are aligned throughout the business.
The action
Leadership and strategy alignment workshops preceded the redesign of organisational structures. Operating processes, policies and procedures were redesigned as well while end-to-end governance processes were implemented.
The result
The interventions brought organisational clarity: intellectually and behaviourally aligned leadership. This paved the way for a clear strategy, organisational structure and organograms. The agency now moved to new operating processes, policies and procedures to support business growth. A new management team took over the reins and new governance practices were established. With this solid grounding, staff headcount could grow from 70 to 170 in three years. Profits grew ten-fold in three years.

Leading retailer in South Africa

Organisational health (leadership development)

The challenge
The client had a well-aligned, efficient and effective executive management team. The mandate from the People (Human Resources) Director was to further strengthen the senior leadership capacity of the organisation.
The objective
Develop an understanding of the leadership growth challenges of the team. Develop a tailored leadership programme for the senior leadership development needs of the organisation.
The action
The first step was to analyse individual and team leadership development needs. Marathon developed a two-day leadership workshop supported by relevant world-class leadership teachings. It aslo facilitated the end-to-end leadership programme.
The result
The programme delivered clarity on leadership development areas that required further investment. Both individuals and the team leadership displayed growth. An energised, more strongly aligned leadership team emerged.