Better business by design.
Applying a design thinking approach to help a global energy business quickly resolve issues, generate new ideas, and reveal untapped opportunities.
The client is a world leader in the field of biofuels and low carbon technology. Yet it was struggling. Work wasn’t always oriented toward identifying and responding to the demands placed on the business.
Across multiple geographies, its teams had no recognized way to generate and adopt new ideas or quickly act on the opportunities they presented without standing up a full project team. There was also no clear way of capturing and resolving problems.
This unresponsive and inflexible way of working was preventing them from knowing where to invest and which problems or opportunities to prioritize.
We work in close collaboration with our clients to craft, design and build innovative and practical responses that work in context. So when the client came to us, we didn’t fall back on the rigid structures, processes, and rules of traditional consulting.
We applied our Product Innovation approach to unlock the business’s structural and cultural problems and reveal untapped opportunities from different territories. Our lead consultant took the organization through a design thinking process that sought to understand users, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems. The reason? To identify alternative strategies and solutions that would add value to the people using the products created.
Product Innovation is an iterative process. We began by unearthing and defining the problems and opportunities that existed across the business. We gathered evidence on the potential sources of highest value.
What followed was a process of idea generation and experimentation with different prototypes. Working hand in hand with the client, we guided internal teams through the user-focused delivery of new products that would help the business meet user needs.
With our support, the organization now has a clear picture of the opportunities and problems it faces.
The first four in-country teams we worked with identified over 100 problems related to manual ways of working, limited system capabilities, and a lack of reported analytics. We helped these teams prioritize 37 problems and identify 125 potential solutions.
The process revealed further insights, such as the huge number of working days that were being lost to the biggest workflow issues. Or how an existing global SAP rollout wouldn’t solve these problems. Plus new ways that regulatory challenges were affecting the business.
Product Innovation also allowed them to quickly address these issues. For example, after identifying compliance problems in the UK the team was able to prioritize rolling out an automation solution. This alone saved 50 days a year and secured £10 Million in cashflow.
Small-scale experiments also revealed that previous plans for a data and analytics solution would be ineffective. As a result, the work was stopped. This saved more than £10,000 a year in cancelled software licenses and £20,000 a year in consultancy costs.
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