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INDUSTRIES

Customer-Driven Strategy

At age 52, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is worth $66.5 billion and recently surpassed Warren Buffet as the third richest person in the world. His fortunes have come largely from Amazon, which he founded in 1994. Today, Amazon has revenues of over $200 billion and is currently one of the largest retailers in the world despite having no physical stores. At the center of this growth is Bezos’ relentless focus on customer strategy.

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The Important Role of Nonprofits

BSG looks at the role of nonprofits. Independent Sector says that Michigan has roughly 50,000 nonprofits representing 440,000 employed people (10% of the workforce), $16 billion in annual wages, $133 billion in annual revenue, $179 in total assets held, and $108 billion in annual economic activity.

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Oxford Companies Growing by Leaps and Bounds

One of the largest commercial real estate transactions on record in Ann Arbor was completed in what many have called the “deal of the year.” In a $103M deal, Oxford Companies led a group of investors in the acquisition of a portfolio from McMullen Realty Co. For a comparison, the University of Michigan bought the Pfizer property for $108M.

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Oh, by the Way Sales

A very successful sales professional explained that while many of his competitors interact with prospects or customers every 2-3 months or so, he spends a great deal of time engaging customers and prospects in-person and over the phone. He often reaches out just to touch base and perhaps help an engineer on a design question that may or may not be directly related to my friend’s particular part. Very often at some point an idea comes up in conversation that turns into a sale.

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The University of Michigan and the MARS Rover

On August 5, 2012 at 10:32 p.m. Pacific Time the world watched NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory broadcast the landing of Mars rover “Curiosity.” Three years later, that amazing device continues to deliver breakthrough analysis, such as showing that water once flowed on Mars, and demonstrating that Mars could have been habitable at one time. The Curiosity rover has been a great success, and the University of Michigan has played an important role in this success.

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Financial Institution

This Christian organization provides loans to churches by providing competitive fixed investment products to congregation members. While total assets were over $250 million, recent growth remained flat. This group sought a consultant team to gather feedback from investors and loan recipients to make product and service recommendations. Recommendations involved concrete actions to increase investor engagement.

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Art Museum

A well-known Detroit museum sought assistance in further developing its website. After working with a consultant to understand how to serve the customer segments, a new site architecture was clearly needed. The consultant worked with the client resources to identify a strategic partner who offered services for approximately 30% of original cost estimates.

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Local Residential Real Estate Market

The Ann Arbor area residential real estate market is on the rise . . . mostly. Many of the key metrics show a positive change. The Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS® provides a monthly report on key residential real estate listings and sales. According to the June report, the number of 2013 YTD listings was up 22% year-over- year for the same period, jumping from 684 listings in June ’12 to 835 in June ’13.

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