How Zurich’s £35k Investment Created £15m In Cost Savings

How we turned a £35k investment into £15m of savings

Keith was the very charismatic CEO of Zurich and he came to us to create a secret project he wanted to spring on the staff within his organisation.

The principle was 3KA’s (key actions) which were:

  1. Grow new business prospects
  2. Improve customer service
  3. Reduce unnecessary costs

We came up with a campaign that put him and his goals at the front of every employee’s minds. As they turned up for work on the Monday the campaign was launched, throughout the building were bright pink posters with the headline “Dear Keith” and the body copy invited all staff to go directly to Keith with any suggestion they had that would address any of the 3KA’s.

zurich campaignPostcards were available in the high traffic areas of the offices: near photocopiers, by tea/coffee making areas, in the staff restaurant, plus a dedicated website and email address were also available, all in the campaign theme of bright pink!

Employees couldn’t miss the material against the usually bland blue and grey corporate style of everything else in the office. And once employees understood they had a line into the top man the suggestions came flying in. But we didn’t want this to be another suggestion scheme that resulted in no action.

So as soon as Keith received the first responses, he’d take the suggestion and go and sit on the desk of the person that submitted it. At first he had to introduce himself, within a business of 11,000 employees not everyone knew his name, let alone what he looked like, but word quickly spread that Keith was interested in what people had to say.

Once he’d chatted through the suggestion and understood the problem he promised action, so staff felt that their suggestions were not being ignored. Keith was amazed with the ideas that flooded in from 25 offices throughout the country.

Someone in management accounts noted that the head office spend on newspapers and magazines was enormous, they were buying a lot of papers! Someone in the warehouse suggested that the stock rotation system for internal stationery was out of date, automatically re-ordering material hardly ever used just because stock levels got below a certain point.

Just on cost saving ideas alone, Keith received suggestions which he estimated could save the business over £15m, all from a campaign that cost £35,000 so at 44,000% that’s not a bad return.

As you can see from his email below, he was quite excited too.


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