Operations strategy

Helping clients realize outstanding operational processes.

Digital technologies and the aspiration for more flexible supply chains in Industry 4.0 present growth-oriented companies with complex challenges. Operational processes play a key role in this and are a critical success factor in achieving strategic competitive advantage.

As part of the global PwC Operations Team, we help our clients in closing the gap between strategy and realization. Our experts have the necessary industrial, functional and technological know-how to support our clients in achieving operational excellence across the full value-added chain. Whether the challenge is boosting growth, strategic cost reductions, improved operational flexibility or higher capital efficiency – we provide support in building up the necessary operations-side solutions for sustainable, long-term growth.

How we help clients

COO Agenda

As Operations strategists deeply embedded in all major industries, we have a clear perspective on the operations strategy priorities per industry sector. This COO agenda by industry provides an overview on the most pressing challenges that we currently help operations decision-makers to solve. 

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Operations resilience

Rising cost pressures. Protectionism. Disruptions. Sustainability considerations. All of these factors were affecting supply chains even before the global pandemic. But now, as the world changes at an unprecedented speed and on an unforeseen scale, more business leaders than ever are realizing the need to reimagine the way they’re operating.

Click here to find out how to manage daily risks and adapt to unforeseen disruptions

Innovation and development

We support our clients in defining and implementing their strategic innovation roadmaps for products, services and overarching business models as well as in increasing efficiency along the whole development process. Our services include:

  • Innovation and development strategy
  • R&D operating model and footprint
  • Product portfolio transformation
  • R&D efficiency and benchmarking
  • Strategic partnerships and alliances
  • Product value management and design-to-cost
  • Product lifecycle management

Procurement and sourcing

We support our clients in their strategic procurement transformation, including the strategic alignment and development of their capabilities. It is our goal to position procurement as the enabler for sustainable value creation. Our services include:

  • Procurement transformation incl. operating model design, cost reduction and capability development
  • Procurement strategy
  • M&A value creation
  • Sustainability in procurement
  • Project/CAPEX procurement
  • Category management and strategy
  • End-to-end supplier and value chain management
  • Agile working methods in procurement

Supply Chain Management

We support our clients in developing end-to-end supply chains that are tailored to their market needs, leveraging the latest digital technologies to achieve a competitive advantage in terms of service level, cost efficiency and flexibility. Our services include:

  • End-to-end dynamic supply chain strategy
  • Supply chain operating model design
  • Digital supply chain design and analytics
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Integrated planning and execution
  • Supply chain network redesign incl. logistics, transportation, distribution, reverse (post-sales) logistics
  • Inventory and working capital optimization

Manufacturing

We support our clients in defining their production strategy in line with their overarching corporate strategy while focusing on their core competencies and capabilities in order to achieve a competitive market advantage. We also support them in developing and implementing strategic programs in order to achieve company-wide operational excellence. Our services include:

  • Manufacturing strategy and footprint
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Site turnaround, taskforces and profitability improvement
  • Production systems and assessments
  • Lean transformation, incl. digital lean and lean administration
  • Smart manufacturing and processes
  • Intelligent maintenance systems

COO agenda

We see seven high priority topics for automotive COOs

Game changer software
Game changer software
Software has become the differentiating factor for modern vehicles.
Product disruption - eMobility
Product disruption - eMobility
The growing demand for electric vehicles significantly impacts the automotive value chain...
Operations and product cost down
Operations and product cost down
Due to the ongoing industry transformation and disruptions brought about by EASCY trends...
Supply capability and flexibility
Supply capability and flexibility
Significant supply interruptions and a lack of critical supplies during the Corona Pandemic...
Smart operations and the digital plant
Smart operations and the digital plant
Automotive is among the most competitive manufacturing industries...
Organizational resilience
Organizational resilience
Automotive players are facing significant pressure to cut costs, to increase speed of innovation...
Sustainability from OEM to supplier
Sustainability from OEM to supplier
Now more than ever, businesses must serve all stakeholders...

Game changer software

Software has become the differentiating factor for modern vehicles. Increasing demand for intelligent and connected functionalities significantly changes not only the Automotive product and services but also the related operations. In order to meet the dynamic nature of software, the overall value creation changes from design-build-ship to “continuous evolution” building on a strongly changed development process and vendor management. This requires adapted agile organizations, capabilities and skills. Given the impact of software on the operations, it needs to be on every Automotive COO agenda.

Product disruption - eMobility

The growing demand for electric vehicles significantly impacts the automotive value chain and thus the COO agenda: Rapid elective powertrain innovation is required to offer competitive products. This includes conscious make-or-buy decisions early on to secure not only strategic relevance in the future value chain, but also to maximize operational synergies and to address employment arrangements. At the same time, the manufacturing process needs to be transformed to efficiently produce the new electric components including potentially new processes such as battery system assembly. New products and processes also implies a active enablement and rightsizing of the organization. The transformation towards eMobility also has consequences for the supply chain: As new materials and components become relevant, new suppliers need to be identified and enabled and new recycling solutions are required especially for the batteries.

Operations and product cost down

Due to the ongoing industry transformation and disruptions brought about by EASCY trends, OEMs and suppliers are facing structural changes, e.g. shift in value add from powertrain components to electronics and software. Therefore they need to optimize their cost base and ensure healthy cash-flow to successfully navigate the transformation. Hence adequate asset utilization needs to be ensured, both in areas with increasing and decreasing demand to ensure stable cash flow and low costs. Further it is of utmost importance to cut costs through a capability driven lens: “Bad costs” (no differentiation from competition) need to be cut aggressively, while “good costs” (differentiating capabilities) need to be protected or even invested in. Strategy& supports clients with tried and tested approaches and tools on all relevant steps along the journey.

Supply capability and flexibility

Significant supply interruptions and a lack of critical supplies during the Corona Pandemic revealed the necessity for reliable and robust value chains from supplier to customer. But even before Corona, the increasing customization and individualized products needed more flexible and differentiated supply chains. We support our clients to ensure supply of critical materials and high finished goods availability in turbulent times by creating real supply chain resilience and transparency.

Smart operations and the digital plant

Automotive is among the most competitive manufacturing industries, based on fierce competition and relentless cost pressure. At the same time it’s one of the most disruptive periods the automotive industry has ever experienced, and one of the most exciting. Automotive companies must transform their operations to be more efficient and sustainable while adopting new business models to respond faster to competition and shifting demand. Strategy& guides clients using best-in-class tools such as mobile labs, technology demonstrations, and advanced analytics to help them develop new products, tools, and partner ecosystems.

Organizational resilience

Automotive players are facing significant pressure to cut costs, to increase speed of innovation, and to ensure adaptability. OEMs therefore seek ways to implement revolutionary thinking in organizations with long-lasting histories. This is necessary to increase collaboration of “traditional” hardware and “new” software teams, to reduce time to market, to attract and retain talents, and to anticipate change and adjust objectives accordingly. This requires resilience – the capability to cope with constant change and disruption. Achieving business resilience requires a comprehensive view, including product excellence, process reliability, operations agility, and people behavior. We thereby support our clients as challenger, mediator and enabler, bringing in that comprehensive view, a trustful environment to experiment, hands-on support building and connecting capabilities required for business resilience.

Sustainability from OEM to supplier

Now more than ever, businesses must serve all stakeholders - customers, employees, society, and investors - alike. At Strategy&, we believe in the power of business to be forces for good. We work with our clients to analyze their core business models, capabilities, and operations to create positive economic, social, and environmental impact in ways that are profitable for the long term. Within Operations Strategy& offers unique expertise from Strategy through execution – such as from CO2 footprint strategy to operational sustainability task forces for Automotive suppliers.

Management Engineers

Management Engineers has been a part of Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) since 2013. Within Strategy&, Management Engineers maintains its identity as an internal network of experts with specialist know-how in all functions and sectors of the manufacturing trades, such as Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, as well as a deep expertise in operations issues.

Contact us

Harald Dutzler

Harald Dutzler

Partner, Strategy& Austria

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