Becoming a Best-in-Class Digital Operator


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Faced with a disjointed approach to digital, a world-leading consumer packaged goods company partnered with RRA to realize its vision of becoming a truly digital operator.



The leadership challenge

The company had a strategic goal to accelerate growth and double its multi-billion-dollar market capitalization by 2025. To get there, it knew it would need to accelerate its journey to becoming a tech-first business.

The leadership team shared a deep conviction that transforming through technology was critical to top-tier growth and had recently made headway digitizing parts of the business, such as its marketing function. But the CEO and management committee wanted to move faster towards becoming a leading digital operator, able to hold its own against the best digital companies in the world.

The leadership team’s goals were two-fold. First, build out the e-commerce business, with a focus on driving meaningful direct-to-consumer sales. And second, become truly customer-centric.

After scanning the market to understand what best-in-class tech-first companies were doing differently, the CEO was left asking: 

01. Is our organization structured for success?

02. How can we accelerate on a global scale?

03. Do we have the right people to make this journey?

04. How can we unlock an even bigger step-change in our digital efforts?



The RRA process

The CEO reached out to RRA to get an outside perspective on his questions. It led to a multi-year process, covering advisory work, organizational structure design, and the appointment of a senior director of digital transformation.

In a crucial phase of this process, RRA ran focus groups and interview panels with everyone across the firm who influenced its digital strategy to uncover what was holding the company back. This included people on the Steering Committee, the CEO, Regional Heads, as well as functional leaders and teams.

At the end of this exercise, RRA provided a series of recommendations to help the company move towards its vision to become a best-in-class digital operator.




The resolution

From the interviews and focus groups, RRA found two big obstacles were holding the company back. First, it lacked a clear definition of what digital meant for its business and did not have a defined ownership of digital internally. Second, teams across different markets were pulling in different directions, limiting progress, and creating conflict. Different teams were pulling in different directions, limiting progress, and creating conflict.

RRA’s recommendations were wide ranging, but they coalesced around three main areas. This included communicating and aligning the business around a common digital strategy, and setting relevant goals against it. There was a clear recognition that this would require an increased investment in digital, including looking beyond front-end improvements to infusing digital across all corporate functions, and a commitment to invest in digital talent across the organization, from the top down.

To tackle regional tensions, RRA recommended the company build a global-first culture. This focused on recognizing regional nuances, such as which elements of the digital business could scale globally and which would require regional customization, and encouraging knowledge sharing through opportunities for internal talent transfers. Finally, RRA also recommended the company elevate performance measurement to an enterprise level, lifting metrics to focus on the entire global team, not just individual initiatives.

RRA also designed a new centralized digital function, setting out its scope of responsibilities and the organizational model that would best set it up for success. A key part of this was successfully carrying out the full search for the senior director for digital transformation, who would head up this new team. They are now getting ready to apply the recommendations and help the organization to take the next step forward in its transformation towards becoming a truly digital-first operator.





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