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The Scaling Hurdle PART 3

July 22, 2020

In our previous articles, we described that many OEMs and Captives acquired or built up mature start-ups in order to leverage their innovative strengths. We explained, which challenges they face in scaling their start-up portfolios and which indicators imply the right time for scaling. In the following, we will dive deeper into the key success factors of scaling and elaborate on our four-step approach. We will also take a brief look on how to recover from dropping sales during crises, which specifically addresses the time indicator “crisis” from our last blog article.

Which factors are key to success when scaling mature start-ups?

There’s clearly no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to scaling a business. However, there are some general key success factors that can help in scaling a mature start-up successfully.

  1. Clear vision

A clear vision is key to define the direction for the scaling activities. Clarity about the overall direction allows to prioritize activities and engages employees to work on a clear goal. If everyone in the company knows how to streamline their efforts in order to follow the overall strategy, the path for efficient scaling is paved.

  1. Clear and reachable targets

In the scenarios we described earlier, scaling is often necessary to comply with requirements from the OEM or Captive the start-up belongs to. In order to drive scaling initiatives successfully, a clear and shared understanding on why scaling is required is key to gain everybody’s commitment. Therefore, it is critical to define what success means and how it is measured. Moreover, targets need to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound in order to ensure their clarity and reachability.

  1. Customer focus

Staying aligned with customer needs while the business is focusing on scaling activities, is important to ensure success after the scaling phase. Maintaining the strong customer focus start-ups are typically known for becomes even more crucial, as the company scales its activities.

  1. Scaling drivers

No matter how large the scope of scaling activities, a designated scaling driver is necessary to manage the involved teams and to ensure the success of the scaling activities. The scaling driver can be a single person or a whole team that is assigned to coordinate and drive the necessary activities. They will be the ones who are accountable for the transformation’s success including change management.

  1. Step-by-step approach

Scaling activities need to be structured and clustered. Assessing the scaling potentials and bottlenecks, defining action fields and starting the transformation are intensive tasks that need to be planned and prepared. Our four-step approach for scaling helps to structure the required activities and ensure efficient scaling in relevant areas of the start-up.

Capgemini Invent’s four-step approach transforms key focus areas into efficient scaling and growth enablers

In our last article we have already described the six core areas (governance, structure, technology, capabilities, culture and partners) that have high scaling potential and which mature organizations should analyze as part of their scaling transformation. Building on this, Capgemini Invent’s collaborative four-step approach focuses on the key question of how and in which of these key focus areas mature start-ups can scale, prepare and empower themselves for the future.

  1. Scaling Assessment: In the first step, together with our client, we identify the key focus areas with scaling potential using our efficiency and scalability assessment tailored to the needs of our client. The outcome is a vision with key action fields to work on in the next phase.
  2. Scaling Action Fields: The second step focuses on developing the ideal future target picture per identified scaling area and identifying the gaps to achieve it. Further deliverables are company-wide standards for processes and procedures as well as strategic cornerstones, which are designed together with our client.
  3. Action Plan: In the third step, the measures that must be taken to reach the desired future state are elaborated. Together with our client we specify and align on the working model, methods, tools and project set-up. Additionally, Capgemini Invent conceptualizes the scalable action fields.
  4. Transformation Ramp-up: In the fourth and last step, Capgemini Invent supports to ramp-up the transformation by creating a common understanding of core objectives, forming a strong team through coaching and training as well as providing standardized processes and ready to use templates.
Figure 1: Capgemini Invent’s four step approach including deliverables per phase

Our four-step approach accelerates the transformation process as it is designed to deliver fast and tangible results. In addition, the approach is designed to uncover hidden opportunities and ensure that all parties involved are working towards the same goal – to become an efficiently scaled organization.

During exceptional times Capgemini Invent’s sales recovery framework helps to accelerate the scaling transformation

Since global crises (like COVID-19) are a special event and do not represent an everyday challenge for a company, we want to take a closer look at it as it can also be an indicator for the right time for scaling (as mentioned in our previous article). In addition to our proven four-step scaling approach, we have developed a dedicated Automotive/ Captive Sales Recovery Framework for exceptional times of crisis. It can be used in addition to our approach when a crisis requires your company to scale. For detailed information please take a look on our sales recovery framework point of view.

This is the last article of our blog series “The Scaling Hurdle“. For questions and further information, please contact our experts at Capgemini Invent.

This article is co-authored by  Justina Löwen and Evelyn Gabrysch