Project Profiles

What kind of impact do you want to have?

Out-of-the-box thinking and deeply specialized expertise enable us to have extraordinary impact. Here are some examples.

Supplier Negotiation Tool for Retailers

An edge at the tableImagine being able to negotiate from almost perfect knowledge.

Consumer product sales teams only have to be experts on their own product line, but retail buyers have the impossible task of knowing what’s going on across a host of different categories in their stores or departments. This information imbalance led a multinational retailer to Oliver Wyman Labs, which helps clients use data to drive decision-making.

We designed an application that puts continuously updated information at every retail buyer’s fingertips. The Supplier Negotiation tool taps dozens of separate data feeds and applies sophisticated analytics, so users have more insight as well as more information. It even shows retail buyers which arguments will be most effective with a given supplier and generate the best return for the retailer. Now in every market where the tool is used, our client’s buyers are negotiating smarter deals from their suppliers.

Global Strategy in the Solar Industry

After the gold rushHelping a photovoltaic manufacturer prosper in a maturing solar market.

A manufacturer of photovoltaic components asked Oliver Wyman to help improve its position in the rapidly evolving solar equipment industry. By bringing more of their manufacturing in-house, they could reduce costs. What they needed was a global sales strategy to align their organization with new opportunities and a changing value chain.

Our Industrial Products team interviewed potential customers and partners to gauge their future needs. Insights from the field and market trend data coalesced into engagement strategies for three key segments: Original Equipment Manufacturers, wholesalers, and installers. A loyalty program for installers is already helping turn component sales into relationships. The company is now positioned for profitable growth, with millions in new orders already in hand.

Infrastructure Investments in Africa

Mapping the Future Oliver Wyman developed a long-term capacity expansion strategy, including capital investment requirements for rail and port assets.

The leaders of a national transportation company in Africa knew that their country’s economic goals hinged on a long-term plan for rail and port infrastructure. They asked Oliver Wyman: “How can we expand capacity now and still fund the long-term investment we’ll need ten and twenty years hence?” From an investment standpoint, transporting bulk commodities like ore is more critical than the mining operation at the railhead.

An eclectic team from five Oliver Wyman offices worked through a range of options to balance the needs for capital investment and capacity improvements over time. The heart of the exercise was developing risk-adjusted volume projections from the railhead to the port. For the first time, our client had a 30-year master plan detailing where, when, and how much to invest across a complex system.

Transforming Retail Banking

Making change workOliver Wyman helped a top North American bank achieve the most significant changes to the branch operations and culture in its history.

A leading global financial institution asked us to reimagine its retail branch network. The strategy called for a fundamental change in how the bank served its customers.

Before the transformative strategy could work, it had to be translated into hundreds of discrete processes that thousands of employees could embrace and apply. This meant knowledge transfer on a massive scale. New rewards for performance also had to be phased in – in ways that fit the culture of the bank. Ultimately, engaging branch employees was as critical to our client’s success as any strategy we presented at the boardroom table.

The result was a highly collaborative, deeply strategic engagement that became the client's most successful transformation management program. Our client remarked: "Oliver Wyman's work with us has made a big impact on business results, but perhaps the most significant role they played was in helping us see new ways of doing things."

Improving Cancer Care

Making excellence routineHow can we give everyone with cancer the best care possible?

This was the challenge that a UK hospital system gave to Oliver Wyman. For most people, cancer treatments and outcomes vary widely. The opportunity to change that made this challenge personal for our team.

We partnered with one of the world’s most successful oncology clinics to define a new standard of care. The larger goal was to integrate what works best for patients, clinicians, hospital operators, and payers into a practical model that our client could apply – and that could be replicated far and wide. Now, what began as a simple question is already changing what cancer patients can expect in the UK and in the US as well. Our client told the head of an internationally renowned US cancer center that we had "changed his life."

The European Banking System

Transforming the banking system after the financial crisisOliver Wyman has emerged as the world’s best organization to answer a deceptively simple question: How strong are our banks?

The only way to gauge the strength of a bank is to get inside and see what kind of stress it can stand, and our Financial Services group has developed unique expertise. We were called in to help solve the banking crisis in a country's collapsing economy and further projects assessed the solvency of banks in additional European countries.

On the strength of this work, the European Central Bank commissioned Oliver Wyman to extend our stress testing methodology to all of the major banks of the 19 Eurozone countries. Altogether, over 200 of us worked on the project, the firm’s largest-ever. Our assessments weren’t always rosy, but by providing markets with a single view of the truth, we helped restore confidence in the financial system. The project was a transformational exercise for individual banks and broader banking structures garnering significant international attention.

International Development

Finding a better wayIn some of our projects, lives – not profits – are at stake.

The question that the U.S. Agency for International Development asked Oliver Wyman was simple: How can we meet expanding needs with limited dollars? The challenge itself was complex. USAID funds thousands of health programs run by local partners all over the world.

We helped the agency clarify its goals, and develop objective measures of performance for its partners and itself. To improve results over time, we recommended a tracking system to assess which approaches and which partners delivered the most impact. These changes are helping USAID become more nimble at meeting changing needs and more consistent in program delivery. Our team also found ways to increase effective aid by nearly USD 3 billion in the first two years– aid that will flow directly to people with needs that can’t wait.

Strategy for a Microfinance Organization

Capital formation at the grass rootsWhat happens when a world-changing idea needs to change?

Women’s World Banking changed what is possible for women in 28 developing countries by offering micro-loans as small as USD100. They called in Oliver Wyman because the sector they had pioneered was in transition. On the funding side, private capital was starting to replace philanthropy. On the consumer side, clients needed a wider range of financial services.

An Oliver Wyman pro bono team helped the organization analyze the shift and map strategic options. Now most of Women’s World Banking’s 24 million clients are getting more than loans. They are purchasing microinsurance to protect their livelihoods. And they are creating capital, with over USD 5 billion in savings accounts – a quiet revolution at the bottom of the income pyramid.

Tür an Tür GmbH Augsburg

Supporting a non-profit organization

…with the challenges of increasing global migration and the impact for the German society
Immigration to Europe has risen significantly in the last couple of years and organizations are struggling with the integration of migrants and refugees into society and the job market. Tür an Tür Integrationsprojekte gGmbH is a German non-profit association known for its expertise in the recognition and qualification of foreign competencies since 2005. They are supporting the German government, job centers as well as migrants personally on the way to inclusion.

Due to increasing demand for their know-how, the number of Tür an Tür employees has more than doubled in the last five years and the organization could no longer maintain effective and communicative operations. Oliver Wyman assisted them in redefining their mission statement and designing a more balanced and robust organizational structure.

At first, we created a new vision and mission statement together with the employees to align the organization. We conducted workshops and interviews to analyze the historical development and the broad range of projects for supporting migrants to be recognized and integrated. Subsequently we developed an optimized organizational structure to be able to better cope with internal and external demands and ensure open communication within the organization. Today, they have a clear plan for future strategic decisions for the benefit of migrants and our society.