Mission: For more than 20 years, we’ve been providing corporations and private equity firms with clear, actionable, fact-based strategic advice on growth, profit improvement and M&A.
Stax is a nimble mid-sized firm with big-firm credentials.
Our clients tell us they like how we listen, get to the heart of the matter quickly, develop clear fact-based answers, and leave them with practical next steps. And that we do all this without getting in the way of them running their business. They frequently note how differentiated this all is in the world of strategic consulting, urging, “Don’t lose that.” They can rest assured: We won’t.
Our staff has unmatched opportunities for personal growth. Unlike larger firms, where new team members typically wait years for direct client interaction, and far longer to lead engagements in partner-heavy environments, our combination of smaller size and prestigious clients exposes staff to such opportunities far sooner than the big firms. Along the way, they’re working side by side with—and learning from—some of the smartest people in the business.
Whether it’s solving critical business issues or building careers, Stax brings you things that other firms just can’t match.
We develop fact-based analyses and insights, helping executives and their teams make critical business decisions. Common areas of analysis focus on:
Stax helps businesses of all stripes, sizes, and geographies drive organic growth. Our services cover the full scope of market and segment sizing, and opportunity assessment. We identify, size, and help prioritize new growth opportunities, where a company’s value proposition fits best with a market and/or segment. Stax helps clients see where they can win market share, expand their product line, enter adjacent new markets, reduce churn, and launch in new geographies.
Stax helps clients bring more revenue to the top line and deploy capital more effectively to bolster the bottom line. We look at the key levers that drive each client’s profitability, and analyze which levers make the greatest difference. Frequently, we look at customer profitability, pricing, working capital optimization, site selection, and marketing expenditures. We benchmark productivity and make actionable recommendations that lead to profit improvement.
Stax helps clients optimize their sales and marketing activities to generate higher returns. We perform detailed customer segmentation analyses, understand customers’ buying processes, look across sales and marketing channels, and determine the optimal sales process and sales force deployment. Our engagements help clients allocate sales and marketing resources to drive growth.
Stax helps companies assess and prioritize various market opportunities. Such decisions are based on a deep understanding of the trends and relative growth rates in different markets, how well a company’s products and value proposition fit in a market and in specific segments, and the various risks involved.
M&A is often a central part of a business’s strategy, whether a corporation is looking for increased distribution or expansion into adjacent markets, or a private equity firm is looking for investments in specific categories that generate the best returns. Stax provides advisory support at every step: from determining whether acquisition is the best way to achieve corporate objectives and defining key candidate criteria, to sifting through the universe of potential targets (Deal TriageTM), conducting due diligence to fully vet those that look promising, identifying operational-improvement opportunities, and maximizing ultimate sale value at exit. Stax helps craft acquisition strategies and even conducts initial candidate screening.
Once a deal is consummated, Stax works with portfolio companies’ management teams to develop strategies to realize the company’s full potential. Stax brings all of its capabilities to bear in developing 90-day plans that include identifying opportunities for organic revenue growth, profit improvement, geographic expansion, entry into adjacent markets or channels, and sales optimization. We’re frequently brought in by management mid-ownership cycle for key needs, and to support short- and long-term value maximization in preparing companies for exit, whether exit is expected in three years, one year, or even three months.
We understand the context in markets, the forces driving change, the pressures that industries face, and the incentives of each of the players in the value chain. Listening to your specific requests and needs, we suggest an approach to match situation and stage in decision making, with the best methodology and process to get you a solid answer, quickly and reliably.
Beyond looking at what is happening in markets and with customers; we delve deeply to understand why it is happening and to understand cause-and-effect relationships.
Stax is not locked onto a pre-set hypothesis; we are data-driven. We are resourceful, analytically rigorous, intellectually honest, and draw conclusions based on data. We’re comfortable questioning historic thinking for a fresh test.
With 20 years of experience performing deep dives for clients, we know how to frame questions that yield actionable answers. We are experts at finding the right data (whether within a company or residing externally), developing new information via primary research, aggregating all of this data, and analyzing it to develop actionable answers and insights. Our data-driven work includes:
Because we are often engaged to perform similar types of analyses (like market sizing, sales resource allocation, or customer segmentation), we have developed a series of frameworks that help client teams see the opportunity and analytic structure we pursue together. Stax’s Fast Frameworks yield fast, granular, actionable answers, without having to reinvent the wheel. While every situation is unique, the process to quickly answer key strategic questions doesn’t have to be.
The best outcomes come from partnerships with management. Working with management teams to understand goals, actionable outcomes, and resources and constraints ensures high return of time and investment.
Improving a business is a journey that requires blending insights and team management. Any major investment decision requires the team to be around the table with a fact base and analysis. Stax works in concert with our client teams on an iterative basis to ensure actionable outcomes that are fully vetted and a true team effort with management, not a solution imposed on them. In doing so, we use our clients’ time efficiently.
For each engagement, Stax constructs a diverse team with complementary skills. We create skill-specific teams as needed, to partner with our industry-knowledgeable consulting teams. Skill-specific teams scale up and down based on client and team needs, ensuring maximum client value and content-rich, actionable results.
How we do it is best described as both big-picture strategic and highly actionable. Stax helps companies with their most important strategic and competitive questions. But unlike many consulting firms, we don’t provide impractical, academic models and treatises. We specialize in granular, transparent analysis that is rich, insightful, practical, and actionable. We don’t publish books and don’t have affiliated research institutes; we do provide actionable, data-driven answers to clients’ critical strategic questions. This is why clients love Stax and hire us over and over.
Why Stax? Good people, interesting work, engagement with smart and high level clients, room to grow based on the merits of your work – not your years – and limited travel compared to industry benchmarks. Your initiative is welcomed.
Stax offers a unique diversity of experience for staff members at all levels. Our engagements involve 4-12 week deep dives into varying industries, companies, customer groups and geographies. Our consultants work across an array of project types and quickly gain exposure to a wide range of industries. We work with investment firms of all sizes and companies across life stages, from early growth to mature. You’ll learn the different perspectives of corporate managers and investors of every type, the various elements that go into running and growing companies and how best to be a valuable partner.
We are hiring for consulting and data analytics positions in the U.S. and Sri Lanka. Interested candidates should submit an online application to their location of interest.
Stax is a great opportunity to work on a variety of projects across many industries. From commercial due diligence in health care to blue-sky corporate strategy in consumer products, you see a wider range of projects than most other consulting firms. Because it’s a boutique firm and teams are small, associates have the opportunity to own work streams and contribute more than you would at other firms. It's a work environment where your time and insights are valued, where you will be continuously challenged intellectually.
Can't really complain about the work life balance. While you shouldn’t expect a 9-5 work day, the hours do seem to be a lot better than most of my friends who also work in consulting. Another big benefit is the lack of travel, which is rare in the industry and something that personally makes a huge difference.
Stax is also growing rapidly, recently expanding both its Chicago and Boston offices. A great result of this growth is the firm’s greater investment in its talent development. Stax has recently hired a full time talent development director and one can already see the improvements in the on-boarding process, on the job training, and personal career development.
While Stax might not be for everyone, if you are look for intellectually stimulating and impactful work, you will be hard pressed to find a better opportunity.
Stax's small team structure can be a double edged sword. The opportunity to take on many hats and own your work can also be seen as understaffed. You need to find a balance between taking on roles and not trying to do too much.
The culture can also be improved. While everyone is close at the office, I would love to spend more time with my colleagues after work.
Advice to Management
Continue recruiting quality talent, especially at the higher positions. It feels like managers and directors are stretched thin at times
I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Stax, Inc. (Boston, MA) in June 2016.
First received a phone call from the recruiter in the Boston office. The phone call was less "interview" focused as the recruiter took considerable time to explain the nature of the role (i.e. a lot of phone calls to industry figureheads and logging them) and the contracting type of employment (i.e. called in for projects based on availability and individual performance). We scheduled an in-person interview a week later at the end of the phone call.
The in-person interview was conducted with the recruiter and a full-time research associate (RA). Similar to the phone call, the recruiter and RA focused on trying to "sell" me on the role. While I felt like I had little opportunity (the RA did a lot of the talking), the experience was very friendly and positive; I never felt like I was on the defensive. When I was asked about my experience, I was asked to describe my experience with primary research for approximately 3 minutes.
I received an offer that day a few hours after the interview, but I ultimately turned it down as I was looking for consistent, full-time work and hands on consulting. If one is in need of a filler in-between jobs, however, it perhaps wouldn't be a bad opportunity to consider or pursue.
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