Salvation Army brocki.chScalable business model with better customer experience
Salvation Army brocki.ch and Implement Consulting Group
At the beginning of 2015, following unsatisfactory profitability and business development, brocki.ch decided to adopt a new orientation, with support from Implement Consulting Group AG. Within just two years, branch profitability was up by over 30%, allowing Salvation Army brocki.ch and Implement Consulting Group AG to win "Best Business Transformation" at the 2017 Swiss Consulting Awards.
brocki.ch is part of the largest Swiss NGO, the Salvation Army, and as market leader operates almost 20 second hand shops.
At the beginning of 2015, following a sideways trend lasting years, brocki.ch decided to proceed with a strategic reorientation with the Implement Consulting Group. The main objective, which was in accordance with the Salvation Army's intentions and widely supported, was to maintain a medium-term, sustainable positive minimum return of 10%.
The following primary areas were identified early on:
The first phases focussed on identifying factors for the success of the Brocki business model and consolidating the various stakeholder views on the purpose and future of brocki.ch.
The most tangible result was portraying the strategy as a "Brocki journey" towards sustainable, healthy growth over three horizons. This helped the "Brockians" to mobilise early: First, the concept of a new manufacturing footprint/master plan was developed and tested (horizon 1). After improvement, this was implemented across Switzerland (horizon 2) and subsequently, customer processing was re-organised (horizon 3). On a hypothetical fourth horizon, the opening of multiple earmarked branches would bring in additional sales. At the same time, ambitious profitability targets were pursued, as growth and restructuring is being financed fully through generated earnings.
The future operating concept was deliberately developed and validated in a very diverse team, and includes the following statements about the future orientation of brocki.ch:
Based on the brand message, which is already established, and the target markets as defined in the strategy, all aspects of customer processing were re-structured and re-launched.
The approach was changed from product-oriented activities to customer and experience-based activities: This was made possible by grouping customers—those purchasing and those donating—into potential-based segments, and is unparalleled in the CRM landscape, as it illustrates both the suppliers (those making donations) and customers (those purchasing). A variety of measures and unique means of adding value, such as a removal service or simplified donation system, make buying from and donating to brocki.ch more attractive for both types of customers. All measures are facilitated electronically and digitally. To make the significance of the go-to-market concept understandable throughout the Brocki workforce, an unusual step was taken whereby measures that were already in the design stage were developed down to the very last detail and transformed into a target customer journey.
Jakob Amstutz, Manager at Salvation Army Brocki.ch says: "Working with consultants was and is unusual for us – and indeed for our field of work. Yet we have no regrets about this collaboration. On the contrary, during the project we have continued to expand our cooperation with Implement Consulting Group AG, as we are so convinced of its value. Ultimately, the figures speak for themselves and prove that investing in external consulting has been more than worth it. This is something that will become even stronger in the future, when we start scaling the business.“
Although at the time of writing this article—about two years into the collaboration between brocki.ch and Implement Consulting Group AG—the Brocki journey is nowhere near its final destination, the re-orientation has already been a resounding success. Once over half of the branches started operating in accordance with the new concept, we conducted an interim assessment.
In comparison to the declining Swiss retail market, every aspect of brocki.ch achieves impressive results
Ultimately, the figures speak for themselves and prove that investing in external consulting has been more than worth it.
Jakob Amstutz, Manager at Salvation Army Brocki.ch
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