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The current economic environment is characterised by uncertainty: international trade tensions, geopolitical instability and Brexit, to name a few. In addition, consumer expectations are changing, and regulatory requirements are constantly increasing.

Globalisation and digitalisation are putting the value chains of industrial companies under pressure as they face an increase in customer requirements regarding quality and availability, and environmental constraints. They also need to innovate and differentiate themselves in order to continue to perform well against competitors, whether the competition is historical or due to new players.  Consolidation movements are underway, as part of a race for critical size to finance ever larger investments.

In this context, and more than ever before, the industrial sector is facing major performance and transformation challenges and must therefore adapt itself to cope with these developments and uncertainties. 

Challenges

Industrial companies must be both flexible enough to finance their investments or external growth operations and able to continuously strengthen their capacity for innovation in terms of products and services, while maintaining economic performance levels in line with expectations.

This depends on increasingly optimised and controlled operational performance across the entire value chain, from suppliers to customers, support functions and time to market.

How we can help

Argon & Co assists industrial clients in improving their operational performance in the following areas:

  • Optimisation of customer processes and service strategy: pricing, contract life cycle, invoicing, cash flow improvement, customer relationship and service, multi-channel and digital development, service rate improvement
  • Cost reduction: optimisation of direct and indirect purchasing costs, cost variabilisation, design to value on industrial investments, optimisation of shared services for support functions, lean management
  • Time to market acceleration: optimisation of the ideation process, development, industrialisation and launch of new products and services
  • Optimisation of working capital requirements and acceleration of flows: forecasts, tactical and S&OP planning, implementation of inventory policies adapted to the specificities of the sector, load/capacity matching of resources
  • Operational efficiency: optimisation of organisations including roles and responsibilities, staff and performance management
  • Change management

Industrial and chemicals case studies

IBP implementation

steel

IBP implementation

Liberty OneSteel is the only Australian manufacturer of structural steel and reinforcing products, and distributes them to 200 sites across the country.

With a new owner after 16 months in administration, the business urgently needed to review key business strategy and growth plans, and identify the priorities for change. The complex supply chain has multiple manufacturing sites and competing retail businesses, managed under different business units. This led to a culture of working in discrete silos and a lack of optimisation across the supply chain.

  • Project manage the design and implementation of the new IBP process
  • Project management of 6 stages in the roadmap; 1. mobilise, 2. design, 3. develop, 4. train, 5. pilot and 6. implement
  • Change management of all nine stages of the change wheel; 1. case for change, 2. stakeholders, 3. impacts, 4. communication, 5. organisation, 6. capabilities, 7. leadership and behaviours, 8. sustain and 9. benefits
  • Reduction in excess manned capacity of 3%
  • Reduction in lost sales of 2%
  • Price and profit optimisation resulting in EBITDA improvement of 4%
  • Signed off conceptual and detailed design for the new IBP process
  • Trained IBP teams and delivered a successful IBP go-live in October
  • Six monthly cycles of embedding IBP

 

Global capability development

international construction

Global capability development

Ferrovial Agroman is a civil engineering and construction company. Part of the wider Ferrovial Group, it delivers large-scale civil construction projects across the world, including motorways, railways and airports.

We had previously facilitated the development of a cultural transformation programme, and as part of this new programme the client wanted us to develop and deliver a series of coaching skills workshops to their global management teams.

  • Design and develop tailor-made learning and development materials for a series of interactive coaching workshops
  • Facilitate and deliver coaching skills workshops to Ferrovial Agroman employees across three continents
  • Create impactful take-away materials for attendees
  • Drive cross-hierarchical knowledge sharing and improved ways of working
  • Support cultural transformation by embedding a coaching culture within the organisation

 

  • Over 500 delegates in Europe, the Middle East and Australia trained through 24 workshops
  • High quality delegate take-away materials to facilitate delegate self-learning
  • Raised the profile of the cultural transformation programme
  • Created acceptance to change and development within organisation

Planning processes design

global packaging company

Planning processes design

Essentra plc is a FTSE 250 company and a leading global provider of essential components and solutions. Essentra focuses on the light manufacture and distribution of high volume, enabling components which serve customers in a wide variety of end markets and geographies.

Essentra needed to develop a standard repeatable planning operating model for a global implementation in markets with a focus on transitioning to an above site planning structure and changes in production strategy.

  • Assess the existing planning processes and capabilities
  • Develop a scalable planning operating model for global roll out with a change from site to market planning structure
  • Identify potential quick wins with detailed improvement actions
  • Develop the organisation structure, roles, responsibilities and capabilities required to support new processes
  • Develop the approach and implementation plan to support the transition to the new production strategy
  • Documented end to end planning processes from S&OP to material requirements planning and scheduling
  • Identified quick wins and areas for improvement with a clear implementation roadmap
  • Redesigned organisational structure with roles and responsibilities and required capabilities to support new processes
  • Identified global savings from changes in production strategy and developed an implementation plan

Logistics outsourcing

industrial manufacturer

Logistics outsourcing

ASSA ABLOY is the largest global supplier of intelligent lock and security solutions. One in every ten lock and security installations worldwide uses an ASSA ABLOY product. It is a global company with around 46,000 employees and annual sales close to €7.3 billion.

ASSA ABLOY’s Scandinavian market region is served from three DCs in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Following our support to define the ideal logistics network solution for Scandinavia, the client wanted to investigate the benefits of an outsourced logistics solution provided by a third party logistics contractor to maintain service levels, but at reduced operating costs.

  • Define the strategic issues and advise the Board on the business risks involved in this £30m+ contract
  • Create the RFI and a longlist of potential vendors
  • Manage a shortlist of vendors through the RFP and vendor selection (operating specifications, service levels, resource and cost templates)
  • Manage commercial and contract terms negotiation with the selected provider, including a final business case and implementation plan
  • 15% reduction in operating costs plus significant capital released from redundant client sites
  • Flexible contract to better match resources with volumes
  • Continuous improvement and gain share clauses to reduce costs and share in innovation and investments
  • 3PL management fee linked to performance
  • Operational KPIs and contract review meetings based on defined client/3PL contract governance procedures and structure

Knowledge management solution

global industrial

Knowledge management solution

AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. It has three discrete business areas. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has over 47,000 employees worldwide and operates in 80 countries.

As processes are standardised across the business, the company was looking to manage knowledge centrally, allowing employees to self-assess their processes and access content quickly and easily to bridge any gaps in process maturity.

Our role

  • Customise the scprime® online process assessment tool for AkzoNobel
  • Conduct workshops and testing to ensure that content is customised and relevant to all business areas
  • Support the central team to develop a governance structure for the programme

Results

  • A user friendly online assessment tool that generates reports with improvement actions linked directly to the relevant best practice process guides
  • A reporting dashboard for central functions showing process maturity across regions or business units
  • A sustainable way to track process improvements