We Reflect on Our New Brand, Refreshed Service Lines and Discuss What Lies Ahead.
“Who do we want to be?” It’s a question every business should ask themselves – not only at their genesis, but at significant points throughout their history. It offers an important opportunity to re-center on goals, reassess strategies and realign that which is most important for the business.
After more than a decade as MGMT3D, the time came for us to take a look inward, as well. Ten years is a major milestone, and a lot has changed in that time. In 2021, we sat down and took a long look at our brand, our go-to-market strategy, our service lines and our vision for the future. Now, with that work behind us, a new and exciting effort begins as we roll into 2022. The first order of business? Unveiling our new name and brand to the world: Blue Ops.
Why Blue Ops? We’ll be the first to admit, the name MGMT3D wasn’t all that memorable. And after ten years, it didn’t carry much meaning for us anymore. We chose the name “Blue Ops” because it represents two of our most fundamental pillars.
First, the color blue is known for evoking feelings of trust, honesty and responsibility. It is used worldwide by politicians, artists and brands to convey this very idea. When it comes to our brand, it’s the heart and soul of our mission: we aim to be the most trusted partner of private equity and investment banking firms as they prepare to buy, operate & sell companies.
We chose the second word, “Ops,” because we are a tactical asset that can come in and execute our clients’ most challenging jobs with surgical precision. Someone they can turn to in order to de-risk critical processes and transitions through the M&A and ownership cycle. Whether that’s turning complex due diligence analyses on a dime or operating integral roles hands-on for the portfolio companies, we’re the team that gets results.
The new Blue Ops name and identity is something we are truly proud of, and something that represents not only who we’ve become, but who we aspire to be going forward, as well.
A Reimagining of Our Services
Along with our name, we took a long, hard look at our services. The challenge here has always been capturing our wide breadth of expertise. Blue Ops is a business that is really designed around the customers: private equity firms, investment banks and portfolio companies. The number of potential services under that umbrella numbers in the dozens, if not the hundreds. While that’s a good thing for our customers, it’s not exactly the easiest thing to market.
In reimagining how we talk about our services, we looked to private equity’s virtuous circle. Funds are raised, deals are sourced and evaluated and then the climb up the mountain begins: due diligence, M&A, integration, value creation, sale preparation and then the final sale execution with the investment bank.
We focus specifically on that difficult climb from the initial due diligence to the final sale. In our experience, most problems during this period occur due to critical gaps in either people, processes, systems, or some combination thereof. Blue Ops is purpose-built to fill these gaps in the framework where the vast majority of problems arise.
We’ve taken the analogy of the “climb” from acquisition to sale as inspiration for our new slate of services, which now mirror critical phases of the cycle: Recon, Onboard, Traverse, Primer and Summit. Here’s how they break down:
Recon: Buy-Side Due Diligence
Private equity firms today need deeper due diligence, faster than ever before. We greatly enhance their abilities to do so with tech-enhanced analysis via our Diligent® M&A Software and our team of analysts, advisors and data scientists. With the help of Diligent, we can turn once “impossible” analysis that used to take weeks in days or even hours, giving clients huge advantages in both speed and certainty. Explore Recon here.
Onboard: Post-M&A Integrations
The integration process is a common stumbling block for many newly-acquired portfolio companies and/or their individual operating companies. There are hundreds of post-M&A tasks to deal with in the first 100 days alone, which often fall on the shoulders of finance departments that are stressed well beyond capacity. We can help here with proven people, processes & systems. We have experienced operators ranging from CFO, to analyst, controller and everything in between – they can be used as flex assets to fill gaps and expand bandwidth. We have established processes – playbooks to spin up everything from audit to lender reporting and several other post-M&A tasks. And we have systems that can automate busywork like reporting, planning and analysis tasks – giving the finance team back much-needed time for value creation. Learn more about Onboard here.
Traverse: F&A Support and Transformation
The climb up the mountain is long and the challenges of the value creation process are many. Blue Ops can offer project/initiative support throughout the holding period – providing interim in-seat support for finance and accounting roles, de-risking key transitions with proven playbooks, and piloting system transitions that increase efficiency. Explore Traverse here.
Primer: Sell Side Preparation and Advisory
In the last 6-12 months leading up to the sale, countless analyses need to be prepared for the investment bank and dozens of aspects of the business need to be buttoned-up to prevent issues later during the sale process. Blue Ops is the most experienced team in the business when it comes to preparing for an M&A event, in fact, we played critical roles in the pre-sale process for 89 deals in 2021 alone. Our Primer service encompasses all things surrounding sell side readiness: reverse diligence, analytics and reporting automation, providing in-seat personnel to solve issues or pilot initiatives, and much more. Learn about Primer here.
Summit: Tech-Enabled Sale Execution
Our Summit service is tailored to our investment banking customers. Using our Diligent® M&A Software, we provide tech-enhanced sell-side analytics with blazing speed. This allows our investment banking clients to build a more robust story with unique analyses and enables faster fielding of buyer Q&A. This, in turn, helps the i-bankers take more potential buyers deeper into the process, driving competitive tension and resulting in higher exit multiples. With Blue Ops technology and people at their disposal, our investment banking partners to execute more deals with fewer people and make more money faster. Explore Summit here.
As we look ahead to a new year under a new brand, we asked members of our leadership team how they felt about the transition and what they were most looking forward to in this next chapter in our company’s history. Here’s what they had to say.
“While this is a new brand, I am excited about the shift from MGMT3D to Blue Ops.” Senior Partner Mark Zurcher said. “I look forward to partnering and being a trusted guide, continuing to help founders and private equity firms succeed in the New Year.”
Partner John Derus added, “I’m very proud of the organization we have built over the last ten years, extremely appreciative of our clients that we’ve served along the way, and I am inspired by the extraordinary team we’ve assembled to deliver value. As we transition to this next phase of our journey, I look forward to continuing our pursuit of innovative solutions, developing deeper relationships with our clients and expanding our team of exceptional people.”
Finally, Senior Partner Mike Skillingstad concluded “It’s an honor to be doing what I love with so many remarkable people and amazing clients. After more than a decade, I still wake up each morning excited to go to work. Blue Ops isn’t just a name change for me. The name represents a commitment to stay true to who we are. We may never be the biggest, but we will absolutely work to be the best and the most trusted.”
Interested in learning how Blue Ops could potentially help you? Get in touch with our business development team for a free consultation.