Adam Raczkowski, President & COO, W. F. Young, Inc.
“Albu Consulting has vast industry and academic knowledge coupled with their real world experience. They provided W. F. Young with a framework for creating a positive and profitable corporate direction. They did this in a manner that has minimized the guess work and builds upon intelligent selections. The end result is a well thought through strategic plan destination of choice, not chance.”
John Ragozzino, President, Ragozzino Foods
“We were experiencing rapid growth for the past few years and we turned to the UCONN Family Business Program (University of Connecticut) for help. They provided us with an outline of action steps we needed to take to manage our growth, and one of the recommendations was to form an outside Advisory Board.
I called the first name on the recommended list of advisors, Albu Consulting, a strategy consulting firm with experience working with family businesses. Dick Albu came to our offices to meet the family and discuss our issues. We were so impressed that we retained Albu Consulting on the spot, while putting off the Advisory Board until we had our strategy in place.
It has been one year since we started work with Albu Consulting and during that time we developed our strategic plan and put in place a strategy management system to manage the execution of the plan. Dick has been a great help in moving us from a family run business to a family owned business.
Dick’s wealth of experience and contacts throughout the business community has proven to be an invaluable asset to our growth, both professionally and personally. His commitment to our company is nothing short of fantastic. I would recommend Dick and his company to anyone looking to profitably grow their business.”
Noah Lapine, President, David S. Lapine, Inc.
As a third generation family owned business with nearly 50 years under our belts, opportunities had led us to stray from our core strengths and we were suffering the effects of being stretched without a plan to support our ambitions. We needed to clarify what we wanted to achieve in the future, and create a shared vision we could articulate to the entire organization.
Having met with several consulting firms we saw a wide spectrum of approaches ranging from those that wanted to “move in”, learn the business and tell us how to run it, to those that provided a generic template for the strategic planning process that gave no consideration to the specifics of our business. Albu Consulting struck us as the ideal middle ground to these extremes. There was enough time dedicated to understanding our business, and the process and plan worked very well with our people and personalities. Albu’s planning process provided a tried and true model that guided our efforts every step of the way.
The strategic plan was truly a defining moment for our company. It led us to make many critical decisions about our business all centered on narrowing our focus to our core strengths and then maximizing our success in these defined areas. Resulting actions ranged from eliminating whole departments and initiatives in areas where we saw little to no future growth, and shifting our investments to those areas that we saw as the future “stars” of our business. New positions defined, the organization was restructured and the strategic planning process became an integral part of our every-day operating philosophy.
Albu Consulting led the process while always reminding us that the organization was ours to run and the decisions were ours to make. Albu’s planning meetings were always well designed and helped us maintain a consistent focus. Most essential to me was Albu’s follow up, making sure that we saw the work through to its desired state.
We had great concerns going into this process that we would not be able to sustain an initiative like this in our organization and that we would not find a comfortable fit with a large consulting firm where we were likely to get lost amongst their portfolio of clients. With Albu Consulting we found a partner that has managed the process to our specific needs, supplemented our weaknesses and treated the process with the personal care and attention we would expect from such a relationship.
Alexander S. Guida III, Chairman, Guida’s Milk & Ice Cream
“The Board of Directors insisted upon a strategic planning process to guide growth and profitability. While interviewing Albu Consulting, we were impressed with its strong consumer goods background and its disciplined, professional approach. We had evolved very rapidly from a small local business to large regional dairy with many departments trying to decide our future. There is also a strong family dynamic that influences business decisions. Dick Albu’s skilled, hands-on approach worked well to draw out and engage both family and non-family alike. Albu Consulting’s follow through was complete, but not overbearing, allowing us to work and develop at our own speed. We are happy to have their assistance and would strongly recommend Albu Consulting.”
Steve Ciskowski, President/CEO The Lyman Farm, Inc.
“I was introduced to Albu Consulting, Inc. through a recommendation about eight years ago. At the time, we were looking to strengthen our operations base and develop a growth strategy that would leverage the Lyman brand and our core competencies. Albu Consulting’s wealth of experience in marketing and strategic planning was instrumental in that process. They helped us identify where our different businesses were in their life cycle and what future growth to expect, which proved to be invaluable to our strategic planning process.
Dick Albu’s objective, yet constructive advice, challenged our organization’s culture and aligning our strategic initiatives with our organizational resources. Dick’s network of industry professionals was also valuable in bringing additional resources to the table when needed.
Many of the goals we have achieved and are pursuing today are a direct result of working with Albu Consulting. Their engagement with us will have a positive impact on our business for years to come.”
Cindi Bigelow, President, R. C. Bigelow, Inc.
“We were looking for a consulting firm to provide us with an outside perspective on one of our new product ventures that was not meeting our expectation. Albu Consulting prepared a thorough and thoughtful business analysis of the situation and recommended pragmatic solutions that we took action on immediately.
Since that initial project, Albu Consulting has helped us on various other strategic projects over several years, from strategic assessments of our core specialty tea businesses providing valuable insights and focusing resources on the most promising opportunities, to pursuing growth opportunities through strategic alliance partnerships.
Albu Consulting’s strategic and marketing expertise, and Dick Albu’s breadth of experience in multiple consumer industries, and broad network of industry contacts and resources, has proven invaluable to us. We are very pleased with Dick Albu’s contributions and would highly recommend Albu Consulting to businesses looking to gain a competitive edge.”
Kevin Clark, Vice President of Marketing, Connolly Consulting, Inc.
We needed advice on positioning our company in a highly competitive business-to-business field where we were perceived as offering a commodity service.
Independent of each other, two different sources recommended Albu Consulting as the firm to turn to for help. Albu Consulting’s expertise in the consumer sector proved highly useful in helping to understand our industry quickly and provide the insightful strategy we needed to move forward.
Since our initial engagement, Connolly Consulting has turned to Albu Consulting two additional times for strategic advice on critical issues. We are confident our choice of Albu Consulting was the right one and would recommend them highly to anyone facing decisions that require thoughtful, practical, and timely advice.
Craig Finny, President, W. E. Bassett Company
“Albu Consulting was selected to facilitate our Strategic Planning process. Our goal was to update and upgrade our existing plan to a higher level to ensure we continued to successfully increase sales and maximize profits. Albu Consulting did an excellent job of challenging our key executives to address the brutal facts about our company and industry. The process helped surface key threats and opportunities, and plan specific action steps to address these. We are extremely pleased with our new strategy that will solidify our future success, by transforming our business to an international sales and marketing organization. Dick Albu was instrumental in taking our strategic plan process to the next level.”
Bill Bassett Sr., Former Chairman of The W. E. Bassett Company, Inc.
“In many ways Albu Consulting was a part of what got us over the finish line to sell our family business. We really couldn’t have built such a great company without the strategic plans and execution guidance Albu Consulting provided us over the years. Albu Consulting really did bring us along very well.”
Miguel Lugo, Director of Finance, Goya Foods Inc.
“As soon as we reached the first stage of designing a strategic plan at Goya, we began considering the assistance of a strategy consulting firm. We were looking for a qualified external resource that had both the appropriate experience in consumer goods and the ability to implement an effective management process. When we were introduced to Albu Consulting, it didn’t take long to realize that their business experience was sound, and even better, their work style fit well with the personalities of our management team. They adapted to our culture quickly, got control of the project very fast, and were always available when needed. Dick Albu personally introduced us to many new and important ideas and concepts. Albu Consulting planned and organized the entire process and coached us through every step. They established our working structure, facilitated our planning sessions, and created templates to streamline and simplify our work. Because of our relationship with Albu Consulting, we are enjoying very favorable results, and plan to continue using Albu Consulting in the future.”
Andy Unanue, Former Chief Operating Officer, Goya Foods, Inc.
We were introduced to Albu Consulting when we initiated a search for a consulting firm to work with us in developing a growth plan. Albu Consulting had the appropriate experience in consumer goods and their work style fit easily with the personalities of our management team enabling us to get into serious in-depth work quickly.
Dick Albu worked with us over the course of two years, contributing new and important ideas, planning and organizing the entire process, providing templates to simplify and unify our work, and guiding us through the new structure. Our management team now shares the same vision and is functioning more as a true “team”.
At Goya, we pride ourselves on our family atmosphere, so the personal hands-on approach was one of the things we enjoyed most about working with Dick Albu. I can confidently recommend Albu Consulting to any organization looking for solid, professional results.
Bob Jackson, former President & COO of HT Marketing, Inc., the exclusive USA distributor for Hawaiian Tropic sun care and other personal care products (HT Marketing, Inc. was sold in 1999 to Tanning Laboratories, Inc.)
“I have known Dick Albu for over 13 years. I first met Dick while conducting an extensive search for a strategy and marketing consulting firm. HT Marketing evaluated over 20 consulting firms and selected Dick’s firm because of their extensive consumer package goods experience with middle market and fortune 500 companies. In addition, we felt that Dick would personally fit well into our company culture.
Over our 8 years working with Albu Consulting, Dick became a critical member of our management team. Dick helped HT Marketing develop strategic plans and marketing strategies for our core business Hawaiian Tropic sun care, and for our other personal care products. In addition, Albu Consulting helped us develop and implement a proactive acquisition and joint venture search process. Through his leadership, he define our strategy, identify potential acquisition and joint venture targets, and he was part of our negotiating team.
Dick’s vast experience, range of knowledge and effectiveness can also be illustrated in his ability to bring new products to market. After researching a range of growth avenues to diversifying the company beyond sun care, we determined that one path was to create new products in profitable niche markets. Dick directed the entire new products development process to help us launch a cold sore product, including concept, product development, packaging, manufacturing, marketing and sales strategy, and distribution. He acted as our interim Vice President of Marketing for this project and truly created and implemented the entire business plan. This new product launch turned out to be a very successful venture for HT Marketing.
I believe Dick Albu is one of the most talented consultants in the business and if you want help to grow your business, you should consider retaining Albu Consulting.”
Hank McInerney, Former President & CEO, Tetley Inc.
“Albu Consulting assisted us on several occasions. Their business development skills and demonstrated ability to identify and seize opportunities effectively have been a great help to us.”
Don Richards, Former President of Lyman Orchards, a Connecticut-based company with the state’s largest indoor Farm Market, over 300 acres of fruit trees, two world class golf courses, and year round events for families, food and fun.
“We are very good at the daily operations of our business; however, we needed a better long-term strategic marketing plan, including a more focused, consistent and effective use of our marketing budget. On the recommendation of a business colleague, I called Albu Consulting.
I was impressed with Albu Consulting’s qualifications and experience, and Dick Albu’s professionalism and personality made him a great fit with our people, which is essential when choosing the right consultant. If we were moving in a direction that Dick did not agree with, while remaining open and listening, he used a professional approach to voice his concerns and suggestions. This was a refreshing change from our experience working with consultants who only want to do things their way.
We are thankful for the long-term strategic marketing plan, which Albu Consulting developed and have built upon for over two years now. They continue to develop and recommend fresh and innovative ideas and techniques for us to pursue new business. We are very happy with Albu Consulting and I strongly encourage you to give them a chance to help you grow your business.”
Robert V. Heffernan, Executive Director Connecticut Green Industries
“Albu Consulting was selected by the Connecticut Agriculture Cluster Committee to help develop a strategic plan for economic development. All of the business leaders on the committee (nursery, greenhouse, poultry, winery, fisheries, dairy, orchards, and mushrooms) were very pleased with Albu Consulting’s skills in pulling together the diverse needs of the industry into one comprehensive document that made sense and made a strong case for change. I was personally impressed with Albu Consulting, and would highly recommend them to other progressive companies that want to pull ahead of the pack and pursue real gains in profitability and market share.”
Larry McCulloch from Chamard Vineyards, and a member of the Connecticut Farm Wine Council, a group of vineyards working together to gain exposure for Connecticut wines.
“The Connecticut Farm Wine Council wanted to hire a consultant to help create a long-term strategic marketing plan specifically to promote CT wineries. We also needed a document to present to legislature for potential state funding.
Albu Consulting’s beverage expertise coupled with the work they did for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, gave us the specific blend of knowledge and experience we were looking for in a consultant. Right from the initial interview, we were impressed by Albu Consulting’s preparation and personal presence.
Through a systematic approach, Albu Consulting assimilated a great deal of information that we had been collecting for years and distilled it into a precise, workable strategic plan. Their collaborative approach taught us what goes into developing a highly effective strategy and gave us the tools to execute our newly developed plan. Dick Albu’s one-on-one style of consulting was easy to work with and his facilitation skills maximized our productivity.
When people have a tight budget, they may question whether or not a consultant is worth the money. I can tell you Albu Consulting was well worth the investment! Not only did they help create a working long-term strategic marketing plan, the document created resulted in the state funding we were seeking. I recommend Albu Consulting to anyone who is looking to develop strategic marketing plans to increase sales.”
Aldo Uva, former Regional Vice President/President & CEO of Sara Lee Coffee & Tea North America
“Dick Albu, president of Albu Consulting, was contracted to lead a joint Sara Lee and Philips US management team to successfully launch the Senseo single-cup home coffee system into the US market. Much of Senseo’s launch success should be attributed to the team’s dedication, vision and focus on execution excellence, and to the perfect coordination and leadership Dick provided. Dick and his team developed Senseo’s US entry strategy, paying careful attention to how, when and where Senseo would impact the marketplace, and identifying the key business drivers needed to be successful. I would confidently recommend Albu Consulting to any organization or business unit looking to optimize strategy and improve management effectiveness.”
Bob Gilbert, President, Bel/Kaukauna U.S.A. – the US subsidiary of Fromageries Bel, S.A., Paris, France.
Our parent corporation developed a vision statement that we liked, but which did not really resonate with the American team. We saw this as an opportunity to develop our own vision, one that supported the corporate statement, one that we would own, and one that would guide us. I retained Albu Consulting to help us.
Dick Albu did a great job of preparing, moderating and leading the team through an intensive two-day strategic work session. Dick met with members of the management team beforehand to help them prepare for the strategy session. During the session, Dick used a variety of tools to make the process fun, disciplined and productive. Some exercises were traditional, like the SWOT analysis, and others were more creative. Following the strategy session, Dick worked with me alone to transition the strategy session findings and conclusions to the vision and strategies for the American Company. The need for an action plan to support the vision was quickly apparent and we embarked on that project. Dick worked with the management team, individually and as a group, to facilitate the development of the action plan, translating the new vision to specific projects.
The result was a vision and business plan that I presented to the corporation (to rave reviews) and that is still relevant. Dick is well organized, has a deep reservoir of practical knowledge and was able to meet a timetable that was nearly impossible. Using an outside resource like Albu Consulting enabled me to participate in the process as a team member, rather than as a President. I would not hesitate to recommend him or to use him again in the future.
Robert Krist, Senior Vice President Business Planning of Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes plc
“We needed a consultant to develop a growth strategy, including the evaluation of potential acquisitions. Having witnessed Albu Consulting’s good work on a previous project, it was natural to choose them to help us complete this assignment. They impressed us with their high level of integrity and productivity; and their work manner put everyone at ease. They worked with us to structure a growth strategy and taught us a process, rather than keeping us at arms length as consultants often do.
To ensure we had the best information possible, Albu Consulting accessed an impressive network of highly experienced specialists giving us a real edge on gaining insight into several acquisition candidates. Once we identified several acquisition targets, they had a great ability to gain entrance into these companies, which quickly opened a lot of doors for us. Because of their trustworthiness and ability to work with people, I felt extremely comfortable having Albu Consulting represent our interests as an agent of Mott’s.
Our six-year association with Albu Consulting has been collaborative, educational and most rewarding. With the groundwork that they established, Mott’s has made several successful acquisitions. I would highly recommend Albu Consulting to any organization planning to grow their business through a proactive acquisition search process.”
Hank Udow, Director of M&A, Cadbury Schweppes
“Albu Consulting was retained to advise us on a multi-billion dollar acquisition. Their hard work, effort and thought were truly appreciated. Our Board members were impressed at the quality of the presentation and the discussion at our meeting. We also recognize the extremely tight time deadline and resulting pressure under which your team had to work.”
Joseph Dattoli, Former Vice President/General Manager, Perugina Brands of America
“Perugina Brands retained Albu Consulting on several major growth strategy projects which involved key business decisions for our company. In each case they have provided us with excellent strategic thinking and fact based recommendations. They have been comprehensive and thorough in their analysis, and skilled at assessing and identifying growth opportunities that are practical and realistic.”
Lou Nieto, former Vice President of Strategy for a division of Dean Foods, Inc.
“When we decided to develop a clearly articulated acquisition strategy, I began to search for a consultant who could quickly become part of our team without feeling the need to take over control of the process.
We were looking for an organization with the knowledge and expertise to help us achieve our desired goal. Albu Consulting was a logical choice for us. I had seen Dick Albu work with another division of Dean Foods and was impressed with the quality of work and his ability to work easily with others. His know-how was exceptional, but equally as important was his professional, yet friendly working style and personality.
Albu Consulting played a key role as a member of our team, working with us to develop our acquisition strategy and identify acquisition targets. They fundamentally understood what we were trying to achieve and were instrumental in the successful outcome of the project. If you are looking for an acquisition in the food or beverage category, Albu Consulting’s industry experience, and understanding of the needs and challenges of the business, coupled with their ability to work with a team, will serve you well.”