Investment Management

Local Business Services

Since the start of Local Business Services we have supported companies from outside our territory and found out it is not so easy for them to find local partners which could help them selling their products and services local. The reason behind this is that most companies who want to partner with partners outside their territory first search in their existing network for a trusted partner with local presence and knowledge of the local market.

Selling today is complex and products and services go through multiple channels from a supplier to customers. And what works in one country does not have to work in another country. The Channeliser IT Partnership Survey 2017 shows that respondents are looking to grow their partner networks quickly and even 60% of the responded within the next 6 months. A big challenge for IT companies how new partners are identified, engaged and managed. Although both the vendor and reseller communities still prefer to use their own business networks to find new partners, this limits the ability to move quickly into completely new markets and geographies. Having a trusted local partner with knowledge of the local market can help speeding up this market engagement.


Local Business Services helps IT companies selling their products and services by setting up sales channels outside their current territory and can be your trusted local business partner having knowledge of the local market and helping you setting up a local partner network and managing your Go To Market investment. We combine experience and knowledge around our IT local market with a track record on Market research, Go To Market Investment Management and Channel Management.

Our propositions:

  1. Investigating the potential of products and services in a local market
  2. Actively engaging potential local partners
  3. Setup an integrated local channel management strategy and structure
  4. Manage your Go To Market investment in this local market

Local Business Services (LBS) has deep knowledge of the IT market and we are actively engaging IT companies.

When we spot a potential market opportunity for you collaborating together with local IT companies selling your products and services, setting up new sales channels and enlarging your business we will approach you. As source of information we use available online platforms where IT companies offer their products and services or are looking for sales partners.

Of course you can also directly contact us if you want us to investigate the local potential of the European and Dutch market for you products and services.

The objective of Channel Management is to optimize the mix of sales channels through which companies can sell their products and services to consumers. IT Companies should constantly ask themselves the question: “Am I selling through the right channels?” By setting up a Channel Management function aligned with their Business and Marketing strategy companies can improve their business.

Local Business Services can support you setting up your Channel Management function and enable you to improve your market share.

Setting up a local channels outside your current territory must be seen and an investment. We can help you managing the risk by managing the process of managing your investment in a structured way. We take care your investment starts with a proper Business Cases and managed this as part of your portfolio, report on the sales pipeline progress and realizing the expected cost and benefits as defined in the Business Case.

Local Business Services can help you setting up a uniform investment proces and manage your investments as a portfolio optimising your ROI.

Local Business Services was founded in 2016 by Gerard Geerlings MSc who has 30+ years experience in IT working mostly in Sales & Marketing environments as Project Manager, Programme Manager, Investment Manager, Sales Manager and Lecturer Business Information Management.

Local Business Services B.V. 
Mobile: ++31 (0) 6 53 888 204 E-mail: localbusinessservicesnl@gmail.com

LinkedIn: Local Business Services B.V. Twitter: @LocalBusService

Channel Management: how to improve your market share in a fast changing world

The world is changing rapidly at this moment; the election of Donald Trump and Brexit are two examples of big changes which will have a lot if impact for the business of companies who sell their products and services on the world market.

While the last decades the main trend was to open markets, lower import taxes, get rid of boarders and support free trade this probably will change the coming years and will have big impact on us all. At the same time the distribution sector made it possible to transport goods all over the world for very low prices products which made it possible to produce goods at locations where they could be produced as cheap as possible and the same will happen for services outsourced to low income countries.

This will cause a lot of turbulence in the environment of companies who sell their products and services which will make it necessary for them to monitor these and take proactive actions to continue their business. And at the same time customers who have to buy products and services on an unstable market because protectionism will make products from outside the country more expensive and local products cheaper: the product landscape in their web shops and supermarkets will change significant the coming years!

What will happen when the UK decides to increase the tax products from the EU significant? What will be the impact when companies now producing in Asia must pay high import taxes when selling on the US market? What when China decides to transport products to Europe only with their own vessels? And what when a small local producer is becoming very popular because there is suddenly more demand because his product is suddenly added to a web shop for pricing reasons?

For this reason Channel Management will become more and more important because, companies continuously have to anticipate on these developments and take care their products and services keep being sold on the market through their channel network. In the past Channel Management was primary the domain of the distribution function but the marketing component will become more and more important and will need to be aligned with Business Planning when something changes in the economic and political environment of the company.

Local Business Services supports companies implementing Channel Management as a structural business function with the objective to optimize their mix of channels through which they sell their products and services to consumers. Companies should constantly ask themselves the question: “Am I selling through the right channels?” by setting up a function and process for Channel Management within the company aligned with their Business and Marketing strategy.

Local Business Services can support you to improve your Channel Management function and enable you to improve your market share by enabling you to anticipate early on new opportunities in a fast changing world and help you setting up or improving your Channel Management function:

Define a Strategy: Identify your current portfolio, margins and metrics, identify trends around your products and services, risks around current channels and the behavior of customers and important stakeholders influencing your business and potential scenario’s. We will investigate the following areas which could impact your business:

  • Currency and Stock Markets
  • Costing & Distribution
  • Marketing & Sales Channels
  • Direct & Indirect Tax (including customs)
  • Legal & Contracts
  • People/ HR-aspects
  • Financial Reporting

Per area will be investigated what actions you can take and define a Strategy which supports you building up your market position in a changing environment.

Design Channel Structure: Identify potential new channel opportunities based on your Strategy, analyse the impact of introducing new channels on your existing channels for your sales process, distribution and IT and design a new channel structure, portfolio and metrics. Take care both the channel strategy and structure are authorized by management and ownership is taken by the management team of the transition process by authorizing a proper business case regarding the new Channel Strategy and Structure both on costs and expected benefits.

Select Channel(s): Once having a channel strategy and structure start implementing this by selecting new channels and produce an implementation and transition plan how to implement the new channels. Based on this plan a budget should be allocated and ownership taken on the management level by appointing a channel manager responsible for the optimizing of the channel portfolio. Develop tools and support for upgrading your channel capabilities, implement the new channels and track the progress and define the metrics.

Implement Channel Structure: Implement the new channel structure in your organization: startup new channels, phase existing channels out you or to get rid of or change existing ones which underperform. Keep measuring the progress on your Channel metrics monthly both on channel value and margin.

Manage Channel(s): Once having implemented the new channel structure keep monitoring the key metrics on how your business is performing oer channel and keep tracking opportunities and threats in your environment.

Interested in knowing more about Channel Management? Contact us for planning a meeting or workshop for your organization.

Local Business Services B.V. 

Owner: Gerard Geerlings MSc

Mobile: ++31 (0) 6 53 888 204

E-mail: localbusinessservicesnl@gmail.com

Website: www.localbusinessservices.nl

Why do you need a Business Case?

In May this year a Dutch parliamentary committee investigated the Fyra High Speed train programme which costed the Dutch state 10,8b€ so far. The NS, 100% owned by the Dutch state, won the contract in 2003 after a public tender. The Fyra High Speed train, delivered by the Italian company AnsaldoBreda, supposed to travel from Amsterdam to Brussel connecting the Netherlands with the European High Speed network, never got used due to a lot of technical issues.  The NS was not capable to deliver according to the contract. 

What surprised me most during the public interviews of the key stakeholders by the parliamentary committee is that the initial Business Case for this huge project was not available any more. Both within the Ministry of Transport and the NS tried to find it but it was gone. According to the Dutch Ministers of Transports who were involved during the lead time of the programme the NS asked for more money all the time without giving detailed insight in the costs in relationship to the business case, simply because it was not there. Although 100% owner of the programme the Dutch state did not have a proper business case or took care a new one was made when they could not find it!

From a programme or project management point view unbelievable that you manage a project without knowing what the expected costs and benefits were in the business case approved by the business owner. A business case captures the reasoning for initiating a programme or project answering he basic question “Why should we make this investment?”. The business case gives you insight in the business need, the resources such as money and effort needed, the expected benefits, the risks involved etc.. And, once approved, it’s the foundation for the project plan and basis for reporting on the progress off the project, changes made in the project plan with impact on the business case should of course always be approved by the business owner.

The big question is of course why a big programme’s like Fyra can run for such long time without stakeholders asking themselves how the programme is performing against the expectations described in the initial business case. Probably the size and complexity, lack of technical knowledge In the political domain and focus on short term issues, instead of the whole picture play an important role. What you also see is that the role of the programme manager has changed in time. More and more programme managers have a business background and focus on the keeping the business satisfied while in the past programme managers had a project manager background. This means not much time is spend on the internal project focus so operational project issues and risks are not managed before but after they have already happened.

A strong business case is key for running a successful business and it is worthwhile spending time on the development of this. A business case captures the justification and reasoning for all this stakeholders for initiating a project to support a specific business need. And can be used for convincing of those you want to be involved or you need to make your business case successful: investors, partners, subcontractors, suppliers etc. By developing a business case you can conceptualize your business ambition and enable others to challenge if your case has real potential, which areas contain risks or you need external help etc.. So, don’t try to do this alone and involve as much people as possible. And, of course, don’t forget to involve the customer, the most the most important factor which will make your business case successful. Without involving the customer who needs to buy your product or service you will never be able to start a business, so involve your potential customers also as early as possible!