Advanced nutrition tools – Ilex Envirosciences Ltd
Ilex EnviroSciences develops and supplies UK farmers and growers with easy to use, advanced nutrition tools to optimise plant health and crop performance. Their products maximise efficiency with minimal impact on the environment. A family run business, founded in 2003, the company is at the forefront of innovation, using the latest developments in plant science and nutrition to respond to the challenges and pressures faced by UK growers and those further afield.
Ilex has a variety of innovative products which differentiate them from most suppliers of crop nutrients, perhaps most importantly is their ability to manage costs which they pass on to customers. Selling directly to farmers not only enables them to sell more cheaply as there is no intermediary, but it allows them to work more closely with their customer, getting direct feedback so they can better meet their end-user needs.
Ilex decided to sign up to Innovate2Succeed to increase their sales; they were keen to explore innovative approaches to achieving this goal.
The innovation focus
Working with their coach, the senior management team visioned the future for the business and established aims and objectives to achieve this. The team also examined the company’s business model and client base using the Business Model Canvas (BMC) and Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP).
The team focussed on how to achieve growth and after exploring a variety of options, it was agreed that a new market development strategy would be the most effective approach.
Time was also spent understanding why previous attempts to develop new markets hadn’t worked as well as expected. The business had previously found it difficult to recruit business development professionals with the right traits and skill set to balance the sales team. This had hampered sales efforts.
An internal restructure enabled the business to spread existing accounts and service customers across the team, freeing up the new Sales Director to develop territories, predominantly in Suffolk, Essex and Kent.
In addition, the Managing Director is now able to devote more time to the maintenance of relationships with customers in Ireland and the development of new opportunities such as those in Ukraine.
The future looks bright for Ilex, a strong finish to 2018 meant that they grew by 18% on the previous year and they are currently ahead of their target for growth of 18% in 2019.
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