Service Makes A Comeback
At a time when all we seem to hear about is the constant pressure on businesses to drive prices even lower, service is making a comeback. Why? Because customers want a mix of price and service; often, they will not countenance bad service at all and will pay a higher price to be treated well. It is not just consumers who are changing their purchasing patterns; business buyers are also heading in a new direction. Read “How low can you go?” to find out how price, traditionally a key factor driving decisions in the B2B sector, is being eclipsed by “customer experience”.
“Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait,” goes the French expression, and the debate continues about the supposed lack of experience of the young and energy of the old. In “Generation game” we find out why it’s unwise for companies to ignore employees at either end of the age spectrum.
Big data’s promise of hidden knowledge and customer insight is seductive, but, as “Neighbourhood watch” local knowledge is also valuable. Knowing how to combine data technology and local knowledge can be a powerful tool for any business. After all, in an increasingly joined-up business world, individuals want to feel connected.
Are commercial success and doing good mutually exclusive? Not according to leading retailer Stuart Rose, who is a member of Bridgepoint’s advisory board. He sums it up neatly: “The ‘business of business is business’ just doesn’t hold true any more.” Find out what he thinks businesses need to be doing – and why doing the right thing is not only morally better but commercially advantageous, too.
The so-called “bucket list” phenomenon is increasingly popular in the corporate world, where it is used to inspire CEOs and employees alike. “Beyond the pail” examines why a bucket list forces you to think about where you are and where you need to go, and why CEOs are applying the bucket list to their businesses.
Elsewhere, we report on the latest investments and divestments in Bridgepoint’s portfolio of businesses and profile the CEO of one of these – François Davy of Foncia.
We have also had notable success in realising investments: private wealth manager Quilter Cheviot, with assets of £16 billion under management, was sold to Old Mutual plc in a £585 million transaction; and SPTS Technologies was sold to Nasdaq-listed Orbotech in a $365 million transaction. Our smaller buyout fund, Bridgepoint Development Capital, has had three important realisations: Pulsant, the IT services provider to the UK SME market to Oak Hill Partners; Energy Solutions Group to SSE plc; and Hallmark Hotels to Topland.