Case Study: Student Journey Operational Effectiveness Assessment

In a US based leading Education Services provider, the cost of customer acquisition was reduced by over 30% (equivalent to a run rate saving of > $10m p.a.) following the implementation of a set of evidence based recommendations that resulted in a more effective operating model

1. Client Benefits

  • Evidence provided to enable leadership to overcome business performance limiting long held beliefs resulting in the creation of an ‘actionable plan’ to become ‘world class’
  • Enhanced business case for future investment and acquisitions in a capital intensive business
  • A simplified and enhanced student journey and experience
  • A $10m annualized run-rate cost saving against the ‘As-Is’ scaling approach. This transformed student engagement and significantly reduced the cost of student acquisition (>30% reduction)
  • Increased productivity of enrollment resources by >50%
  • The engagement delivered targeted outcomes to all six key stakeholders - higher education institutions (partners), students, the business and its employees, and shareholders

2. Introduction to Project

  • The client, a major Education and Research Publishing company, had acquired a market leading Technology enabled Education Services business
  • Any player in the sector capable of transforming the economics of partnership & student acquisition had the potential to deploy a game changing partnership revenue share model and/or grow profitability along with top line revenue.
  • The client was seeking to create this advantage as at the time the cost of acquiring customers was crippling the financial performance of the business
  • As a result, in the two years since the acquisition the expected financial performance had not materialised and further expansion in the sector could not be easily justified to the Board
  • The CSO and CFO needed to understand ‘what do we need to become World Class?’ This incorporated understanding how the business could reduce the cost of student acquisition while also improving the student engagement and experience - in order to scale the business more effectively? (Such that student recruitment costs scale more slowly than both enrolment volumes & revenue)
  • There was a requirement to understand what the Future State Operating Model should look like
  • An implementation roadmap was required

3. Solution

  • An operational effectiveness assessment was conducted that included market and financial analysis, activity based cost modelling, analysis of key processes / customer journeys and human performance to identify the causes of ineffectiveness and wastage
  • This engagement identified 9 recommendations and enabled the design of a new operating model and transformation roadmap
  • The case for change was evidenced by an outside in (market, partner and student perspective) and inside out (business, colleagues and key stakeholders perspective) operational effectiveness assessment of Lead Generation, Recruitment and Enrollment Services
  • This enabled Leadership and Senior Management to relinquish long-held beliefs centred around pre-digital dominated sales & service models and embrace a simplified approach better aligned to student preferences across a seamless multi-channel customer journey

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