Case Studies

We've helped our clients create value for customers and shareholders through more effective Operations, Technology and Service Delivery

Making a success of Post-Merger Cost Reduction & Rationalisation
How we helped turnaround losses of over 100 million per annum, following the merger & integration of multiple dispersed business operations, to profitability within a year.
An international insurance business had made a series of large-scale acquisitions in the UK insurance market and was struggling to integrate the businesses successfully to create a single, integrated profitable business. Integrating large-scale businesses each with their own financial systems, processes and IT infrastructure is a substantial challenge. The absence of a single, integrated financial system can make financial control difficult due to lack of transparency with financial data and a dependence on cost allocations which may severely distort your measurement of profitability and business effectiveness by market, channel and customer.
The complexity of merged business operations can drive operating costs to an uncompetitive level. In service businesses, process complexity frequently translates itself into higher operating costs. With numerous IT systems, operating processes and procedures it can be extremely difficult to put effective cost reduction programmes in place.
We started with creating a clear understanding of where value was being created and destroyed across the business. By creating a financial and activity based process model with a customer & channel profitability assessment we could begin to help the leadership team understand where they had promising growth businesses, channels and customers, where there were value destroying markets, channels & customers which would be extremely difficult to turnaround and finally those business areas where a turnaround could possibly be achieved.
We helped reduce management expenses so that new business could be priced competitively. Competitive markets punish financial institutions severely whenever an attempt is made to operate unsustainable pricing. As business volumes are placed under pressure, it becomes harder to support your underlying cost structure with thinner business volumes. The only way out is to get "match fit" again, get management expenses under control and place pricing back again within a sustainable level within the "pricing/ value corridor" for your service offer.
The final result was to move a business that was losing over 100 million per annum to profitability with a year.
Delivering the promised benefits of Shared Service Optimisation
How we helped reduce IT operating costs by 25% following deployment of a shared services business model.
A European financial institution had decided to create a shared services organisation within the UK based on the IT systems, infrastructure & operations of three UK-based businesses with combined IT spend of 150+ million.
The challenge was to significantly reduce overall IT spend by at least 20% whilst improving IT service delivery and customer service provided to the 3 UK businesses clients.
The original cost reduction strategy and plan fell substantially short of the savings target and was based on high-risk complex integration projects. The UK business units were skeptical that the shared service organisation could deliver on the complex strategy which itself fell someway short of what was needed in terms of cost reduction and service improvements.
We formed a joint team with secondees from the UK businesses to develop a more ambitious savings target which came with a substantially reduced execution risk. Significant savings were delivered from procurement and operational efficiency improvements which were relatively straightforward to deliver.
The end result was an integrated cost reduction and service improvement program which reduced IT operating costs by 25% (38 million) whilst delivering improved service and capabilities for the 3 UK businesses.
How you can maximise your RoI from Project Portfolio Optimisation?
How our project optimization framework helped reduce the overall cost of new project developments by 25% whilst accelerating the delivery of strategic IT projects.
A UK financial institution had an overloaded project portfolio of over 100 projects with a projected budget spend of over 45 million per annum. There were too many projects causing critical resource bottle necks and overwhelming scarce management & business capability holding back the delivery of strategic projects required to deliver their business strategy.
We enabled our client to gain a clearer understanding value impact and risk assessment of portfolio of 100+ projects using our project portfolio optimization and modelling process. Projects were assessed according to their value impact, resource demands and risk status. The portfolio approach identified both strategic projects which could be accelerated and candidate projects for elimination from the portfolio.
Rationalising the project portfolio delivered immediate cost reductions. More importantly resources could then be reallocated to more pressing strategic projects allowing their delivery to be accelerated.
The final result was that key strategic projects were prioritized enabling accelerated delivery, the optimized portfolio provided cost savings of 12 million on a 45 million annual budget for new projects, whilst the IT organisation benefited from greater executive confidence in arising from greater transparency and results delivery.
Increasing Productivity in Offshored Service Centres
This case study covers how we helped to improve significantly the efficiency of Offshored back office operations. Many firms turn to offshore back office and call centres to reduce their operating costs (effectively through applying labour rate arbitrage) however firms frequently overlook the opportunity for further gains through increasing the efficiency of the offshored operations.
Key back office operations and IT support areas for both internal & client operations had been moved offshore to Bangalore. The initial labour cost savings were welcome and initial quality issues had been overcome by improved process management and training investments.
However, disappointing back office productivity was creating the demand for continuous heavy recruitment campaigns as more operations were moved offshore whilst competition from attractive global & fast growing Indian firms were driving up wage rates and employee churn rates.
Poor management disciplines meant that tracking of utilisation & productivity was poor (originally put in place by a local outsourcer who had set up the operation).
We worked with onshore & offshore management teams to put in place robust utilization & productivity measurement systems and management control. We helped these teams determine the root causes of poor productivity and deliver 30/ 90 day rapid action plan programmes to eliminate these causes.
The end result was to increase the relative productivity of Indian staff from below 30% of onshore staff to over 90% within 90 days.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction in Offshore Call Centre Operations
How we helped eliminate the customer service experience deficit following moving customer facing call centre operations offshore.
Our client had moved substantial customer facing call centre operations offshore and had reduced its labour costs by over 65%. However the customer experience had worsened dramatically. Our client uses the “Net Promoter Index” concept to track and manage the quality of the “customer experience” it delivers. Essentially the “Net Promoter Index” measures your customer experience quality by taking the percentage of people who loved the experience of dealing with you (scoring 9 or 10 out of 10) and subtracting the % of people who didn’t enjoy your service experience (scores 0 to 5 out of 10). Middle scores are ignored as analysis has shown they are not predictive of future purchasing or customer loyalty behaviour.
We worked with the client to determine the primary root causes of low “customer experience scores”. The primary root causes were found to be poor telephone call quality due to technical problems with its IP telephony infrastructure and poor language & communications skills from many call agents.
We helped our client implement short-term and longer improvements to its telephony infrastructure and addressed the poor language skills through more effective communications training. We helped the client drive rapid performance improvements by breaking down the customer experience scores by call centre, team and call type. This allowed our client to identify troublesome call types which needed to be addressed and poorly performing supervisors and coaches.
The end result was that the client’s customer experience scores of its offshore call centres improved dramatically (from a “Net Promoter Index score below -30 to Positive within 120 days) whilst retaining the 65% cost advantages of "offshoring".
Managing Risk for accelerated delivery of complex IT initiatives
How more effective risk management accelerated the delivery of complex IT capabilities & infrastructure to help deliver more effective customer service with lower costs.
A major IT infrastructure project had to be delivered “drop dead” delivery rate to enable critical business initiative to be launched on time. The European Telecoms and network infrastructure was one integrated “cloud”, in principle this should have led to reduced operating costs and the ability to introduce new products and services faster. Paradoxically, costs were higher as there were limited bidders able to provide services for the complete integrated European network and the complexity of operating across multiple countries made upgrades and new business developments inherently difficult to manage and deliver.
Project complexity increased due to adoption of innovative new technology infrastructure and need to coordinate seven international teams. The new business service offerings were dependent on delivering new capabilities and processes exploiting an advanced technology platform. To make this work for even one country required co-ordination of 7 international teams each with their own local priorities and business demands to support.
We supplied both an interim Project Manager and specialist resources to build capability in terms of risk assessment, IT planning and implementation disciplines and business subject matter experts. An integrated international programme put in place to manage and coordinate seven teams based across Europe and US. More structured approaches were introduced for project planning and execution, risk management, implementation and Go/No Go decision making.
The final result was that the new Technology infrastructure was implemented on time without disrupting business-as-usual operations. Improved network & telephony purchasing terms and higher back office productivity paid for the €12 million investment. The Marketing department was able to launch their new products & services on time without having to worry about the Technology infrastructure.
Providing Programme, Risk & Service Management expertise
Replacing IT Core Processing Infrastructure & Systems without jeopardising customer service through applying rigorous programme, risk & service management disciplines.
The core IT systems of the domestic operations of a UK bank were struggling to keep up with the demands of product & service innovation. The bank determined that it needed to replace the core processing systems of this major consumer facing operating business with a system capable of launching new products & services and manage its customer base more effectively to maintain & grow its profitability.
A major systems integrator was hired to develop and install the new IT systems & infrastructure. The challenge lay in implementing a new IT infrastructure and over 10,000 applications and transferring millions of customers and their accounts to the new systems & databases without disrupting its day-to-day business operations.
We helped the bank put in place robust service management and operational acceptance disciplines to ensure that IT systems upgrades and customer database conversions were executed flawlessly.
The end result was the implementation of a new IT applications and technical infrastructure which allowed much more sophisticated customer value management techniques to be deployed (helping create over 100 million of increased income over 3 years).