March Member Spotlight – CORE Business Innovation

What is your business industry category or specialty?
My consultancy (“CORE Business Innovation”) helps companies of all sizes and types of  industries improve their business results (profitability, revenues, market share etc.) by developing innovation, growth, and go-to-market strategies. We develop these by helping clients determine and focus on the the most attractive markets, and capture them by developing competitive solutions and business capabilities (i.e. business models, processes and functions).
We have deep industry expertise in technology and ocean/land transportation and logistics, but can also serve other industries such as manufacturing, healthcare & life sciences, financial services, and government. As part of this we also focus on Dutch / European companies that want to trade with or invest in the US.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
Basically, we help clients improve business results by finding attractive markets, developing competitive solutions and bringing those solutions to market.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition?
What makes you unique? 
Our primary competitors are midsize and larger consulting firms. Our key differentiation includes:
  1. Integrated expertise and attention. Larger firms often use junior consultants (that lack broad business experience) for project delivery, and only bring in senior partners for sales and final presentations.  Instead, I bring ~30 years of broad industry, functional, and consulting experience into each project, and work directly with clients from initial consultation throughout project delivery.
  2. Collaboration. Our approach is highly collaborative, perhaps more than other firms, as I have realized clients gain the most when we can bring together both the client’s own expertise and our consulting expertise.
  3. Flexibility. We can be more flexible than larger firms that may have strict targets and constraints on the type of clients and projects they work with.
  4. Value. We bring large consulting firm experience and approaches to mid market clients that need help with their strategies, but can not afford McKinsey, Bain or Accenture, or mid market consulting firms.
How was the business started?
I started CORE Business Innovation after 12 years with Gartner Consulting, 5 years with CSC Consulting, and 8 years in the ocean transportation/logistics industry, and an MBA from Dartmouth College. I wanted to bring together my experiences for mid market companies (though we also serve smaller and larger companies) that need, but often lack this kind of expertise. Personally, I started this business to be able to better enjoy developing business relationships and providing value to clients.
How many employees does the business have?  
I run the business, I am supported by my wife, and reach into a network of specialists as needed. As the business grows we will extend this network, build formal partnerships, and hire FTEs as needed.
How did you end up in Atlanta?  
After a BBA in the Netherlands and internships in the UK and US, I started my career in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in the ocean shipping industry. However, after 2.5 years in the Netherlands, my wife wanted to move back to Florida (where she and I originally met) for family reasons. After 5 years there, we moved to New Hampshire for my MBA. After that we moved to Atlanta and have been here ever since, as we really enjoy the quality of life and have built up a steady base of friends here.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?   
My number one goal is to increase our client base, including developing some ‘anchor’ clients for which we do ongoing projects. Ideal clients include companies in the technology, transportation, logistics and supply chain industries, and Dutch/European companies that want to invest / expand in the US.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with Americans/Dutch? 
Besides some cultural differences (such as Dutch directness – which I’ve tried to adjust for myself, although not always successfully 🙂 ), I believe the Dutch share many similarities with Americans, such as openness to new ideas and entrepreneurship. At the same time, the Dutch have developed expertise in specific business areas and industries (for example: international trade, logistics, transportation, water engineering) that could benefit US businesses and consumers. My business can help in bringing that expertise together.
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc…
My wife and I enjoy socializing with friends across many cultures, and love to travel across continents, and spend time with our families in Martinique and the Netherlands. I also thoroughly enjoy practicing Aikido since 2005, and spend about 4-6 hours/week on this martial art. Aikido’s intent is generally more peaceful than many other martial arts, and focuses on blending and redirecting energy rather than destroying the opponent. Aikido helps me improve my mind, spirit and body, and work with a great group of people to help each other become our best. Finally, I have been fascinated with astronomy since my youth, and am really excited by the amazing astronomical discoveries enabled by advances in technology and global collaboration. I am currently learning astrophotography, and am a member of the Atlanta Astronomy club.
Contact Details:
JOHAN SCHUTZ  – President
CORE Business Innovation, LLC
Atlanta, GA 30350
Office: 470-242-4394
Mobile: 404-394-0677
For questions or comments, or if you would like to be featured in an upcoming Member Spotlight, please send an email to
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Annemarie MacFarland