3 Business Transformation Success Stories and What We Can Learn From Them

Many companies today are struggling with the idea of business transformation as it has become a non-optional imperative in light of wide ranging digital disruption. In this article, we discuss how three companies turned it into their biggest opportunities:

Whether speaking of emerging startups, or well established businesses, the case for business transformation has never been stronger. There are 543,000 new businesses entering the market every month. And while 1 in 12 also close within a year, that still leaves the rest with plenty of competition to worry about. 

More businesses means more possible solutions to existing problems. No doubt, the customer is the winner in the end here. But, what does this mean for companies trying to leave their mark and eke out a living? It is well understood that the risk of digital disruption is high. 51% of executives surveyed in a Forbes Insight piece believed that they faced significant threat over the next five years from both established businesses and startups.

Let’s face it, most companies aren’t really offering anything that’s really unique. Unless you have a patented solution, every feature you can offer has probably been done to death by now. And, if you do come up with something new, sooner or later a competitor will find a way to offer something similar with some tweaks to make it seem better. 


But even in such a hyper competitive environment, where any effort may seem pointless, there are companies that have proven there is always a way out. Here are three stories that show that business transformation done right can yield incredible results…

DBS Bank – Adapting and Acclimatizing to New Challenges

While most companies are focussed on gaining mindshare via constant marketing bombardment, DBS went the opposite way, going completely invisible. And boy did they succeed! 

As a mid-sized state run bank, DBS already had its hands full in 2019 due to new fintech startups offering exceedingly competitive solutions to traditional banking. Another problem DBS was facing was that it’s customer satisfaction rate wasn’t exactly stellar. In fact, they ranked amongst the worst. 

The newly appointed COO of DBS, Paul Cobban recounts that on his way to the bank in Singapore, his taxi driver told him that DBS’s more popular full-form was “Damn, Bloody, Slow!” Coban, along with DBS CEO Piyush Gupta set down to finding a solution. 

They discovered that their customers really didn’t care much about banks and that most banking processes were simply a hindrance to helping them get what they want. The more the number of steps, the greater the dissatisfaction. 

Cobban therefore instituted a strategy that focussed on eliminating wasted customer time which he called RED, or Respectful, Easy to deal with and Dependable. His chosen metric was customer-hours. Over the course of the next year, DBS removed nearly 250 million customer hours and had the highest customer satisfaction score in Singapore. DBS’s secret lay in turning their processes invisible, so that their customers can make financial transactions as effortlessly as possible.

The takeaway here is that speed is essential to any growth strategy. While processes are helpful, they can easily get in the way of people if they carry more steps than needed. Not only can eliminating waste lead to greater customer satisfaction, but it can add to the company’s bottomline as fewer processes also means more work gets done.


Lean processes can be instituted at every step of a company’s infrastructure. The three click rule of website design, having as few fields in your subscription process and the just in time process used in manufacturing are all great examples of going lean. 

Weight Watchers – Business Transformation Through Agile Practices

The 56 year old health and wellness brand has inspired millions to get in better shape. But, with increasing competition on the digital front, Weight Watchers, which was rebranded to WW in 2018 needed to come out with better solutions faster. 

When WW CTO Michael Lysaght had joined, the company website had a biannual update cycle which would lead to long downtimes. Their app also wasn’t performing as well as WW hoped. 

In response to increasing competition, Lysaght opted for agile development practices including scrum teams and cloud based workshops where a wider range of audiences can receive personalized health related advice. He also broke down silos that had developed in the company so that the tech team could help other departments faster and better. 

In March this year, WW launched their Wellow app that helps users find recipes complete with its ingredients and caloric information via either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. WW is also planning to add voice based instructions to Wellow to help customers try out new recipes. Says WW vice president Vic Chikhani – “we are constantly iterating on the digital experience, the reality is we want to meet members where they are.”


WW’s success proves that modern development best practices such as devops, Scrum and agile best practices are no passing fads and can add tremendous value to a company’s business transformation efforts and workflow. As these models utilize fast paced, highly targeted efforts to tackle problems as and when they come up, they are far more suited to a dynamic marketplace where new challenges come up faster than companies can keep up. 

Hasbro – Making Business Transformation With Big Data

The nearly century old toys and games company has had a long history of creating stellar experiences for its audiences. But, with the digital age upon it, Hasbro needed to reinvent itself to cater to changing tastes. 

In 2012, Hasbro realized that while its advertising strategies had been focused on children, the real decision makers were in fact parents. They implemented a new ad tech platform that showcases related products on retail sites at the end of a consumer’s purchase process and the strategy has proven to be very successful. Hasbro hit the $5.2 billion mark in 2017, which was the highest in its history.

Furthermore, Hasbro understands that its customers are interacting with it through a disparate number of digital and offline channels. Colloquially dubbed as touch-points, each of these channels presents one piece of the marketing puzzle and a company needs to find ways to put the pieces together to gain a full picture of who they are talking to. Under the leadership of its new CMO Jamie Gutfreund, Hasbro is already looking to implement business transformation best practices that integrate all the different data points into one cohesive set. 

Obviously, data cannot be emphasized enough in the modern marketing world. However, analysis paralysis is also an ever present threat. Analytics software and cloud based productivity tools that can coalesce all that information into one database and present it on demand are certainly worth a look as they are designed from the ground up to handle massive quantities of data. 

Disruption is Ultimately a Good Thing…

…so long as you’re the one behind it. While business transformation seems like a tedious process that an organization could have done without, it also gives them a reason to find ways to become better. Instead of waiting for a challenge to come up, companies can try and change the status quo by constantly offering a better experience.

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