With an 80% share of the market, this mail distribution company had worked hard to achieve its dominant position in Belgium. The company was keen not to lose momentum, but their near-monopoly situation offered limited capacity for growth. Especially in a market which was activitly migrating from paper distribution to digital.
The management team asked Futurelab to show the way forward.
Information in, ideas out
We kick-started the project with a short, sharp immersion phase and we got to know the business fast. Two Futurelab advisers took 72 hours to examine the client’s distribution network, visit packaging factories and interview several key customers. We unpicked the factors that had made the business a success so far and identified those assets and opportunities that could underpin the future strategy. After a further intensive 24 hours of creative hothousing we had developed 50-60 possible initiatives for the business. The insight, experience and creativity of Futurelab’s advisers means we’re usually presenting our ideas back to your board before many consultants have even completed the situation analysis.
Because Futurelab works across a wide variety of markets and sectors, we bring a fresh perspective to every project. This allows us to see any false ‘truths’ that may be in place in your industry. In this client’s case, we challenged the assumption that “Print distribution will die out and digital is the only way to survive”. Rather than rush into a digital strategy, we recommended a gradual shift of focus towards digital delivery, starting with meaningful innovations that would position them as forward thinking and add value to the bottom line. We never recommend innovation for the sake of innovation.
Negatives into positives
As curious and intelligent newcomers to your business we see your blind spots with a blinding level of clarity. This client’s perception of its national network of leaflet distributors was that their skills and personality couldn’t be stretched beyond their current task. We showed that though this analysis was accurate for many of their delivery staff, some had organized themselves into hard-working teams that could be developed to support a more ambitious business direction.
Three months later the company was sold in a partial management buy-out. Futurelab had given the senior team a strong sense of confidence in the future profitability of the business and some clear strategic and tactical stepping stones to get there.