What was needed
Identifying Fundamental Business Drivers
For multinational corporations, defining strategic plans that account for market-to-market differences with global portfolio objectives is no easy task. Companies typically spend months of internal and external resources to set their objectives, only to repeat the process the next year. Looking for a smarter approach, MOKA helped one leading CPG client standardize thier strategic planning process by customizing and implementing the MOKA Winning Model. The Winning Model is an advanced analytics platform that enables companies to identify the fundamental levers of their business performance, and thereby standardize their strategic planning process for each region in support of company-wide goals.
Moving to Consistency in Strategic Planning
The beverage category is a fast growing segment globally, particularly healthy segments like bottled water, sparkling, and RTD tea and coffee. Yet, local market conditions can vary widely by consumer preference, currency, disposal income levels, and brand strength. These factors impact the overall profitability of each country, and can result in large variances in particular product lines: for example; small versus large servings, or premium versus mainstream offers. Our client sought to achieve greater visibility into these local market factors as the company moved toward more centralized decision-making. At the same time, there was a growing appetite in the organization to adopt analytics and standardize how strategy is executed at all levels. There was a clear need to to apply a solution that would simplify complexity across the portfolio, prioritize business drivers according to relative importance and impact, and scale understanding of the business across large data sets – in a way that was transparent and easy to replicate across many countries.
Developing the Right Technology Tool for the Task
That's where MOKA's Winning Model comes in. We understand that what is needed is not just the ‘right answer,’ but a tool that enables the people and processes of the organization to work together effectively. That means a platform that is strategically insightful but also operationally useful. And, it has to be intuitive and easy to use. Finally, the platform needs to identify opportunities holistically and end-to-end – from the optimization of marketing activities on the commercial side to improving supply chain efficiency on the operations side. For such a tool to be practical, it would be important to identify the ‘right level’ of thinking and analysis. Given MOKA's years of experience in successful strategic planning engagements, we took care to implement these principles into the development of the Winning Model to ensure its successful adoption by clients.
What we did
An Advanced Analytics Platform for Strategic Planning
MOKA’s Winning Model is an enterprise-ready advanced analytics software platform that empowers business users to derive actionable strategic insights across the entire client value chain – from generating demand to ensuring supply. We developed this tool with CPG clients in order to uncover market-by-market insights, and to build predictive 3-year business plans based on those understandings. Our aim was to develop a platform powerful enough to account for massive amounts of varying data types, but simple enough to provide clear answers to strategic business questions. For example, where should we locate factories to support maximum profitability? Or, how can we make sense of consumer trends in specific markets to guide the right product mix and level of marketing support across the portfolio?
Developing Capabilities, Business Driver by Business Driver
We began by guiding the client’s strategic team to a shared understanding of the key business drivers for their industry: including market dynamics, pricing, portfolio mix, manufacturing efficiency, and distribution networks. For each primary business driver, we worked together to identify:
– Key market data: sales, growth, channel, price
– Competitive context data: key brands, share, geographic strengths
– Internal data: SKU level profitability, production flows, factory KPIs
For each of these inputs, we worked with the client to prioritize the most important analytics, define the best methodology for generating insights, and ultimately, drive the strategic decisions the business users would make.
The Winning Model is to strategy what Uber is to the taxi industry.
Working Together to Build the Right Tool
Based on this consensus, we quickly deployed the Winning Model to our client's needs – designing each business driver into an individual module. We thought deeply not just about what the platform would have to achieve, but about how it would be used, both individually and collectively. We explored how best to visualize the information to enable intuitive understanding, prototyping and testing mockups in real-time.
Along with a deep understanding of the client’s category and its existing business processes, our team brought to bear its rich product design capabilities. MOKA's product team includes top-tier engineers in data science and predictive analytics as well as talented designers with backgrounds in usability.
The development process fully integrated the client into our working team to capitalize on their different functional experiences. The Winning Model was designed to address a full range of stakeholder needs and various organizational perspectives – balancing headquarter priorities with those of local market management.
Prototyping and Perfecting
Once the core team was aligned on the initial platform, we tested the Winning Model under real usage conditions. First applied in the Middle East, we used the platform to support the client’s annual strategic planning exercise over the course of two years. In the second year, the Winning Model was also utilized for strategic planning in a European market. Throughout this testing phase, MOKA continuously iterated and improved the platform as we worked hand-in-hand with the client to prepare for enterprise deployment.
A Common Language for Strategic Planning
By providing a consistent approach to diagnosing market, competitive, and business performance trends, the Winning Model allowed our client's management team to standardize their strategic planning process across all their regions.
Using the Winning Model, our client was able to identify profit improvement opportunities in a Middle East market that moved them from break-even performance to 15% profitability within 3 years. Beyond the immediate operational and financial benefits, the longer term functional significance of the tool was equally important. While MOKA supported the first use of the Winning Model in various workshops, the client was then able to carry the capability over into other markets without MOKA's assistance. Not only did this reduce the need for external consulting spend in order to accomplish sophisticated analysis, it also allowed for a smarter and more effective deployment of internal resources. Because data in the Winning Model is auto-loaded and analyzed, users shifted their time from rote mechanical analysis to value-generating activities.
From a Pilot to Global Impact
Based on our client’s experience with the Winning Model in the Middle East and Europe, its parent company – a global conglomerate – approved the rollout of the Winning Model to all its subsidiaries in all markets. In doing so, they defined a common approach to strategic planning across a diverse and multifaceted organization.
This integrated approach is key to avoiding the misalignments and mistakes that emerge from siloed strategic planning. The Winning Model, through its collaboration features, enables the capturing of valuable insights from across the organization. Ultimately, our client was able to reduce complexity and achieve the practical clarity needed to successfully charter their future strategic direction. We hope we can help your business do the same.