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Client case

Optimizing a service organisation


The departure of the COO at the UK office (with more than 500 employees) of an ERP software company and quality issues in their service activities.

Peter carried out this project over a period of six months, during which he stayed in the UK from Monday to Friday. The service organisation felt strengthened by Peter’s input and the entire organisation became more stabilised. By providing the sales department with a strong and clear range of services, the account managers were able to operate more successfully in the sales process. Not only did the sales department become much more positive about the range of services, appreciation of services staff and clients also greatly increased.

Peter’s straightforward communication style and leadership led to the desired clarity and calmness. His analytical skills were put to the test in controlling the problematic projects. The intercultural aspect of being a straightforward Dutch national in the UK did not pose a problem to him. In close cooperation with the Country Manager, the entire organisation received a boost. This project was completed early and successfully, due to persuasiveness and perseverance.


The position of services was greatly improved within the entire organisation. The sales department used to be very dominant, which created an unstable situation. Within six months, a complete turnaround was achieved. The sales proposition of the services was changed and project control regained. Four out of eight problematic projects were solved and completed. One major project was stopped and the parties came to an agreement in regard to termination of the contract. Three remaining projects continued with tighter management. A new standardised approach was implemented and the organisation adjusted to the new way of working. This meant that a number of changes had to be made within the organisation and its management.


The new way of working strengthened the services organisation and made it more stable. This resulted in an increase in the billable percentage by six percentage points. Due to the new sales approach by the services department and the standardised implementation method, there were no more loss-making projects. Poorly running projects were completed or put back on track so they were no longer loss-making. One substantially loss-making project was terminated and a satisfactory solution was found in consultation with the customer. After the project, market position in the UK was further strengthened and ever larger organisations were obtained as clients.

Decisive factors during this project

The key to success was restoring balance within the organisation. The focus was on unity, working together and ensuring client success. Previously, the sales department had some sort of exclusive claim to the feeling of success. After the project, the entire team shared in this feeling of success. Specifically, there was a focus on the standardisation of the sales and implementation approach. To get the eight problematic projects under control, it was of great importance to set up a Project Review Board. This board monitored and discussed these projects weekly. Of course, it was also crucial to prevent the occurrence of new problematic projects. The new, highly structured way of working made goals and agreements more clear for clients and enabled project managers to perform better. This way, the entire organisation was ready to take on the next step in the growth process.