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Publishing and Media Conglomerate

Publishing and Media Conglomerate
Client Publishing and Media Conglomerate
Region UK
Sector Media, Entertainment and Technology
Offering Organisation Design
Organisation design

The Challenge

The client was a family-owned European Media company, operating in 10+ countries across Europe and specialising in print publishing and radio broadcasting.

The client was returning reduced profit margins linked to digital transition and misaligned strategy which were further hindered by poor data quality and system integration across geographies as a result of M&A-led growth. As a result, Q5 were tasked with supporting this business in delivering a cost reduction programme. To enable an effective and impactful outcome, an accurate and consolidated enterprise-wide FTE and cost baseline was required.

Each market varied in size and offering, while data was reported inconsistently, necessitating a bespoke, iterative process to ensure data accuracy and enable high-level observations and recommendations for further analysis.

Our Approach

The Q5 team completed a four-month project, deep-diving into cost and FTE from both the Publishing and Audio sides of the business:

  • Cost model – Worked with department CFOs to understand the existing data reporting processes – P&L, Functions, and FTE. Developed a structured cost model with to deliver a department, country, and brand level perspective of the provided data, a view that had previously never be available to senior management
  • Data collection – Devised input templates for each country to complete which mirrored the model structure, ensuring comparability between geographies and alignment to existing data reporting processes. The team conducted a vast data collection and quality assurance exercise via an iterative validation process with additional country CFO engagement to remove inconsistencies in data provision.
  • Data processing – Utilised ‘Knime’ data wrangling software to organise and manipulate provided data into a model structure. The Knime workflow enabled agreed allocation methodologies to be applied to the data, presenting the most representative view of brand level Revenue, OpEx, CapEx, EBIT and FTE
  • Activity Analysis – using Q5’s priority digital tooling, ActivityQ, conducted an enterprise wide (c. 4000 FTE) Activity Analysis providing granular detail into what activity was taking place and at what effort
  • Insights generation – Interrogated the validated data through Excel and a detailed PowerBI dashboard to highlight anomalies and trends across geographies. By testing initial findings against external benchmarks and other countries, the team delivered a list of evidenced and financially quantified cost saving opportunities for the client to further explore

Key Outcomes

  • Comprehensive Publishing and Audio Cost Model – Improved data quality and accessibility, providing the organisation with the ability to understand revenue, operating and capital expenditure to the required level of granularity.
  • True operating cost and FTE baseline, with accurate departmental P&L, enabling visibility of business structure and mechanisms to facilitate further digital transformation in the future.
  • Consolidated Excel organisational and functional dashboards developed to present key data (market totals/KPIs) and highlight clear areas of difference.
  • Consolidated Activity Analysis Model mapping how activities are carried out across the company for c.4000 employees.
  • Overall indicative cost saving opportunities of ~€300m (c.20%).
  • Interactive PowerBI dashboard to supplement the cost model and insights recommendations.
  • Detailed 150 page Audio deliverable, visualising the data through organisational and functional lenses which concluded with 10 robust cost saving opportunities equating to a total of ~€50m.
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