Technology-Enabled Business Services

What drives differentiated growth and value in business services? A good idea, a unique viewpoint on a common challenge, and the synthesis of human ingenuity with technology are often the building blocks.

Harris Williams has strong relationships with many such companies, giving us a valuable window into the tangibles and intangibles that drive long-term growth and success. INSIGHT2PROFIT, or INSIGHT, for instance, is an exemplar of a business services company using technology and human brainpower to generate outsized results for itself and its clients.

This technology-forward company develops and implements pricing, sales effectiveness, and portfolio optimization solutions to improve its clients' operations and profitability. "INSIGHT is an exciting growth company with a differentiated scope of services," says Derek Lewis, a managing director and co-head of the Harris Williams Business Services Group. "It is representative of the strong middle-market companies forging leadership positions in the business services sector."

Lewis recently talked with INSIGHT2PROFIT's Ryan White, Founder and Executive Chairman, Terry Oblander, Chief Growth Officer, and Andy Fauver, Senior Vice President Transaction Services, to learn more about the company's differentiating fundamentals.

Ryan White, INSIGHT2PROFIT, Founder and Executive Chairman
Terry Oblander, INSIGHT2PROFIT, Chief Growth Officer
Andy Fauver, INSIGHT2PROFIT, SVP Transaction Services


Lewis: Describe the origins of INSIGHT2PROFIT. Where did the idea for the company come from?

White: While working at a Fortune 500 company, our CFO brought in a pricing strategy consultant. However, that company's base of experience was business-to-consumer, and their work didn't apply well to our operation. I saw the opportunity to go to the business-to-business world and use models and data just becoming available to help companies be more proactive about pricing.

Early on, we found ourselves making the case to organizations that they could proactively manage pricing. Over our first five to seven years, companies saw pricing optimization as a one-time event to fix outliers. Now, our work is much more strategic, as more companies understand that pricing is an ongoing management mechanism that is constantly evolving. More and more companies are making it a key center of excellence.

Lewis: You came from the Fortune 500, but many INSIGHT2PROFIT clients are private equity firms. How did that come about?

White: Honestly, it was not deliberate. We initially focused on companies in our local market in Cleveland, Ohio. Through networking, we had an opportunity to work with a company owned by a large private equity firm. We achieved impressive results, and the private equity firm asked us to help other companies in its portfolio. We quickly expanded from there.  

Lewis: At what point did you know you had identified a winning concept for a growth business?

White: An early Fortune 500 client of ours had a history of working with a large strategy consulting firm. We did a short engagement, and they were so impressed with the ROI that they asked for significantly more work. This new blue-chip client saw tremendous value and differentiation from us relative to their go-to consultants, which was a strong affirmation.  

Lewis: How has your value proposition evolved since the company's formation?

Oblander: Our value proposition has always been and will continue to be ROI-based. Our work with clients is a 100% measurable proposition. Our sweet spot is helping companies in industries with pricing complexity driven by servicing a lot of customers, products, channels, or a combination of those factors. We believe we're now the leader in pricing for the markets we serve, which encompasses more than business-to-business.

Fauver: We've broadened the sectors we serve because private equity clients see tangible results and pull us across their portfolio. As such, we are serving many business services, consumer services, and technology businesses whereas our historical base was more manufacturing and distribution.

Further, our data-driven, client-partner approach enables us to help our clients solve additional commercial problems. As a result, we've expanded beyond pricing into adjacent areas such as sales productivity and channel strategy.

White: We're solving problems from a people, process, and technology perspective, not just offering ideas or recommendations without implementation support. Executing on a solution is a key differentiator for INSIGHT as we roll our sleeves up and do the work alongside our clients to get the measurable impact. That's very different than delivering a recommendation.

Lewis: What role has private equity investment played in the company's development?

White: It was a big decision to partner with private equity and we could not be happier with DFW Capital Partners. The goal was to be able to think bigger, make more strategic moves, and gain partners that had been down that path before. It's been beneficial to have a PE partner that brings a new perspective, has taken risks before, and is very supportive.

Fauver: An early investment we made after partnering with DFW was building out a dedicated Transaction Services practice to expand our solutions across the private equity lifecycle. Based upon client demand, we developed unique capabilities to support buy- and sell-side diligence, which we call Quality of Pricing®, and have dramatically expanded our diligence service offering over the last four years. 

Lewis: What does the future for INSIGHT2PROFIT look like? What are a few key growth areas for the company?

Oblander: Our growth plan will leverage the strong foundation that we've built. We feel we are differentiated in the marketplace regarding the strength of our data engineering and data science teams, the pace at which our consulting team can drive change for clients, and a platform that enables us to rapidly develop tailor-fit software solutions for clients. Our existing customer base is pulling us into new end markets, such as eCommerce, EdTech, and Healthcare. We are often asked if our approach could be flipped from 'price optimization' to 'cost optimization' to help identify operational opportunities, and we've partnered strategically to explore. We expect North America to be our focus from a geographic perspective but will selectively explore geographic expansion.

Fauver: INSIGHT was founded with technology as a central element to our business and our clients’ solutions. Over the years, our technology solutions have evolved to incorporate more data sources and advanced analytics to quickly understand what’s driving price and how to optimize profitability. We continue to make significant investments to enhance our technology platform through advancements in processing power, predictive analytics, and new software applications. 

 White: Ultimately, our intense focus on client impact will always be our core. Our people see the impact they've made for their clients as a badge of honor, and they work incredibly hard for it. We're creating an environment in which employees feel empowered to partner with their clients and extract as much value as they possibly can for them. That's good for our clients, our people, and our growth.

The Harris Williams Business Services Group has deep expertise in a wide range of business services subsectors. Learn more here: Business Services

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