There are two equally important contributors to a company’s vision and roadmap.
One is the marketplace and business perspective, which understands strategic intent, and works to identify transformational activities for remaining relevant in a competitive environment. The second is driven by technology’s role in delivering on those business objectives.
Columbus Consulting delivers a streamlined approach to consulting that addresses the priorities and needs of both.
We bring cohesion to the decision-making processes for retailers, brands and wholesalers at all stages of growth. With thoughtful consideration of the organization’s structure, processes, and associated change management goals, the Columbus Consulting team delivers high-value strategic services through a holistic approach.
Business Strategy and Roadmap
Developing a successful Business Strategy and Roadmap requires business leaders to clearly establish what it is that they want to achieve. To develop a cohesive and actionable strategy across customer service, merchandising, marketing and supply chain functions, Columbus Consulting facilitates high-impact critical thinking sessions with executive leadership. Through one-on-one interviews, Columbus consultants aggregate the perspectives of all stakeholders to identify the gaps, obstacles and opportunities ahead.
Columbus simplifies the strategic planning process by establishing consensus on where the business is today, setting a unified vision for where it wants to be, and defining a pathway for guiding it there.
Companies that partner with Columbus to define their Business Strategy and Roadmap are able to:
- Align decision-making to strategic intent across the business;
- Identify transformational activities that directly serve established goals;
- Build a sophisticated, actionable roadmap that supports consumer-centric solutions;
- Design strategies that serve long-term goals while supporting short-term needs;
- Identify the impact of optimal Change Management practices;
- Leverage an ongoing options assessment with progress-tracking methodology to regularly refine and optimize the vision as market conditions evolve.
IT Vision and Roadmap
Integrated technologies provide a significant advantage for dynamic and data-driven businesses. These technologies enable every team to deliver on strategic initiatives, collaborate across the business, and support the delivery of engaging customer interactions at every physical and digital touchpoint.
Columbus understands the transformative power of navigating the intersection of legacy and innovative platforms, unifying the business and technology strategy and execution.
Our teams are experts at building roadmaps that prioritize the most impactful and high-ROI technology initiatives, ensuring the resources and infrastructure are in place to support it. Incorporating key considerations of scalability, flexibility, security, privacy and usability, the Columbus team helps IT develop the systems and processes that enable reliable growth, enabling enterprise-wide support for all business capabilities.
Columbus assesses the client’s current technology portfolio, including the longevity of the technology platforms, the cost to operate and maintain them, and the capabilities needed to effectively deliver the business vision. The team then identifies new opportunities and creates actionable plans to deliver and maximize the benefits from specific IT investments.
The outcome is a prioritized program of organization, process, technology and system changes that are needed, along with a full sequence of initiatives, an accurate estimate of cost implication, and the timing to achieve expected change.
The Columbus Consulting IT Vision and Roadmap service helps:
- Evaluate current technology’s alignment with stated business strategy;
- Identify and prioritize the technology changes that most benefit the business long term;
- Create an actionable IT roadmap to deploy new capabilities and services that build a strong foundation for growth and create long-term efficiencies and advantages for the business – without disrupting existing operations;
- Estimate the investment and effort to deliver a comprehensive roadmap;
- Design solutions to integrate legacy systems with new technology to support strategic needs while maintaining productivity;
- Deliver maximum value from all existing and future technology investments.
Business Process Design
Becoming a future-ready retail business doesn’t just require smart investments and the right technology stack. It requires a commitment to process optimization and a culture of change, innovation and collaboration.
Business Process Design from Columbus Consulting starts with a foundational awareness of the company’s vision and a review of its current state. The service then reveals a series of available quick wins and the long-term process changes needed to take advantage of larger opportunities. This can be done within a business discipline or, most impactfully, across disciplines. Doing so establishes the most important indicator of success in Business Process Design: cross-functional alignment.
The creation of a Business Process Design through Columbus Consulting is the result of highly facilitated workshops with executives and key stakeholders. These workshops help leaders critically evaluate existing processes, spotlight the practices that limit their growth, and define more efficient ways of managing a given process.
The workshops include whiteboarding, imagery and visualizations. The sessions reveal better routes for decision making and execution, cementing them as company policy. As a result, companies can ensure that the right decisions are consistently made at the right time, by the right teams, in the most efficient manner possible.
Of course, when working with Columbus, business leaders also come away with a complete process improvement roadmap to bring these improved workflows to life. And because every player needs to understand what to do and when, Columbus also delivers critical services to support a company culture that embraces change management.
Business Process Design from Columbus streamlines decision-making practices and improves business agility. As a result of engaging with Columbus, clients:
- Delineate new processes that directly support their stated business vision;
- Identify Change Management requirements to create a culture of optimization;
- Define a roadmap to change and improve their processes over time;
- Determine the best way to deliver end-to-end integrated processes;
- Design processes that are supported by technology to create efficiency across the organization.
Business leaders must plan for organizational change like their success depends on it. But in a world that favors the agile and the innovative, “change fatigue” is common. Because of this, organizations struggle to gain adoption for new processes and solutions, which leads to fundamental breakdowns in the delivery of the desired change. The key to supporting internal teams and limiting the downsides of constant change is to create and maintain a culture of confidence.
Columbus understands that this confidence comes from a crystal-clear vision, communicated from leadership with both transparency and frequency. Leadership must be sensitive to the effect that change has on teams. Absent an assuredness of their valuable role and expectations, team members’ daily decisions are made suboptimally.
Columbus helps brands, retailers and wholesalers to fight the fatigue that comes with frequent change through a strategic “Start, Stop, Continue” framework.
Because clear and effective Change Management underpins business continuity, Columbus is here to help:
- Define – by initiative – the strategy, communications plan and tools need;
- Determine the organizational changes and training required to ensure successful implementations;
- Create a clear path to adoption for each level of the organization and each impacted team.
As retail companies evolve, they must refine organizational structures. Otherwise, if left unchecked, chains of command become inefficient and functional silos limit collaboration. Slowly, misalignment creeps in to diminish a company’s impact.Columbus Consulting helps clients evaluate efficiency and structure across teams – planning, product development, merchandising, marketing, supply chain, IT, finance – to determine headcount adequacy and specific roles and responsibilities.
From there, Columbus consultants weigh the organization model against financial targets to identify excess or deficient resource allocations. They guide the development of a talent plan that fits the new structure, define an explicit approach to change management, and identify high-level milestones that will help clients achieve the new structure.
Through Organization Design, Columbus leads the steering committee and facilitates the work sessions necessary to:
- Evaluate the ability of current organizational structures to deliver on the company’s vision;
- Assess organizational strengths and weaknesses to discover opportunities for improvement;
- Identify structural changes, new roles, decision rights, and skills required to set a new structure in place;
- Implement a transition plan;
- Continually support the company’s need to be agile in meeting changes in technology, business processes, and the workplace environment.
In addition to consultative services, Columbus Consulting has a history of providing hands-on and experienced leadership to retail organizations that need to fill an executive role.Columbus supports businesses in the midst of leadership transitions, either by temporarily filling the role or driving the executive search for a more permanent hire.
Applications for this service abound: perhaps an emerging business unit necessitates a first-time appointment, or maybe restructuring initiatives or changes introduced by a merger or acquisition require an analysis of leadership abilities and gaps. It’s also inevitable that an existing executive vacates a position because of a promotion, departure or retirement.
No matter the scenario, Columbus can deploy rapid Interim Leadership support to lead and deliver a function to maintain business continuity, ensure the smooth changeover and knowledge transfer required to maintain business stability and long-term success.