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Client Successes

Cedar has been assisting clients across geographies and industries in the areas of strategy, process, strategic human capital and business technology. These successes are illustrated through a series of case studies where we have made strategy work for our clients.

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» Japan – US Steel Industry Cross Border Strategy

Our client is a major multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo. It has revenues of $165 billion and employs over 60,000 people around the world. The company was established in 1867 and focuses on energy, automotive, heavy industrial equipment, and steel. About 7 years ago, it changed its operating strategy from “owner-operator” to “investor” in many of it served markets. In the case of this project, Cedar worked with the company’s Tokyo and Chicago area offices in the areas of steel mill products and distribution. Since 1998, Cedar has completed work for this company covering hot rolled steel coil, cold rolled steel coil, steel plate, plate-in-coil, billet and strand, SBQ bar and forgings.

In this program, Cedar was mandated to provide a detailed market assessment of North American steel mill products market and its distributions channels, notably, Steel Service Centers (SSCs).

  • Collected secondary information regarding steel production and distribution from government sources and the AIST.
  • Interviewed the leading steel mills and SSCs in the North American market.
  • Segmented and forecasted the North American market by steel mill product, distribution channel and end use application.
  • Determined the highest growth sectors and identified the key mills and SSCs serving those subsegments.
  • Identified SSCs who participated in high growth steel segments in North America.

The program resulted in a detailed analysis of the North American steel mill products market and SSCs. The results included:

  • Provided a detailed and accurate quantification of the North American steel mill products market and distribution channels.
  • Identified key SSCs serving the North American steel industry.
  • Identified the key North American SSCs as potential acquisition candidates.
  • Resulted in the successful development of new partnerships in the North American steel industry.
  • We made Strategy Work.

» Textile Client Balanced Scorecard Success

Our client is one of the world’s leading global towel, yarn & paper firms with ~$ 1 Billion in revenue. It is a key supplier to leading US customers including Walmart and JC Penny. The client has over 4 world-class plants with 12000 employees. It has recently expanded its towel capacity by 100% & added a new sheeting plant with over $400 million investment. It has also recently reorganized to a functional organization structure creating teamwork challenges. Many of its performance parameters are off – financial, order book, product quality and productivity creating significant enterprise risk. With a 12 year working relationship with the client, Cedar was come in to help address the challenges.

Cedar used a three pronged approach to address the challenges, leveraging its deep heritage in the Balanced Scorecard – the world’s leading strategy deployment and performance management system:

  • Developed a Corporate Balanced Scorecard to create focus at the leadership team level on the key challenges.
  • Developed 61 cascaded business BSc’s to drive performance at the departmental level.
  • Designed a variable pay framework at the factory, sales and leadership level to drive individual performance.
  • Worked with the client over 6 months to assist in the implementation.

It was critical for Cedar to ensure the benefits came quickly due to increasing cash flow pressure, and underleveraged plant capacity. The results included:

  • Improved performance on key parameters including free cash flow, order book, sales productivity, product quality and on-time-delivery.
  • 30% improvement in productivity at factory level and the sales organization. Cedar created a pay-for-performance culture where future compensation was driven primarily by performance and was variable.
  • Created a performance oriented culture & a cohesive senior leadership team.
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Insurance Major System Upgrade Project Management Office (PMO)

Our client is the leading Insurance solutions provider in the Middle East with assets over USD1.3 Billion and 15 branches. It embarked on a technology transformation program in 2012 with a view to replace its core insurance applications and implement an enterprise wide Financial System. This program had witnessed a series of challenges at the program management level with frequent changes leading to significant delays and lack of direction on the program.

Cedar proposed a dedicated onsite Program Manager to execute the program within planned scope, budget and timeline. On award of the mandate, Cedar program managed the transformation program for over a year successfully establishing best practices in program management and delivered as per timelines. Various modules that formed a part of this program included:

  • Consumer business
  • Commercial business
  • Reinsurance business
  • Medical business
  • B2B portal
  • Enterprise wide Financial system

It was critical for Cedar to ensure a quick stabilization of the program management office to effectively get the program back on track. The results included:

  • Dedicated onsite program manager managing all aspects of the program including timelines, activities, multiple vendor management, recruitment, stakeholder management, team management and program financials.
  • Streamlined the program management office with standardized processes and outputs that were handed over to the client program management office on completion of the engagement and which continues to be used by the client in its programs

» Bank M&A Integration Success - I

The case study pertains to a successful integration completed in the Middle East between one of the largest regional banks and a leading global international bank that was looking to sell off its consumer banking and SME portfolio.

Bank A is one of the largest regional banks with a strong retail and SME focus. The bank has been very proactive in its approach, especially in the retail segment. It is considered to have a strong brand and positioning in the market. In a market which was going down, they flaunted a bold tag line reflective of their ambition. Bank B is a leading global bank, being considered for acquisition primarily because of its wealth management and credit card portfolio. Bank A was keen on acquiring them because of their high quality relationship managers. Bank B’s credit card pool of customers was an additional draw for Bank A. The integration of the 2 banks would push Bank A from its current # 7 position to the top 3 in the country on the cards portfolio. Cedar was engaged by the acquiring to manage the transformation to ensure smooth integration & completion of the project in 6 months.

Cedar managed the integration across 6 work streams 1) Customer Integration, 2) Credit Cards, 3) Wealth Management, 4) SME, 5) Credit & Risk, 6) Process, 7) Channels & Infrastructure, 8) Technology and 9) Organization/HR.

On the Organization Workstream, following were the key activities:-

  • Cedar mapped grading system & conducted through evaluation of the existing job descriptions to derive final grades, titles and corresponding salary with benefits
  • Conducted position fitment analysis with respect to compensation
  • Conducted headcount relocation involving assigning employees to ADCB/ Affiliate / branch
  • Devised & implemented communication strategy & also organized training & induction programs

Cedar successfully ensured that the integration project got completed smoothly within 6 months. This resulted in the following benefits:-

  • Successful restructuring of organization with minimal attrition
  • Smooth transition
  • Well defined grading & titling system based on through evaluation of job descriptions

» Broadband Private Equity Due Diligence

Cedar executed its best-in-class due diligence framework which includes market & competitive assessment, global benchmarking coupled with an in-depth target analysis. Key highlights of the process were:

  • Detailed assessment of the cable broadband industry from a demand, market, pricing technology & current & future trends standpoint
  • Competitive analysis of top players within the cable broadband segment with a specific focus on key technology improvements
  • Long term sustainability of cable broadband & the impact of emerging technologies such as 4G and LTE.
  • Assessment of the target firm with a focus on its current business model & ability to successfully penetrate & build an attractive broadband business
  • Recommended an operating model & way forward strategy providing relevant immediate & long term projections

Considering the criticality & fast-track nature of the mandate it was essential for Cedar to provide insightful recommendations to the client & ensure benefits were realized on an immediate basis.

On Cedar’s recommendation the client made the investment & some of the ensuing benefits were:

  • Significant investment of $110Mn was made giving it a significant equity position
  • Substantial rise of target’s share price & market cap then operating at a 52 week high
  • Post client investment, target raised an additional $50 million from a combination of domestic and overseas institutional investors
  • Renewed segment focus via the induction of a cable broadband segment head
  • Introduction of new products & services such as a highly advanced broadband service offering speeds of up to 100 Mbps
  • Technology infrastructure upgrade from a DOCSIS 2.0 to 3.0
  • Significant Increase in target’s footprint to 13 Mn households & 6Mn digital subscribers
  • Cedar made strategy work!

» Bank M&A Integration Success - II

Our client is a leading commercial bank in the UAE with assets worth AED 179 Bn & 350k customers; having a strong presence through 43 branches & 180 ATMs in the UAE. It had acquired the retail & SME banking business of UAE of a leading UK based multinational bank adding ~235k customers to its portfolio through this acquisition. The corporate banking portfolio was retained by the selling bank, hence they needed 90 days to separate the retail portfolio and have the ownership transferred across. Apart from the complexities involved in an M&A integration, this one had an additional element of separation which had to be managed smoothly without any customer service interruption. Having assisted the client in also conducting a due-diligence of the acquired retail banking portfolio prior to making the final bid, Cedar was invited by the bank to help manage the complex integration.

Cedar leveraged its deep heritage in the Balanced Scorecard – the world’s leading strategy deployment and performance management system & had adopted an integration framework across the areas of finance, customer, process, organization & IT to drive the following:

  • Developed Integration framework across Workstreams – Integration PMO, Integration planning and coordination across Finance, Customer, Product, Credit, Process, Channels, Infrastructure, Organization (HR) & IT
  • Identified key integration objectives for each module using scorecard framework and WorkStream plans covering activities, tasks, timelines, milestones, teams & deliverables
  • Overall migration planned in 4 waves – Legal Day 1 (Separation of retail portfolio), Channel Integration, Liabilities Integration & Cards Integration
  • 55+ applications affected in the integration – replaced, upgraded or consolidated including migration of data from an outsourced cards platform managed by a Greece based vendor to a UAE based cards processing vendor
  • Specialist resources assigned with internal teams with periodic updates to project working committee & steering committee governance forums
  • Designed a customer communication plan across 5 products, and oversee the execution including the target audience, content, channel, frequency.
  • Assessed overall synergies across all workstreams & identified potential opportunities for revenue enhancement & cost savings
  • Developed an end-state operating model for effective utilization of the acquired shared service unit & centralization of all key back-office processes

Cedar’s structured methodology ensured successful & timely integration. The results included:

  • Bank’s Credit Card Portfolio was amongst top-3 in UAE post the integration, may have potentially taken the Bank 4 times as much time to grow organically
  • 30% increase in number of wealth customers, driving bank to a leadership position
  • Smooth integration of over 5,000 employees - ~20% increase in headcount
  • Seamless migration experience for customers across 2 branches, 51 ATM/CDMs, Internet & Mobile banking channel, and Call center
  • Cedar made the integration strategy work!

» Global Manufacturing Private Equity Due Diligence

Our client is one of the largest private equity (PE) firms in the world. It has over $98 billion assets under management. The client focuses on leveraged buy outs and IPOs. The firm covers manufacturing, oil & gas, chemicals, healthcare and several other basic industries. The firm has 9 locations around the world. In the case of this project, Cedar worked with the firm’s Tokyo and Hong Kong offices. The firm wished to sell its holdings in a specialty fastener manufacturer located in Southeast Asia. Our client needed an objective, third-party analysis of the company and the prospects for the global specialty fastener industry which would be shared with prospective bidders.

Cedar was mandated to quickly provide a global market and company due diligence on specialty fasteners.

  • Collected secondary information from IDC, Gartner and others on the key specialty fastener end use markets.
  • Interviewed end users, competitors and their intermediaries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia with a 15-person global Cedar team. All interviews were conducted in the respondents’ native languages.
  • End use markets for disk drives, mobile phones, automotive, heavy machinery and many others were covered.
  • Because of the time pressure of the transaction schedule, all of Cedar’s fieldwork and documentation were completed in 4 weeks.
  • Worked with our PE client to identify market risks and opportunities and to determine the validity of the fastener company’s strategy and forecasted performance.

The program was completed on time and contained accurate information and analysis of the specialty fastener market and the client company’s prospects and risks. The results included:

  • Forecasted demand for specialty fasteners by region and by end use industry.
  • Forecasted demand for specialty fasteners by region and product type/specifications.
  • Forecasted cross analysis of end use market, product type and geography
  • Evaluation of the specialty fastener company’s prospects, risks and rough valuation.
  • Resulted in a successful transaction for the fastener company which exceeded our client’s initial offering value. Per our client recently: “We made a lot of money on that deal.”

» Human Capital Framework | Food company successful transformation

Our client is one of the leading local groups in Middle East into manufacture, supply and export of oil, ghee, butter and margarine brands. The company was going through major transformation and the entire management & board for the firm changed. Given these changes, there were alignments required in organization structure, grading, JDs, compensation benchmarking & variable pay plan design & policies. Cedar having worked with multiple clients on transformation projects was called in for managing the transformation including design & implementation of the above initiatives.

Cedar conducted a detail internal assessments & market study to assess gaps in current structure & grading system

  • Conducted benchmarking study to determine market aligned compensation structure
  • Cedar recommended organization structure, job descriptions, grading system, compensation including variable pay & defined new HR policies & processes
  • Also assisted the client in managing the transformation & rollout of the all initiatives

Cedar worked with the client to successfully implement these initiatives which resulted in the following benefits:-

  • The client was successfully able to weed out non-performers & suitably reward & retain high performing talent through re-aligned organization structure & clearer definition of roles & responsibilities
  • Revised market aligned compensation architecture also increased the firm’s ability to attract & retain talent
  • Institutionalizing the HR function with defined processes, policy, SLAs, owners & performance metrics resulted in strong performance focus

» Human Capital Framework | Telecom Equipment Manufacturer

Our client is a listed company in Oman founded in 1996. The company manufactures cables for long haul back bone communication links, LAN networks, video transmission & Cable TV, traffic signaling, FTTH solutions, security systems, defense and specialty applications. Cedar had assisted the firm in 2010 with market benchmarked organization structure, JDs, grading & titling system, compensation structure, HR processes & policy manual. The company was restructured recently & a new services division was formed. Given the structural changes, it wanted to realign its organization structure, grading & titling, JDs, compensation & HR policies & processes to market benchmarks

Cedar conducted a detail internal assessment & market study of similar firms in Oman & UAE to determine the most effective & logically customized organization structure

  • Cedar also conducted benchmarking study with comparators in the local economy (manufacturing & services) to determine competitively market aligned compensation structure
  • Differentiated compensation structure was recommended by Cedar for the 3 divisions – Manufacturing, services & telecom. Compensation included fixed salary, allowances, as well as benefits to be provides to employees based on the grading structure. Further given the demands of local economy differentiated compensation structure was proposed for locals & expatriates
  • Cedar also designed detailed policy manual aligned to changes in local regulations & market practices

The company successfully implemented the revised organization structure, JDs, compensation structure & policy manual recommended by Cedar. The following were the key benefits:-

  • Revised organization structure along with revised job descriptions helped reduce gaps & overlaps in roles & responsibilities
  • KPIs for each position helped sharpen focus & drive superior performance
  • Revised compensation architecture has assisted in better attraction of talent & significantly reduced employee attrition
  • Employee engagement momentum increased through implementation employee friendly HR policies

» Islamic Bank M&A Integration Success

Our client is a leading Islamic Bank in the UAE with 600,000 customers; having a strong presence through 80 branches & 600 ATMs in the UAE. It had acquired the retail banking business of UAE of a leading global UK based multinational bank adding ~110,000 customers to its portfolio through this acquisition. This was the first time an Islamic Bank had acquired a conventional portfolio in the region and the complexities involved in conversion & integration of cards & financing portfolio were not to be ignored. Having assisted the client across multiple other initiatives over the previous 8 years, Cedar was invited by the bank to help manage the complex and comprehensive integration between the two banks.

Cedar leveraged its deep heritage in the Balanced Scorecard – the world’s leading strategy deployment and performance management system & had adopted an integration framework across the areas of finance, customer, process, organization & IT to drive the following:

  • Developed Integration framework across Workstreams – Integration PMO, Integration planning and coordination across Customer, Product, Process, Channels & IT, with additional oversight on HR and Credit Workstreams.
  • Identified key integration objectives for each module using scorecard framework and WorkStream plans covering activities, tasks, timelines, milestones, teams & deliverables for initial state (Legal Day 1) and end state migration.
  • Cedar also ran an Integration PMO overseeing all Workstreams with focus on the Migration plan drawn for Liabilities, Assets, NPL, Customer static data migration, Channels, Finance and Facilities.
  • Specialist resources assigned with internal teams with periodic updates to project working committee & steering committee governance forums
  • Designed a customer communication plan, and oversee the execution including the target audience, content, channel, frequency.
  • Active management of migration of offshore unit to train and induct outsourced unit across to-be processes and technology platform to render services across call center, operations and collections

Cedar’s structured methodology ensured successful & timely integration. The results included:

  • Fast-track migration - completed over a period of 6 months, with a 2 wave migration: first for static data, followed by financial transaction data and covered cards.
  • Over 430 employees including outsourced team integrated as a bank-within-a-bank
  • Quick migration of over 100,000 customers with less than 1% customer attrition through integration phase
  • Smooth migration experience for customers across 2 branches, 30 ATM/CDMs, Internet & Mobile banking channel, and Call center
  • Cedar made the integration strategy work !

» Lubricant Client Plant Feasibility Success

Our client is an ~$850 Mn diversified conglomerate and one of the world’s leading manufacturer of niche Transformer & Specialty Oils, Power Transmission Conductors & Cables. It offers over 400 types of oils and a comprehensive range of cables and conductors. It also exports to 100 countries, with strong relationships with major global end users. The Middle East accounted for a significant portion of their revenue, and its management was keen to set up a manufacturing location in the UAE, with a preference for setting up in a Free Zone for its benefits and incentives. Having conducted multiple engagements for the client previously, and due to its significant experience in the region and industry, Cedar was brought in to help conduct a location assessment and feasibility study.


Cedar used its significant experience in location and market assessments, using its 4 step methodology which included a combination of primary and secondary data collection to develop a location selection matrix for the client.

  • Cedar worked with the client to define key parameters on which to compare 4 potential locations, such as key infrastructure and land availability, facilities etc
  • Cedar then conducted a detailed assessment of the shortlisted locations covering the parameters through a mix of primary and secondary research
  • Cedar ranked and weighed the data, using its own and industry insights
  • Based on the assessment and ranking conducted, Cedar recommended a location
  • Determined total capex and opex costs involved in setting up a plant in that location and provided the client a high level overview of the plant layout and equipment
  • Additionally Cedar also identified a list of key vendors/contractors that would assist in plant set up

Post analysis of multiple locations and a detailed feasibility study, Cedar made strategic recommendations on selection of a best-fit location for the client.

  • Cedar provided the client an informed decisioning framework which encompassed detailed information including plant layouts, cost of materials, transportation costs, shipping and port charges amongst others
  • Client invested ~ $6-7.5 Mn to set up a plant in the recommended location
  • Engaged with key vendors and contractors that Cedar identified
  • Plant expected to completed by December 2015
  • Post announcement of the new plant, client stock price gained 1.5%
  • Cedar made strategy work!

» New Sustainable Technology and Branding Analysis

Our client is a large multinational chemical company headquartered in the US. It has over $35 billion in revenue and about 36,000 employees in its 90 locations around the world. The client focuses on organic chemistry and new value-added materials. In the case of this project, Cedar worked with the firm’s manufacturing plant in the southeastern US in the development and marketing of a new dielectric material for electric power transformers. The client wanted to understand the North American distribution and power transformer market, utilities’ needs regarding the dielectric fluids used, their costs, performance and safety. This information would be used to develop a development strategy for the product and a branding strategy for its launch into the market.

In the first program phase, Cedar was mandated to provide detailed technology and market analyses of North American transformers and dielectric fluids. The second phase defined the cost and performance targets for the new product and it branding.

  • Collected primary and secondary information on transformers, dielectric fluids and companies in the transformer and dielectric fluid industries.
  • Interviewed electric utilities throughout North America regarding their transformer fleet, use of dielectric fluids and unmet needs.
  • Conducted webcasts with the client every week to share findings and data.
  • Worked with our client to determine demand for its new product, pricing target, applications and branding.

The program resulted in the development of a new safer and cost-effective dielectric fluid material for use in distribution and power transformers. The results included:

  • Identified key performance and cost targets for the new dielectric material.
  • Completed a competitive assessment of other dielectric fluids and how our client could displace them at various utilities.
  • Developed a launch plan and strategy for the new dielectric fluid along with a branding strategy.
  • Resulted in a successful launch of a new dielectric material for transformer applications with cost effective performance, higher safety and environmental sustainability.
  • We made Strategy Work.

» Non-profit shelter in UAE for women & children

Our client is the first licensed non-profit shelter in the UAE for women and children victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking. The firm wanted assistance to develop ‘best-in-class’ organization structures, job descriptions, rewards strategy, performance management system and HR processes & policies. Cedar was appointed for design phase & was later called in for implementation of the above initiatives.

Cedar conducted a detail internal assessment & market study to assess gaps in current structure & grading system

  • Also conducted benchmarking study to determine market aligned compensation structure. In addition, Cedar also conducted fitment assessment interviews to assess & increments were awarded to employees based on this rating. Further this recommended salary was compared with benchmark & realignments were made if salary was below the minimum of the benchmark.
  • Cedar recommended organization structure, job descriptions, grading system, compensation including variable pay as well as HR policy based on the above.
  • Also assisted the client in rollout of the all initiatives.
  • Cedar deployed an employee satisfaction assessment to determine employee issues & concerns.

Cedar successfully assisted in implementing the recommended changes which resulted in:-

  • Increased employee motivation which was duly reflected in the follow-up employee satisfaction assessment
  • Cedar defined roles & responsibilities for all department & each individual resulting in greater clarity of role & greater focus
  • Increased talent management through logical assessment of individual role fitment The organization successfully made a transition from traditional government led HR policies to best-in-class market based recommendations made by Cedar on organization structure, JDs, compensation structure & policy manual.

» Plastic Packaging PE Due Diligence

Our client is a large well known private equity firm headquartered in the US. It has over $75 billion in assets under management and about 900 employees located in the US, Europe and Asia. In the case of this project, Cedar worked with the firm’s headquarters in the US. The client was interested in making an offer for a top tier supplier of high density polypropylene (HDPE) plastic packaging. The client wanted to quickly and completely understand the North American market and technologies of HDPE packaging, equipment and competing materials and technologies. This information and analysis would be used in the client’s bid proposal and offer, if required.

Cedar was mandated to provide detailed technology and market due diligence analyses of the North American market and technologies of HDPE and PET, its main competing packaging material. Cedar also benchmarked the investment target to other packaging companies.

  • Collected primary and secondary information on end uses of HDPE and PET packaging, machinery type used and other operational issues.
  • Interviewed packaging end users, competitors and others.
  • Worked with our client to determine the future prospects of the target company and HDPE packaging.
  • Created an Excel database forecasting the plastic packaging market covering materials, manufacturing technology used and end use applications.
  • Completed all of the work in 2 weeks.
  • Assisted in conference calls with other investors joining with our client.

The program resulted in our client’s acquisition of the HDPE packaging company for over $400 million. The results included:

  • Identified key threats and opportunities facing HDPE packaging in the future.
  • Recommended actions and strategies necessary for the target company to out-perform the packaging market
  • Provided the client’s management with useful tools to manage the company.
  • A successful completion of the transaction

» Power Generation New Market Entry Strategy

Our client is a large multinational manufacturer headquartered in the US. It has over $2.5 billion in revenue and about 10,000 employees around the world. It was established in 1929 and serves the defense, oil & gas, chemical and power generation industries. The company wished to expand into new products and markets with the development of new technologies. One of the opportunities was to develop a specialized generator for use in offshore oil & gas platforms and as emergency power back up in nuclear power plants as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima nuclear disasters respectively.

Cedar was mandated to provide our client with the technical and market information for emergency power generation equipment in the nuclear power and offshore O&G industries.

  • Collected secondary information from government agencies in North America, Asia and Europe regarding changes in the design and placement of back-up emergency generators at nuclear power sites.
  • Collected secondary information on the design and construction of offshore O&G platforms.
  • Interviewed the leading companies involved in the offshore O&G and nuclear power generation market, including end users, EPCs, architects and equipment suppliers.
  • Determined the forecasted market values and units for emergency power generation and provided inputs into the design and performance of the units.
  • Worked with our client to create a strategy to enter different geographic markets.

The program resulted in the identification of risks and opportunities in the development of emergency power generation equipment in these two demanding markets. The results included:

  • Identified the size and segmentation of the markets for emergency power at nuclear sites and offshore platforms.
  • Determined design and performance targets for the equipment.
  • Identified key participants including end users and competitors.
  • Approached these key participants to establish partnerships with our client.
  • Resulted in a successful development of a new business for the client in power generators.
  • We made Strategy Work.

» Renewable Energy Technology Competitive Assessment

Our client is a large multinational manufacturer headquartered in France. It has ~$1 billion in revenue. Cedar worked with the firm’s US and Canadian offices in the area of renewable energy technology. The company manufactures components for solar and wind energy. It sells specialized materials as well as finished components. One of the areas where the client was looking for growth was in wind energy. For this market the client produces specialized controls and contacts using its proprietary materials. The company needed a clear understanding of the wind energy business in general and specifically of the trends in wind turbine design. Whether the wind turbine is geared or gearless has a major impact on the demand for our client’s components.

Cedar was mandated to provide a technical market assessment of the wind energy market with particular attention to the future designs and sizes of turbines being produced. The program covered North America, Europe and Asia.

  • Developed a global database on wind turbines, designs and key manufacturers of each component.
  • Interviewed the leading companies involved in the wind energy market, primarily wind turbine OEMs to determine their future design and sizing plans.
  • Developed future forecast of the global wind turbine market and identified demand for our client’s products.
  • Worked with our client to develop more effective strategies for marketing and selling its products to the wind turbine industry.

The program resulted clear picture of the design directions of the wind turbine OEMs and the level of demand that our client could expect in the future. The results included:

  • Identified key technologies and design trends for future wind turbines.
  • Quantified the addressable market for our client’s products in the future global wind turbine market.
  • Defined the key elements of a marketing strategy for our client in the wind turbine market.
  • Resulted in the client capturing over 85% of the addressable wind turbine market.
  • We made Strategy Work

» Renewable Energy Technology Cross Border Assessment

Our client is a large multinational manufacturer headquartered in Japan. It has over $11 billion in revenue and about 35,000 employees around the world. In 2014, the company broke all revenue and income records since it was established in the 1870’s. The client focuses on aerospace, energy, heavy equipment and transportation. In the case of this project, Cedar worked with the firm’s Tokyo offices in the area of renewable energy technology. The company is being funded by the Japanese government to develop Hydrogen as a fuel for vehicles and electric power generation. Our client is planning to use brown coal from Australia to produce Hydrogen. A supply chain for brown coal processing, Carbon Dioxide sequestration, marine and ground Hydrogen transport and distribution is now being developed. The client wanted to understand how the Hydrogen supply chain in North America was developing and what types of refining, transport and storage technologies were being used.

Cedar was mandated to provide a technical market assessment of Hydrogen use as a fuel and for refinery applications and the key components to the supply chain in North America.

  • Collected secondary information from the US DOE and EPA and companies developing H2 for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and industrial applications.
  • Interviewed the leading companies involved in the North American supply chain for H2 for FCVs and industrial applications.
  • Identified the key North American suppliers of H2 production, transport and storage technologies for both FCV and industrial applications.
  • Worked with our client to identify, evaluate and approach potential partners for the H2 technologies above.

The program resulted in the development of the necessary H2 technologies to responsibly produce, transport, store and distribute H2 as a renewable fuel. The results included:

  • Identified key technologies in the H2 supply chain in North America.
  • Identified key participants and owners of the key technologies in the North American H2 supply chain.
  • Approached the key North American participants to establish partnerships in Japan with our client.
  • Resulted in a successful transfer of H2 supply chain technology for the Japanese market and continued funding to develop this renewable, low/no Carbon fuel.
  • We made Strategy Work.

» US Industrial Analytics Support

Our client is a key player in the US plumbing valves and fittings market serving the residential and non-residential construction industry. It has a 110 year history of serving the plumbing market with 10 plants located in the US, Mexico and Poland. As part of its annual strategic planning cycle, the company uses data from FW Dodge and others to forecast the next year’s sales by product. This approach has been used for years but it has been extremely inaccurate and of limited use as a planning tool for both sales and production.

  • A more robust forecasting model of the residential and non-residential construction market in the US was needed
  • The company hired an analytics firm to provide the model for forecasting demand for its products breaking out the products and building types within residential and non-residential building sectors and how they are used in plumbing, DWV, HVAC, fire, and other applications.
  • It was found that the quantity and quality of the data to be used in the analytics model was insufficient to be used in the new analytics model

Cedar was mandated to provide “real world” data to the analytics model, detailing the use of specific products made by the client in specific types of buildings for specific applications.

  • Conducted interviews and building site visits to determine the scope and intensity of different valves and fittings used in each type of building.
  • We also made adjustments for use of products and building types by region in the US.
  • Calculated usage coefficients ($ per square foot) for each of the client’s products for each building type.
  • Created an Excel database with building type and product usage coefficients that can be analyzed and updated.

The program resulted in the development of a far superior analytics model for the clients business using actual data rather than estimates from secondary sources. The results included:

  • Client’s demand forecasting of its products is far more accurate and realistic.
  • Better data in the analytics model resulted in a useful tool for the sales team and distributors.
  • The forecasting model is now used by both sales and production departments.
  • We made Strategy Work.

» US Machine Tool Cross Border Market Assessment

Our client is a government business development agency operating under the Italian Foreign Ministry headquartered in Rome. It operates trade development offices all over the world covering wines, cheeses, jewelry, leather, agricultural equipment and machine tools. In the case of this project, Cedar worked with the agency’s Chicago offices in the area of machine tools. Each year since 1995, Cedar has completed analyses of machine tool use in the US in various industries to identify market opportunities and potential US partners for Italian machine tool manufacturers.

In this program, Cedar was mandated to provide a detailed market assessment of machine tools used in the US automotive market.

  • Collected secondary information regarding automotive production, machine tool use and trends.
  • Interviewed the leading OEMs and tier 1’s in the North American automotive industry.
  • Segmented and forecasted the market by machine tool type and automotive components/systems to identify high growth opportunities.
  • Determined the best partners for Italian machine tool builders to partner with to supply machinery and provide pre- and post-sales service.

The program resulted in a detailed and accurate overview of the machine tool market in the US automotive industry. The results included:

  • Provided a detailed and accurate quantification of the North American machine tool market and distribution channels serving the automotive industry.
  • Identified key machine tool distributors, importers and service companies serving the North American automotive machine tool market.
  • Identified the key North American distributors and importers to establish partnerships with Italian machine tool builders.
  • Resulted in the successful development of new partnerships in the North American automotive machine tool market.

» US Brazil Document Management System Market Strategy

Our client is a major US multinational company and one of the world’s leading global suppliers of office equipment and document management systems. The client has revenues over $25 billion and more than 145,000 employees. It has recently made acquisitions in the IT and cloud data management space. Many of its performance recently has been so-so, running at slightly above or below breakeven. In order to improve performance, the company decided to re-evaluate all of its global distributors and resellers to determine if they were the right ones for the company’s new direction in digital products and services.

Cedar was mandated to evaluate the company’s Brazilian distributors and resellers to determine if they fit with the company’s strategy going forward.

  • Interviewed the company’s resellers and distributors in major cities across Brazil.
  • Also interviewed local competitors and their intermediaries to benchmark our client’s resellers and distributors.
  • Interviews were done in Portuguese by Cedar employees at our Sao Paulo office.
  • Benchmarked the Brazilian intermediaries vs. their competitors.
  • Worked with the client to identify strengths and weaknesses and where changes needed to be made.

The main benefits to the client were an objective assessment of it sales and marketing channels in Brazil and the fit, or lack thereof, with their resellers and distributors in executing their new digital services strategy. The results included:

  • Support or replacement of existing resellers and distributors to still represent current business but be able to take on new products and services.
  • Noted improvement in Brazil revenues and profits in subsequent quarters.
  • Brazilian resellers and distributors are now aligned with the company’s new strategy.

» Competitor Analysis | A Leading Valves & Fittings Manufacturer

  • The client is a leader in the US market for valves and fittings, primarily for plumbing and HVAC applications.
  • The client found that it was losing market share in the HVAC segment due to a very old product line and over-dependence on it PVF distribution channel.
  • Cedar was commissioned to complete a comprehensive analysis of the HVAC valve market and its competitors
  • Different strategic approaches were developed for both products and distribution
  • The client’s products and distribution strategies were analyzed and redesigned to participate more effectively in the US HVAC market.
  • A key finding was the need for a manufacturers rep network to participate in large bid projects.

» Competitor Analysis | A Leading Plastic Valves Supplier

  • Cedar worked with a leading supplier of plastic valves serving the municipal, industrial and commercial markets.
  • The client wished to maintain/grow its share within the plastic valve market.
  • Specifically wanted a comprehensive analysis of the plastic industrial valve market, channels, drivers and competition.
  • Cedar completed a rigorous evaluation of the industrial plastic valve market and applications.
  • Both secondary information and primary information through in-depth interviews with users, distributors and competitors provide key information for Cedar to develop effective recommendations and insights.
  • The program provided the client with a good understanding of its position and needs to succeed in the market.
  • Both product lines and its distribution strategy were reviewed and re-positioned to participate in the fastest growing industrial valve segments.

» Competitor Technology Assessment

  • Cedar worked with a manufacturer of unique parking brake cable assemblies
  • The client wanted an analysis of the market for automotive OEM parking brake cable assemblies in North America.
  • Specifically ascertaining whether to continue in this market or exit.
  • Cedar contacted the major automotive OEMs and tier 1 suppliers to determine their plans for emergency brake technology and products.
  • Emergency brake competitors were also contacted to understand the different technologies being applied to different types of vehicles and different price segments of vehicles.
  • The assessment of the main competitor’s membrane technology established our client’s leadership in this field.
  • Several new applications and potential customers for the client’s membrane technology were identified.

» Cross Border Market Assessment | Parking Brake Cable Manufacturer

  • Cedar worked with a manufacturer of unique parking brake cable assemblies
  • The client wanted an analysis of the market for automotive OEM parking brake cable assemblies in North America.
  • Specifically ascertaining whether to continue in this market or exit.
  • Cedar contacted the major automotive OEMs and tier 1 suppliers to determine their plans for emergency brake technology and products.
  • Emergency brake competitors were also contacted to understand the different technologies being applied to different types of vehicles and different price segments of vehicles.
  • The market in which the client currently participated was found to be declining and required a new approach and technology.
  • The program identified opportunities for the client in electronic emergency brake technologies.

» Cross Border Market Assessment | Galvanized Steel Tube Manufacturer

  • Our client wanted to understand the Brazilian market for tubing and galvanized tubing applications and demand from customer perspectives.
  • Specifically, the client wanted an assessment of the Brazilian mechanical tubing market and key participants, understand the demand for galvanized mechanical tubing, and a forecast of in-line galvanized mechanical tubing in Brazil
  • Cedar’s Brazilian team completed comprehensive interviews in Brazil focusing on galvanized steel tubing.
  • Forecasts were developed to identify the key growth segments and applications for galvanized mechanical tubing in Brazil
  • The key growth opportunities for our client’s products were identified.
  • A combined strategy of exports and distribution partnering in Brazil helped to substantially increase our client’s sales in Brazil

» Market Assessment & Strategy | A Leading Industrial Pipes Supplier

  • Cedar worked with a supplier of PTFE and PFA lined steel pipe, fittings, and fabrications supplying to the chemical and petro-chemical markets.
  • The client wished to maintain/grow its share within the high performance lined piping market, specifically in North America.
  • The client wanted in-depth market information and insights into the high performance PTFE/PFA/PVDF lined pipe and fittings market.
  • Cedar interviewed the key end users, distributors and competitors in the North American lined pipe market to help our client understand the market and its dynamics.
  • Special attention was given to the competitive situation in the US Gulf Coast region to determine the best strategies for our client.
  • Cedar provided the client with a clear understanding of the lined pipe market, key trends, end user needs and distribution structure.
  • Alternative strategies were developed to help our client expand its share in North America.

» Cross Border Market Assessment | Jewellery Manufacturer

  • Cedar worked with a group of Italian gold jewellery manufacturer through a government trade organization.
  • The client wanted an analysis of the market for Italian jewellery in the U.S.
  • Specifically, to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative evolution of demand for jewelry in the U.S. and, specifically, the demand for Italian jewellery
  • Cedar completed interviews in the US with major jewellery retailers, wholesalers and importers to understand market growth, buyer preferences and price points.
  • An analysis of the market showed that imports from Asia were gaining share on Italian jewellery because of problems with seasonal supply and price points.
  • The key finding of the study helped to reposition Italian suppliers’ sales and delivery schedules to more closely match the main buying seasons in the US.
  • A new strategy emphasizing jewellery design but with lower cost materials was adopted by the Italian manufacturers.
  • The Italian suppliers’ market share and sales quickly recovered in the US.

» Cross Border Market Assessment | Steel Service Centres (SSCs)

  • Cedar prepared an analysis of the US steel service center (SSC) market as a first step in an acquisition program.
  • The client wanted Cedar’s help in the identification of SSCs in the US and potential investment opportunities.
  • Cedar first completed a series of interviews with steel mills and SSCs to identify the leading SSCs in the US market.
  • The second phase of the program was to establish the levels of interest and availability of the most attractive SSCs.
  • Our client made several investments in SSCs serving the energy and automotive industries in the US.
  • These SSC investments are performing better than its conventional investments in steel mills.

» Cross Border Market Assessment | Steel Manufacturer

  • Cedar prepared an analysis of the combined US HRC (hot rolled coil), plate and plate-in-coil (PIC) markets covering mill sources and end use applications.
  • The client wanted information on the HRC, plate and PIC markets to identify new opportunities.
  • Cedar completed a series of interviews with steel mills, SSCs and end users to determine the future prospects of plate, PIC and HRC demand in the US.
  • Key applications were profiled to identify technical requirements, pricing and regional US demand.
  • Construction, energy and automotive were identified as the leading market segments for these materials in the future.
  • A comprehensive analysis of the US steel industry provided our client with the inputs needed to define an effective strategy for growth.
  • As a result of this program, it was found that investments in steel service centers would be better performing over the next 5 years.

» New Product Analysis | Power Rivet Tools Manufacturer

  • The client wanted to complete understanding of the current and future market and applications segments for power rivet tools.
  • Specifically the client wished to understand the market and application segments served in North America and Europe and identify customer needs and recommendations for a new product design framework.
  • Cedar completed a battery of interviews with users, distributors and competitors in the North American rivet tool market.
  • Cedar completed a battery of interviews with users, distributors and competitors in the European rivet tool market.
  • The latest product technologies were evaluated for performance, designs and unmet needs.
  • The market analyses completed in North America and Europe provided the client with product benchmarks for performance and design.
  • New applications and new markets were uncovered during the course of the program.

» Customer Analysis | Plastic Forming Equipment Supplier

  • Cedar worked with a group of plastic forming equipment suppliers to understand US demand for this equipment.
  • The client wanted a mapping of plastic processing companies in selected Midwestern states.
  • The program specifically covered the plastic resin production and plastic materials processing industries in the US
  • Through Cedar’s database and its trade association sources, we compiled a listing of plastic molding equipment users in the Midwest.
  • An excel formatted database was created to identify the end users, contact information, current machine age and brand and other variable effecting future demand for new equipment.
  • The program identified the largest end users, equipment fleets and their served markets to help our clients target their marketing campaigns.
  • Several of our clients achieved new equipment orders in part because of this program.

» Global Market Assessment & Strategy | Steel Tubing Manufacturer

  • The client is a global leader in small diameter steel tubing for industrial applications.
  • The client wanted Cedar to identify opportunities for its small coil product line and to recommend entry strategies into the target markets on a global basis.
  • Cedar completed a series of interviews with end users and OEMs of our client’s small coil tubing products.
  • The market was quantified and segmented by material and tubing dimensions.
  • A forecast was produced on the likely demand for the client’s products over the next 5 years.
  • Opportunities in medical, energy and electronics applications were identified.
  • The client entered these markets and has substantially increased its sales and profitability.

» Global Technology Strategy | Fuses & Conditioning Apparatus Manufacturer

  • The client is a global leader in high voltage electric fuses and current conditioning apparatus.
  • The client wanted to determine the markets for current quality improvement equipment for commercial and industrial applications on a global basis.
  • Cedar was commissioned to complete the program using it global network of offices and employees in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
  • Cedar completed a series of in-depth interviews with utilities, industrial and commercial end users and electrical equipment suppliers in over 20 countries.
  • Key areas of growth in demand and need for better electric current control and conditioning were identified.
  • A comprehensive global strategy for current quality equipment was devised and implemented.
  • Our client is the global leader in electrical current quality equipment.

» Travel Services Client | Balanced Scorecard Success

Our client is one of the leading providers of foreign exchange and travel related services in India and internationally. It provides services such as purchase and sale of currency notes/travelers cheques, prepaid foreign currency cards and pay orders, outward remittance in ~120 countries; and person-to-person money transfer service. Further, the company also operates self-booking online portal for SMEs and individuals. Its clients include leading banks, full-fledged & restricted money changers, corporates as well as individuals. Our client was facing issues such as shrinking margins, increasing costs and also had reported some loss making branches. Therefore, it was keen to conduct a detailed review of its existing business strategy, including an assessment of its operations across business lines - Forex, Travel & Financial Services. The program was aimed at developing a Balanced Scorecard to identify critical strategic objectives to enhance enterprise performance.

Cedar conducted a diagnostic study of the market & competitive environment in order to build a deep understanding of the key trends and practices for effective benchmarking. Based on the focused & comprehensive market assessment study, Cedar outlined key implications and opportunities for the client. As a part of the assignment, Cedar also conducted a strategic review of the client’s current performance from a Financial, Customer, Internal Process & Organization standpoint. This provided deep insights into the client’s operations and enabled Cedar to lay out key issues and areas of concerns such as rise in staff costs, increased debtor days, stagnant sales and weak IT systems. The identified issues were taken into account while designing the Balanced Scorecard with ~15-18 objectives laid out in the Strategy Map. This was further drawn-out to outline owners and definitive measures with formulae for operative and timely reporting. A list of annual plans / initiatives were mapped against strategic priorities / objectives in order to implement the recommended Balanced Scorecard in a successful manner.

Creation of the Balanced Scorecard provided necessary direction and focus to the client with a dedicated system for appropriate measurement and reporting

  • Led to a positive shift in crucial business areas:
    • Focus on high margin business (e.g. leisure, cards) helped meet shareholder expectation
    • Improved collections in corporate travel business
    • Development of a cost consciousness culture
    • Increased automation (web usage) for service request/lead generation for fulfillment
  • Successful implementation led to overall operational excellence & improvement in service quality
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Automotive Client | Balanced Scorecard Success

Our client is primarily engaged in manufacture of two-wheelers and auto components. It designs, manufactures, exports, and markets four and two-stroke motorcycles; two-stroke scooters; mopeds; bicycles, and bicycle parts; as well as select automotive components. Additionally, it also provides training and development, technology implementation, insurance distribution, contact center and business process outsourcing (BPO), metal castings, steel, export, and automobile design businesses in India and internationally. The client was keen to develop Balanced Scorecards for its key divisions (for e.g. Corporate Services, BPO, HR & Employment Services), and also develop Individual Performance Measures (IPMs) for key positions (~5-15 for each division). Leveraging its extensive experience in the Balanced Scorecard area & deep industry knowledge, Cedar was efficiently equipped to assist the client across this initiative.

As a part of the assignment, Cedar conduced a detailed external assessment of the automotive, auto components, BPO, education & training markets along with competitive benchmarking against key metrics. Cedar analyzed the client’s business operations across four key areas – Financial, Customer, Internal Process & Organization. This helped Cedar gain deep and broad insights into the clients overall & divisional operations. Broad issues pointed out as a result of the analysis were - revenue growth below industry average, negative margins across segments & high receivables. Based on the observations of the internal analysis & external assessments, Cedar developed the Strategy Map laying out ~20-25 objectives. These goals & objectives were further extended into the Balanced Scorecard to include defined Owners and Measures along with formulae to facilitate effective measurement & reporting. Cedar also highlighted a list of performance improvement initiatives the client would require to undertake to execute strategy. Each of the recommended initiative had an interrelationship & was mapped across the corresponding objective in the Strategy Map.

The client underwent a profitable transformational change & successfully implemented the recommended Balanced Scorecard as a management tool for describing, communicating & effectively implementing the strategy. The key benefits were as follows:

  • Helped carve a larger management literature at Group level, and cascading down the same to its divisions.
  • BPO training company re-positioned as a one-stop-shop for vocational training
  • Introduction of a quantitative location & franchise selection process
  • Improved governance & communication across the organization
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Consumer Electronics Client | Balanced Scorecard Success

Our client engages in retail sale of consumer electronics goods and services in the US via company-operated stores and other segments. Our client provides various mobility products, including handsets, e-readers, tablet devices, laptop/computers and accessories, cameras, music players, GPS devices, home entertainment accessories and televisions. The company sells its products through operating stores under their own brand name, as well as through its website. It has ~ 4,300 company-operated stores in the United States and Mexico; and ~1,200 dealer franchise stores in 25 countries worldwide. Our client was seeking to rapidly and measurably implement its strategic and operational plans over the next few years. In this regard, it recognized that this can be more effectively done by the successful implementation of the Balanced Scorecard at a corporate level, as well as operational units including Channel Operations, Corporate Development, Retail Services, Merchandising, Marketing, Supply Chain, Real Estate and HR. In the past, the client internally had attempted to build a strategy map/Scorecard, and implement it. It was then keen to enhance the same and operationalize it enterprise wide. Therefore, it undertook Cedar’s assistance to ensure that its Balanced Scorecard initiative is successful and best-in-class.

As a part of the assignment, Cedar conducted an internal data analysis of its operations from a Financial, Customer, Internal Process & Organization standpoint. Such diagnosis provided deep insights into the client’s business and assisted in identifying key issues faced across areas such as lower sales growth in comparison to industry levels, marginal share of online sales, stocking of non-active SKUs and fewer reputed brands and lack of a store-specific assortment strategy. Based on these findings, the Strategy Map was built (with ~20-25 objectives) focused on the four strategic themes – Growth, Customer First, Operational Excellence & People Alignment. Cedar further developed a Balanced Scorecard incorporating the objectives laid out along with defined owners, measures & formulae to facilitate effective reporting & monitoring. Cedar also built a list of initiatives/projects (for e.g. IT Applications Roadmap, Channel Compensation Alignment & Field Structure, Assortment Rationalization & Transition) aligned to the Balanced Scorecard, which needed to be undertaken for executing the strategy in a successful manner.

The client experienced great progress and improvement in its business results, post implementation of the proposed strategy. Some of them included:

  • Higher profit margins & financial leverage, owing to maximization of asset usage
  • Integration of the business processes to reduce delivery cost
  • Higher inventory turnover leading to improved inventory management
  • Transformation of store operations to ensure marketing & store labour effectiveness
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Government Authority Client | Balanced Scorecard Success

Founded in 2008, our client is responsible for setting up and developing a framework for social development in Dubai. Its responsibilities includes preparation, execution, and supervision of comprehensive strategic plans, and proposing legislation related to social services to improve the outputs of the social development sector. A 3-year strategy had been drawn for 2014-16, which was focused on Social Protection, Social Inclusion, Social Cohesion, Social Empowerment & National Identity. Our client was keen to ensure that the strategy is simplified and devoid of duplication. Specifically, it wanted to align its initiatives to the strategy, build consensus with the management team and develop an implementation roadmap. Cedar reviewed its strategy, and built the Strategy Map & Balanced Scorecard to communicate the same across the organization leading to progress towards a performance oriented culture.

Cedar conducted an external assessment encompassing global and regional social services overview, covering areas such as key service providers (ministries & authorities), social challenges, and fundraising, CSR partnerships. Cedar also conducted a detailed internal assessment including the following areas - Stakeholder, Financial, Process and Organization. The strategy was aimed to focus on Emirati citizens & community, government, stakeholders & volunteers. Based on the findings of the study, Cedar developed a Strategy Map showing the cause-effect relationship among ~ 15-20 strategic objectives, and the influence of achieving one objective on the others, thus clarifying the logical interrelationship among them, and creating strategic consistency. Cedar extended the strategy map and designed the Balanced Scorecard to include owners, and defined measures with formulae for each objective, leading to effective performance management and measurement.

The client applies best practices to its strategy management process, based on adopting the Balanced Scorecard system, providing a structured mechanism for developing & implementing their strategic plan. Following were the key benefits:

  • Translation of high-level strategic pillars into the Strategy Map
  • Definition of a clear organization strategy in relation to department & overall social sector strategies
  • High emphasis on partnership management & CSR efforts
  • Improvement in CSR initiatives, by looking at HNI as a growing avenue for fund raising
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Division of a Family Owned Business Client | Balanced Scorecard Success

With a legacy of over 50 years and ~14,000 employees, the diversified family-owned Group consists of 21 companies across construction, commercial, investments and real estate being its key sector. It conducts operations primarily in UAE and across GCC countries. The client was keen to build consensus and align the vision of the management of its Commercial Division, which operates in the agriculture, automotive, commercial vehicles, logistics, travel/tours & electrical sectors (contributing ~$280 Mn in revenue). To achieve this, the Client wanted to run a workshop, incorporating the views & strategies of its management in a structured Strategy Map & associated scorecard, thereby communicating the shared vision. Using its deep industry & Balanced Scorecard knowledge & expertise, Cedar successfully prepared for & executed this workshop.

Cedar conducted an external assessment including an overview of the global and regional family-owned businesses, macroeconomic overview as well as a detailed study of the auto & auto components, agriculture, tourism, lighting and logistics markets. One-on-one meeting with key executives were conducted to understand strategic issues faced by the client. Cedar also conducted a detailed study of the client’s operations across four parameters – Financial, Customer, Internal Process and Organization. This helped to arrive at well-founded conclusions that directed the formulation of a strategy map with ~20-25 objectives, aimed at improving the client’s performance across business parameters. Additionally ~38 current initiatives across businesses were mapped to the recommended strategic objectives for successful execution.

There have been significant improvement in the Group and its company’s results post implementation of the recommended initiatives

  • Development of a long term strategic vision
  • Increased business development efforts towards new product development & new market entry
  • Tapped the export opportunity, leading to substantial growth in business volumes
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Private Wealth Management Client Balanced Scorecard Success

Our client is a leading full service investment bank offering a wide range of financial services and wealth management solutions to institutions, corporations, high–net worth individuals and families. The client has rapidly expanded its footprint to over 350 locations across India with international presence in Hong Kong, Dubai & London. Our client was constantly losing market share (rising competition from international players) and also profitability. It had significant dependence on a few investment avenues (Eg. Mutual Funds), which had low income potential and at the same time it was also losing clients to other organizations. Our client was also keen to institutionalize key processes / procedures and needed to increase emphasis on RM productivity (another issue of RM Attrition to competition) & integration of IT systems. Cedar was brought in to address these growing challenges.

Cedar conducted a detailed diagnostic of its client’s current performance from a Financial, Customer/Product, and Process, Organization & IT perspective to arrive at key issues, coupled with one on one discussions with the key members of the management to identify and validate key pain points. As a part of the exercise Cedar also assessed the market opportunity and analysed competition. The identified issues/challenges, market opportunity and the senior managements vision for the business was translated into the ~20 strategic objectives for the client which were laid out in a strategy map. These objectives were supported with measures / key performance indicators. The Balanced Scorecard design was completed with identifying the owners for the objectives and the frequency of reporting for the measures. Cedar also assisted in defining formulae for the measures. A list of strategic projects / initiatives (eg. New pricing structure, new PMS proposition, re-branding, improved welcome kit, Training Programs for RMs, CRM Implementation among others) were also identified as a part of the above exercise.

It was critical for Cedar to ensure the benefits came quickly due to increasing competition, decreasing market share and profitability. The results included:

  • Our client has been ranked four times in a row as the #1 Private Bank 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012
  • Improvement in market share and profitability
  • Enhanced and improved portfolio of products (both manufactured and 3rd party) for better coverage and higher fees potential
  • Reduction in attrition at RM level
  • Implementation of best in class CRM system
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Leading Hospitality Client | Balanced Scorecard Success

Our client operates a chain of hotels internationally. The company’s hotels facilities include resorts and palaces, safaris, suites, swimming pools, fitness centers, spa, business facilities, and conference services. It also provides airline catering services in South Asia. The company was founded in 1903 and is headquartered in Mumbai, India. It has hotels in India, Maldives, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. The client was keen to develop Balanced Scorecards at the Corporate level as well as at SBU level (Leisure, Business, International and other select properties). The approach adopted for the overall program was aimed at achieving organizational alignment on the existing strategy, clarification & communication of the Group’s objectives and effectively measure performance on delivery of the Scorecard objectives. Therefore, Cedar ensured that the Group Scorecard developed provides a reference framework to guide both Corporate personnel as well as shaping strategic decisions at functional units.

Cedar conducted a thorough business assessment of the Group’s operations from a Financial, Customer, Internal Process & Organization standpoint. As a part of the assignment, ~ 33 interviews were conducted across the client organization to interact and acquire a clear understanding of its operations. This helped identify issues faced by the client across key areas, such as weak central purchasing process, loss of contact/closure of international sales offices, inconsistent service delivery, and lack of accurate MIS reporting. These key issues were taken into consideration while building the Strategy Map with ~ 25 objectives statements of what strategy must the client achieve and what is critical to its success. The Strategy Map was further built into a Balanced Scorecard to lay out measures to aid tracking and reporting of to what extent the objective has been achieved; along with targets & initiatives (for e.g. sales portfolio management, development of best-in-class loyalty programs, participation in international travel fairs etc.) to be undertaken in order to further execute the recommended strategy in a successful manner.

Cedar conducted two workshops with the client, to effectively clarify & communicate strategic objectives. Post completion of the exercise, the client was seen in a position to better manage, cope & deal with the evolving market & customer expectations. The client successfully rolled-out the recommendations, and experienced a number of benefits:

  • Development of a formal process for managing greenfield projects/ renovations/upgradations for execution within budgeted time and cost
  • Focused marketing activities on international business traveler
  • Effective communication and co-ordination between departments leading to customer satisfaction
  • Clear & defined service level agreements between various departments
  • Implementation of best in class CRM system
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Diversified Mauritian Client | Balanced Scorecard Success

Our client is a diversified group incorporated in Mauritius. It had traditionally been engaged in sugar cane cultivation & sugar milling in Mauritius. With time, they have also diversified in property development, hospitality and leisure. Our client had recently restructured its business into 3 clusters – property, agro and leisure and was keen to implement an enterprise performance management system using Balanced Scorecard & align individual performance to enterprise performance. As part of a previous initiative, Cedar had assisted the client in development of the Agro, Leisure, and Property cluster Balanced Scorecards and aligned IPMs for ~50 key positions. However, the client was then keen to further progress and build on that initiative with developing BSCs and IPMs for the Corporate cluster.

Cedar conducted a business assessment covering macroeconomic overview, as well as market overview including education, renewable energy, real estate, tourism & agriculture sectors. Cedar also undertook detailed profiling of key industry competitors for effective benchmarking. This was followed by an assessment of the client operations with significant focus on the activities of the Corporate cluster. ~ 20 one-on-one meetings were conducted across the Corporate cluster. This facilitated mapping of key roles & responsibilities across functional areas. Cedar analyzed the Corporate cluster’s operations from a Financial, Customer, Internal Process & Organization standpoint to list out key issues and areas of concern. Based on this, the Corporate Strategy Map was designed listing out ~ 20 strategic objectives across areas. Cedar also finalized the Measures & Objective Owners, and liaised with the client to collate actuals, complete target setting process & implement reporting. Additionally, as a part of the project scope, Cedar designed Individual Performance Measures cascaded from the Balanced Scorecard for the Corporate Cluster.

Development of Balanced Scorecards at the Corporate & Divisional level provided a strong base for enterprise performance management to the client. The exercise had a progressive impact across the client’s businesses:

  • Performance improvement through objective-setting
  • Provision of a mechanism for structured performance measurement & control
  • Development of a specialized strategy at Cluster level; leading to a shift towards result-oriented approach to management
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Energy Client | Balanced Scorecard Success

Our client is primarily engaged in investing & trading in Energy with a vision to emerge as an Integrated Energy Supply Conglomerate providing Effective Energy Solutions. Incorporated in 1998, in Dubai, the client has been growing significantly and plans to reach trade volumes of 25 Mn Tons by 2016-17. To ensure that the client achieves its aggressive growth plans, a Balanced Scorecard initiative had been started earlier. However, the client wanted to conduct a ValueScan of their BSc along with other initiatives; Design of IPMs, Development of Business Plan & Modification and Enhancement of SOPs. This would provide a comprehensive assessment tool enabling our client to cost-effectively assess the efficacy of their current approach; as well as a thorough appraisal of the current environment and delivery of a customized plan for improving the value of the enterprise performance management efforts.

The assignment was aimed at assessing whether or not the client was reaping full benefits of the existing Balanced Scorecard through a structured set of assessments designed to evaluate its effectiveness. For this purpose, Cedar conducted ~20 interviews with key executive across departments, to gain a better understanding of the client’s current operations and focus areas. Cedar also conducted an assessment of the global & regional coal market, including demand assessment, key suppliers, trading firms, end-use sectors, production capacity, and import volumes etc. The key takeaways from these exercises were taken into account while reviewing the Strategy Map & Balanced Scorecard, and making recommendations on strategic objectives & aligned initiatives, measures and owners. Cedar also recommended IPMs for 18-20 key senior/ middle management positions aligned to the enhanced Corporate Balanced Scorecard. This was further evolved into a way forward business plan for the client’s trading business based on the work done on the BSC assignment.

The client has successfully implemented the recommended enhanced Balanced Scorecard, along with Cedar’s implementation assistance provided for key recommended initiatives (~15-20) across strategic objectives. Following were the positive outcomes:

  • Reduction in sourcing cost; due to strategic tie-ups with suppliers
  • Optimization of shipping & logistics cost
  • Institutionalized risk management
  • Clear & documented roles & responsibilities, leading to stronger communication & collaboration
  • Cedar made strategy work !

» Core Banking Selection Success

Our client is one of the largest banking groups in Lebanon with assets of ~US$ 14 Billion. It has a significant regional presence with 93 branches spread across 11 entities in Lebanon, Cyprus, Iraq, Switzerland, KSA and UAE, employing ~ 2,200 employees. To maintain and grow on its leadership position, bank wanted to review its existing application architecture and replace its suite of existing applications that do not address emerging requirements. Cedar developed Business aligned IT Strategy for the bank, which identified need to replace core banking, treasury, trade finance, wealth management, CRM, internet & mobile banking & Islamic banking modules. Bank requested Cedar to help in selecting best-fit vendor, which was conducted over a 6 month period.

Cedar used its proprietary C-SCORE methodology to evaluate world-class solutions to determine the best-fit vendor. The following were key activities performed by Cedar:

  • Developed a best-in-class Business Requirement Specification (BRS) document covering ~ 12,000 functional, technical & vendor related requirements across 17 areas.
  • Shortlisted 4 global vendors from a long-list of 78 vendors, and circulated a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Detailed evaluation of shortlisted vendors across all functional, technical & vendor areas, and identified gaps across solutions
  • Review statement of work, customization effort & implementation terms to drive an apple-to-apple comparison of the commercial submissions.
  • Recommended the best-fit vendor based on the functional, technical & vendor parameters, contractual & commercial negotiations and reference site visit feedback

Given the breadth of the solutions to be replaced, it was critical for Cedar to ensure that the finalized vendor met all key expectations of the Bank management. The results included:

  • Review & finalization of 400 contractual terms identified across 3 shortlisted vendors
  • Clear scoping of over ~300 customizations required to meet bank’s requirement
  • Finalized the implementation plan and the statement of work with selected vendor
  • Fast-track selection of Universal Banking system that met with key requirements of Bank

» Core Banking PMO Success

Our client is one of the top five banks in Lebanon, headquartered in Beirut. Originally established in 1944, its market share has grown to comprise of around 10% of the total Lebanese Banking System. Through 61 branches spread over Lebanon with one in Cyprus, our client offers a wide range of products and quality services to both individuals & corporations. It’s private bank in Switzerland, is engaged in asset management and advisory banking services, through its offices in Geneva. The bank firmly believes investment in innovation is critical so that the needs of a more demanding global and mobile client base are met. Cedar has been at the forefront of this endeavor with the bank, assisting them in formulating IT strategies and implementing the selected core banking solution with PMO services

  • Decentralized, Centralized and Hybrid variations of the PMO suggested with the Hybrid variant adopted for the bank
  • Principles adopted in formalizing the PMO organization structure were the Reporting Structure, Organization Fitment, Reporting Line, Constitution, Control and Flexibility
  • Governance framework setup included 2 tiers viz. the steering committee & the working committee
  • Cedar’s offering was targeted to help bank achieve a level 4 on the PMO Maturity level

Setting up of the PMO resulted in the below stated benefits:

  • Setup of the Business Technology Relationship Management (BTRM) department was facilitated along with the PMO
  • Monitoring and control of the Bank’s key technology initiatives through one department
  • Vendor management for core done through the PMO, allowing for better accountability and control

» Post-Merger IT Integration Client Success

Our client is one of the UAE’s leading Bank with revenue of ~190 million $ in 2014. The client recently acquired the operations of a leading French Bank in Egypt and had planned a Post-Merger IT Integration resulting in the installation of the group applications across the newly acquired entity. The IT Integration was completed in a period of 2 years with 35 applications rolled out in a big bang approach across the 63 branches 201 ATM’s affecting 1575 employees and ~300k customers. In order to achieve this massive integration within this short period Cedar, having more than 12 years of relationship with the bank was approached to help the Bank in achieving this challenge.

    Cedar used the ‘C-Score’ Framework, which is developed by Cedar for managing the various IT initiatives undertaken by an Entity. The framework involves

  • Update the Senior Management Team regularly on the Time, Cost, Quality and Resource impacts
  • Provide the business team inputs through the vast knowledge base gathered over the various implementations performed
  • Provide the technical team support in hardware selection, supervision on deliverables and co-ordination on technical initiatives
  • Validation of vendor team deliverables, co-ordination for the support and act as a liaison for resolution of conflicts and issues

It was critical for Cedar to ensure the benefits were seen immediately after the Go-Live. The results included:

  • Smooth Day 1 operations within branches with minimal customer impact and continued results for Week 1 and Week 2
  • Over 1300+ employees trained, oriented & inducted into the organization
  • Healthy daily transaction volumes were seen across all systems showing healthy end user adaptation to the new systems implemented
  • Termed as “The most successful integration” by the COO & CEO of the Egypt entity
  • Cedar made strategy work!

» Core Banking Implementation Success | Turkey

Our client is a bank in Turkey with assets of ~US$ 1.7 Billion, 32 branches. As part of the transformation process, it was looking to replace its old core & internet banking system with a state of art system, to help align with its strategic direction. Banking regulations in Turkey are complex, strict and unique in nature; as a result, all banks either use in-house developed core banking applications or solutions from local vendors. All earlier implementation in banks in Turkey from global core banking solution providers have either been aborted or cancelled, and never been successfully completed. The bank had requested Cedar for program management assistance for implementing Finacle Core Banking and Veribranch Internet Banking solutions, which it had earlier assisted in selecting as well.

    Cedar used its proprietary C-SCORE methodology to conduct program management of the entire implementation over 35 months. The following were key solutions provided by Cedar:

  • Developing and implementing the project charter including governance structure, roles & responsibilities, project schedule, entry & exit criteria, and communication framework
  • Closely monitoring of progress across 8 rounds of testing – including pre-UAT, SIT, UAT and performance testing, business simulation, 3 rounds of training and successful go-live.
  • Structured communication across key stakeholders, Core banking and Internet banking vendors and with more than 20 surround system vendors
  • Facilitating monthly Steering Committee meetings chaired by the CEO. Periodic update to Board on program progress, and drive necessary corrective actions for timely execution.

With this assistance from Cedar, the bank became the first bank in Turkey to successfully implement a globally renowned comprehensive core banking solution. Till date it is still the only bank to have successfully implemented a global core banking solution. Other benefits included:

  • Strict adherence to managing expectations: minimize Change Request (CR), alignment to market requirements and completion of program execution within 35 months.
  • Business benefits post implementation include: Scalability of platform - 50% increase in customer base 6 months post go-live, ability to launch new products.
  • Awarded by the Asian Banker as the Best IT Consultancy project of the year.

» Islamic Bank M&A Integration Success

Our client is an Islamic subsidiary of one of the largest banking groups in UAE. The group acquired a competing Islamic bank in 2011 & subsequently decided to merge the two Islamic entities under its umbrella. The integration of banks involved harmonizing products, services, processes, support functions, compliance norms and technology and infrastructure: covering 30+ applications, 50+ ATM/CDMs, ~150K cards, 22 branches, back office and data centers. Having assisted the group with multiple initiatives, including large post-merger integration over the previous 12 years, Cedar was invited to help the bank manage the complex integration, leveraging its integration expertise.

    The engagement was structured in two phases, Phase 1 – Strategy & Planning focused on:

  • Current state assessment, mapping & gap analysis for portfolio of products, services, technology (applications and infrastructure), segmentation and processes across operations, risk, accounting & compliance
  • Finalizing change roadmap, create detailed implementation plan and budget
  • Established program governance, define program charter, and define key project metrics

Phase 2 – Program management of technology integration, was driven by Cedar’s proven C-Score methodology for technology transformations.

  • Cedar ran Integration PMO overseeing activities across all 7 work-streams with focus on system enhancements, process improvements and seamless migration of data.
  • Cedar ensured strict governance, delay tracking, and ensured periodic risk reporting, mitigation and escalation based on escalation matrix
  • Continuous monitoring of resource requirements across various departments
  • Robust change management supported with detailed checklists for each activity
  • Specific initiatives such as - dedicated help desk & field support team, branch and roll-out champions, extended simulation, closed user groups for immediate issue reporting & resolution were key to achieve smooth go-live and quick system adoption

Cedar’s structured methodology ensured successful & timely integration. Below are some of the key features that make this project remarkable

  • Integration achieved within budget & in record time – 6 months!
  • Over 1300+ employees trained, oriented & inducted into the organization
  • Successful migration of 22 branches, ~50 ATM/CDMs, and all e-channels
  • Market dominance: growth in customers by 150K, 35% growth in assets & 80% in credit cards, resulted in increased footprint (became 3rd largest Islamic bank in country)
  • Projected 24% decline in operating expenses for the merged bank, owing to synergies
  • Cedar made the integration strategy work!

» Customer Service Strategy | Banking

Our client is one of the leading regional Islamic Bank in UAE, with assets worth ~$40 Bn & 90+ branches. The bank wanted to enhance & significantly improve the effectiveness of its customer experience. Specifically, the client wanted to assess its existing customer experiences and develop a best-in-class customer service strategy. To achieve this, the bank wanted to review and realign its existing customer segments, respective segment specific offerings, customer interaction channels and their usage, key customer facing and internal processes as well as organization and automation

    Cedar had assisted the bank in design & implementation of a best-in-class customer service strategy across 5 workstreams – customer segmentation, interaction management, customer service processes, customer service organization & technology. Outlined below are the key activities which were undertaken:

  • Customer Segmentation: The value proposition was realigned across 4 retail segments (including product bundling, pricing & value added benefits). A new pre-affluent feeder segment was introduced based on customer value balance.
  • Campaign Management: Cedar had also designed the x-sell strategy & campaign management framework (including 2 predictive x-sell models to drive higher product penetration across segments)
  • Interaction Management: The services offered across digital channels were realigned to drive innovation & enhanced customer experience. Cedar also assisted in design of campaigns & initiatives to drive higher penetration across alternate channels
  • Customer Service Processes: The customer service processes were realigned to drive paperless branches & ensure all customer requests were fulfilled within 0, 1, 2 or 3 days based on complexity
  • Organization: The customer service organization structure was realigned to drive customer centric culture across the organization
  • Technology: The technology roadmap was realigned & new initiatives were identified to drive innovation, customer service effectiveness & better operational efficiency

Cedar had overseen the execution of 45 initiatives identified across 15 recommendations areas over a period of 6 months; key benefits included:

  • New generation branch experience driven through innovative technology & operationalization of paperless branches
  • Best-in-class service delivery driven through effective customer journey maps
  • 40% improvement in operational efficiencies; 10 Million+ Savings in Branch Costs
  • Instant Bank Account & Credit Card Product Launch reducing 5-7 days TAT to “Zero” Days, 50-60% improvement in TAT for key customer facing processes
  • Introduction of segment based & demographic based packages
  • 2x increase in internet banking penetration through effective activation campaigns

» CRM Strategy | Insurance

Our client is the largest insurer in UAE with over 15 branches, assets over USD 1.3 Bn. and a large portfolio of Life and non-life products. The organization had business lines independently structured, without appropriate information capture, under-leveraged channels limiting their capability to improve customer service. It also affected their sales and cross-sell capability. The management recognised the need for increasing customer focus, developing a CRM culture, and drive sales & service levels. Having helped the client with various strategic initiatives in the past, Cedar was invited formulate a strategy for CRM & develop a CRM implementation roadmap.

    Leveraging its thought leadership and CRM expertise, Cedar assisted the client in formulating a CRM strategy and roadmap via -

  • Current state assessment of existing organization, processes, pain-points & aspirations
  • Identified key CRM themes aligned to their strategic objectives
  • Prioritization of key CRM themes to drive future initiatives
  • Study & re-model CRM processes aligned to identified themes and develop customer journey maps to drive adoption of CRM culture
  • Identified list of initiatives, across the 4 CRM themes, and processes & prioritized these initiatives to develop a 3 year road-map
  • Captured detailed requirements across sales, operations, underwriting & BUs aligned to strategic CRM objectives and themes
  • Evaluation of CRM platforms and recommendation of CRM best-fit solution

Cedar’s structured methodology helped the insurer in finalizing strategy & key initiatives for this strategic transforming. The results included:

  • Identification & prioritization of organization wide CRM focused themes, which will be central to all CRM initiatives for the organization
  • Detailed road-map for transforming to a CRM focused organization
  • Finalization of CRM functional & technical architecture
  • Finalized a best-fit CRM solution & identified key partners for implementation
  • Identified opportunities to automate customer centric processes and improve customer experience and improve operational efficiency
  • Opportunities for improving sales and cross-sell, by establishing key CRM driven processes & enabling the front-end users to leverage customer journey maps

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