In a 2009 article titled “How Bell Canada remade itself from the top down’, Ed Gubbins explained how the company changed its culture, operations and cost structure. George Cope, appointed President and CEO in 2008, led this transformation.
Along with reducing its headcount, reducing management layers, overhauling its field operations reducing its broadband repair response time from 8 days to 1, eliminating some brands, it implemented a “pay-for-performance” pay structure. A number of services were introduced to provide better and quicker service for customers. During 2011 and 2012 Bell made joint investments with Telus in wireless networks. It also attempted to acquire media company, Astra Media, but was thwarted by the CRTC regulatory body.
In 2013 Cope is continuing to lead this transformation of Canada’s largest communications company into an efficient customer-focused competitor, based on a strategy of enhanced service capability, significant broadband network investments and a high-performance team culture.
But is enough being done to create an enduring customer-focused culture to ensure Bell Canada’s competitiveness and profitability in the future? Bell operates in a marketplace being disrupted by technology. Transforming a large incumbent communications company from a technical engineering focus to a customer-centered organization is difficult and takes time. Cutting costs and building networks is the easy part.
Building the business on a customer culture foundation will be the one thing that Bell Canada must do to ensure its competitive future.