Creating strategic direction
A Mott MacDonald case study

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Page 1: Introduction

In order to grow, a business needs to develop competitive advantage. This means that it is different or does things better than its rivals. This is known as differentiation. Differentiation helps an organisation to develop a unique business strategy. 

Managers need to make strategic decisions that create the right direction for their businesses. Decisions by senior managers at the top of a business influence decisions by other managers and employees.

Mott MacDonald is a large global management, engineering and development consultancy. A consultancy contains experts who provide advisory services in a variety of fields. The Mott MacDonald Group was formed in 1989 when two consultancy businesses merged.

Since then, the business has grown both organically by recruiting more staff in different fields and also by acquisition, that is, taking over existing businesses in markets important to Mott MacDonald's development strategy. For example, in 2007 Mott MacDonald bought an educational consultancy in Romania, an environmental firm in the Netherlands and a power engineering company in the USA to help strengthen its core market sectors in these countries.

Today Mott MacDonald”s business spans 120 countries and employs more than 13,000 staff. Its experts work on thousands of projects across the world in many areas. These include transport, energy, buildings, water, the environment, health, education and communications.

Every project requires a different set of skills from Mott MacDonald”s experts. Its projects address the challenges of environmental issues, such as flood protection or management of waste. It plans, manages and delivers projects to help its customers find more sustainable solutions.

Mott MacDonald's customers are in both the public sector and the private sector.  In the public sector, it works with organisations to provide services for central and local government.

In the private sector, Mott MacDonald provides consultancy for private businesses. For example, in China the company is project managing the building of what will be the world”s largest observation wheel much bigger than the London Eye.

Mott MacDonald has also been involved in over half the new wind farms in the UK developed by privately-owned energy companies. These include one of the world”s largest offshore wind farms off the coast of south-east England.

At any one time Mott MacDonald works on thousands of projects around the world. These range from transport systems in Taiwan, healthcare initiatives in Africa or education planning in the USA. Mott MacDonald consultants advise on many aspects, including planning and design, quantity surveying, procurement advice and project management.

This case study focuses on how Mott MacDonald stands out in its competitive environment by using the skills and knowledge of its people to achieve its business purpose.

Mott MacDonald | Creating strategic direction