Sustainable Construction Innovation, Does it matter?

8th September 20222 Minutes

The transport construction industry has significant opportunities to reduce carbon by developing materials with lower embedded carbon. Producing cement uses a great deal of energy, so finding a waste product that can substitute for cement makes good environmental sense, while concrete is always at the top of construction sites carbon emissions. Pulverised Fuel Ash, PFA, is a by-product of coal-burning power stations. The ‘ash’ is recovered from the gases and used, amongst other functions, as a cement substitute. This will reduce CO2 by reducing cement through the increased use of cement replacement and increased use of recycled aggregate. 

This positive change is one of the most common ways that businesses innovate, and one used to innovate frequently. Cement product innovations play a significant role in the transition towards carbon net-zero emissions across construction industries. 

The network of universities, cCatapults, and grant funding allows businesses to embrace innovation and provide more high-value services that change the industry’s innovation capability. There is unprecedented investment and attention by Government, customers and business to advance innovation capability to deliver new business outcomes that will redefine collaborative relationships across the supply chain, increase repeat business with customers and demonstrate that the industry is not a commodity and cannot be procured solely on price. What is delivered is complex and requires highly skilled people to look at delivering the best solution. 

Please contact andrew.wilson@curzonconsulting.com or take a look at Curzon Consulting’s sustainability website

References: 

GreenSpec. Building Design. 

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Which risks are the most challenging to carbon net-zero in Africa?

8th September 20222 Minutes

There is a ‘ ticking timebomb’ in third-world countries where there is heavy reliance on fossil fuels (coal burning) for electricity and is responsible for between thirty to/forty per cent of employment. In the particular case of Africa, tThe continent is embarking on a massive expansion of fossil fuel electricity. More than 200 new power stations are planned, the majority of which will burn coal (Pollutionwatch, The Guardian). However, Africa is uniquely positioned to leapfrog dependence on fossil fuels and utilise abundant renewable resources such as solar and wind. Government legislation to reduce this dependency would see joblessness leading to hunger, civil unrest and a potential change of government at the ballot box. Trade Unions are very strong in these sectors due to human rights abuses for tens of years. For change to happen, there is a tricky hierarchy of political players to be satisfied and included before any legislation would be agreed and implemented. 
 
What business opportunities could be related to the African net-zero transition? 
 
Many of the countries mentioned above have very high temperatures, which provide strong sunlight. This raises solar panel opportunities. The countries are also vast and tempting medium-term investment options for wind turbines as their manufacturing costs drop and returns increase as populations grow and require electrification. Fossil fuel companies need to start investing in renewable energies to continue making positive revenue margins and balancing their emissions to carbon net-zero. 
 
Social or economic network effects? 
 
There are extreme views against fossil fuel companies, often with headquarters in European countries. Social media highlights these emission concerns and provides a platform to disseminate important emission information and gather people to attend anti-emissions rallies.  
 
Contact me at www.curzonconsulting.com to discuss further. 

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Why renewable energy is fuelling investor interest?

8th September 20221 Minutes

Renewables will represent 80% of the total share of investments in power generating capacity from today to 2050. Global energy needs are expected to grow by 30% between today and 2040. 

As an asset class, renewable energy has matured dramatically over the past two decades. It has gone from being seen as an alternative culture to having huge investment potential. At the same time, traditional investment norms are changing and not just because of the evolving sustainability mega-trend. In recent years, investment managers have increased their allocations to the broader real assets sector with growing numbers classifying infrastructure and real estate as “real assets”. 

Solar power does not pollute the air with greenhouse gases and is noise-free to be used for residential purposes. Solar opportunities are available at various scales, i.e. for households and large business ventures providing power to the grid. Solar panels are the fastest-growing renewable energy option, thanks to falling costs and increasing investment. Their easy installation and “low emissions” are environmentally friendly. 

Wind turbine power will be an increasingly compelling longer-term investment due to increasing urbanisation and population growth, leading to higher electricity demand. Technological progress with relative cost advantages for renewable energies and an improved regulatory environment (social and political support) motivates businesses to manufacture wind turbines. 

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Why Coupling your Business Plan With Your Decarbonisation Plan is More Effective Than Drafting Them Separately?

8th September 20221 Minutes

There are incredible synergies with aligning purpose and ambition in the decarbonisation sense to the Mission, Vision and Values of the business. Thinking of them in unison will intertwine the business plan (revenue generation) with the decarbonisation plan and allow the business to set short and long-term business goals and decarbonisation metrics. As with most strategy plans, the goals/metrics should be reviewed bi-annually to correct any deviations from the plan.

In the government highway infrastructure sector, the business is aligned to decarbonisation 2050 as legislated by the Paris Agreement 2015 with 2030, 2040 and 2050 time horizons to achieve scientifically based metrics. Collaboration with delivery partners is crucial in reaching these targets. Targets for the delivery partners are aligned to ensuring achieving the business’s Scope 1,2 and 3 targets.

Innovation and collaboration are driving decarbonised materials, electric fleets and whole life design thinking. In other words, it directs a circular economy. Proven technologies and close ties to the government encourage policymakers to be bolder with the legislation they advise politicians to implement. With proven technologies being implemented, financiers are more willing to provide financing.

These innovations provide people who live around major highways with cleaner air and reduced pollution. Less pollution means fewer lung inflictions which ultimately means a healthier society and reduced pressure on the NHS.

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Is Degrowth and Decoupling The Answer to Sustainability?

8th September 20222 Minutes

There is little evidence that greenhouse gas emissions can be decoupled from economic growth in absolute terms from an environmental perspective. Since economic growth is one of the main drivers for rising emissions (and increasing depletion of non-renewable resources), it seems evident that a transition to degrowth would make an essential contribution to climate change mitigation, and hence to our moral obligation to preserve future generations’ rights to basic needs fulfilment.

GDP ultimately cannot be decoupled from material and energy use growth. It is, therefore, misleading to develop a growth-oriented policy around the expectation that decoupling is possible. We also note that GDP is increasingly seen as a poor substitution for societal wellbeing. GDP growth is, therefore, a questionable societal goal. Society can sustainably improve wellbeing, including the wellbeing of its natural assets, but only by discarding GDP growth as the goal favouring more comprehensive measures of societal wellbeing.

While relative decoupling has been observed in multiple countries, absolute decoupling remains elusive. Studies observe that no country has achieved absolute decoupling during the past 50 years. Another study reports that population growth and increases in affluence are overwhelming efficiency improvements at the global scale. There is no evidence for absolute reductions in environmental impacts and little evidence to date, even for significant relative decoupling.  

Technological advances can lead to absolute decoupling for specific types of impact. For example, it is possible to envisage a scenario in which GDP growth is decoupled from using fossil fuels and related CO2 emissions by switching to 100% renewable energy.

References:
Plos one. Is Decoupling GDP Growth from Environmental Impact Possible?

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Hip & knee implant manufacturers – The value creation opportunity

15th November 20211 Minutes

If hip and knee implant manufacturers want to stay relevant, and “move the needle” on value creation, they need to play big or go home!

An aging (ageing) population is driving absolute sales, but over the past few years, primary hip and knee procedures have become commoditised, which has resulted in margins being squeezed for both hospital providers and implant manufacturers.

Implant manufacturers have an opportunity to transform their business model, away from traditional “box shifting” product selling (driven by monthly sales targets) to a high value add, high margin managed service proposition, where multi-year partnerships are formed with hospital providers. Implant manufacturers need to provide additional services along the value chain, especially as health systems move towards value-based care models.

The Value Creation Opportunity

Contact Chetan

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Why renewable energy is fuelling investor interest

As an asset class, renewable energy has matured dramatically over the past two decades. It has gone from being seen as an alternative culture to having huge investment potential. At the same time, traditional investment norms are changing and not just because of the evolving sustainability mega-trend. In recent years, investment managers have increased their allocations to the broader real assets sector with growing numbers classifying infrastructure and real estate as “real assets”.

Solar power does not pollute the air with greenhouse gases and is noise-free to be used for residential purposes. Solar opportunities are available at various scales, i.e. for households and large business ventures providing power to the grid. Solar panels are the fastest-growing renewable energy option, thanks to falling costs and increasing investment. Their easy installation and “low emissions” are environmentally friendly.

Wind turbine power will be an increasingly compelling longer-term investment due to increasing urbanisation and population growth, leading to higher electricity demand. Technological progress with relative cost advantages for renewable energies and an improved regulatory environment (social and political support) motivates businesses to manufacture wind turbines.

Get in touch with Andrew to discuss

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The Future of Work in Financial Services

Banks and insurers weren’t prepared for the pandemic – within days nearly every employee was working from home, all of the time.  The initial response was crisis-mode transferral of existing activities, processes and tools to remote – with minimal adaptation.

Most organisations surprised themselves at how quickly this was achieved and asked why they couldn’t make change happen as fast outside of a crisis.

Rises in workforce productivity were reported (less evidenced), but this was partly driven by fear of job loss.

Homeworking conditions varied enormously, with many people dealing with cramped, noisy environments, unreliable internet connectivity, and competing childcare and work demands

Protracted home-working suited some but caused a widespread decline in mental and physical wellbeing for others*, particularly in larger households:

  • 46% taking less exercise and 39% developing musculoskeletal problems
  • 59% finding it harder to switch off from work and 37% reporting disturbed sleep
  • 67% feeling less connected to or isolated from colleagues
  • 41% of those living in households with 3+ people think working from home is worse for their health and wellbeing, vs 29% of those living on their own and 24% of those living with just their partner

Business leaders had to respond to a wave of 'here & now' imperatives

How to:

  • Immediately ensure operational resilience and prioritise access for those who most needed service
  • Adapt and mobilise rapidly to deliver Government-backed support scheme (BBLS, CBILS)
  • Avoid customer resentment or loss as a consequence of exceptional service constraints – e.g. motor and health insurers compensating policyholders for reduced need to claim or ability to fulfil claims
  • Best minimised disruption and restore service quality for all partners and customers
  • Accelerate process and service digitisation to enable all this, e.g. increased chatbot use to manage contact demand
  • Provision to manage significant financial risk, e.g. bad loans for banks and increased claims volumes for Life insurers
  • Minimise furlough and redundancies and keep colleague morale and motivation high
  • Ensure a safe, confident return to the workplace during those periods when permitted/required to
Expansive, strategic initiatives – like progress on sustainability, operating model and core technology change – were largely relegated down the agenda

Today’s focus is on transitioning to new ways of working which will best advantage organisations and colleagues after restrictions end

  • The Government requirement to work from home whenever possible lifts on July 19th
  • Though uncertainty continues with some senior scientific advisers urging continued working from home over the summer
  • Return to the workplace is underway within Financial Services albeit under varying conditions, speeds and guidance
  • Lots has been done on scenarios and plans for what the new ways of working will look like, and how they will be better…
But how ready are banks and insurers to execute their plans and take full advantage of the many opportunities the transition offers?

Visions of the Future of Work vary, and the best solution to many implementation complexities is not yet known 

Simplistically, strategies divide between three broad options

But one size won’t fit all

There are multiple work ‘personae’ with different required and desired ways of working:

  • e.g. in the wealth management division of a bank, traders may be encouraged back to the office full time…
  • where, Ops and Technology colleagues shift to a 1:3:1 week [1 day in the office, 3 at home, 1 flexible]
  • while private banking account managers go to fully flexible

Many questions still need working through before the optimised hybrid model is found such as:

  • What will the office be used for on return – which tasks and activities need to be conducted there and what changes in office design/functionality will best support those?
  • What and how should policies flex to deal with exceptions, e.g. for people with lower comfort levels about returning to office-based or more cautious views of ongoing Covid risks?
  • Where and how should front/middle/back-office processes and controls differ between the office and home?
  • Where and why should this prompt a reshuffle of roles, interfaces, activities to maximise performance?
  • Do certain roles no longer need to be attached to a site/location? E.g. could a UK job be done 100% from home in France?
  • How to ensure similarity between home and office experience where it matters to avoid some colleagues feeling disconnected, and to bolster inclusivity?
  • To what extent will savings from reduced office space outweigh costs of standardising/upgrading home working equipment, furniture, and technology?  

The challenge is now to successfully translate the vision into the new operating and cultural reality… and deliver maximum benefit from it

The Future of Work challenge facing organisations now is how to actually ‘make it happen’

Moving to action is the hard part, and in our view, the effort needs two strongly coordinated legs:

  1. Piloting the practical changes needed to establish and embed target new ways of working – testing/learning and refining at pace to best effect across the entire business, attuned to the needs of different work personae
  2. Designing and delivering deeper change that goes beyond just re-configuring office space – to create maximum value by converting the breadth and depth of opportunities opened up by the FoW, so…

  • Optimise and flex office access and space in synch with hybrid working needs
  • Perfect the work-at-home equipped-ness and experience
  • Convert cost-savings from real estate footprint and usage reduction 

  • Organise across functions and silos for hybrid working effectiveness  
  • Link WoW changes to delivery of CN0 & cost optimisation goals 
  • Raise employee engagement as a purpose-based organisation

  •  Improve management, coaching, motivational techniques and controls to bridge in/out office split
  • Skills & behaviours ‘upgrade’ for higher performance and positive culture change
  • Enrich diversity and recruit the best talent from a wider geography

  • Re-think routine activities for maximum efficiency
  • Introduce smarter working processes to boost productivity
  • Drive those pandemic customer behaviours (like increased digital payments) which boost productivity and enhance CX

  • Adopt best collaboration tools and AI/automation technology to improve work quality, pace, output
  • Clear out under-utilised or no longer fit for purpose office collaboration / workflow tools

In delivering holistic change there is a golden opportunity to redefine the employee value proposition and enhance culture

Holistic change approach to the Future of Work

Designing to most compelling EVP for the future

The human and commercial benefits of getting this right are BIG

Banking and insurance have amongst the highest remote working potential of any sector, with around three-quarters of time spent on activities that can be conducted remotely, without the loss of productivity*

Indicate scale benefits of transitioning to 50% remote working are £10M annual savings per 1,000 employees

There are important human capital and reputational /social responsibility benefits to derive from improved employee experience and accelerated reduction in the organisation’s carbon footprint***

* Source McKinsey / What’s Next for Remote Working

** Source Global Workplace Analytics, Amazon, SHRM, Deloitte – average annual savings include the cost of office rent, electricity, water, insurance supplies. Savings based on full-time employees with compatible jobs telecommuting 20 hrs/wk. Assumes 2,000 hour work year and £70/hr labour rate 

*** Source Carbon Trust / Homeworking 

So… the questions we think you need to be able to answer are…

Strategy

Does your FoW vision and ambition reach far enough?

Is your FoW strategy holistic and clear on what benefits the new ways of working should deliver, in terms of

  • human capital
  • culture change
  • productivity
  • operational efficiency
  • customer experience
  • cost optimisation
  • carbon reduction

How robust is the supporting business case and rationale?

Change Design

Do change designs have the necessary sensitivity and granularity at policy, process, controls and performance management levels?  Do they have

  • defined rules and variability on when in-person presence is required by specific roles, activity mixes and situations
  • mitigations of risk of accentuating inequalities and creating new psychological or emotional stresses amongst employees

Test – Learn – Optimise

What will it take to pilot, refine and embed the transition effort successfully and at pace?

Enablement

What needs to be achieved to ensure the organisation and people are ready to adopt the new ways of working?

Have you identified/selected the optimal system, technology and data solutions to enable the hybrid working model?

Benefit Capture

To what degree can you be confident you have the right implementation plans, measures and capabilities to realise the target model and benefits?

We would welcome a discussion to understand where you are in moving from visioning to delivering FoW and which questions matter most to you, and to explore where Curzon’s capabilities may be relevant to your needs

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Building capabilities for customer centric decision-making using time to value

29th March 2021

In our latest blog post relating to Intelligent CX, Curzon Analyst Milla Bradstock explores how to build capabilities for customer centric decision-making using Time to Value.

Time to Value, as a metric, initially rose to fame among software companies and its insights now drive improvements in a range of business contexts. In a customer context, it is described as the length of time between a customer purchasing a product or service and seeing the value of that action. Yet to untap the metric’s full potential, businesses must take a longer-term view of its application that goes beyond resolving customers’ immediate needs.

As T2V requires organisations to understand the value of their product or service from a customer’s perspective, it entrenches customer-centricity into the way businesses think about their services. At a time of rapidly shifting customer priorities, organisations that take this approach will be well placed to remain aligned to the needs of their customers.

Measuring Time to Customer Value

Tracking T2V builds a picture of your present customer journey, which will inform solutions to better fulfil customer needs. However, you can only track T2V if you know what ‘value’ is in the eyes of your customer. The definition of value will, of course, differ amongst your customers, but we can start to break down this metric into two sub metrics:

  • Time to Basic Value – The time it takes for a customer to see the minimum amount of value from your product or service. Delivering on this metric doesn’t lead to customer loyalty necessarily, but will increase conversion. 

  • Time to Exceeded Value – The time it takes for a customer to see enough value to exceed their expectations over a longer period of time. Delivering on this metric reduces churn, builds loyalty and increases customer lifetime value. 

For example: A travel app with an easy to use interface and intuitive search results will deliver on the Time to Basic Value metric. However, its Exceeded Value will be realised only when it helps a customer have a good holiday i.e. booking a place to stay using the platform.  

T2V helps businesses identify obstacles to customer satisfaction, which inform solutions for long-term value creation in the eyes of their customer. For SaaS businesses, onboarding is essential to their customers seeing value from their purchase, which creates the challenge of motivating customers to complete the process.

Focusing on accelerating T2V at this point in the customer journey can therefore decrease customer churn and improve satisfaction. Automated onboarding can be an effective tool, delivering frictionless setup and easy deployment through product tours, in-app messages and onboarding checklists. In tune with customer demands for instant service and ultimate convenience, this tool enables customers to seamlessly see the value of their purchase for themselves.

Implications for organisations

  • Move the narrative from Customer Needs to Customer Value
  • Focus on Customer Engagement beyond the initial purchase
  • Measure and monitor customer engagement throughout the Customer Lifecycle 
  • And, of course, ensure the engagement delights the customer every time

How we can help

T2V is just one of the tools that we employ to help our clients improve customer value. Businesses that invest now in strengthening their capabilities for meaningful customer engagement will build the resilience necessary for long-term success.

Get in touch to explore how we can help your organisation create lasting value for your customers.

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Future of work: healthcare med reps transformation

16th February 2021

In his latest blog post relating to Future of Work, Curzon’s Managing Consultant Rodrigo Quezada Dighero focuses on the transformation of healthcare medical sales reps.

Exploring how the pandemic has disrupted the face-to-face salesforce, and the unique opportunity this presents to adapt the operating model for future success.

The effectiveness of a disrupted salesforce

One year into the pandemic and face-to-face sales look very different from 12 months ago.  Medical Reps are facing exceptional challenges in reaching their sales targets, as restrictions on in-person meetings with HCPs continue.   

The gravity of the situation is reflected in the 16 new drugs launched during COVID-19 lockdowns, that are at risk of sales failures, according to one pharma consulting group.

However, the lifting of lockdowns is unlikely to return the industry back to ‘normal’.  In fact, the evidence shows a stark reality for in-person sales.

  • About 60% of surgeons believe that restrictions on in-person sales are likely to remain even after a Covid-19 vaccine is available and lockdown restrictions abate. 

 

Percentage who believe restrictions on face-to-face visits are likely to continue after Covid-19

Moreover, the changing landscape is not just a result of the pandemic; it’s expedited the necessary changes, but fundamentally, companies have been very slow to adapt their operating models to address the needs and wants of their customers and workforce.  

  • Of the 75% of physicians who preferred in-person visits from Medtech representatives prior to Covid-19, 47% would now opt for a virtual exchange or less-frequent visits. 

  • Many physicians once sceptical of any virtual interaction with sales reps now report these exchanges are high quality and offer a much better experience. 

Healthcare providers are demanding more from pharma, as they seek greater value from their interactions with Med Reps.

  • 69% of doctors now want digital patient education 

  • 67% want more education on remote patient care 

  • 65% need specific information on conditions relative to COVID-19

  • 65% require information to help patients access labs, tests and imaging

It’s clear as medical professionals endure the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, changes are here to stay, and adaptation is crucial to success.

Identifying the opportunity - a new way of working

Digitalisation has accelerated the Next Normal requiring pharma operating models to adapt, or in some cases, completely transform to help them to thrive or even survive.

In this context, the need to provide refined, enriched collateral to healthcare providers and doctors demands an evolution from face-to-face meetings and conferences into a hybrid exchange of virtual and in-person meetings, steered by medical reps.

Percentages of doctors who prefer in-person sales visits

However, in order for this to be fully realised, pharma companies need to adjust and develop their salesforce capabilities.  In another study, research shows that only 26% of pharma reps get coaching personalised to their needs. A focus on sales coaching, through integrated, personalised and value-driven interactions will support med reps to identify target prospects and align the products to the needs of the HPC, through their preferred communication channel.

Moreover, managers and leaders need to align sales & marketing, to ensure a collaborative approach to fully understand the customers and the local market they operate in. Communication and insight must flow both ways to drive communication strategies, content creation and support product development.

Our approach

Our approach to New Ways of Working accelerates the adaptation to the digital business model, focusing on the delivery of required capabilities and the evolution towards a hybrid model. 

For this specific transformation, we focus on four of the five key areas

  • Organisation

  • Collaboration and Hybrid Solutions

  • Smartworking Processes

  • People & Leadership

Organisation

  • Develop strategies that assist medical reps throughout the sales process, tailored to every customer touchpoint.
  • Establish hybrid teams that can develop relevant, channel-specific, timely content to empower the med reps.
  • Foster internal engagement and alignment by creating a purpose-based organisation with a relentless focus on value-add customer service. 
  • Entrench company culture to sustain new ways of working and improve business agility – always listening… constantly evolving.

Collaboration & Hybrid Solutions

The virtual nature of teams and work communities spearheads the need to adopt solutions that enhance and facilitate effective remote interactions.

  • Optimise team relationships, roles & interactions to enhance hybrid ways of working.
  • Design and implement collaboration solutions applied to the business and team leadership.
  • Adopt collaborative tools, enabling sales & marketing teams to share opportunities that improve the quality of exchanges, content creation and value-based interactions regardless of location.

Smartworking Processes

Achieving process transformation through re-engineering & automation to create a generation of agile, flexible, efficient and collaborative working dynamics.

  • Redesign smartworking processes, harnessing automation and flexibility to accelerate change and bring the hybrid model alive.
  • Employ digital tools to evolve sales, HCP engagement and bring the customer experience to the forefront of every interaction.
  • Remove silos to cultivate employee engagement and shared knowledge/opportunities.

People & Leadership

Evolution of culture and people is the foundation of Digital Transformation enabling leaders of pharma companies to steer a change in behaviour and actions.

  • Adapt the hybrid model and embed culture based on learning and sharing.
  • Develop salesforce capabilities with a focus on digital skills, converging efforts to support sales requirements through content creation and content sharing.
  • Embed a coaching culture that fosters learning and sharing.
  • Deploy cultural change that embraces and cements the New Normal.

The time to act is now

We work with pharma businesses to deliver New Ways of Working that accelerate the adaptation to the digital business model.  Ultimately our work helps businesses to grow, improve customer retention and discover new opportunities.

Ask us how we can help your organisation to transition into the New Ways of Working putting your salesforce ahead of the curve.

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