Interim Commercial Leadership for Scale-ups

“DWG has been instrumental in planning the scaling and financing of our business. The Knowledgebase they access through their partnerships is, for a growing business, a lifeline.”

Steve Thornton-Greet, Chief Executive, Integrated Retail

iRexM3 is a powerful Software as a Service (SAAS) solution which helps retailers simplify and future-proof their businesses and increase the speed and auditability of price changes.

  • Founders stretched thin.

  • Wanted further validation of the product viability and worth.

  • Develop credibility as a retail tier-one system.

  • Support to engage with large-scale businesses.

  • To develop a robust business plan.

  • Mature their sales process.

  • To scale operationally.

  • To grow the business.

  • Matured the proposition further – product offering and business modelling process.

  • Creation of a workable business plan.

  • Developed an operational structure to support growth.

  • Promotion of Integrated Retail to our well-established network of contacts – investors and sales/profile-raising.

  • Evolved a strong investment case.

  • Help developing funding pack and support in investor meetings.

  • Key event support – sales and follow-up.

  • Ongoing mentorship to support and accelerate growth journey.

  • First key sales contracts signed.

  • Major strategic partnership with Epson announced.

  • Developing exciting retail opportunities with major international distribution partners in China, America and Europe.

  • Several investment opportunities were created with ongoing discussions.

  • Their business plan and operational structure now support their 3-year growth strategy.

“Damon, my interim COO, is now a valuable commodity. Someone with all the expertise and contacts for preparing us to deliver to the tier 1 retailers, our target audience. Eminently capable, with a vast array of appropriate skills sets and ethical outlook in line with our own. Someone, like DWG itself, with whom we would wish to work, for many years to come.”

Steve Thornton-Greet, Chief Executive, Integrated Retail

Their Story

iRexM3 is a powerful Software as a Service (SAAS) solution taking the pain away from retailers trying to deliver agile pricing and ticketing to customers.

The iRexM3 solution helps retailers simplify and futureproof their businesses by increasing the speed and auditability of price changes, offering an integrated ticketing solution which manages paper and electronic price ticket and signage from one central hub.

Integrated Retail needed a plan to scale their business operationally and determine how this would be managed.

The operational structure would need to support their growth. For a business in the early stages, it is a balancing act between getting key personnel into the right positions and spending investment wisely.

Much of the thinking had already been done on this. Still, we helped iRex consider the most critical roles, and how to prioritise and phase over a three year period in line with potential revenue growth, and business demands. iRex had already identified critical positions and recognised the need to recruit talented individuals capable of growing the business and performing more than one function. We were able to help them validate the plan and assess suitability and development needs of individuals for those roles.

Now it was a case getting it in front of the right people and developing a robust sales process that would speak directly to that audience – in their case well-established FTSE 250 businesses.

IRex had extensive retail knowledge and an impressive list of retail contacts for a company of its size. We were able to advise them with their approach for selling to much bigger businesses and the decision-making criteria that would be important – particularly in terms of returns on investment and mitigating risk. We also provided access for sales activity to our well-established retail contacts to help build a pipeline.

The business plan demonstrated they couldn’t scale without cash – even on the back of strong sales. This was because the implementation costs were high. Generally, the payment would be made at the end of the implementation process and potentially subject to lengthy payment terms, meaning the business would run into cash flow issues before generating required levels of revenue.

Because of the sales success they already had, we helped them consider factoring on the back of deals that had been signed – but this appeared to be an expensive way to grow a business, so was not a preferred route.

Instead, we were able to provide advice on framing a case to investors and offered support throughout the process. We accompanied them to key investor meetings and guided them on what investors would need to see – for example, profit and loss, ROI and cash flow forecasts and creating the required information pack.

iRex had several key investment opportunities, including some overseas options. Again for a business their size, they were getting access to an impressive number of senior personnel in large multi-national companies. We also were able to promote them to our well-developed channels and networks, looking at options and opening more doors.

Daily, a start-up is pulled in multiple directions. When you are in the thick of building the business – and need to focus on getting your product to market – it can be hard to take a breath, step back and look at the ‘bigger picture’.

There is a real benefit to scale-up businesses to have an independent advisor to bounce ideas off. We can provide experienced advice and a less emotionally involved perspective. We were also able to validate and revalidate the strength of their business case when doubts set in after the inevitable knockbacks occur which virtually all startups experience.

2018 was an exciting year for Integrated Retail. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of the start-up team, iRexM3 the product was developed debt-free and had begun to be taken to market with great success – with their first major sales contracts signed, including Gift Universe Group, and more in the pipeline.

They were a very small team who had developed this platform but had started to deploy amongst some very big retailers.

They had also developed partnerships with signage providers and technology providers – one of them was a company called Vestcom. Based in the US, Vestcom is the leading provider of technology-enabled shelf solutions to some of the world’s biggest retailers – responsible for something like 3 billion price changes per week!

They worked very closely with Vestcom and they recognised that the software was a great strategic fit for them – with an opportunity to grow their business internationally. Last July, Vestcom acquired Integrated Retail, and they are now part of Vestcom International.

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Interim Commercial Leadership

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Strategy, Leadership & Innovation

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