San business-writing sample:

Consulting Company Brochure

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TThe client (North east Cons ulting Resources, Inc.) was a small, élite Boston consulting firm with Fortune 500 clients, specializing in business strategy and high technology. I wrote, designed, and illustrated their main brochure (16 pages including the cover, beautifully printed on heavy stock). These excerpts are from the back section, where I named and described the range of services they offered. (By the way, you’ll see “Future Mapping” mentioned; it’s a scenario-planning method that was described in the earlier part of the piece that isn't shown here, as well as in a separate brochure I created for them.)
Strategic Planning Services

Corporate Strategy Development

In the last few years, many large corporations have focused inward on streamlining processes, decreasing expenditures, and downsizing their organizations. Using tools such as the Future Mapping process, we help them balance their approach by developing long-term growth strategies.

Business Unit Strategy Development

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Most site maps are just boring lists, but not this one! It has comments and personality, and is the only way to find out everything that’s available on the Santhology site.

We work with our clients to analyze and manage the risks and opportunities they face. First we conduct a current situation analysis, examining industry dynamics, competitive position, financial systems, and other factors. Then, using specialized tools such as the Future Mapping process, we cultivate the foresight needed to cope with future developments. Finally, we devise an action plan, prioritize the steps involved, and communicate them effectively to the right people in the organization. This strategic development may happen at the business unit or product level.

Planning Implementation and Monitoring

We help companies develop tools, ranging from war rooms to detailed contingency action plans, for monitoring their changing business environment. Ongoing monitoring tells them whether their strategic plan and related operations are on course, and helps them devise corrective measures if they’re not.

Planning System Implementation

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We help companies set up in-house planning functions or departments: in essence, teaching them how to do what we do. With their own planning infrastructure and management system in place, they are equipped to develop and review strategy, and to answer questions such as: When should plans be created or reviewed? What should they contain? How should they be integrated within the company?

Training and Development Seminars

We offer seminars on a variety of strategic planning topics, such as Basic Strategy (including matrix-based planning, power maps, and competitive positioning); Advanced Strategy (including core competencies, value-chain analysis, and activity-based costing); and the Future Mapping process. In addition to traditional training methods, we employ group processes that help attendees discover practical ways of applying what they’ve learned.

Planning Review and Assessment

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We assess the design and performance of existing strategic plans, and make concrete recommendations for improving them based on analysis of their track record. We provide this service for plans originally designed by ourselves, by the client’s in-house planning department, or by other consulting firms.

Services for Information Technology Users

Planning in a Period of Rapid Change

It might seem that change in the information technology field is so rapid and unpredictable that meaningful planning is impossible. However, the reality is that change is not uniformly unpredictable. There are points of technical stability (parts of the technology picture that do not change rapidly) which will be viable for a long time. Identifying these anchor points is not simply a matter of picking the most technically advanced alternatives. It requires analyzing industry, competitive, and technical issues the integrated approach that NC RI is known for. With this approach we help clients develop meaningful IT plans in spite of rapid technological change.

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With substantial expertise in networks, client-server computing, and network/systems management, NC RI helps clients at any of the following stages in the IT development cycle.

IT Strategic Planning

The Contact San page gives several ways to get in touch, including a quick text-message box. Who says a contact page can’t be fun!

We help users of information technology to define their missions and objectives, enhance the value of the it function within their organization, and develop a vision for future development. Typically, we employ a participatory approach designed to build consensus between an IT department and its in-house clients.

IT Architectural Design

When a company is defining the core strategy for its information networks and systems, the most efficient approach is to create a master plan, known as an architectural design. NCRI starts by identifying points of technical stability, and then uses them as the core of a logical design which allows for coherent and manageable future growth.

Migration and Resource Planning

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We create action plans and budgets that specify the resources a company needs to implement a change in its technology infrastructure. This includes identifying the categories and quantities of components to be acquired, the staff to be hired or reassigned, and the time frame in which specific parts of the plan should be implemented.

IT Procurement Services

We help clients acquire the resources they need. First, basic decisions are made. Should specific components be purchased or leased? Should the client buy separate components or hire an integrator? Should certain functions be outsourced? Next, we write requests for proposals, identify potential vendors, and manage a structured evaluation process. Because we are knowledgeable about a wide range of it vendors, but are beholden to none, we bring considerable objectivity to this process.

Capacity Planning

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Changes to a company’s IT usage patterns often create significant shifts in traffic profiles and volumes. We help companies develop a model to predict how long their current network systems will continue to meet their needs. This helps to determine whether operational enhancement, current-technology expansion, or new-technology selection is the best strategy.

Training & Development Seminars

We offer seminars on technical topics such as Migrating to Client-Server Computing, Enterprise Network Architecture, Advanced Communications Technologies, and Network/Systems Management. As in our strategic planning seminars, we employ both traditional training methods and group processes.

Services for Information Technology Vendors
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We offer strategic planning services targeted to the special needs of information technology vendors. We are ideally suited to do this because of our specialization in both strategic planning and information technology; our role in developing the core strategies of the it industry; and our close links to IT-user clients, which gives us in-depth information about their needs. Specific services we offer to IT vendors include: