Operations

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From the back office and research lab to the factory floor and across your entire supply chain, we can help you develop an unconstrained, end-to-end program to transform your operations. We’ll ensure that you focus on the opportunities that maximize competitive advantage and strengthen the connection between operations and strategy. 

Supply chain

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Procurement

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Services Detailed

Supply Chain:

Our team of supply chain experts has tackled the toughest supply chain strategy challenges and produced significant value for our clients. Our ability to combine cutting-edge digital technologies, deep domain expertise and a rich database of industry KPIs into highly effective, customized solutions makes us the perfect partner to collaborate with on your supply chain reinvention. We not only integrate seven core capabilities, but augment that expertise with complementary skills and experience spanning change management, enterprise technology, digital transformation, and more.

  1. Supply Chain Reinvention:

 

No matter where your company falls on the supply-chain maturity curve, Supply Chain Reinvention can help you become a leader. We've partnered with more than half of the companies deemed to have “Top 25” supply chains (as ranked by Gartner) on key supply chain issues. And, we have helped companies in many different industries:

  • Conquer capacity constraints

  • Overcome margin pressure

  • Embrace the latest digital technologies

  • And fully align their supply chain capabilities with their strategic ambition.

Why think in terms of reinvention? Because incremental improvements are no longer enough. The journey from suppliers at one end to customers at the other has many steps, and along the way there are any number of places where mis­takes, delays, unnecessary costs, inefficiency, poor communication and missed opportunities can creep in. So it’s not surprising that most companies have supply chains that underperform, typi­cally leaving 5 to 10 percentage points in potential gross margin gains—and often more—unrealized.  

 We provide the right mix of planning, technical expertise, specialized tools and ongoing engagement to bridge the gap between strategy and design, and ensure that your supply chain reaches its full, unconstrained potential.

2. Network Optimization:

Companies often find themselves constrained by a complex manufacturing network. Assets, spin-offs and siloed investments are a common cause, as is the tendency to build expensive new plants to meet demand for a high-margin product. Complex regulations can pose a challenge, while asset- or plant-level throughput initiatives often fail to take into account the impact on the broader supply chain or manufacturing network.

The results can be devastating:

  • Poor service levels

  • Declines in perfect order rates

  • Low asset utilization

  • Skewed capacity-to-demand ratios

  • Frequent disruptions

  • Slow or expensive logistics

We can help you redesign your networks using a proven, repeatable approach that begins with a detailed assessment of the current state, an analysis of future demand and a definition of what full potential can look like.

From there we establish design principles and define service levels, use unconstrained thinking to envision an optimum future state, and launch an iterative process that strikes the right balance between actionable scenarios and the capital investments needed to achieve them.

Our approach generates impressive results that span Capex and gross margin improvements, shrink and logistics cost reductions, and significant improvements to service levels, inventory turns, customer satisfaction, and more.

3. Sales & Operations Planning:

We believe there are three essential building blocks to sales and operations planning (S&OP):

It should begin with strategic translation, to make sure that your top business priorities inform the choices you make about your network and operational parameters. 

It should integrate with your demand and supply planning.

And, it should rely on metrics, root-cause diagnostics, feedback loops, and a variety of other tools and data sources to support continuous improvement.

 

Our S&OP consulting expertise builds on those three elements by creating coordinated, cross-functional teams; applying clear governance and decision rights; integrating plans; connecting data systems; and developing the capability to identify the root causes of any problems or sources of underperformance.

 

Our clients have boosted revenue by as much as 8%, due to their increased ability to meet demand. Improved customer service levels pave the way for better pricing. Inventory declines by as much as 25%, thanks to superior planning capabilities. Lower operating costs lead to an EBITDA margin improvement of as much as 3 p.p. Forecast accuracy improves by up to 30%. And on-time delivery improves by as much as 15% because they have the right inventory in the right place at the right time.  

4. Inventory Management:

Every supply chain has an “efficient frontier” that defines the trade-off between service level performance and inventory levels. Most companies don’t get as close to that frontier as they could, opting instead to carry too much inventory and pay the price in diminished service level performance.

There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from the use of incorrect safety stock algorithms to SKU complexity to lack of ownership of metrics to ineffective promotions, and many more.

 

We work with companies to optimize inventory management, first by getting you closer to the current efficiency frontier and then by helping you “shift the curve,” to achieve step-change improvements in inventory efficiency. We help you address multiple facets of your supply chain design and operations, including planning, purchasing, manufacturing, distribution, product portfolio and your manufacturing network. We also work with you to integrate digital capabilities across your supply chain.

 

We've helped companies in retail, advanced manufacturing, consumer products, energy & natural resources, healthcare and many other industries reduce non-seasonal inventories by 25%, improve the inventory-to-sales ratio by 4%-5%, and achieve total shrink reduction of 15%, to cite just a few results.

5. Transportation & Logistics

Becoming a leader in transportation and logistics requires finding the right balance between cost, investment and service levels based on segment need.

We help companies do that through an approach that includes three major elements.

  • Strategy translation: Determine optimal service levels based on customer needs and your overall strategy for customer service and logistics.

  • Network optimization: Evaluate resource sharing across units, and make critical decision about whether and what to own versus outsourcing to a 3PL.

  • Customer service and logistics excellence: Optimize the order-to-cash process and the warehousing and transport components of your logistics operations.

We also inject state-of-the-art digitization and automation technologies wherever they produce value, and help your teams acquire the capabilities they need to support continuous improvement. The result: Logistics costs decline 10% to 25%, on-time and in-full deliveries improve to >95%, and Capex on transport and warehousing infrastructure declines.  

6. Key Enablers:

Our supply chain expertise is supported by a number of complementary capabilities that ensure you get teh best results possible.

We embed the right digital technologies at key points along the supply chain. Smart automation, for example, can help you accelerate your operational processes while increasing flexibility and the ability to customize.

 

End-to-end visibility and collaboration, including with 3PLs, can boost responsiveness, improve operational planning, and facilitate superior tracing of products and input materials. Advanced R&D management, planning and forecasting capabilities and a host of tools and technologies that make employees more productive are also important parts of our digital portfolio.

 

We'll help you address essential organizational elements of an effective supply chain, including what level of centralization makes sense and what forms of decision-making, governance and related ways of working will ensure that your supply chain meets its full potential.

 

Sustainability is also critically important. We can help you define your sustainability ambition and make a strong business case for sustainability, one that addresses cost reduction, commercial opportunity, risk mitigation, recruitment, or some combination of all four. 

Procurement:

 

World-class procurement organizations can reduce a company's purchasing cost base by an average of 8%–12% and deliver additional annual savings of 2%–3%. We work closely with your team to identify and realize savings across all spend categories and procurement levers, and we build your organizational capabilities so you can sustain those gains over the long term. 

  1. Strategic Procurement Planning:

 

Our Strategic Procurement Planning process enables you to chart an effective path to savings based on in-depth cross-functional alignment and an unwavering focus on your overall business strategy.

Our four-step approach begins with budget and target-setting, including the establishment of quarterly and annual budgets, an annual procurement savings target, and periodic updates to quarterly budgets as needed.

Defining the operating plan entails setting category strategies and savings targets, and setting and revising Sourcing and Program calendars.

Executing the operating plan encompasses a review of category and supplier performance, a review of property implementation, and collecting customer feedback.

This enables you to track and validate EBITDA impact, as well as reconcile shortfalls, book a realized EBITDA impact each quarter, revise the budget as needed, and review results with leadership.

We work with you to ensure that corporate finance, program management, and strategic sourcing remain aligned and work together on a structured program to reach the  desired end state. And we create the right metrics and dashboards so you can easily monitor the program at a high level and drill down as needed to explore action items and the key components of each metric.

2.  Buy & Spend Better:

Buy Better + Spend Better is our unique approach to procurement, providing a one-two punch to drive significant savings.

 

Buy Better is a supply-led effort that focuses on price and volume allocation, negotiating prices and terms, managing price risks, pooling volumes and contracts, shifting volumes to best-price suppliers and leveraging procurement networks.

 

Spend Better is an operations-led effort to control demand, enforce compliance, reduce complexity, perform value engineering, address make-versus-buy decisions and take related steps to foster efficient spending.

Buy Better + Spend Better does more than just reduce costs. It elevates your procurement function by also reducing supply chain risk, supporting continuous quality and service improvement, fostering better decision-making about suppliers, optimizing resource allocation, and more. It enables you to clearly define category segmentation and strategy, and it’s supported by a detailed analysis of your spending, including Spend Cube, which creates a detailed taxonomy that enables you to slice and dice your spending and discover many hidden opportunities for savings. 

3.  Closed-loop Savings Capture: 

The goal of a closed-loop savings process is straightforward: Make sure the savings captured by superior procurement practices show up on the P&L.

It begins with a diligent and robust management of individual spend reduction initiatives. Those savings are then aggregated and allocated to specific accounts and/or P&Ls. From there, savings are incorporated into financial planning and forecasts.

 

Successfully implementing such a program demands, among other things, rigorous reporting and clear visibility into savings. We work with you to ensure that heads of procurement, financial planning, and accounting, as well as budget owners, all see the same numbers. When savings are booked, they reduce budgets accordingly. That enables senior leaders to decide how to best use the savings, be it to close budget gaps, fund new investments or boost the bottom line.

A closed-loop system is a great way to track and capture the gains from your procurement efforts, and use them to invest in your priorities.

4.  Capability Building:

Take your procurement function to an entirely new level of performance by building a range of discrete competencies that can support a world-class operating model.

We work with you and your team to develop the strategic and operational capabilities you need to manage supplier relationships, develop comprehensive category strategies, and master critical processes, including source-to-contract and procure-to-pay.

 

We also offer Procurement University, a structured program of training that uses external experts (Phase I) to impart skills and knowledge to your internal trainers (Phase II) who train and work with skills specialists to continuously improve your procurement function. This program builds category management core skills, procurement soft skills (negotiations, supplier management) and procurement technical skills (processes,

systems, tools and data analytics). 

 

And, our Results360SM change management approach can inject additional training, tools and support, ensuring that your procurement team doesn’t simply learn new skills but develops a high-performance culture that enhances performance for years to come.

 

5.  Digital Foundation and Enablers:

As companies continue to embrace digital capabilities across their operations, Chief Procurement Officers face two critical questions: How can they use digital to transform the procurement function? And, what can their function do to enable the company’s broader digital vision?

We see three trends influencing procurement’s digital future. The first is the increasing use of automation and Agile development to increase the speed, efficiency and accuracy of operational processes. The second is the deployment of key technologies to foster frictionless collaboration, improving supplier performance and accelerating cycle times. The third involves the use of digital tools to optimize procurement spend, forecasting, category management, and speed to market.

At a more granular level, there are nearly two dozen digital tools that can help propel your performance across those three trends. With so many option, determining your priorities is a critical first step. We can help you chart the right course toward digital innovation, beginning with our Enterprise Digital Readiness

Diagnostic and progressing through a structured program to generate significant, sustained value from your digital strategy. And we support those efforts by partnering with best-of-breed software companies that are developing the most innovative procurement capabilities in the market.

Service Operations & Support Functions:

We specialize in designing and developing efficient and effective customer service operations that support customer acquisition, retention, cost management and profitability. We combine deep expertise in advanced analytics with superior design capabilities to move quickly from prototype to full-scale deployment. We’ve helped hundreds of companies solve a multitude of service-related problems, including reducing unnecessary work volumes, improving first-time rates, placing the right person with the right job, reshaping capacity requirements, developing staffing models, radically redesigning for fast and flawless episodes, and more.

Go beyond efficiency to act as effective, valued business partners.  We partner with IT, Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Real Estate & Facilities Management and other functions to improve quality, speed, and cost, so that your support functions provide an advantage over the competition.

We help you quickly identify the sources of value, develop a plan of achievable initiatives, turn that plan into action, and sustain the results. 

We bring a full range of capabilities, including zero-based redesign, shared services, and capability sourcing, to help you achieve your goals. Vector, our integrated digital delivery platform, provides the advanced analytics and automation expertise that will help your support functions get more value from technology. 

  1. Finance Function Advantage:

 

Build a world-class finance function that ticks all the boxes: superior service, strong controls and lower cost. Spend more time on higher-value, forward-looking activities and less on accounting and transactional tasks.

  • Better stakeholder experience:  Deliver higher quality decision support, analytics, and services to the business and stakeholders

  • Higher Quality:  Provide more accurate and effective finance processes with stronger controls

  • Lower Costs: Reduce costs by more than 20% through standardization, centralization and automatio

  • Enhanced Talent Strategy:  Reskill your team to focus on higher value added activities

Powerful forces—including regulatory change, activist investors, and technologies like AI and automation—are putting substantial pressure on CFOs and their finance teams.  

We partner with you to quickly identify sources of value, develop a plan of achievable initiatives, turn that plan into action, and sustain the results.  

Here’s how it works. We start by ensuring your finance policies, processes, organization, and systems are aligned to your business strategy. Then, we bring a full range of capabilities, including operating model redesign, process redesign, shared services, outsourcing and offshoring, to help you achieve your goals. Throughout the process, Vector, our integrated digital delivery platform, provides advanced analytics and automation expertise. 

To sustain your results over the long-term, we’ll also address the critical talent and change management activities so essential to building an extraordinary finance team. and fostering the necessary culture and behavior changes.

2.   HR Function Advantage:

 

Demographics, new talent expectations, alternative work arrangements and digital technologies are just some of the factors forcing HR to fundamentally change how it operates--internally and with the business. We’ll help you transform.

  • Improved Business Outcomes:  More effectively recruit, develop, and retain talent to improve business results

  • Better Employee Experience:  Improve your employee satisfaction and employee Net Promoter scores

  • Higher Quality: Deliver HR services more accurately and embed new digital capabilities

  • Lower Costs:  Improve HR efficiency through shared services and automation

Big changes, both in the workforce and the workplace, are rewriting the rules for CHROs and their teams.  As a result, every HR discipline, from talent acquisition to talent management to total rewards, is evolving. 

We can help you quickly identify sources of value, develop a plan to capture that value, execute on the required initiatives, and sustain the results.  We start by ensuring your HR policies, processes, organization, and systems are aligned to your business strategy.  We bring a full range of capabilities, including operating model redesign, process redesign, shared services, outsourcing and offshoring, to help you reach your goals. Vector, our integrated digital delivery platform, provides powerful advanced analytics and automation expertise.

 

We also help you address the talent issues so critical to building a world-class HR team, while our Results360SM approach to change management ensures that you embed the culture and behavioral changes necessary to sustained success.

3.  Enterprise Technology:

 

We believe that a company’s corporate strategy both guides and is influenced by its technology strategy. No matter what your starting point, we can help you determine what technological capabilities, systems and people you need to succeed. We provide end-to-end expertise that addresses every element of your evolving technology infrastructure, from developing a transformation roadmap to system migration, workforce training and more. 

Our Enterprise Technology expertise enables you to:

  • Align your technology strategy with your business ambition and chart your digital transformation

  • Modernize your systems and architecture, with a detailed roadmap grounded in your unique needs

  • Embrace modern operating models and Agile methods to increase productivity, quality and efficiency

  • Implement a virtuous and dependable funding model

  • Achieve your most ambitious technology transformation goals with Delivery Assurance

  • Make technology a source of M&A success

  • Plan a migration strategy with confidence, while mitigating risks

Ways we can help:

  • Technology & Data Strategy: Your technology strategy should be a logical extension of your business strategy. With an eye on costs and  cutting-edge innovation, we'll help you align your people and systems around a bold technology transformation.

  • Technology Operation Model: Your people are central to your technology strategy. We'll help you maximize their contributions through Agile delivery models as you refine product management, governance and organizational structure.

  • Technology Cost Management: The costs of digitalization are pushing technology budgets up, both in absolute dollars and as a share of operating expenses. We'll help you adopt cost management practices that eliminate waste and propel your strategy.

  • Technology Delivery Assurance: Gain a new level of confidence that your large-scale tech transformation projects will succeed. Our structured approach helps you anticipate issues, mitigate risks, and make the right decisions to achieve your goals.

  • Systems & Architecture: Digital transformation puts entirely new demands and expectations on your systems and architecture. We’ll help you modernize your entire technology stack to become a true technology-enabled leader.

4.   Capability Outsourcing:

 

Outsourcing and offshoring are at a turning point.  Growth in as-a-service models, disruptive technologies such as cloud and automation, and new data security and privacy standards are a few of the forces disrupting traditional approaches to sourcing.  We can help you navigate these forces and enhance your competitive position.

  • Lower Cost:  Reduce costs through scale and global delivery

  • Improved Service Quality:  Standardize, simplify and automate processes

  • Flexibility & New Capabilities: Scale services up or down more quickly and gain access to new capabilities you currently lack

  • New Sources of Talent:  Tap into a more diverse and wider talent pool​

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We work with ambitious leaders who want to define the future, not hide from it. Together, we achieve extraordinary outcomes.

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