​Large B2B supplier increases efficiency with operational excellence

Lauren McCullough 29 Aug 2023
Written by Lauren McCullough
  • Large B2B energy supplier facing multi-million-pound gap in expected sales, due to inefficiencies in its Pricing operation
  • We completed an in-depth diagnostic and found underlying issues in the supplier’s processes, recognising a need for cultural transformation across six focus areas, with plans in action to realise 10 delivery items
  • Upon completion of the project, we aim to reduce lead time by ~50%, allowing the supplier to close the gap in expected sales


We supported a large B2B energy supplier with operational improvements in its Pricing team, aiming to increase efficiency and reduce the time taken to produce prices for new and existing customers.

Prior to engaging BFY, the supplier was concerned about the commercial impact of these issues, leading to a potential multi-million-pound shortfall in sales and renewals, while also damaging brand reputation.

We identified several pain points in our client’s processes that were hindering performance. We also recognised significant gaps in the visibility of work, made worse by the ineffective system used by the supplier, with ~85% of daily activities not being reported on or being completed offline.

In addition to this, ~60% of price requests lacked the information required to meet customer needs, and ~50% were being completed outside of the Pricing team.

To help us understand the root cause of this challenge, we completed an in-depth diagnostic of the Pricing team’s operational processes. This allowed us to identify a series of underlying issues and quantify their impact on performance, before creating a timed plan for improvement.

​Our approach

Alongside the supplier’s system issues, we noted that its Employee Net Promoter Score had decreased significantly in recent months, and it became clear that a major cultural shift was required to address the challenge.

The findings of our diagnostic supported this, highlighting the following six focus areas:

  • Effectiveness of work system
  • Ability to report
  • Efficiency of workflow management
  • Organisation design
  • Management of customers
  • Quality of leadership

We built on these focus areas by assigning 10 delivery items to the project, acting as a series of expected outcomes for our client.

We started by prioritising improvements to the supplier’s work system, proposing a redesign of four key processes. Within five weeks, we delivered the first of these processes, utilising standardisation and controls to improve price request management.

We also prioritised reporting as, before we intervened, the supplier had no performance reporting in place, and there was a lack of accountability within the team. We are currently addressing this by creating a new reporting process that allows Team Leaders to manage daily output, with plans in action to support its implementation and rectify the visibility issues outlined above.

Results so far

In the initial six months of this project, our improvements have delivered a 23-point increase in Employee Net Promoter Score for the Pricing team, and we expect this trend to continue as our diagnostic is addressed.

After redesigning the first process in our client’s work system, we have already reduced the backlog of price requests by ~70%. These efforts have also led to a ~60% reduction in ‘hand offs’ of work items, helping to improve the supplier’s visibility of its workflow.

Upon completion of our improvement plan, we expect to achieve a ~50% reduction in the time taken to produce a price, leaving the supplier better equipped to close its potential multi-million-pound sales gap.

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Lauren McCullough

Senior Manager

Lauren leads our clients through Operational Excellence, Lean Transformations and Continuous Improvement activity.

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Craig Sutherland

Senior Consultant

Craig has experience working on both large and small-scale business transformations, IT and people migration programmes, change management and leading cultural transformation.

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Leanne Armstrong

Senior Consultant

Leanne helps clients to achieve operational excellence through demand reduction, process optimisation, and cost to serve initiatives.

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