Introduction and challenges

In a context of volatile markets and constant tension, improving operational efficiency is important for companies. However, to make a significant leap in performance, the entire value chain must be addressed; this is what competitiveness plans are all about. A competitiveness plan is a formidable managerial tool because it directs focus towards the same objective, whatever the company’s situation.

Launching a competitiveness plan means that all operational levers must be addressed simultaneously. Cost optimisation is achieved by contributions from all of a company’s functions, from RandD to downstream logistics. But a competitiveness plan that only looks at processes and costs, without looking at the people aspect, would be doomed to fail. This is why change management must be integrated as early as possible in the process.

Ten golden rules are necessary for the success of a plan: (1) Align top management with a clear and shared ambition, (2) Provide the means to succeed, by allocating resources to the project, (3) Focus the project on achieving the objectives, (4) Keep the customer in mind, (5) Maximise the scope of the levers to be activated, (6) Have a cross-functional vision, (7) Shake up behaviours, (8) Measure the social impacts, (9) Manage the effort over time, and finally (10) Manage the end of the plan.

How we can help

We assist our clients in the diagnostic phases:

  • Identify and validate the levers to be activated
  • Promote the alignment of staff with processes and target roles and responsibilities
  • Set ambitious objectives and have them accepted by management, who then own the objectives
  • Define the action plan to achieve objectives

On the implementation phases, we assist on the technical and people aspects: 

  • Provide the impetus and driving force behind the program
  • Manage the transformation program and monitor earnings through a benefits tracking system to ensure that it is results-focused
  • Provide the necessary expertise to deal with operational issues
  • Ensure the implementation of actions leading to the business target and the achievement of gains
  • Support the people aspects of the transformation