Case Studies


Eroding dealer relations were depressing the manufacturer’s sales performance.

A leading manufacturer has demonstrated excellent core competency in developing and delivering innovative new water quality products. However, the difficulty of coordinating the needs and demands of over 200 dealers caused mixed internal and consumer messaging. This led to less than acceptable sales growth and eroding dealer relations.


The manufacturer’s new dealer network, created in strategic partnership with SEAS, has improved communications between stakeholders and accelerated growth.

On the strength of our proven performance and deep relationships in the dealer markets, the SEAS team was engaged to develop a long-term strategy for the manufacturer’s corporate and dealer success. We conducted extensive corporate, dealer, and consumer interviews, and from the insights gained, we created the architecture for a productive relationship and growth strategy between the stakeholders.

This work led to the creation of a fully engaged, non-profit, dealer-owned association. Relations between stakeholders have improved, with a singular and professional dealer voice working hand in hand with its manufacturer/partner.

The association, through its board and committees, works closely with the manufacturer to develop industry-leading products, branding, and strategy. The dealer association has launched an advanced training system for its network to support product advancement and business “best practices.” The manufacturer and its newly formed dealer network now enjoy a sustained growth rate nearly double that of the industry and its peer group.


Knowing their new target, this industry leader next needed their plan of attack.

A major U.S. manufacturer of water quality products aimed to greatly expand their water filtration holdings in North American markets. The company critically needed a “success first” strategy for deployment. This strategy would need to entail product gap development, consumer preference research, and an overview of the current global market, including growth targets and data analytics.


Success in the new market has followed from the manufacturer’s choice of SEAS to help develop the strategy, set the performance metrics, and see the plan through.

After receiving a strong endorsement for SEAS from another of our corporate clients, the manufacturer engaged our team to lead the strategy’s development. We advised the manufacturer on market development, business acquisitions, and deployment processes.

Our collaboration with this client was highly interactive at every stage of the project. The manufacturer was consistently professional in their dealings with SEAS, and strongly decisive on the recommended strategy. The company’s continued growth and success in the market today is a testament to their long-term culture of success and leadership. SEAS has been proud to support this manufacturer’s continued achievement.


So busy for so long, this top dealer was unprepared for changes needing to come.

A semi-branded/independent long-term dealer has a great business with ample cash flow for operations and owner benefit. But the owner is getting older and has not had time to plan an exit or transition strategy. He also now has a concerning health issue.

This is a family business. One of the siblings is a key employee, but does not have the funding or critical management experience to take the business over without great risk to the parents’ financial future (a very common market problem).

Though a sale of the business would provide immediate results, the family would have no legacy or long-term control for family or key staff members. They also do not want to sell to the “BIG” branded competitor they have competed with for their entire existence. This would leave their customers to perceived sub-standard products and services.


SEAS helped the dealer realize a forward-looking strategy and plan that’s already yielding growth, while protecting the family’s business ownership and benefit.

The dealer retained SEAS to perform a “deep dive” of their business financials, markets, opportunities, and special attributes. Since SEAS operates its own “test kitchen” dealerships, we are highly trusted to provide advisement based upon proven outcomes.

The SEAS team provided a current business summary for the dealer, followed by a “go forward” strategy, including valuations, process improvement, finance restructuring, and a three-year business model plan. The plan allows key family members to retain the business long-term while giving the older family owners an acceptably safe financial exit.

The SEAS team helped guide and execute the plan for the trailing 12 months. Sales growth of 35% resulted. The dealer’s “core team” now internally facilitates the protected future of a well-run, well-guided business providing benefit and legacy for the family.


The dealer had the money, but not the process, to confidently move on the buy.

A dealer had an opportunity to buy a competitor that would add a key location and greatly expand their business. The dealer had ample cash reserves to fund the acquisition, but not the process to be sure that both business locations and systems run properly.

The dealer knew of fellow dealers who had similarly pursued acquisitions without a clear process, and jeopardized their businesses. Yet the dealer felt they could not afford to pass up on the acquisition target for fear of a “big” branded competitor buying it up.

The situation felt very risky either way. It was a business problem both complex and common in the water quality industry. Dealers must grow to survive – through economies of scale and increased buying power – or slowly fade into irrelevance.


The SEAS team’s analysis led to a strategy that not only guided a successful acquisition – it also accelerated growth from the dealer’s original location.

The dealer engaged the SEAS team to analyze their current business and provide a valuation for the new business, as well as a “combined entity” scope valuation.

This analysis provided a strategy for due diligence in purchasing the new business. It also delivered a “gap analysis” for detailing what was necessary to develop the right business processes, personnel systems, inventory and financial controls, and regular reporting of metrics for the entire company. The result was a successful acquisition with an enhanced operating system, an added location, and a 20% growth rate from the original location.


The company was highly successful for decades – yet unprepared for the future.

A long-term privately held company had enjoyed tremendous growth and benefit over the past 25 years, yet had not deployed capital or product evolution for future growth.

As the company’s markets and consumers were changing, the company had fallen behind in reimagining their business. Margins were falling and cash reserves were low. While the business could survive by continuing its good work ethic, it was gradually losing market share to providers of newer, more efficient products, processes, and services. The company knew that sure and strong action would be needed for long-term survival.


It’s not just the projections, plans, and processes. SEAS has taken a significant equity stake in this company’s commitment to continued leadership and growth.

SEAS was retained to analyze the business, its history, and market analytics. We deeply and intensely focused on understanding the ownership’s desires for outcomes and what they wanted to accomplish. This allowed us to develop a strategic market and ownership structure plan to place the company in a longer-term position of market leadership.

The SEAS team provided a new corporate structure and business plan that includes a 30% SEAS equity investment. The term investment gives original ownership a buyout option after five years, letting them take the wheel of their newly structured, industry-leading business. SEAS also provides a valued partner bringing professional guidance to the full team. This has helped to create a successful, winning environment and culture.

Dive In!

Contact us to arrange a free one-hour consultation with SEAS. We’ll discuss your needs and explore ways to meet them. More »

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Clients and Affiliations

SEAS has provided consulting to over 200 leading companies in the water quality industry. Clients rely on us to conduct in-depth analyses, interviews, and process testing to help determine the best ways forward. Our understanding of your market is unmatched.