Leadership Edge

The Secret to Successfully Transforming the Front Office

Companies understand the benefits of transforming the Front Office business processes (FOT) and, in theory, are prepared to blaze a trail – but, in practice, where do they start? How do they drive the programme to a successful, self-sustaining outcome? What are the key factors that determine success or failure? And, crucially, what can be learned from companies that have done it before? We like to share the major learnings from this research, with the aim of answering the key question: What is the secret to a successful transformation? One message comes through loud and clear: the more heavily and actively involved the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), the more successful the project.

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Who is transforming successfully?

There is quite a disparity in the perceived success level of transformation projects between sectors. Who is leading and who is lagging when it comes to Front Office Transformation?

Financial services

New PwC research reveals that too few financial services businesses are executing the transformation of their Front Office processes with complete success. How can the sector get better at transformation?

More about financial services

Retail and consumer goods

The retail and consumer goods sector is among the most successful at Front Office Transformation, new research from PwC reveals. How can it capitalise on that success and supercharge its future transformation?

More about retail and consumer goods

Industrial manufacturing

Manufacturing companies are having limited success with transforming their front office. What can companies in the sector do to turn their fortunes around?

More about industrial manufacturing

Travel, transport and hospitality

Travel, transport and hospitality businesses have led successful Front Office Transformation exercises. But what can the industry do to build on the success it has enjoyed so far?

More about travel, transport and hospitality

How the Leadership Edge drives better transformation

1. Building a transformation culture is crucial

With any workplace transformation project comes a sense of resistance from employees; it’s natural to be sceptical about change. FOT is no exception and, in fact, a massive 98% of all respondents said that FOT proved to be a major cultural challenge for their employees. This figure shows that companies must not underestimate the broad impact of a transformation programme. If you do not bring your employees along on the journey and help them understand what you are trying to achieve, and how it benefits both the business and them, then success will likely be limited.

Developing a transformation culture is a core tenet of the Leadership Edge, and the Leadership Edge makes companies’ FOTs more likely to be successful. Some 68% of active-leadership companies said their FOT was a success, compared to just 45% of passive-leadership companies.


2. Employee enablement is key

Building a positive transformation culture cannot be done without proper employee enablement. The Leadership Edge has a strong role to play in this regard; there is a correlation between active Senior Leadership Teams and better enablement throughout the entire process. When it comes to enablement activities, active-leadership companies are more likely to offer innovative options. Four in five (80%) active-leadership companies are investing in experience-based enablement, such as escape rooms, compared to just half (50%) of passive-leadership companies. This is a crucial point, because experience-based learning tends to be among the most effective methods of enablement. Passive-leadership companies tend to invest more in traditional training, such as self-paced online training modules (55% of passive-leadership companies, compared to only 43% of active-leadership companies).


3. Budget

When it comes to major projects like FOT, securing sufficient budget is essential. Active-leadership companies are likely to have had a better experience in this regard. Although passive-leadership companies found getting FOT budget approval much easier (35%) than active-leadership companies (26%), three in 10 (28%) of them said the FOT budget was not adequate. Greater scrutiny of FOT budgets by the active-leadership companies resulted in a much greater chance of securing the funds necessary for the project, with only 16% of these companies saying their FOT budgets were inadequate. This suggests that an easily secured FOT budget is perhaps ill-conceived and steeped in short-term thinking. Having a more rigorous approach to securing budget suggests that the company is putting a lot of thought and resources into the FOT, which will likely stand it in good stead as it is rolled out.


Sneak preview: Q&A with Adam Spearing, Salesforce

PwC and Salesforce have a longstanding alliance, working together to guide customers through transformation. We caught up with Adam Spearing, Salesforce’s EMEA Field CTO & SVP Solution Consulting UKI, to get his view on what’s happening in the market when it comes to transformations of the Front Office business processes and technologies.

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Contact us

Alexander Schultz-Wirth

Alexander Schultz-Wirth

Partner, Leader Customer Transformation, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 47 97