Putting wings on digitalization initiatives
Our client, a key player in the aviation industry, had recently defined a new digital strategy, but felt it needed help in implementing it. The new CDO engaged August to assess digital development opportunities. Together we ramped up the development work and created an agile approach for assessing future digital opportunities.
A large number of individual digitalization projects needed to be prioritized
The company had established a digital development function to implement its new digital strategy. The recently appointed CDO saw that the company’s plethora of digital development opportunities could result in problems in coordinating development. Prioritization was clearly needed, and the CDO launched a project to clarify the focus of digital development projects and outline a cooperation model between the newly established digital development function and the company’s existing IT department.
The pragmatic prioritization process jump started sprint development
The joint client-August team started by categorizing the long list of opportunities to the company’s core processes and analyzing their attractiveness from a strategic and profit improvement point of view. Prioritized opportunities were further detailed with resource, capability and investments needs. Simultaneously, we defined an approach for future prioritization work and opportunity detailing. Finally, the team revised the cooperation model between the digital development team and the IT department by redefining roles and interaction forums.
Focusing on select opportunities was the key to capturing value
The company moved from a long list of digital development ideas to a clearly defined set of digital development opportunities. These opportunities were linked to the new digital strategy and the company’s core processes. The digital development function would focus on delivering the strategy and implementing the most lucrative business cases. In addition, the clear choices and the new management model enabled the alignment of everyday development focus in digital development and IT organizations.
When was the last time you did something completely new?
August’s client, a leading media company, was suffering from declining revenues in its traditional print business and had a vision for a new digital media product. The product would combine existing media content and serve it in a new and personalized format to consumers. The client needed to crystallize the product concept and define a pricing strategy for it.
A new digital product could help offset a decline in print revenues
The shift in media usage from print to digital (and from traditional to social media) had effected the topline of the media company. To offset this decline, the client’s strategy team had defined a concept for a new digital consumer product. The idea was to combine existing media content across several business units and serve it in a digital and personalized format to consumers. The August team helped the client sharpen the product concept and define a pricing strategy for a completely novel product.
Critical parts of the product concept were put in place in time for the launch
The August team worked side-by-side with the client’s strategy team and had support from the client’s in-house analytics crew. Initially, the team assessed the volume development, cross-usage and price sensitivity of the current product portfolio. The goal was to understand the upsell potential of the new product and the risk that it would eventually cannibalize existing business. External benchmarking identified best practices and assessed the competition both in Finland and abroad. The team applied cutting edge pricing theory to understand pricing in two-sided markets and how an experience good – a product, whose value is difficult to know in advance – should be priced.
Several alternative product concepts were identified and assessed based on a comprehensive fact-pack. The most attractive concept was developed further and detailed pricing simulations were conducted to define a launch price strategy for the new digital media product.
The project aligned the organization’s support at a critical time
In addition to clarifying the product concept and pricing strategy, the project was successful in creating a consensus within the client organization. Prior to the project, there had been several alternative views of what the product should be like. A fact-based approach and open dialogue across the organization made it possible to tackle the existing challenges and commercially launch the product.
New digital service development in real estate
The client had identified an attractive opportunity to develop a new digital service concept and engaged August to speed up development work and the realization of recognized potential. August consultants formed a team with client experts and accelerated service launch by defining a service concept description and a commercialization plan.
Great new idea, slow progress
The idea for the new digital service had existed in the company already for multiple years, but early development of the concept into something more concrete had been stopped multiple times for many reasons including major M&A activity and its ensuing updates to organizational responsibilities. The idea did not have a clear owner within the renewed organization and it only got new wind after the CEO got introduced to the idea and recognized its potential. After determining that there was a window of opportunity for the company to seize with the new service the CEO engaged August to support speeding up of launch preparations.
Dedicated team and clear objective
August consultants joined a team of experts from the client organization nominated to pursue the opportunity. Together the team defined a two phase plan with August initially taking the lead in framing the challenge ahead and determining the priority topics to address (including e.g. clarifying the customer value proposition, defining likely early adopter target segments, determining the role of the new service in clients complete offering, planning the technical and operational fulfilment model, optimizing the organization setup to sell and deliver the service and deciding the approach on pricing). In the second phase the lead transferred more strongly to the client expert team detailing the service concept and implementation plan with August supporting and sparring progress.
New service concept ready to launch
Through the joint preparations the client experts and August consultants validated the concept´s benefits to the client company’s customers as well as the potential of the new service to build a competitive edge for the client. After the intensive first phase of the project the client expert team had a clear goal for the launch preparations and in the closing of the second phase the client team had tackled most of the key topics required for a successful launch.
Best practices for webstore development
Client CEO had raised webstore renewal as one of the strategic priorities for a major retail player. August helped the client to get started with the work on the right foot by gathering a comprehensive benchmark of global best practices and outlining a target state for the online channel.
Diminishing market share due to an outdated webstore and online presence
A major retail player had been slow to invest in its digital channel development and had been gradually losing market share over the past few years – especially to new emerging online only players. As the online channel still played a rather small role in the big picture this had not captured management focus even though the new players were growing rapidly from their once small baseline. Now the CEO recognized the need to quickly respond to the competition by upgrading the company’s online presence.
Understanding of global best practices
Because great webstores had become a commodity within the industry there was a lot to learn by simply benchmarking local and international top performers. August team did a comprehensive screening of potential players to review, selected a number of high performers as the focus group and dug deep into most interesting concepts. The frontend feature benchmarking was supported by selected expert interviews from August’s global expert networks. To conclude the analysis with relevant implications for client’s upcoming development challenge, August team expanded the assessment scope to cover the client’s whole digital strategy and digital development opportunities more broadly.
Upgraded online presence
Utilizing the findings and target state outlined in the analysis the client got to work with upgrading its webstore. As a result of the development work the client has managed to put a plug into leaking business to new online competition and is starting to find the tools to fight back in pursue of stronger growth also in its digital channels.