case studies

Hemmingways International Business Consultants case studies are drawn from a number of high-profile and lesser-known clients.

Below are a few examples of where HIBC consultants have made a difference.


Building the Orange Pre-Paid mobile network

HIBC and its partner were invited to advise on all aspects of building the UK Orange Pre-Paid Mobile network.

Orange were a late entrant into the UK Pre-pay mobile phone market  and gave themselves six months to have a product available on the market. Orange’s chosen network  switch partner Nokia, were unable to deliver the necessary software and associated consultancy within a two year period!

HIBC designed the whole process from the customers’ point of sale in retail outlets through the activation of new accounts; all payment systems; even an auto repayments module. The system included delivering the necessary operator interconnects and termination of customer calls on all fixed and mobile networks, and the delivery and full integration and training of a two hundred seat multi-lingual call centre.

Bespoke software for call centre operators, retailers and the network interface to both BT and Orange was designed and tested.

The time to market from product briefing to market entry was just over six months and the resultant service grew at about ten times originally projected numbers. The original software design continues to be the centre of the system today.


Walter Energy: strategy and funding that turned a small family coal mining business into a significant part of a world leader

HIBC and its partners were asked to fund the development of a small coal mine in West Virginia. Initially funds were raised and secured against the asset as part of a strategy for the acquisition of  adjacent mines and thereby build a substantial metallurgical coal mining operation that could be listed in London.

As part of this, we found the opportunity to acquire an option on the derelict Gauley Eagle mining estate which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Working with partner solicitors: Katten Muchin Rosenma LLP we crafted a plan to handle the 27 Environmental Protection Agency complaints outstanding against the defunct business as part of acquiring it.

Funds were raised on a contingent basis from London institutions allowing Gauley Eagle to be purchased outright from the bankruptcy court.  Subsequent negotiations with other local mining landlords resulted in a plan to acquire further mines with a potential total reserve of 120 million tons. Together these mines represent some of the best metallurgical coal in the world.

An operational coal mining partner of HIBC acquired further mines and brought them into production and then subsequently introducing the assets to a listing on AIM in London as: Coal International Plc. In turn, Coal International was later acquired by Walter Energy Inc. in the US and now represents 11%  of Walter Energy’s  assets.

For the London investors this represented a minimum of a threefold return on their investment.

Travelport: market strategy and product portfolio strategy to save $20m.

Travelport delivers registration, booking and transaction processing solutions to the global travel industry.  It operates in 160 countries, serving all the major airlines, hotel chains and over 60,000 travel agents.

HIBC worked with Travelport to undertake a deep review of the travel industry market for a strategic product development initiative encompassing mobile- and PC-based software developments.  The deliverable was to recommend build, buy-and-develop or cancel the initiative.

To understand the agency market and transaction dynamics required mining and analysing over 63,000 main frame data records with holding millions of transactions, a feat achieved in under three weeks.  This extensive exercise was then complemented by a review of competitive firms’ internet, cloud and mobile propositions to identify best-in-class features and capabilities.

The firm also had a number of its own booking engine and information aggregation products, which were also reviewed to understand what product, skills and technical foundations may already exist within the business.

Based on the gathered data and analysed research, we then designed a detailed market-leading product specification.

HIBC’s recommendation and the benefits achieved remain confidential, but we estimated its implementation would save Travelport between $15m and $20m in development costs, by focussing on the development of existing capabilities.



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