Discover your simplification potential in the COO role

Identifying simplification opportunities across key industries

In this piece, we focus on the first steps of the simplification journey, sharing some insights about potential simplification opportunities across key industries and the methods to start realizing them.

The operational challenge of complexity

Organisations are facing increasing complexity driven by their clients’ demand, the rise of data-driven business models, new regulations as well as record-breaking years of M&A activities in several industries.

This complexity can adversely affect the organisation’s competitive position, impairing amongst other things its ability to satisfy customer demand and rapidly respond to market challenges. At the same time, it leads to increased operational and regulatory risks, related costs and inefficiencies.

For these reasons, we believe that complexity increasingly poses an operational roadblock that could ‘make or break’ an organisation’s future competitiveness if not managed promptly and appropriately.

Potential simplification opportunities

The identification and prioritisation of focus areas has proven to be the single most important factor for organisations looking to reach their full simplification potential.

Based on our experience, complexity manifests in several dimensions along the operating model.

Typical cross-industry examples are outlined in figure 1:

Focus areas along with operating models are highly specific to the industry and individual company. Read your relevant industry case study and discover our recommendations:

  • Client lifecycle management: Focus on key Front-to-Back and Back-to-Front processes in customer onboarding within Front Office and Compliance functions for higher efficiency gains
  • Data lifecycle: Understand the lifecycle of market data and its usage across the bank to find optimisation levers whilst also improving compliance with data providers’ contractual requirements
  • E2E processing: Improve the speed and efficiency of high-volume processes such as loans, payments and product distribution by applying Lean Six Sigma

A case study on simplification:

Deloitte supported a global universal bank in a front-to-back simplification solution with focus on their client lifecycle processes.

Leveraging process mining and our benchmarking information covering the majority of the Swiss market, we identified that the institutional client onboarding process lacked the end-to-end ownership with multiple processes and teams utilising a single onboarding event: highlighting a need to drive toward a self-service process. Fragmented and non-standardised processes also dominated the Retail and Wealth Management segments, whilst customers were expecting integrated service capabilities across channels and devices.

By improving standardisation of processes across different booking centres and locations, we enabled the client to streamline onboarding and accelerate their time to revenue, reduce manual processing, increase efficiency in compliance, and reduce client follow-ups.

  • Client channels: Redesign claims customer journey to better connect with your customers across flexible and fully integrated voice and text channels and respond to changing client expectations as they arise
  • Client lifecycle management: Optimise client onboarding and KYC processes and assess business process outsourcing potential to reduce cost and focus on value adding activities
  • E2E digitalization: Leverage new technologies to digitalize end-to-end processes and enable agents to access their 360 degree client information on-the-go with advanced mobile CRM features and advisory capabilities from custom built apps

A case study on simplification:

Deloitte supported an insurance company in freeing up employee’s time to focus on value added activities for the customer while improving their experience. Typically, 80% of inbound calls are to chase the status of a claim, or request an update of the progress, leading to 40% of the complaints that organisations typically see. ClaimsNUDGE provides clarity and reassurance to customers throughout the entire claims process via a wallet card.

Over period of 4 weeks, we went from kick-off to go-live, incorporating a test and learn loop so that delivered value can be quickly improved and iterated successfully across the business. In order to achieve this, the first phase was focused on aligning of client’s branding to the wallet cards, specifying the design for the cards and aligning the customer journey to the client’s claims journey. In the next step, technical API requirements were implemented and the wallet cards were launched to a test customer group.

Providing clarity and reassurance to customers throughout the entire claims process, customers reported an increase in satisfaction as they did not have to actively chase a claim update several times. At the same time, claims employees freed up their time for other activities leading to an improved customer experience and satisfaction.

  • Streamline the service catalogue across the different administration levels (municipal, cantonal, federal) and adopt required changes across the entire operating model to increase consistency and delivery efficiency – while challenging in a federal system, the simplification potential is considerable both for citizens and the administration
  • Simplify processes and optimise workflows by identifying and realising the potential for automation of repetitive and rules-based tasks, for example through the use of machine learning-driven algorithms; as the pandemic has shown, the digitalisation and automation potential is significant
  • Simplify data collation and access both for citizens and across administration levels (municipal, cantonal, federal), while protecting data privacy laws; research shows that citizens are in principle open even to get tax data provided through the administration – yielding significant process benefits

A case study on simplification:

We supported a Swiss City in a process and organisation analysis to define their new strategy and the necessary measures to achieve it.

We supported the client in assessing the current state of his organisation, and the question of optimal resource allocation was closely examined. To answer this question, the then prevailing structures, processes and instruments were reviewed. We supported this analysis by conducting a comprehensive benchmarking with two other Swiss cities and by identifying best practices. The benchmarking analysis consisted of a quantitative and qualitative part and covered the five dimensions, i.e. Customer & Communication, Strategy & Stakeholders, Organisation & Talent, Services & Processes, and Technology.

We gave a recommendation for the implementation of organisational, process-related and technical measures and created an implementation roadmap. The simplifications and optimisations resulted in a total of 10-20% more efficiency gains, which were directly incorporated into the calculation of the state target resource allocation.

Lifecycle management
  • Assess simplification potential opportunities across key processes (e.g. customer and order management) to maximise product margin across product life cycle, improve cost-to-serve and customer loyalty
  • X-ray processes with regards to operational complexity, speed and solution adoption rate to achieve increased transparency and agility of end-to-end processes that are crucial for the connected patient journey
  • Simplify processes using operational excellence tools to improve the speed and effectiveness within the clinical trial process and make the most of product patent life
Technology enabled simplification
  • Standardise end-to-end processes via IT-driven back-end transformation cross-value chain (including S4 HANA solutions) 
  • Assess simplification opportunity in internal services (e.g. HR, IT, Finance, Procurement demands) to improve experience and efficiency by leveraging technology (e.g. ServiceNow, Cloud)
  • Rethink and simplify the core customer-facing activities by deploying integrated digital platforms to enhance customer engagement and drive value through analytics
Other focus areas
  • Impacted by pricing pressure, rethink gross-to-net management by resolving price and service misalignments 
  • Harmonise policies, procedures and internal standards to pave the way for a smart cross-functional regulatory approach
  • Re-design the approach to commercial and product to service operations to broaden commercialisation and enhance patient connectivity 
  • Embrace new ways of working to enhance digital DNA and make digital transformation a success

A case study on simplification:

We supported a global chemicals & life sciences conglomerate on e2e process simplification with focus on their customer lifecycle processes.

The process simplification project was aimed at identifying, accelerating and driving opportunities for simplification to deliver a new and differentiated customer experience. To strengthen competitiveness in the marketplace, the client wanted to significantly simplify structures and processes in order to become faster and more agile. Deloitte supported the client in setting up its simplification project to rapidly drive insights and value across all major end-to-end business processes with a focus on customer facing areas. Through a rigorous bottom up approach consisting of qualitative and quantitative analysis, process mining was used to gain insights into true performance, and then compared to industry best practices to identify areas of inefficiency and quantify their respective improvement potential. This was further validated through stakeholder interviews and surveys. Opportunities for simplification were grouped into internal, customer, supplier and manufacturing dimensions and mapped against customer journeys and pain points.

How to start simplifying your organisation?

Start realising the benefits of reduced complexity by discovering where the simplification potential lies within your organisation. Our approach includes a comprehensive inside out and outside in assessment of the simplification levers (such as products, processes and systems), enriched with data and qualitative insights and benchmarked against industry best practices.

This approach, supported by a structured methodology, enables the identification of simplification opportunities, delivering valuable insights into your organisation within a 4-week time span. It also lays a sound foundation for the development of fit-for purpose solutions and subsequent implementation of prioritised simplification opportunities (Figure 2).

What is your next step?

Before conducting the comprehensive and thorough simplification potential assessment described above, we suggest to start by reflecting on what simplification means to you and your organisation by answering the following questions.

Answering these initial questions will help you understand your organisation’s simplification needs, highlight focus areas and already identify some potential quick-wins. Our Simplification Survey can support you by allowing you to conduct this “self-assessment” in a structured manner across your entire organisation, leveraging our experience in helping clients achieve simplification.

Complexity is a reality in all organisations – as are the benefits of simplifying operations and processes. At the beginning of any simplification initiative is the acknowledgement that every organisation has the potential to simplify. Start realising the benefits of reduced operational complexity by first identifying where the simplification potential lies in your organisation.

Simplification Survey will be launched soon to gather simplification potential across industries.

This article is part of our series on the topic of simplification, launched with our Navigating complexity as a COO article.

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