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Synopsis

Is your company ready to adapt to the rapid technological acceleration and economic turbulence that face businesses today? You need the right tools to meet this moment. Our Bain's Management Toolkit (Part 1) collection includes battle-tested frameworks, curated and recommended by one of the world's top consulting firms,that will help you identify, implement, and integrate the optimal tools to succeed.

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Slide highlights

Use Agile Leadership to assemble small, multidisciplinary leadership teams that self-govern to create new growth strategies and cultivate breakthrough innovations.(Slide 1)

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Reduce costs and improve the quality of your products through Business Process Re-Engineering.(Slide 7)

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Use Change Management tools to overcome past barriers for change, reinforce communications in the present, and develop an adpative future.(Slide 8)

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Outcome

Management tools have been proven to be most effective when implemented as part of a major organizational effort. But remember, these tools work best when they are used as means to a strategic goal, not a cure-all for your business.

Whether you want to better plan for the future, boost revenue or efficiency, improve the quality of management structures, or innovate on current workflow and processes, select the right tool at the right time for ultimate success.

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Application

Bain & Company created the multi-year research project behind this toolkit to help educate managers and leaders on when and how to use the many management tools out there. If you find these tools useful, make sure to check out our Bain's Management Toolkit (Part 2). We also have additional presentations for many of the frameworks mentioned, so if you find a specific tool useful, check them out from our resources library.

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Balanced scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that balances four business components together around a unified strategic vision. This tool is used to synchronize communication, align tasks to a central strategy, or prioritize projects that best fit strategic targets. For instance, on this scorecard, you can see the four components of education and growth, internal processes, customer relationship, and financial results are all united by a central vision.

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As a manager, you may want to reconnect your team's strategic objectives to your organization's long-term targets. As an executive, you may want to compare business units in different regions to ensure alignments. Or as a startup founder, you can use the BSC to share your strategic vision with key stakeholders. (Slide 4)

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Benchmarking

Business Benchmarking is used to evaluate a process, task, or team in an attempt to gather information on areas to improve. There are two phases to this methodology: the benchmarking phase and the post-benchmarking phase. In the benchmarking phase, you first determine the scope of the exercise, identify the KPIs you will use to measure success, and then begin to collect data. To understand what success looks like, select a "best in class" peer group to compare to. This can be a competitor who you want to out-perform or learn from. Then, measure your performance against theirs. In the post-benchmarking phase, you develop an action plan to improve, track the plan's execution, and recalibrate as needed. The best benefit of the benchmarking process is an overall increase in the rate of organizational learning.

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As a manager, you may want to use benchmarking to improve employee performance, or understand and improve your company's relative cost position.

As a chief executive or founder, you can use benchmarking to gain a strategic advantage against competitors. For example, maybe you find through benchmarking that your e-commerce company has a much faster delivery time than your competition. This can not only be an advantage but a marketing tool to position your brand. Or maybe through benchmarking you discover there's a specific method to how your peers can deliver faster than you, and if you implement or improve upon that method, you can increase your delivery time to match the standard they set.(Slide 5)

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Business Process re-engineering

Similar to benchmarking, business process re-engineering designs and implements new processes. Unlike benchmarking, BPR uses customer-driven objectives instead of competition-based performance as an entry point for improvement. Build a cross-functional team to analyze feedback from customers and develop a strategic purpose for BPR. Then map and analyze the process as it stands now. Identify disconnects and areas you can add value.

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For example, you work at a company that sells a direct-to-consumer subscription box. You recently received customer feedback that the box is behind on the latest trends and needs to improve on product sourcing to be more up-to-date.

You've mapped and analyzed your current processes, and now you need to design your "to-be" process. You can actually use benchmarking at this stage to compare yourself to competitors. Once you have a decent sense of how the top performers source their goods, you find they have an AI tool that tells them trends in near real-time, so you decide your new process will incorporate a machine-learning tool.

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Now you need to have an engineer who can build it. Conduct a trade-off analysis of the costs and benefits of this new system, and weigh that it will be worth it. Now evaluate the implementation of this process through the prototype and transition phases. You train your team on how the tool works, and let it loose. Initiate ongoing measurements to make sure the tool is accurate in its predictions and actually serves your customers what they want. Review the first couple of month's performance against targets, and improve from there.(Slide 7)

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Core Competency Analysis

Core Competency Analysis analysis allows you to invest in strengths that differentiate you and set strategies to unify your organization. Use it to identify and design systems around key strengths, determine where to allocate resources, and enter or even invent new markets with a focus on what you do best. If you already have a core competency determined, the analysis process can help develop and improve it. If only potential competencies have been identified, the analysis can help you decide which one makes the most sense to invest in and develop. If no core competency has been identified whatsoever, you may need to involve more key stakeholders in the discovery process.

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If we look at the subscription box example, your customers have already given you insight into what they like about your product: its simple brand, on-time delivery, and quality to price comparison. However, they also shared that your product selection is not as unique or on-trend as it could be. You now know the core competency is quality service and bargain price-point. You can use the analysis template to rank the importance of these competencies alongside the areas you are weaker in.(Slide 15)

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Customer journey analysis

Customer Journey Maps track a customer's experience of a product, service, or feature through the awareness to the delight stages. Use it to define key touchpoints, activities involved, and emotions experienced throughout each step of the journey. Understand what frustrates or compels your customers, identify gaps between what you think you do and what the customer goes through, and reduce complaints and turnover.

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Let's say you want to improve the customer experience of your subscription box service. You can see your customers engage with and enjoy your targeted Facebook ads and social posts, which takes them from the awareness stage to the consideration phase. However, when they browse your website, you notice a slight drop off in customer satisfaction on your website and in email inquiries. This could be because your website is not optimized or doesn't provide the information they want to know. When they go to email your support staff, they don't get their questions answered, and that's why you see a drop off in satisfaction and loss of sales that don't make it to the decision stage. So those could be two areas of improvement.(Slide 17)

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Customer relationship management

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, involves tools to understand your business's various customer groups and respond in real-time to their desires. Customer relationship management takes all the CRM technology you use (like apps or email management software), your staff's skills and incentives, your organization's rules and procedures, and funnels them together. If you aren't already, you can use CRM to gather real-time research on customers, accurately gauge the ROI of promotional programs, improve product design with customer feedback and Net Promoter Score (Part 2), and evaluate customer service programs.

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Your business probably uses some type of CRM system to collect and manage customer data. You can use this data to tailor specific products to targeted segments. For instance, if your subscription box is tailored to parents, but through CRM you discover the audience is 65% mothers and 35% fathers, you may want to launch two separate product types that appeal more to moms versus more to dads. Or maybe you discover that audience segments in one geographic location prefer certain types of products versus those of another geography.(Slide 18)

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