“Business transformation” - more than just a buzzword?

Written by 
Dee Set Staff
20 July, 2022

The Dee Set Group has been on quite the journey in recent years, with its investment in data and tech, and completing acquisitions which not only secure but strengthen its position within the market. David Pugh, Dee Set Group CIO, reflects on the reason and importance these changes have for the future of the Group.

As a term, business transformation is critical to how companies survive and evolve. If they don’t transform, they don’t survive.

Business transformation is part of any forward-thinking company’s way of working, and there are three key components to any successful transformation:

  1. People - many are too comfortable in their jobs and will always do things the same way. You have to get people to adapt and buy-in to what you are doing by selling the benefits.
  2. Process - people flows into process. Getting the right processes in place to drive efficiency and implement new tech/ systems is key. If proper processes are not in place, people can be ineffective and the technology will fail.
  3. Technology - this is the enabler of business transformation but landing it successfully is difficult. The sweet spot is getting the synergy between the people and process right first for the model to work.”

Concrete actions businesses can take to kickstart a successful business transformation

Getting under the skin of the business at all levels is critical to devising your transformation plan. You have to be able to understand your ‘as is’ environment i.e. what you’ve got and your ‘to be’ environment i.e. your new world.

I spent the first three months in my role at Dee Set Group talking to people, figuring out the board’s vision, visiting stores, looking at operations and the technology used.

From here, you develop a high-level strategic plan that should align with the business vision and customer needs.

Most importantly, go back and sense-check your plan regularly to ensure you’re on the right path. How often you sense check really depends on the type of product, size of the programme and duration, but a sensible timeframe for our 2 ½ year transformation project has been quarterly.

Ensure you revert back to your objectives and goals. Ask yourself - are you on the right path? Has the business model or customer needs changed?  Sometimes you need to pivot, so checking back against your plan is critical to identifying this.”  

Improving relentlessly

Once you start down the path of transformation, you can’t go back and it never ends. It’s a continuous cycle of improvement.

This is where people, process and technology go hand in hand. Businesses need to be constantly looking at their operating model in response to changing market conditions, looking at organisational structure, ways to apply technology and improve processes.

Initial transformation is the foundation for a business that will continue to improve and gain competitive advantage.

The end goal?

As a business, if we hadn’t made the big transformational changes we did over the last couple of years we would be seriously lagging behind our competitors’ customer proposition.

Transformation has allowed us to build a suite of systems that allow us to do more. It’s given us a better sell proposition, allowing us to win more business, increase profits and implement better processes internally. It’s also helped us retain about £3-4 million worth of revenue streams from existing customers.

Business transformation has created a foundation for growth.

Ultimately though, the end goal for any business transformation is to achieve your ‘to be’ environment i.e. your vision, but the caveat here is this is always going to evolve and change as you look to reinvent and remain relevant in an evolving world.

Dee Set Logistics Ltd/Dee Set Confectionery Ltd, trading as Dee Set, registered in England, Scotland and Wales. Registered No: SC208421/04297287.Vat No: 896110414.