References

Our success stories

No matter whether a large corporation or a medium-sized utility company – each and every one of our clients is unique. And the challenges they face are just as varied. But they all have one thing in common: They are willing to make a change and have brought BLUBERRIES experts on board. The results? Crowned with success.

From outsourcing projects and cost-cutting programmes to the implementation of compliance processes: We produce results with implementation strength that convince our clients – for both the short and the long term. For this reason, each of the following reference stories is also a success story.

Competence - Transformation
Transformation of an existing HR model

The client in question had undergone comprehensive restructuring: from a large corporation to a medium-sized energy company. As a result, several change processes had taken place within the company which had had a major impact on the project procedure. In view of these far-reaching transformations, the employee focus within the HR department had gradually shifted into the background. Our task: to transform the existing HR model according to Dave Ulrich in such a way that employees were once again at the centre of the HR function in order to ensure project success.

How did we at BLUBERRIES proceed? What steps had to be taken? First, we designed a new HR organisation together with the client. At the same time, the role model was completely redefined. The next step was to communicate the new model at the management level. Our experts planned and guided the corresponding workshops and secured the ensuing results. We then had to transpose all processes of the HR function to the new model. Here, in agreement with the client, we took the lead – both during the method development phase and process documentation. We simultaneously implemented effective change management with regard to the employees concerned – through open communication and continuous involvement of employees in the transformation and decision-making processes. After all, securing the acceptance and involvement of all parties concerned is the key to successfully dealing with transformations.

The result: the effective adjustment of the existing HR model to the new circumstances of the company. Employee needs are now once again a top priority within HR, and secondary considerations have been cleared out of the way. What’s more, yesterday’s affected parties are now actively involved in shaping changes. This is what successful change management is all about!

Competencies
Competence - Optimisation
Successful Implementation Of Cost-Cutting Targets

The client, an energy supplier, was repeatedly confronted with cost-cutting targets in the power generation sector in previous years. The service divisions of the generation sites (including real estate, warehousing/logistics and automobiles) were all expected to cut costs – by a substantial amount. Our task: to develop an optimisation project for all service departments, to clearly define goals and to initiate implementation measures for effective cost-cutting. Mission impossible? Not for BLUBERRIES!

The first step: Together with our client, we developed a comprehensive project approach with the aim of driving optimisation in a targeted manner and effectively reducing costs. The core of our approach was the involvement of all departments with an internal and external focus on the customer. In practice, this meant defining customer-oriented products and thus creating a promising product portfolio. Cost and success drivers, of course, also had to be identified. Once we had completed our assignments, the next step was to derive concrete, feasible measures to reduce costs and optimise processes.

The result? We not only achieved the cost-cutting targets, but even exceeded them. At the end of the project, concrete measures were in place, with the line organisation being free to initiate formulated steps. Today, the service departments have a complete overview of products and services at their disposal and can draw on this to make customers concrete and tailored offers. Services are no longer simply “called up”. Instead, there is open communication about the desired service level and the associated costs. Lesson learned: Transparent costs and services make day to day business operations considerably easier and contribute to efficient corporate planning.

Competencies
Competence - Business models
An innovative business model

Once upon a time, the innovation department of a large energy supplier came up with the idea of offering customers an unprecedented service: the possibility of tracking current consumption and even breaking it down to the respective end devices. The advantages for customers are obvious: maximum transparency and the consequent optimisation of consumption by customers themselves. The concrete objective: customer loyalty and the acquisition of new customers. Further monetisation approaches were initially put on the back burner.
Our experts at BLUBERRIES were given the following task: to develop a concrete business model from a basic idea, to get it market-ready and then finally introduce it into the market. Successfully, of course!

We at BLUBERRIES accompanied the entire product development process which, of course, included technical implementation topics (smart meters, transmission devices). Use cases from the customer’s point of view were of particular relevance, as were the functional contents of the corresponding software and the integration into the IT and sales organisations. In practice, this meant involving employees and customers in order to be able to comprehensively evaluate the use cases over several test runs. We implemented use cases and the associated application functions by applying elements from the Business Model Canvas. Thanks to an agile project approach, we were able to meet the hardware and software requirements

The product is currently in the “hot phase” of its introduction. In collaboration with our client, we are gradually establishing the organisational requirements. The sales department is in the process of further developing internal applications.

Current data protection regulations pose certain challenges, but the chances of generating a competitive advantage through this innovative offer outweigh any risks.

Competencies
Competence - Digitalisation
The new online presence of an energy supplier to enhance its customer experience

We at BLUBERRIES were assigned the task of completely revamping the online presence of an energy supplier with respect to technology, content and design.

The company’s web presence was previously divided into the areas of corporate communications and sales, thus resulting in two almost completely separate internet portals via which information, services and products were made available. The disadvantage was that this failed to deliver a comprehensive customer experience whilst also lacking a data-based, personalised customer approach. The company’s digital presence clearly had to be optimised from the ground up.
So how did we proceed? To begin with, we defined the cornerstones of the future corporate online presence in cooperation with the client and thus laid the foundation for the next steps. In the process, we developed an online ecosystem aligned with the strategic goals of digital transformation. All online interfaces between the energy supplier and its stakeholders thus had to be put to the test to see if they were consistent with these strategic goals In addition, the IT systems were upgraded in order to be able to switch to a state-of-the-art user experience platform (UXP). But it didn’t stop there: Our experts supported the implementation phase over a period of three years, thus guaranteeing continuous and sustainable project knowledge. This enabled the company to also act from within.

In mid-2018, the time had finally come to launch the new online ecosystem together with a modern and fresh brand presence.
It is now possible to analyse the usage behaviour of online visitors on an individual basis. The result: a personalised customer experience which is also profitable for the company. Because the valuable opportunities which digitalisation offers need to be exploited.

Competencies
Competence - Regulation
An electricity market reform and its regulation

We at BLUBERRIES were commissioned to develop a concept for a national electricity market reform aimed at implementing and controlling a policy-based lending instrument.

Our approach? First, fact finding! The status quo of the market had to be analysed. This not only involved desk research, we were also active on-site and carried out interviews with relevant actors. This laid the foundation to create a reform package with thematic and temporal milestones specifying clear conditions for the disbursement of the targeted subsidies. The next step was to ensure acceptance of the new reform by actively involving the relevant market players and political decision-makers. The terms and conditions of the policy-based lending instrument had to be negotiated with the government within the framework of the planned reform. The last step was to create a monitoring and reporting tool for controlling the policy-based lending instrument.

In close collaboration with our client, we successfully structured and established an international financing instrument. We also drew up a comprehensive roadmap for implementing the energy market reform. Our efforts bore fruit: The reform was approved by the government. In addition, a solid and widely accepted monitoring and reporting tool is now available to further monitor and implement the policy-based lending instrument. Lessons learned: An ongoing exchange with relevant actors increases accessibility and secures acceptance of a comprehensive reform package. In the same vein, continuous on-site presence is essential in order to better assess and evaluate the various interests of the actors involved.

Competencies
Competence - Outsourcing
Outsourcing as a win-win-situation for all parties involved

We at BLUBERRIES were commissioned by an energy company to provide HR support for the outsourcing of IT processes. This involved, in particular, the administrative and support functions of applications as well as the transfer of infrastructure to the cloud.

How do you proceed in order to make outsourcing profitable for all parties involved? How can the concept of outsourcing be rendered more appealing? We say: Communication is the key to securing the acceptance of all parties involved. The outsourcing partner must be brought on board at an early stage in order to jointly develop a viable transition plan. Our approach was guided by these principles: First of all, it was a matter of showing maximum transparency – towards the entire organisation and, in particular, towards the employees concerned. In this way, a consistent and continuous flow of information was established in order to dispel any rumours or speculations. In order to address specific outsourcing issues, we set up a committee, in close cooperation with management, to act as a neutral interface between employers, labour law and co-participation representatives. The planning and implementation of senior management roadshows was also a key component of an open communication culture. Furthermore, the outsourcing partner held one-to-one sessions with affected parties – to develop greater trust and support the identification of new career prospects.

By successfully implementing targeted outsourcing measures in the IT area, we were able to support our customers in reacting flexibly to new circumstances by streamlining their corporate structures. The affected employees have meanwhile been successfully taken on board by the outsourcing partner – a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Competencies
Competence - Compliance
The new general data protection regulation (GDPR): a balancing act between compliance and feasibility

An international energy provider entrusted us at BLUBERRIES with the task of overseeing the group-wide and Europe-wide implementation of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR).

Background: 25 May 2018 marked the beginning of a far-reaching change in data protection and compliance with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) coming into force and replacing the previous Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC). Companies are now forced to tackle the issue of data protection – a critical challenge which calls for swift and full implementation.

How did our experts proceed? We would like to share our way to success with you. First step: We set up central working groups. Their task: to compile partial results and subsequently make them available to all units. The results were then adjusted to local conditions by the respective countries.

Second Step: Because we stand for sustainable solutions, we have implemented a comprehensive data protection management system that ensures the sustainable and ongoing further development of data protection within the group – so that our clients continue to be on the safe side in the future.
At the same time, we introduced comprehensive internal and external communication and training measures. After all, promoting awareness of data protection and compliance is the cornerstone of a successful, firmly established data protection culture within a company.
In close collaboration with our client, we were able to master the balancing act between conformity with EU GDPR and feasible, pragmatic processes. But that’s not all: The results achieved are analysed in an ongoing monitoring and reporting process and continuously further developed and improved. Because we at BLUBERRIES are convinced that data protection is an integral part of corporate processes and has the potential to develop into a competitive advantage in the long run.

Competencies

Our customers

A blueberry muffin with...

Here we talk about personal impressions that we gathered together with our customers in a wide variety of projects. Colleagues report on unusual locations, motivating successes, rich experiences, enthusiastic customers, valuable mistakes and much more.

From Junior Project Consultant to general management – it’s important for us, that everyone tells their stories. Please let us know if you are particularly interested in any of our topics.

Interview with...

Christian (Project manager)

1. What fascinated you most about your last project – the implementation of digital transformation?
Christian: The energy industry took a comparatively long time to catch up with the paradigms of the online economy. Only in the last five years have they faced the challenges, but also the opportunities of an increasingly connected and data-driven world. This young journey of digitalisation is truly fascinating, because the energy industry brings its own rules with it. A simple “Copy/Paste” is not always effective. All these points taken together make it even more important to be open to digital topics.

2. How did the BLUBERRIES team contribute to the success of the project?
Christian: Especially our young colleagues, who are now considered ‘digital natives’, make an excellent contribution to advance digital topics. Many of the methods that have become established in the course of digital transformation (e.g. Agile) are not new to them – they have virtually grown up with them. This creates real added value and acceptance among customers.

3. What would you do better next time?
Christian: Leave the old paths of classical project management even more and demand new paths more courageously. It is a matter of taking everyone along with you. It also helps to simply try things out, then critically question them and learn on the basis of the experiences. In the beginning, freely after Thomas A. Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Veit (Project manager)

1. Veit, what fascinated you most about your last project – the agile development of a smartphone app?
Veit: The cooperation with correctly set up interdisciplinary agile teams is always an enrichment in the consultant’s everyday life. Different perspectives of the project participants and approaches to the most diverse challenges make such projects so exciting.

2. How did the BLUBERRIES team contribute to the success of the project?
Veit: Communication and creativity! The key to the success of this project was the creation of suitable structures and prerequisites for a constant, efficient exchange between the participating companies and service providers. In particular, commitment and cohesion of the project participants were increased by promoting their creativity through different workshop formats and elements from Design Thinking.

3. What would you do better next time?
Veit: As the Scrum framework dictates, it is essential in agile projects that you say goodbye to tedious elaboration of concepts and get a quickly and hands-on to a first tangible results and a resilient Minimum Viable Product (MVP). One cannot pay enough attention to spreading this agile mindset in the project and making it tangible so that all participants can live this spirit in the project on a daily basis.

Jan (Senior Project Consultant)

1. Jan, you accompanied a cost reduction project in an operational area, what was particularly fascinating about it?
Jan: During my studies, I was already excited about the topic of optimisation, because processes, ideas and the human factor come together. In my project BLUBERRIES supported a cost reduction program in an operational area.

2. How did the BLUBERRIES team contribute to the success of the project?
Jan: Our added value in the project was not only to provide analytical skills and the application of those skills in the data evaluations, but also the methodological knowledge. We were able to ensure that all operative project staff – from foreman to apprentices – provided valuable insights and in-depth information. To this end, we developed simple evaluation methods for complicated fields of action in workshops and successfully applied them.

3. What would you do better next time?
Jan: In this project I learned to validate the data quality directly at the beginning of the project and to mirror it with project participants. Some data sets were evaluated differently by different stakeholders. As soon as you have a common definition, this facilitates evaluations and statements enormously.

More interviews will follow

In the future you will find more interviews with BLUBERRIES colleagues here.

Guiding Principles

The future is now – changing consumer needs, new rules of competition and innovative business models are radically transforming the energy industry.

We at BLUBERRIES support executives and organisations in redefining the energy sector in an increasingly complex world – with the ability to execute as a key competence.

After all, the future belongs to those who shape it.

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BLUBERRIES is excellent

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