Is This You?

Do you need to accelerate your cost reduction initiatives?

You are a senior executive within a financial institution who needs to make a substantial reduction in your IT or back office operating costs.  You may have a number of cost reduction initiatives underway but now you are concerned that they may not deliver sufficient savings or that it will take too long for the hoped for benefits to be realised. Alternatively, you may have had a severe budget reduction imposed on you and you realise that 'slash and burn' cuts may kill the business. Ideally, you are seeking ways to dramatically improve the underlying productivity of your IT and back office processes so that your target savings can be realised without damaging service quality.
Over 25 years, we’ve worked with senior executives like you at: AXA, Barclays, Capital One, Citicorp and Nationwide. Like you, our clients have all had fantastic track records of success in their careers. That’s why your organisation has asked you to overcome some of the toughest challenges in your business and given you the responsibility for the delivery of a key strategic business objective to reduce operating costs significantly.
When to call us? Do these problems seem familiar to you?
You need to structure a robust cost reduction programme to deliver significant savings. IT systems and back office processes within financial institution are extremely complex and everything appears to be connected to everything else. So where do you start? You can't afford to set off a damaging domino effect on service quality by inadvertently cutting out a critical function. But if you are overly cautious, you risk delivering too little too late.
You need to be confident that your overall cost reduction programme is robust and will deliver.
You've 'hit the wall' in terms of delivering higher productivity in your back office processes.  You've had a great deal of initial success in applying Lean and Six Sigma approaches to improve productivity. However, now that all the 'low hanging fruit' has been picked, further significant productivity improvements appear unlikely.
You want to see significant back office productivity improvements delivered rapidly.
You believe you can deliver substantial savings through more aggressive use of offshoring. Offshoring offers significant savings of 20-65% and yet comes with a substantial risk of damaging service delivery. How can you ensure that you can transfer further key functions safely?
You want to realise the substantial cost savings from offshoring without damaging service delivery.
You want to outsource more of your IT and back office operations without being held to ransom. Outsourcing offers attractive savings of 20-30% savings on your current costs. You're concerned that if you transfer key functions to an outsourcer then they will have too much negotiating power and hold you to ransom on 'change requests' and developments you will need in the future.
You want to secure the benefits of outsourcing without being held ransom.
You're concerned that you may have a number of 'failing projects' within your project portfolio. The Project Managers are giving you positive reports but your 'gut instinct' and years of experience are telling you to take a closer look. To hit your overall cost reduction target you can't afford to carry 'lame duck' projects within your project portfolio. You need to know which projects are on track, those that should be killed to release precious resources and get the projects in trouble fixed and put back on track rapidly.
You want to kill or 'fix and repair' failing projects within 30 days.
Your largest operating costs relate to IT infrastructure and yet this is the most difficult area to tackle. If you turn for advice to large global technology firms to help you reduce your significant IT infrastructure, network and desktop costs the proposed solutions require significant capital investments that are unlikely to be agreed to by your CFO. IT infrastructure is extremely complex and yet it could offer substantial savings if you know how.
You want to make substantial IT infrastructure savings without the need for large capital investments.
You are concerned that a major project is at significant risk of late delivery and severe cost overruns and needs stronger project control disciplines. You suspect that a major project has governance issues will  undermine a key project's ability to delivered on time and on budget for you. You realise there is a distinction between instilling proper controls and strangling projects with bureaucratic overkill.
You want to strengthen governance and risk management to prevent further delays and overspend.
You understand the potential of automation and workflow to increase productivity - but these investments have a mixed track record. Many automation projects end up recreating the manual processes they replaced and unsurprisingly the productivity improvements and cost reductions achieved are disappointing. If you can streamline and enhance key processes from a customer perspective and then automate wisely, then you can achieve dramatic productivity improvements with limited investment.
You want to make intelligent investments in automation and workflow to increase productivity.

Your need to reshape your project portfolio to deliver significant cost reductions earlier. You would appreciate an independent assessment of the likely cost reduction impact from the individual projects within your project portfolio. Potentially, some well focused "pruning" of initiatives could release resources to help accelerate delivery of significant cost reductions.
You want to reshape your project portfolio to accelerate significant cost reductions.

are responsible for the delivery of a cost reduction initiative that is now at risk because of its heavy dependence on the delivery of a major IT project which is falling ever further behind schedule. You understand that large-scale IT projects are amongst the most difficult of all business initiatives to deliver successfully - the failure rates can be as high as 80%-90%. Your cost reduction initiative is now in jeopardy because of its dependence on a failing IT programme. So how can you still meet your cost reduction objectives?
You need to rapidly develop an alternative approach and plan you can be confident implementing.
OK by now - you may be wondering are we compatible?
A great deal of success in life and business comes down to personal chemistry. It’s hard to define and yet it can be the crucial difference that determines success or failure. You are likely to find us kindred spirits and successful working partners if you are:
Enthusiastic and results orientated. You have a passion for your job and your enthusiasm is infectious to those around you. Perhaps sometimes that can mean that the goals and objectives you personally take on would scare other people off. You like to see the ball in the back of the net – the sooner the better. You really want to make a difference in your life and at work.
Humour & fun. You set yourself and your team huge, demanding goals – but you don’t take yourself too seriously. People enjoy your company and good spirits.
Encouraging to your team. You have great personal talents yet still know it’s encouraging your team and colleagues to great things that will really make a difference. You are Willing to take responsibility and show leadership when the going gets tough. You know who the real lightweights who talk a great game but who disappear out of sight when the heat gets turned up. You can feel the pressure, but you don’t buckle.
Confident in your own abilities to know when you could do with some help from others who have useful knowledge and experience they can share with you. You can tell hype from substance. Some people are easily swayed by surface glitz and glamour – you can see through this to determine whether the people around you have real substance and back bone.
Down-to-earth and practical. If something works you’re interested to see how far you can go with it and if it doesn’t you don’t get locked into defending it. You appreciate that a dose of structure & process can go a long way without getting bogged down in bureaucracy & red tape.
You don't mind folks with a few grey hairs. Some firms like to staff their teams with bright young things straight out from MBA school. We can recall those days but they are a few years back now. Our typical team member has 15-20 years experience blending senior management and consulting experience in IT and back office operations within financial institutions.
I do hope you and us have a shared view of the world and a passion for the same things. If we do have a lot in common with you in terms of your approach, attitude and the objectives you’ve been set then can I suggest you learn more about HOW WE WORK with our clients, read about the results we've helped clients deliver in our CASE STUDIES or simply CONTACT US to discuss your specific challenges.