Corporate strategy for a bank facing a digital revolution

The financial services industry is facing a digital revolution, and Bene Agere has given us the tools we need to master the future

«Our industry is facing a digital revolution with changes in customer behaviour and a value chain that is challenged by new entrants. Bene Agere was a natural partner when The SpareBank1 BV Group was developing and implementing a strategy to meet the future. I have worked with Bene Agere for several years and the strategic roadmap applied by Bene Agere is very effective when a company needs to review and re-align the entire business.

Their strategy process and frameworks are great for setting direction, developing a strategy and arriving on an implementation plan that takes you in the desired direction, mobilize the organization for change, and drive the change initiatives effectively and results oriented.

The consultants in Bene Agere work with and through our employees and leave structural capital behind when they are finished so that we, ourselves, may continue the work on our own. The SpareBank1 BV Group currently has a clear strategy for the future, with service concepts and methods that satisfy both our local and digital customers. Bene Agere has given us the tools we need to master the future and achieve our goals and ambitions.”

– Rune Fjeldstad, CEO SpareBank1 BV
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us 

FDA Warning Letter Remediation and New Product Launch Acceleration

A mid-size, NJ –based generic drug manufacturer had several years of unsuccessful health authority inspections and two years of FDA Warning Letter remediation. The company needed improved remediation approach to lift the Warning Letter and to be able to launch new products. In addition, the private equity –owned company was for sale and the price needed to be maximized.

Our Approach

The remediation program was restructured to remove compliance issues with risk-based prioritization and rigorous program management. The new remediation strategy ensured faster remediation and optimal use of resources. New product launch processes were optimized with new product and process validation strategies
The project results:
  • New remediation approach resulted to lifting of the FDA Warning Letter within eight months
  • New Product Launch processes were optimized reducing the cycle time from two years to one year
  • Company valuation was increased by 25%+ after the lifting of the FDA Warning Letter and the company was sold to a publicly traded pharmaceutical company.
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us

New business area in regional bank: International Cash Management

Evolving customer needs require new service offering to ensure customer retention and attraction

The financial services industry experience rapid changes driven by digitization, competition from fin-tech startups and the threat of large global technology companies moving into the banking space. At the same time, the competition is intense between traditional players. One of our customers, a large regional financial player, experienced increased customer demand for international banking services as the local business environment are becoming more and more global.  The outset was an immediate need to offer international banking services to retain existing and win new customers – 40% of the business was at risk


Our customer articulated the ambition to be recognized as competitive within international cash management. A first phase project identified the need to develop new market analytics, launch a new business unit, recruit highly competent bankers, develop new products and processes, establish international alliances, upgrade IT platform and a general competence improvement of existing business banking personnel.


After a 6 month transformation program the business unit was up and running and the new international services were launched in the market. New sales processes and sales support tools had been designed to achieve more proactive sales behaviour and 70+ cross-functional sales teams were established and trained. International presence was achieved through an alliance with a global wholesale bank and new digital capabilities were being developed.


One year after ending the programme the bank can safely say that the investment in resources, internal training, IT development and other start up investments is already at break even. The future potential is great and the bank is very well positioned to meet future customer demand.

Key Insights:

  • A new business unit can be established and be operative in the market fast if you have an attractive ambition, the right mix of outside in perspective, investment willingness and delivery thrust.
  • Combining customer experience and Bene Agere transformation experience yield returns beyond the actual project deliverable.
    • Our customer was already recognized within their alliance as a strong project organization and are now adapting key project management components into their internal way of working
  • Management support and involvement is key to success and stick to the plan through resistance
    • Management support is generated with active involvement in solution development and efficient decision processes. Do not fall for the temptation to think that permanent change can be achieved through quick/simple measures
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us

Post-merger Quality System Strategy and Corporate University Development & Implementation

A publicly traded generic pharmaceutical company had complicated quality and regulatory management processes with four newly merged entities and two recently lifted FDA Warning Letters. In addition, the training was focused only on GMP.

Our Approach

The team developed a holistic Pharmaceutical Quality System (PQS) strategy and transformation map which would unify the systems and build a roadmap for 3-5 years to meet global regulatory requirements while meeting business need of efficient operations.
The company training was redesigned from GMP-only to a corporate university –model that enabled the company to become a learning organization.
The project results:
  • A new unified corporate quality manual was developed with unified quality standards resulting to easier processes and quality management. Quality management, document management and training management software were integrated providing more efficient workflows and optimized resourcing.
  • The new Corporate University improved GMP training and increased non-GMP skills like Lean, Six Sigma, new product launch, team management and other vital business training.
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us

First 100 days as CEO

Supporting an ambitious leader in his transition into the role as CEO

A new CEO in a leading Nordic software supplier to energy utilities saw the transition into the role as critical, but also an opportunity to start fresh and make needed changes in the organisation. In this process, he asked for support from Bene Agere.
Bene Agere facilitated the process towards important strategic decisions and shifts, helping prioritize information and thoughts in the hectic period, and facilitating workshops leading to a “change plan” and new strategic roadmap.
In the first workshops, the focus was on market view and potential to set the context for the transformation and get a feel for the market outlook. Further on we defined future state ambition through the performance / position / assets approach. To prepare for the discussion on gaps, we defined the AS IS situation and in the continuation of this facilitated a discussion on the gaps between AS IS and TO BE situation.
To finalize the delivery the most important gaps were structured and prioritized as a basis for development of a strategic roadmap.

 “Guidance and advice from a peer and experienced orchestrator of strategic change is of high value when structuring ambitions and plans for a company. The cooperation with Bene Agere provided something more than just this, as they facilitated a process that enabled me to be proactive already in my first three months as CEO”

The results were; an anchored change plan delivered and presented in board meeting, and approval from the board on all the suggested strategically important change initiatives.
Our key take-away from the project is that the first 100 days as a new CEO CAN and SHOULD be used as an opportunity to carry out major changes, and the Bene Agere framework is very well suited to facilitate this process.
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact Pål Wæhle

Creating a world leader in travel retail

Post-merger Integration

Our client was a global Travel Retailer with operations in over 40 countries and a global market share of 15% at the time, with over 20 000 shops and a revenue of close to 4 billion EUR. The client had just realized an acquisition of one of their key competitors in the Travel Retail Industry increasing total revenue and global presence by approximately 30%.
Ambition of the project was to integrate the two organisations and realize the potential synergies. In addition, to identify and define an implementation plan to realise up to 10% EBITDA improvement in commercial synergies, and to ensure an effective integration of geographical fit.

The overall project followed a standard PMI procedure:









The project was set up with seven organizational integration streams and five streams focusing specifically on identifying commercial synergies. All work streams were set up with clear objectives, separate integration teams, defined key activities and deliverables.
Each work stream used internal project leaders with coaching from Bene Agere, ensuring internal ownership and “high leverage consulting”, allowing the client to use very few consultants considering the complexity engagement.
Within each organization the approach was to analyse the “As Is” structure, capabilities, processes and tools and rapidly take decision on whether to:
A) Integrate
B) Use one of existing
C) Consolidate globally
The project results:
– Organizational synergies identified, common processes, responsibilities and work methods established.
– Commercial synergies target identified broken into five key areas included in 2015 budgets.
– Synergies delivered according to plan
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us 

Increasing profits from negative to positive for a wholesale company

From Red to Black towards Market Leadership

Three years of partnering, addressing strategy, operations, structure, financials and people across 50 locations country-wide to establish robust profit margins and growth.
A loss making company was bought by a Norwegian consolidation of companies. The new management took initial measures and wanted to accelerate the development of results, in cooperation with Bene Agere. The ambition of the program was to increase profits from -1 % to 3 % and increase sales by 10 %. The company was also determined to position themselves as number 2 in the market, and at the same time improve culture and employee satisfaction.
Together we shaped a three year program establishing a new vision for the company, shifting the focus toservice in addition to sales, creating a winning culture and professionalizing the import organization and the 50+ physical outlets in their multi-local distribution network.

… of the program, strategic opportunities were defined in governance, sales & marketing, work-shop efficiency, logistics, and headquarter operations. The business case established a profitable growth plan and priorities for the next 2 and 5 years.

mission, vision, values and employee satisfaction were addressed from the outset. The three waves of coached implementation across the different outlets focused on profitability, professionalism and top-service, while at the same time the company was trained in running their own improvement projects.

had primary focus on accelerated growth, expansion and customer value differentiation.

“I have never learned so much as fast as I have done through this partnership”


The organization experienced significant results from the program. EBITDA increased to a four times higher level than before, sales increased by 20%+. The company reached their market share targets moving up from number 4 to number 2 in the industry. Even though the organization implemented major changes, the employee satisfaction went up on 17 of 18 indicators.
The program also resulted in the start-up of a new strategic business unit, and the company as well as the CEO was voted best in the whole group consolidation.
The new vision, values, strategy and processes as well as the increased competence level in the organization, contributes to a further positive development and attainment of even higher goals in the future.
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us

Holistic change program for leading Nordic technical entrepreneur

A holistic transformation program to improve bottom line for a leading Nordic technical entrepreneur and service company

Growth through acquisitions had led to fragmented work processes across the widespread organisation, leading to a weak EBT. The clear ambition for the endeavour we did together was a 5 % EBT margin across the company, while at the same time developing internal expertise in multi-local roll out of common work processes.
The transformation journey was kicked-off with quantitative analysis and dialogues with employees from all regions and levels in the organization. Best practice within the company was captured and strategic opportunities within effective sales, profitable project delivery, competence development and clear governance and results orientation were defined.
The subsequent implementation program was structured in three waves: 
Rapid actions and measures related to administrative order and tidiness.
Best practice within operational procedures and governance were identified and implemented across the different units.
Demanding initiatives that required a high degree of change and organizational maturity to secure an organization ready to take on further growth and development.

“We have cracked the code on how to ensure efficient roll-out of company-wide procedures and common ways of working in all 70 units. Close follow–up on leading performance indicators ensures fast actions and a culture for continuous improvements.”

This company is on track to reach their high ambitions through this major transformation process that was based largely on the organizations own competence. The new governance model has reinforced result oriented leadership – leading to a constant search for improvements and excellence in all areas.
Expertise in how to roll out continuous improvements to all local units will secure their continued success in the future. As value is created close to customers, change must take hold locally, in every Department.
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us 

Developing growth ambition and plan for agriculture company in strong growth

Global agriculture company in strong growth

– 10 months of partnering shaping the growth agenda to become a global player, unleashing the potential in core technology and developing adaptive operational plans/governance.

This agricultural company was in possession of industry-changing technology. They experienced growth, and new funding from investors enabled new investments.
The ambitions were clear, extraordinary growth from 20 to 250 MUSD in 4-5 years and a penetration of 10 % in all large global markets.
The process started out with identifying and working through key strategic questions and issues.
Further improved strategies and operational plans for core competencies and support functions were built. This process included bottom up analysis for current plans in each geography. Each geography was assisted in developing new concrete strategies and plans.
The process also included the development of a joint ambition with joint strategic prioritization from top management and middle management. Concrete operational plans with key milestones and activities over the next 2 years were formalized.
As to results, key strategic questions were identified and addressed at board, management and business unit Level. Concrete operational plans were developed with key deliverables, milestones, KPIs and new forms of resource allocation and prioritization. At the same time, key risks were identified and mitigations planned.
The project helped developing the organization, preparing them for extraordinary growth and penetration of new markets.
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us

A transformation journey to release the potential for a travel & tourism company

This travel & tourism company has become truly global with market driven product and pricing models leading to profitability

– A transformation journey over five years to release the potentials in the organization.

After several mergers and heavy investments, the company needed to focus on top line growth as well as synergies across geographies and functions.The organization had ambitions to release the brand potential and become one global, industrialized and market oriented operation.
The company is listed, so they also had ambitions of being an attractive investment.

The ambitions were approached with three main transformation initiatives:

The first initiative, aimed at top line growth, focused on strengthened sales management, market driven product development and professionalized revenue management as well as consistent customer experience by standardized procedures and improved collaboration across geographies.
The second initiative was aimed at cost reductions, focusing on restructuring of all sales areas, establishing global shared functions within reservations, product and marketing management and streamlined corporate and administrative support.
The third initiative focused on streamlined customer processes including quality improvements in all touch points with the customer’s throughout their process from interest to book a journey to their boarding on the ship.
This involved implementing smoother internal work processes with clear interfaces and focus on roles and responsibilities to meet customer expectations. The three transformation initiatives delivered substantial results in terms of top line growth and reduced cost base.
The transformation journey released latent potential in the organization and developed a strong platform for future success.

“We did it ourselves, but you enabled us to do it”

For more information about this case, please feel free to contact us

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