I made it happen

James Broadfield: L³

Making ideas happen is tough; it takes confidence, discipline and passion. It’s not always easy, but is it worth it? ‘I made it happen’ celebrates those who are leading innovation projects and making new ideas happen. Below you will find a personal account from James Broadfield at Deloitte who is turning his idea into reality.

Why did you make it happen?

“It’s a product I’ve wanted to build since I began working in location analytics, as I could see the potential it had to disrupt the market. So when I saw the opportunity, I just couldn’t turn it down.”

What’s the idea?

was an idea borne out of location analytics, an offering which helps advise organisations on where to locate physical branches. I’d worked in this area for around a year, across a number of different projects, each tailored to a specific client. However, it became clear to me that we were using a lot of common data points and methodologies. I wanted to create a product that could be applied to a range of different industries. It would provide clients with access at their fingertips through an automated dashboard and allow us to deliver deeper insight, faster.

How did you make it happen?

We pitched the idea to the firm’s incubator (a vehicle to fund and develop our people's disruptive and proven ideas). Our incubation was a little different from others because this wasn’t a new idea as such but rather a new way of working. The incubator gave us funding to allow us to sit down for three months and extract the knowledge I had built up to create the product. Our pitch was successful and we were able to spend time looking at what we had done in the past and how it could be done better.

It was a very technical challenge to create models that could be applicable across different industries and clients.

What has been the highlight so far?

Following months of hard work, I was so excited to see the product in action - delivering value for clients. I am delighted with the speed of service we can now offer our clients. On average, we have halved our delivery time and clients love that!

Most of our competitors are still working in the same way we were a couple of years ago. We saw the need to change and we did. So far, we’ve used the product to advise pubs, restaurants, gyms, banks, opticians, even a London borough, and many more, on their location strategy.

What have been the challenges?

Now that we are able to bring location insight to clients in such a readily available format – one of the biggest challenges we now face is not the availability of the data but to ensure that we focus on prioritising the key questions to solve.

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