EnSo Consulting

At EnSo Consulting, we partner with our clients to help you realize your organizational goals with proven tools and methodologies of strategic planning and product management.

Delivering Enlightened Solutions Together

Our Services

Delivering Enlightened Solutions Together

Strategic Planning
Understand where you are and envision where to go next

Your plans for growth should be based on an understanding of the world around you and knowledge of your own capabilities.

 

We help you with proven methods such as Porter’s 5 Forces to thoroughly assess your external business environment and go beyond a simple SWOT to analyze your organizational capabilities. From there, we employ tools to identify and prioritize viable opportunities that are aligned with your strategic goals. The internal assessment will allow you to recognize which strengths to build on and which gaps to close.

Portfolio Management
Create and execute a product portfolio that  ensures future success

Your future is as bright as the success of your portfolio of current and planned products.

 

Using risk assessments and success screenings we guide you towards a balanced portfolio.  The three objectives that we will keep in mind are: optimize the current business, selectively let go of the past, and make room for new and promising opportunities.

Innovation Funnel
Fill your pipeline with innovative products

The “Fuzzy Frontend” of innovation can be a challenge.  There usually is no shortage of good ideas.  However, many organizations struggle with three basic questions: how to evaluate ideas, how to prioritize ideas and how to move them forward. In other words, how do you progress opportunities from white space exploration to a maturity level that warrants transitioning into full product development.

 

Let us guide you with tools and processes derived from Lean Startup and Agile methodologies to achieve a healthy innovation funnel.

Voice of the Customer
Uncover the needs of your customers

It is easy to think “we know our customers” when you have been in business for a long time.  However, it is very important to continuously reassess your understanding of your customer’s needs.  Formally listening to the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is essential, especially when you develop new products or expand to new customer segments.

 

We teach you how to uncover latent customer needs and Jobs-to-be-Done.  Then we use methods such as Kano to identify which of those needs are most critical to fulfill.

Product Management
Coaching and mentorship in product management

The role of product management becomes ever more important as companies strive to be customer centric and expand their offering portfolio.  As an advocate for customers, product management ensures that the company offering truly meets the customer's needs.  As a representative of the business, product management employs the tools of the trade to ensure that meeting those needs also creates value for the organization.

 

We help reconcile these sometimes-conflicting goals and provide guidance for young and seasoned product managers to become more effective and efficient in their roles.

Collaborative Services
Achieving more with collaborators

We realize that you may have needs for services that EnSo Consulting cannot directly provide.  Therefore, we have assembled a group of collaborators who are ready to share their expertise.  Following is a list of additional services that we can facilitate for you:

  • Design – industrial design, human factors & usability design and assessment, UX design

  • Marketing and Promotion – brand creation, marketing plan development, execution of marketing activities

  • Market Research – research plan development and execution, qualitative and quantitative research

  • Contract Engineering – engineering project management, project review, project budget estimation, technical solution development

  • Regulatory and Quality Systems Support– regulatory strategy, quality systems and assurance, post market surveillance, remediation

  • Personal and team development – personal learning and growth, workplace inclusion, relationship management

Special Projects
Idea Acceleration

Some companies have an abundance of early stage ideas flowing into their Innovation Pipeline, but many of these ideas are stuck in limbo. Not enough resources are available to collect and assess the information needed to select the right idea for advancement. If you would like to know how we can help, then learn about:

What:

  • An eight-week accelerator program that explores opportunities and risks of early stage innovation ideas applying Lean Startup techniques.

 

How:

  • Assigned student teams identify and answer critical questions, uncover and validate hidden assumptions.   Depending on the client needs, they will - among other things - perform customer discovery, opportunity scoping, competitor and IP landscaping, value proposition creation, low fidelity prototyping and execute learning plans to provide due diligence on innovation ideas.

 

Who:

  • Velocity Teams consisting of Pitt and CMU students enrolled in a graduate IPD, Bioengineering, or MIIPS program execute the due diligence effort

  • Company appointed business or technical mentor(s) provide problem statements, supporting information and mentorship

  • Velocity Advisors provide project oversight, administrative support and mentorship

  • University Advisors provide additional guidance

 

Why:

  • For clients to increase the velocity of innovation ideas flowing through the innovation pipeline without burdensome overhead

  • For clients to gain confidence in the decision to further pursuit, pivot, or pause innovation ideas

  • For students to gain work experience with financial incentives and resume building opportunities

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ensō

The meaning behind our name and logo

ensō, meaning circle, is the Zen symbol representing enlightenment, strength and elegance.  When the drawing of the circle is not entirely closed, it also conveys the message of ‘perfection in imperfection’, allowing for growth and development.  Lastly, the ensō exemplifies several Japanese aesthetic principles with a prominent one being 'beauty in simplicity'.

 

At EnSo Consulting, we provide you with clarity and insight, and we help you with simple yet powerful tools and methods to create effective paths that lead to  the fulfillment of your organizational goals.

In other words, we deliver Enlightened Solutions.

 

Andreas Maihoefer

Founder and Principal Consultant

Andreas is an accomplished business manager with more than 20 years of experience in strategic management, product management, product development and innovation.  His breadth of capabilities spans from the assessment of the internal and external business environment, to the development and implementation of strategic portfolio plans all the way to the execution of go-to-market strategies.  Andreas has worked on product development projects from white space exploration through ideation to commercial launch.  Along the way, he has been lead or key contributor to a multitude of process innovation initiatives related to marketing excellence, ‘Lean Startup’ and ‘Agile’ methodology, Voice of the Customer, and Designing for Gross Margin.  

 

Andreas has worked for international Fortune 500 companies such as 3M, Bayer and Philips and also in midsize companies and startups.  He has helped develop and introduce product lines that have surpassed $1B in lifetime revenue on the global market in cardiovascular surgery, diagnostic and interventional imaging, interventional therapeutics and digital pathology and he has supported adjacent expansions in all of those fields as well as in sleep and respiratory care.

 

In addition to consulting, Andreas teaches Strategy and Business Models as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is guest speaker at the University of Pittsburgh, and mentors individual students and student teams.  Andreas is a board member of the Product Development and Management Association and currently manages and delivers their Product Management Body-of-Knowledge Training as well as the annual student pitch competition in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

 

Contact Us

412.660.4211

Pittsburgh

412.660.4211

©2020 by EnSo Consulting