Helping the UK’s largest ferry operator build a digital strategy through comprehensive consultative discovery process to achieve ambitious digital ambitions.

The client

Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) is the largest ferry operator in the UK, with over 50 destinations across 200 miles of Scotland’s west coast, completing more than 130,000 sailings annually. Their fleet serves a diverse range of passengers, including frequent travellers and local islanders.

The challenge

Our task was to support CalMac in creating a digital strategy and formulating a roadmap to execute an ambitious digital transformation programme.

The solution

We devised a robust discovery project that provided CalMac with a detailed and comprehensive digital vision and programme of work plan to take to tender.


Transport and travel

Public sector

Consultation from the ground up

To gain insights into CalMac's challenges, we conducted 21 stakeholder workshops across all business departments, involving individuals from the C-suite to frontline service workers at ports and vessels. Our objective was to understand each department's business objectives, digital requirements, audience insights, and perspectives on the existing digital estate.

The findings from this extensive work were distilled into a prioritised business requirements matrix, empowering CalMac with clarity on the challenges they faced, and paving the way for informed decision-making.

Understanding hugely diverse audiences

CalMac serves a diverse range of audiences, including travellers, commuters, islanders, tourists, government entities, community groups, and trade and commercial transport. We thoroughly analysed CalMac's recent audience research data and existing website data to develop individual personas for each audience type. These personas mapped out their goals, journeys, pain points, and issues.

Understanding the digital ecosystem

Through a comprehensive audit of CalMac's digital estate, we gained a deep understanding of their digital ecosystem. We mapped out the architecture, identified data collection and storage methods, and assessed component integration. Furthermore, we provided CalMac with a recommended technology approach based on best practices in tech stack and digital solution design, along with references, moodboards, and inspirational materials.

A solid path forward for CalMac

Our final delivery included high-level strategy overviews, stakeholder engagement packs, and detailed documentation of their audiences, user personas, technical architecture, analytics audits, and more.

To further inspire CalMac’s forward direction, we also provided research packs envisioning the future of travel. These provided insights and ideas on emerging trends and innovations, empowering CalMac to explore new opportunities and shape their strategies to thrive in the evolving landscape of the travel industry.


Over the course of a 4-month engagement, our comprehensive digital strategy and roadmap enabled CalMac to gain a clear understanding of their business challenges, in-depth audience insights, and a thorough grasp of their digital ecosystem. As a result, we delivered a robust set of deliverables, including an exhaustive roadmap, empowering CalMac to pursue their digital ambitions with confidence and clarity.

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