Douglass Pace, President & CEOStonehill stands as a vanguard of the synergy between design thinking and business intelligence as catalysts to implement change and accelerate growth. The brainchild of a seasoned entrepreneur, the Tampa-based strategy and innovation consultancy seeks to demonstrate the combined strength between vision, creativity and data science, akin to that seen in Jules Verne’s 1865 novel “From the Earth to the Moon.” With innovation as its mantra, the company serves as the launchpad for its clients to constructively engage their customers. Stonehill has partnered with Oracle, IBM, Salesforce, and others to enable state-of-the-art user experience using design thinking and business intelligence. “Design thinking is a human-centric process that allows for the creation of practical, innovative, and cost-effective solutions that enhance customer experience,” states Douglass Pace, President and CEO of Stonehill.
The solutions modeled by Stonehill have design thinking as the central component layered with business intelligence. The model is supported by three pillars: customer experience, sales enablement, and organizational excellence. Pace explains that the creation of an engaging customer experience prompts customers to strengthen their relationships with companies, thereby increasing sales. Aside from customer experience and business intelligence, Stonehill underscores the importance of having the right business culture to attract a skilled workforce and provide the right experience for customers.
Implementing the solutions developed through customer empathy and design thinking ideology makes Stonehill a class apart from its competitors. As a part of implementing a strategy for a client, the company uses a canvas specific for design thinking. Given the differences between the requirements of each client, Stonehill prepares empathy maps to comprehend their thoughts, ideas, and vision. “Viewing transactions from the perspective of our clients’ customers provides a different view of possible solutions,” says Pace. The interests of shareholders and employees are placed on empathy maps to prepare strategy maps in line with the three pillars. Pace also mentions that the Stonehill team goes through ideation during the strategy map exercise to ensure that the tactics to realize the defined goals are well formed.
Design thinking is a human-centric process that allows for the creation of practical, innovative, and cost-effective solutions that enhance customer experience
Stonehill’s capabilities have been most sought-after in service driven industries including healthcare, financial services, and hospitality. A regional bank was looking for ways to better engage its customers but encountered multiple challenges in doing so. When brought onboard, Stonehill analyzed the banks customer data and modeled individual personas, identifying individual customer journeys and influencers. The personas provided the basis to create multiple strategies that the bank could prototype and rapidly test. One strategy focused on engagement with Women Entrepreneurs across multiple geographic markets. The strategy looked to embrace and promote these dynamic women regardless if they were currently a customer of the bank. The strategy was implemented through a series of physical events, but also promoted across the bank’s traditional, digital, and social media channels. The strategy proved successful as the entrepreneurs, thrilled to be promoted by the bank, took it upon themselves to engage with their circle of influence and market the financial organization. Engagement across the bank’s client channels has increased by over 750 percent.
Going forward, Stonehill intends to remain focused on combining design thinking and business intelligence to help the world’s most interesting brands to identify opportunity, implement change, and accelerate growth. The company is currently planning its expansion into San Francisco in association with its partners on the west coast. Stonehill also has future visions of expanding its operations to London extending its reach into Europe and international markets.