Case Study: Implementing Category Business Planning in a Service Business

Client Description

One of the USA’s largest Automotive Retail Centers


The client was struggling to develop a process for planning their service based business and engaging vendors in the process. The client was structured to provide functional and tactical expertise which resulted in multiple planning and negotiating sessions across the organization. Vendors were not sure where to put their resources.

The client wanted to reverse this trend by developing a new way to plan and engage vendors. They wanted to build a new level of collaboration but they were mired in the vendor community’s old view of their approach. Additionally, as primarily a service provider, there was a question as to whether a conventional product-centered planning process would work.


Design a collaborative, category-based business planning process that would engage vendors and internal cross functional partners in the creation of strategic, forward looking plans.

TPG Approach

TPG started with the Category based business-planning approach that has been used so successfully in the CPG sector- Category Leadership Platform or CLP. We engaged the client including a robust cross-functional team around a redesign of the process in order to customize it to their business sector, including a service focus and to achieve the strategies that we co-authored with them. We then facilitated the creation of several plans combining the knowledge of the client and the expertise and committed participation of all cross functional partners with the insights and programs of the vendor.

The business planning sessions engaged the entire client cross functional team with cross functional resources from the vendor to build lasting plans that will serve as a foundational building block beyond the annual operating cycle.


Significant sales and profit improvement ranging from about 5% for mature categories to 30+% on other categories. New display pieces, process improvements, additional sales and service training, equipment tests and enhancements, product and supply chain cost reductions, new marketing tools developed and use of new customer loyalty data were all part of the new partnerships.

Leave a Reply