4 MARCH 2018 Consulting®
Shor tTakes Trends, Views and Analysis
Point B asked clients what they wanted; the answers led to a strategic shift
Consulting: Can you take me though how
you repositioned the firm early in 2017?
Ritter: In many ways, 2017 feels likes an
enigma. The strategic shift we made was
really a positive thing for us. The year got off
to a rough start but we ended growing at over
16 percent for the year; and we had a very
strong fourth quarter. Right now we have the
deepest pipelines we’ve had in quite some
time. We’re really excited about how 2017
played out, especially after the way it began.
Consulting: What was the process of how
you implemented the changes?
Ritter: Our clients had some pretty big and
significant challenges. We took in a lot of
data from the survey and spent a lot of the
second quarter trying to figure it all out,
looking at the information and deciding what
we were going to do; how we were going to
change; what skills and capabilities we were
going to put together to make sure we were
the most relevant to our clients. We did most
of the work over the second quarter and it
happened pretty rapidly.
Consulting: It must have been challenging
trying to shift strategies mid-year.
Ritter: We had no choice. In today’s world
there’s this fast-approaching disruption that’s
coming and for us that meant shifting into
more of a product focus. What I mean by that
is this: the way we talk to our clients can’t be
about the skills we have internally; it has to
be more about understanding their language
and their challenges. That was one of the big
shifts internally—becoming obsessed about
what clients were telling us. We had to make
sure that voice of the customer stayed at
the forefront. That was one of the biggest
internal shifts—hearing clients clearly and
having the confidence that making a shift like
this was going to be impactful to our business.
Consulting: You ended up identifying five
areas of focus. How’s that working out?
Would you say they are all equally important?
Ritter: We believe those five are the most
important challenges facing our clients, but
I don’t think we know enough yet to say
which ones are the most critical. Where
we’ve gotten the most energy so far I’d
say is cloud, analytics, compliance and on
the engagement side. That’s not to say that
loyalty isn’t as important, but three-quarters
of a year into this and this is what we’re
seeing. This work is going to evolve; one
By the end of 2016, Chuck Ritter, President of Point B, says he had started to hear murmurs
of a slowdown, although Point B hadn’t really felt it yet. And then it did. In early 2017 the
firm had started to see the signs and decided to do something dramatic. “It was the ideal
time for us to re-examine Point B and determine what could help make 2017 a successful
year,” Ritter says. “We decided to survey the leadership at our clients, more than 400
current and prospective clients, to find out what they were thinking and what they wanted
from us.” After looking at the data, Point B identified The Top 5 Emerging Business
Initiatives. “Our research found the most important emerging trends for businesses today
fall into five categories: regulatory compliance, data analytics, cloud transformation,
customer experience and loyalty and employee engagement,” Ritter says. The next step
was clear: reposition the firm to meet these five critical demands.