NEWPORT ADVISORS HELP NUSURA EXPAND ITS CLOUD-BASED SOFTWARE COMPANY’S GROWTH
Mark Amann, CEO of Nusura, Inc., describes his company’s experience working with Newport.
Our company, located in Denver, is a rapidly growing software and services company that helps organizations prepare for crises and emergencies.
Newport advisors helped us take advantage of a key customer’s request that we license our cloud-based software to them to run on their in-house systems. We had no experience in enterprise licensing--it was totally new territory for us. Bill Heermann and his Newport Partners helped us think about how to design and implement an enterprise licensing business model including pricing, licensing terms and marketing.
Nusura has grown very quickly and we expect to more than double our business in the next two years. Success is great, but it can be hard to deal with. We really are a second stage company, no longer a start-up. And we are outgrowing a lot of the ways we did business when we were smaller. Our financial management systems and reports were pretty simple--really just recording cash in and cash out.
To plan and finance our growth, we needed processes and systems that would provide a more accurate, sophisticated picture of the health, growth and future potential of the business. And to obtain growth capital, we needed a new banking relationship to help us with a larger line of credit and other treasury management services.
Newport’s counsel and advice were just what we needed. Bill explained why banks would be reluctant to lend based on the information our old systems generated. He helped us recast our financial reports so that bankers could easily understand our business, and he introduced us to several banks that were interested in working with us.
We have been building and maintaining our software over many years on a pay-as-you-go basis, which recorded our software spending as an expense, not an asset. Newport helped us document and show lenders that these outlays were not expenses, but rather an investment. Now banks see our software as an asset that collateralizes our working capital line. In fact, we qualified for a larger line than we actually need.
It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur and it’s a real thrill to build a business out of nothing but an idea. Most entrepreneurs, like my co-founders and I, are deep experts in our fields, but we don’t know what we don’t know. Advisors like Bill and his Newport colleagues have seen and learned things in many years of building businesses that I have never seen before. It’s good to know that I’m not the first one to face these challenges. I encourage my fellow entrepreneurs to give Newport and its Partners serious consideration as a productive addition to your leadership team.
Digital Advertising Agency Mogo Marketing & Media Engaged Newport Board Group For Help With Their Growth Plan.
Doug Mowbray, CEO of Mogo and Sheri Mowbray CFO of Mogo comment on their firm’s relationship with Newport:
Growth With Predictability
“Mogo is a digital advertising agency with cutting-edge solutions focused on the needs of middle-market clients in a select group of vertical industries.
From a strategic perspective, we engaged Newport for assistance with developing and executing a well-planned growth agenda for our company. We had been growing quite rapidly for the past few years and we knew we needed help if we were going to achieve our full potential. We were a classic "No Man’s Land" organization in that we had grown too large to continue operating the way we had when we were a 5-person company, but we weren’t quite large enough to have all the skills required to elevate our performance to the next level. Newport was able to help us integrate all the necessary elements of a solid growth plan and has worked closely with us in carefully executing the plan.
Working Across the Organization
In addition to directly supporting us in our roles as CEO and CFO, Newport Partner Kevin Poole has worked with our entire leadership team on a number of initiatives including strengthening the budgeting process, creating a long-term employee incentive plan and identifying a number of productivity initiatives. Newport also helped us extend our industry-based sales focus beyond the Arts vertical to include Entertainment, Education, Public Media and Sports. Kevin has become a valued member of our leadership team whom we all turn to for advice on a wide range of topics. When he isn’t able to personally address one of our needs, he is able to draw on the skills and experience of the other 80 Newport partners across the US.
Positioning for the Future
Our long-term plan for the agency includes a likely merger with a larger media company, such as a traditional advertising agency or perhaps a publishing company. Most of Newport’s efforts have been directly related to increasing the value of our company and enhancing our attractiveness to a potential merger partner. With Newport’s assistance, we have more than doubled in size over the past two years and have increased our profitability as well.
We are quite excited about what the future holds for Mogo and our staff, and we are thankful for the contributions Newport has made along the way.”
Doug Mowbray, CEO & Owner
Sheri Mowbray, CFO & Owner
Mogo Marketing & Media
Middle Market PE Firm LongVue Capital Uses Newport OpenPhoneTM to Find Operating Partners to Team with on Due Diligence and Portfolio Company Growth.
Carol Hance, Managing Director of New Orleans-based LongueVue Capital, comments on her firm’s relationship with Newport:
“We have had the opportunity to work with Newport Board Group on several occasions via our OpenPhone agreement with them and have been very impressed with the in-depth industry knowledge and overall expertise of its partners.
We invest across many industry segments and appreciate the ability to access industry specific knowledge from experienced operating professionals via the Newport OpenPhone arrangement. We recently turned to Newport to support our due diligence efforts for a transaction in the retail store fixture space. We didn’t want just another consulting firm but rather a senior individual who was deeply ingrained in the space and had overseen projects and strategies that were similar to the ones we would implement with our portfolio company.
Insight for Due Diligence
Our contacts at Newport quickly referred us to their partner Helen Bulwik. Prior to our visiting the management team and submitting a proposal, Helen provided an industry perspective on the opportunity that was informed by her decades of experience in the retail space. She also worked with us to identify key areas of diligence that were important to address prior to moving forward with a letter of intent. Helen worked as a member of our deal team, attending diligence visits with management, participating in customer and vendor calls, and summarizing her findings to us in a comprehensive report.
On-going Role on Portfolio Company Board
Her industry perspective was instrumental in sizing up the opportunity, identifying key diligence areas, and gearing up for post-closing value creation. Helen will continue to work with us as a member of the Board.
We find Newport Board Group to be a very valuable resource for us and, perhaps just as importantly, enjoy working with the partners.”
Carol W. Hance
LongueVue Capital, LLC
Owners of a Growing Custom Equipment Solutions Firm, Joule Processing, Believe That Newport’s CEO Advisory Services Help Them Make Better Decisions, Assuring Their Business Thrives.
Ben Victor, CEO of Houston-based Joule Processing, comments on his organization’s relationship with Newport:
"Newport’s assistance with developing and defining our positioning as a leader in providing customized solutions in the natural gas processing, separation, and liquids handling arena was key.
We’ve honed our culture and messaging both internally and with our customers. We have clarity about our value proposition, the importance of strong processes and leadership. We’ve brought on board the key skill sets needed to support and grow with our customers.
Industry-specific Contacts and Knowledge
We are experts at refrigeration and natural gas liquids handling (stabilization and fractionation), but like many executives, we’re still honing our ‘business’ expertise. When looking to form an advisory board, our financial institution referred us to Newport Board Group’s Kim Denney. She’s not only helped us with internal processes and taught us better ways to evaluate and hire employees, she’s also connected us to potential clients and expanded our network. We’re always in the market working to better serve our existing and future customers. We’ve grown to trust Kim and know that no matter the situation, Kim or one of her partners or contacts has seen it before and will provide valuable insight in support of our next steps.
Kim is thought of as a trusted confidant by our entire team, and that has allowed us to focus on a wide variety of topics. Both Joule Processing and Newport value the ability to nimbly deal with each new opportunity, exploring options, prioritizing actions and optimizing our response.
At Joule Processing we’re equally focused on improving our processes and internal operations as we are committed to serving our customers with practical, optimized designs that meet the breadth of challenges facing the natural gas processing market today. Our long-standing relationship with Newport Board Group assures that we challenge ourselves every day, and brings us the experience and insight that we need to thrive.”
Benjamin Victor, CEO and Co-Founder
Joule Processing, LLC
Newport Board Advisor Brings Seasoned Judgment, “Infectious Energy”
The Culpeper Wellness Foundation is a community health foundation in Virginia, formed as a result of the acquisition of a community hospital by an academic medical center, and a subsequent partnership with another sizable health care system. Our Wellness Foundation is a grant-making resource and management entity that runs several operating programs.
In 2013, Laura Bingham of Newport Board Group was engaged by the hospital board and CEO to evaluate the effectiveness of our fundraising and community outreach. Then in a subsequent engagement, she advised us on how to improve the foundation’s effectiveness by building consensus and strategy around the new foundation’s philosophy, staffing, funding and community positioning.
Laura has basically provided Culpeper the benefit of a fresh look, supported by her experience in a wide range of leadership roles. In doing so she has brought our organization a lot of new energy. In her first engagement for us, she did an excellent job interviewing board members and developing insights about our biggest challenges. Her report had a number of recommendations that were very much on target. Both the hospital and foundation boards were very much impressed by it.
As the foundation evolved after spin-off by the UVA Hospital, it became apparent that we needed some help with structural issues. We re-engaged Laura to lead us through a strategic planning process. She led a board planning session that has started to generate some important decisions. For this project, she has interviewed the management team, board members and community leaders, whose response has been very positive.
As an advisor, Laura brings a high level of energy that is infectious. She is direct yet constructive in how she gathers information and formulates and communicates recommendations. Everyone in our organization has been pleased by her work and considers it helpful in moving Culpeper forward.
Chair of the Board of Trustees, UVA Culpeper Hospital; former Chair of the Culpeper Wellness Foundation
Newport Advisor "Stays and Implements"
"Armand Shapiro and Newport have been instrumental in helping me with several of the companies that I am involved with. As an entrepreneur, I love to put ideas, people and capital together to create new business ventures. I realized early on the value of having a third party looking over my shoulder and helping me evaluate the ideas, businesses, management, operations and all other aspects of the business before we invest and after we are fully invested.
When we were looking for an advisor, we didn't want just another consulting firm to charge a huge upfront fee and give us a thick report. We wanted someone who had "been there and done that!" Someone who had the real world experience from which to draw. Armand fit that profile perfectly.
In addition, we really liked the reasonable fee structure and the fact that Armand would "stay" with us through implementation. Too many times companies pay consultants and advisors huge fee's to write a report that stays in the drawer. We wanted someone to help us plan but also to help us execute.
I highly recommend Armand and Newport to any company, large or small, that is looking to take their business to the next level. The highest compliment I can pay to Armand and Newport is the fact that I have referred him to several of my valuable contacts/friends and they have retained Armand and have also been happy with the results."
Jon Silberman, Co Management Partner
Newport Partner "Asks The Right Questions"
"Kim Denney has been a positive force within our company by challenging our management team in ways they’ve never been challenged before.
And they like it. She brings to us the management experience she gained from her years with a global company. She asks the right questions, and from that we learn. It’s been a great experience."
Daryn Lewellyn, President
Newport Partner Helps Accomplish Key Milestones
"Jennifer Knight has been a key element to the accomplishment of several milestones in the last six months. From assistance with the recruiting and hiring of a key Operations Manager to financial advice on growth strategies, she has been with us every step of the way.
As a bold and strategic company going through No Man’s Land, it is reassuring to be able to rely on the know-how of an advisor with an extensive breadth of experience in our industry.
At this crucial time, and as we move on to the next step in our business growth, it is essential to rely on an advisor so willing to provide sound input on the road ahead. Jennifer’s openness and dedication to helping us is exceptional and admirable. We see her as a very special mentor and friend."
Ivan Rincon, CEO
Mayra Jimenez, CCO
The Orchid Boutique