A case study from the Greek banking sector: PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS

NSD process activities

Formulation of a new service development strategy

This stage begins with a ‘kick-off’ meeting between two to five people within the business unit that is going to develop a new service (ie consumer credit unit, credit card unit). As will be shown later, each business unit is almost exclusively responsible for the development of its own services, without cooperating extensively with the other business units of the bank. The main tasks and responsibilities of the team are divided in this stage, while there does not exist any kind of review concerning the bank’s historical performance in developing new services. Furthermore, the target groups that could benefit from these new services are also analysed.

The most important part of this stage is the clarification of the strategic goals of the whole procedure. The bank always tries to be a market leader when developing new services. Consequently, its main aim is to develop a pro-active strategy when developing new services and to reach the market first. At the end of this stage a report is given to the board of directors, which highlights all the above and initially estimates the budget that will be required for the effective execution of the whole effort.

Nevertheless, the finding that the particular bank starts the whole procedure by strategically defining the appropriate roles and tasks, contrasts with the studies of Drew (1995) and Edgett (1993), who have found a lack of strategic planning by banks in comparison to manufacturing companies.

Market problems and needs exploration This stage seems to be an ongoing process that never stops. During this stage, any research that is conducted is qualitative in its nature and is based mainly on discussions with managers of other business units within the bank, its marketing department, branch officers, industry experts, the bank’s external advertising and market research agencies as well as managers from their strategic ally (ie a leading German bank). This is consistent with previous studies such as the ones undertaken by Davis (1997) and Dover (1987), which have demonstrated that qualitative research might be more preferable to quantitative research. As can be seen, limited research is conducted with the bank’s customers in this stage.