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Project Manager Seán Mulholland

Senior Consultant View profile

The Client is a state-owned producer and exporter of phosphate rock. In collaboration with its owner, the Ministry of Mining, CRU Consulting was requested to undertake a review of the Client's sales performance and strategy and to make recommendations as to how it could maximise its sales performance in future years.

Key deliverables from the assignment were to include: a written report presenting a focused analysis of the traded phosphate rock market; an assessment of the Client's pricing performance over the last 5 years; key recommendations for the Client's business intelligence and marketing practices; a pricing guide tool specific to the Client's rock specifications and linked to published benchmark prices, and; a presentation of findings to the Ministry.

Our Recommendation
Reviewing information gained from interviews with the business intelligence and marketing teams, CRU Consulting prepared an independent and objective assessment of current practices. With knowledge of best practices elsewhere in the industry, our team prepared a list of actionable recommendations for the Client to improve business intelligence and marketing practices with a view to optimising future pricing performance.

Methodology
The CRU Consulting team kicked off the assignment with a visit to the Client's mine site and a series of meetings with the Client's business intelligence and marketing team at their head offices during which the team interviewed key personnel and obtained data and documentation for review.

The team then prepared its report which utilised CRU's own extensive phosphate rock trade and price data validated by our own Fertilizer Week team on a weekly basis. This was used to present unique insights to the client and an overview and outlook for the world traded phosphate rock market. Target markets and potential new customers were also identified based on the Client's individual phosphate rock specifications.

The Client's price and sales data were then analysed alongside the extensive historic weekly phosphate rock price data gathered by CRU's Fertilizer Week. The team utilised CRU's phosphate rock Value-In-Use model to reflect the expected market value of the Client's individual rock in connection to benchmark prices. This enabled the team to analyse the company's historic pricing performance. Using CRU models and data we also prepared a user-friendly market price forecast guide for the Client using published industry prices and freight as inputs to produce an expected price range for the Client.

Outcome
Findings from the study were presented to the Client and to the Ministry of Mining jointly. Having made substantial recommendations to the Client necessitating significant change, the CRU Consulting team continued to provide monthly support calls to assist the Client with the implementation stage. The Client and the Ministry were extremely satisfied with the assignment; key recommendations have been successfully implemented which is supporting the Client's pricing and marketing performance in a challenging market.

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Project Manager Seán Mulholland

Senior Consultant View profile

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