1995, A.T. Cross began the process of reinventing itself to
prepare for its next 150 years. After several years of
slowly declining sales, they began to investigate myriad aspects
of their business and their industry to understand why.
The answer was simple - the pen, the core of Cross's business,
and perhaps the oldest communication tool in use today, is being
used less and less. The reason - a whole new generation
of electronic communication tools have taken over, from fax
to e-mail and more. Genesis Strategies was hired in 1996
to try and take advantage of these trends before they had a
more serious and long-term affect on Cross's business.
worked with Cross in a number of different capacities to attempt
to mitigate these long-term threats to their business.
Initially, a market/technology assessment was conducted, examining
a number of potential hardware and software market segments,
for their "electronic writing" potential. This study led
to more detailed analysis and ultimately the development of
a formal business plan to pursue the opportunities that were
presenting themselves. With approval of the plan by A.T.
Cross Company's board in 1996, a new business unit was formed
called the Cross Pen Computing Group. Partner Jim Boudreau
joined Cross PCG as head of marketing and sales to develop and
execute the company's marketing plans and to help build the
team necessary for the company to achieve its goals. In
December of 1997, Jim had successfully launched the new division,
preparing it for its new CEO before returning to a consulting
role in January, 1998. The division added an estimated
$25 million to Cross's sales by the end of 1998.