Expanding capability and ensuring quality: a consultancy partnership

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Our client is a pioneer in the synthetic lubricants industry leading innovation and providing answers to the biggest challenges facing the vehicle and specialty equipment market. They have been catering to the growing needs of the automotive, power sports, industrial and racing markets, industries that are constantly challenged by the need for efficiency, to stay eco-friendly and to conform to emissions norms. Our client has a firm foothold in North America while continuing to grow across Europe, China and India. While steady growth and a strong financial position were key advantages, their strategic plan was fraught with conflicting priorities. There was confusion between truly strategic goals which were necessary for long-term success and short-term tactical projects which were being prioritized on the fly by various departments. These challenges posed the risk of lowering the growth trajectory and leaving leadership lacking direction, coupled with feeling overworked and conflicted.

Strategic Planning

A phone call to ArchPoint from the CFO, who had recently joined the company, laid out the problem. They had a vision document and business strategy, captured in a hefty 110-page plan, which in itself was a glaring problem.

At the onset, ArchPoint introduced OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures), a methodology used by many Fortune 500 companies. It allowed for (1) clear definition of objectives, both in purpose and financially, (2) crystallization of key strategies and initiatives, (3) assignment of owners and due dates, and (4) the creation of a one-page living document to act as a roadmap for all future planning reviews.

Model defining the components of OGSM

Gathering Internal Data

ArchPoint began by conducting confidential interviews of the management team and key personnel. We also held cross-functional focus groups to gain additional “voice of the employee,” which provided a firm grasp of what was working well and where there were areas for improvement. The interviews and focus groups targeted elements that impacted employee satisfaction, customer experience, productivity platforms and HR processes. This thorough process allowed for better assessment of the client’s current state — both internally and externally.

hierarchy of gathering internal data for strategic assessment

Gathering External Data

Next, ArchPoint identified which functions or departments delivered customer value, starting with customer service and sales. In addition, we developed a channel segmentation grid for both the B2B and B2C divisions. Next, we analyzed product and market performance and trends, reviewed recent market surveys around the brand and client’s reputation and value proposition.

Objective Statement

The exercise of creating the Objective Statement answered the following two questions: “Why do we exist?” and “What do we stand for?” With the objective defined, the five-year financial outlook was reviewed to ensure growth expectations were aligned.

ArchPoint then revisited the original interview debrief. From the notes and observations recorded on the team’s feedback forms, the leadership team was asked to identify and prioritize the items that were the most critical.  By making everyone’s input visible, ArchPoint and the client were able to quickly see common themes. These observations from feedback fit neatly within the newly developed strategies and provided substance for the initiatives.

Developing a Draft OGSM

ArchPoint took the information from the session and converted it into one tool – the OGSM, adding key initiatives under the appropriate strategy, and identifying an owner, due date and measurement. Going forward, the team reviewed the OGSM monthly during their strategic planning sessions, a rhythm that had not been done before. Finally, the OGSM was input into an online tool, myOGSM, which stored the information in a cloud-based system for real-time updates and tracking.

Process outlining the flow of work related to developing a strategic plan using the OGSM model

Filling in the capability gaps

With the OGSM developed and the myOGSM tool loaded, the team was able to see where they had gaps in their current capabilities to execute the strategy. Some gaps could be filled by training or shifting resources. Others would require outside help.  At the top of the list was a need to simplify and improve the company’s digital capabilities.

Leveraging Partnership — ArchPoint Consulting and Zensar

Seeing the need for support in digital transformation, ArchPoint reached out to Zensar, a strategic partner who is a global leader in digital commerce, order management, supply chain and customer experience. ArchPoint’s goal was to make the introduction to a company we knew could serve the client well, while leaving the choice to use Zensar completely up to the client. After rigorous vetting Zensar and other digital transformation companies, the client chose Zensar, the right partner based on their implementation track record, domain expertise and innovative thought leadership in the digital space.

When Zensar stepped in to lead the significant digital transformation portion of the strategic plan, the first major item to address was to help build a transformation roadmap. This would not only address the need for an enhanced e-commerce platform, but help reimagine the online channel, customer service, marketing and business processes.

Enhancements in these areas would address the following necessary improvements:

  • Create a scalable e-commerce platform to grow with the client’s customer base
  • Improve agility and time-to-market to meet customer demand
  • Give the client visibility among the competition, making it easier for customers to find and do business with them
  • Reduce operating costs for digital marketing, new features rollout and conducting business online

Additionally, an existing stack of back-end systems was pivotal to the integration strategy so business could be conducted disruption-free, with zero impact on CRM, ERP, inventory and sales.

Client’s Digital Background

The client’s e-commerce site was launched in 1996. At that time, the site generated 200 leads per month. In August 1999, the ability for dealers to link to the site was created, enabling them to sell directly from the brand’s online store and get credits for orders or leads generated. This resulted in around 2,400 visitors and 95 orders placed in the first week after site enhancement. Soon after, in January 2000, the site received approximately 21,000 visitors and 65,000 page views. In 2013, capabilities were put into place to enable customers to buy wholesale directly from the site. In 2017, the brand went global with five localized websites built to grow the international business. It took fourteen years to put wholesale capabilities online and another five years to add a website capable of supporting the international business. In essence, it was becoming more and more time consuming to roll out new features to keep pace with the competition.

Objectives

The high-level objectives set forth included improved business agility and time-to-market. These objectives would also enable business growth from new revenue sources, create wider digital reach, improve customer engagement, heighten insight into customer buying patterns, consumerize the B2B experience and optimize operational efficiency.

These objectives would result in simplification of the digital ecosystem, improved marketing and merchandising capabilities and eliminating offline, manual processes.

Digital Solutions Provided

Zensar’s omnichannel consulting team analyzed the client’s complete strategy for e-commerce, customer care and marketing initiatives. After conducting workshops to understand the requirements, challenges and pain points, Zensar laid out a minimal, viable roadmap, which would be later prioritized across different phases.

These requirements were then mapped across leading SaaS, on-premise and open-source platforms, and additional analysis in the form of a capability matrix, total cost of ownership and expected ROI. Based on these data points, the client was able to select the most relevant platform.

Zensar began to build the user experience and user design by conducting workshops with the client’s teams. This work would lay the foundation for future design experience across mobile, tablets and other form factors. The solution design detailed requirements and an integration strategy kicked off by the implementation team. This integration strategy allowed for continued control of product customer data and handling of complex pricing connections of storefront to all back-end system landscapes.

The program involved personalization, customizing OOTB (out of the box) promotions, implementing dynamic tag management and importing catalog and product information from multiple systems as well as aligning product configurations to adhere to existing business workflows.

4 keys areas of digital solutions

 

Benefits/Value Delivered

Zensar provided the client with a tailored, scalable e-commerce solution that was fully integrated into the IT landscape with back-end systems, responsive design and supported mobile strategy, allowing the business to better understand, segment and serve new and existing customers. We also provided customer insight and analytics, the ability to manage numerous types of product information and multimedia with digital asset management modules and mass data management capabilities via role-based sets of user interface elements.

Conclusion

ArchPoint’s OGSM framework formed the basis for strategic planning and execution via a concise, one-page plan as well as ongoing management reviews. It brought visibility and accountability to the core objectives of the organization and ensured activities were aligned to financial goals. Gaps in capabilities were identified, whether due to manpower or expertise, and ways to address those gaps were resolved. For this particular client, outside support for digital transformation was required leading ArchPoint to recommend its strategic partner, Zensar.

strategic roadmap of benefits

As a result of the strategic partnership between ArchPoint Consulting and Zensar, the client developed a robust yet manageable strategic plan with major initiatives identified and tied-back to capital and operating spend and expected ROI. A key initiative, digital transformation, was prioritized and augmented with the involvement of Zensar. And although the client vetted ArchPoint’s recommended partner on their own, it helped to have the endorsement of a trusted partner. As the saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together.” We are pleased to report that the client is now reviewing their strategy monthly and on their way to double digital growth in user acquisition, conversion and meeting growth targets.

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