Operations strategy consulting services

Delivering solutions from the start, reinventing operations for the future

Technology is enabling new ways of operating

With the continuous drive toward more complex and flexible supply chains in Industry 4.0, the digital possibilities can seem overwhelming: Advanced analytics; Artificial intelligence and machine learning; Robotics; Software-as-a-service; and the Industrial Internet of Things. How do you put it all together in a coherent way that enables your operating model to deliver strategic advantage?

That’s where we come in. For decades, Strategy& has played a leading role helping clients improve and even reinvent their operations. Our long-held reputation as the “practical strategists” and leading foresight in operations give us a unique positioning this field. The firm’s expertise in operations strategy was further enhanced by the acquisition of Management Engineers in 2013, adding deep operations capabilities, and implementation-driven approach, and experience across the manufacturing, chemicals and industrials sectors.

Today, as part of the PwC network, we turn vision into reality. We’ll work alongside your teams to help transform your capabilities systems, solving problems right from the start, while building resilience for the future. We’ll build automation, raise productivity, cut costs and accelerate growth—enabling more efficient production, higher levels of customer satisfaction and a stronger corporate culture. This is what we do. This is strategy, made real.

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How we help clients

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

Strategic supply management

Strategic supply management

It’s critical to build your supply base with a highly competitive cost, value and service profile — transforming supply management into a strategic enabler for your business. Here are some of the ways we support our clients:

  • Digital procurement
  • Strategic sourcing
  • Procurement operating model (organisation, processes and governance)
  • Category strategy and management
  • Direct material design-to-value and should-cost
  • Supplier relationship, risk and performance management
  • Complex procurement support
  • Contract management and value realisation
  • Advanced sourcing analytics


Manufacturing strategy

By linking your manufacturing strategies with your business strategy, we can focus on your differentiating core capabilities and drive your competitive advantage in the market. Here are some of the ways we can help:

  • Digital manufacturing
  • Manufacturing strategy
  • Make-or-buy and network configuration
  • Technology selection
  • Manufacturing footprint design
  • Design for manufacturing
  • Manufacturing operating model
  • Manufacturing excellence and implementation

Supply chain

Supply chain

By developing end-to-end supply chains that are tailored to your market needs, we can leverage the latest digital technologies and provide competitive advantage in terms of service level, cost and asset efficiency, and flexibility. Here are some of our focus areas:

  • Digital supply chain design and analytics
  • End-to-end supply chain strategy and operating model
  • Integrated business planning and execution
  • Supply chain network redesign
  • Logistics, transportation, and distribution optimisation
  • Inventory and working capital optimisation
  • Reverse (post-sales) logistics
  • Supply chain risk management
  • Sustainable supply chain management

Capital assets

Capital assets

We work with clients on their capital asset strategy, helping to execute mission-critical capital projects on time and on budget, while optimising asset performance to achieve cost and service objectives. Our services include:

  • Digital asset management and predictive analytics
  • Capital asset strategy and portfolio management
  • Asset lifecycle management
  • Project governance, reporting, risk management, and assurance
  • Integrated project technology
  • Enterprise asset management
  • Integrated asset and work management
  • Asset reliability and performance improvement

Enterprise-wide operational excellence

Enterprise-wide operational excellence

We transform operations into competitive advantage by designing and executing strategic programmes, and focusing on process, behaviour changes, and digitisation.

Here are some of the ways we support our clients:

  • Enterprise services strategy and operating model
  • General and administrative strategic cost reduction
  • General and administrative transformation (people, process and technology)
  • Front, middle, and back office performance improvement
  • Intelligent process automation
  • Performance optimisation strategy
  • Continuous improvement and lean transformation
  • Optimisation of launch management and maintenance systems
  • Operations excellence in services and indirect functions
  • Optimisation of energy consumption
  • Operations KPI cascades and reporting
  • Production and management systems
  • Implementation of Industry 4.0 solutions
  • Global operating model design

Product value management

We help clients to increase product value and reduce product cost operating both technical and commercial lervers as well as in setting up their product value management organizations. Our services include:

  • Competitor teardown and benchmarking
  • Value-based requirements engineering
  • Design-to-Value
  • Value Engineering
  • Should Cost Modelling incl. supplier negotiation support
  • PVM organizational design
  • PVM training
  • Digital PVM
  • Software cost reduction
  • Value based technology strategy development


Reimagining Whitbread’s supply chain for the future

Reimagining Whitbread’s supply chain for the future

Find out how we helped Whitbread strategically develop a digitally driven supply chain and a multi-speed delivery network to maximise synergies.

More on our Whitbread case study

Differentiating through service in healthcare

A leading US non-profit health insurer focused on service as a key differentiator. It wanted to gain insight into current operational performance and develop customer-centric capabilities like self-service and digital competency. PwC's Strategy& was engaged to evaluate and address gaps in customer and member engagement.

Leveraging our health insurance expertise, proprietary market research databases, and best practices to help the client develop its differentiated customer-centric capabilities, we identified quick wins, which included outsourcing of manual activities, automation of macros/scripting, and standardisation of call centre work-from-home policies. We delivered a plan to enhance workforce management, consolidate provider data claim, and move to pre-pay policy. Additional recommendations addressed network rationalisation, timely issuance of ID cards, and reducing SG&A expenses.

The project identified $25M investment in provider engagement, flexible network design, personalised member service, and real-time enrollment to achieve the desired differentiating capabilities.

Transforming a company’s manufacturing footprint

A global product company with $10B sales revenue across more than 130 countries was suffering from a highly complex manufacturing footprint which was not aligned with the client’s main markets. The client was losing sales and profitability due to high order fulfillment cycle times, high manufacturing costs, and low productivity performance in its key operations.

Strategy& designed the global manufacturing footprint strategy based on clearly defined customer and market requirements. As a consequence, the team agreed to realign the operations footprint from 23 to 15 operations by implementing a more balanced global footprint closer to key customers and/or distribution centres.

The transformation delivered shorter order fulfillment cycle times while simultaneously reducing manufacturing costs by up to 10% and improving overall productivity and flexibility. These results led to a gross margin improvement by 5%.

Redesigning G&A operations in global banking

The securities servicing division of a global banking group sought to address business challenges like reduced productivity, sub-optimal operating model for its Centre of Excellence (CoE), lack of process standardisation, cost escalation, process fragmentation, and duplication. Strategy& was asked to help in accelerating execution and benefits delivery through process optimisation, offshoring and redesign of operating model.

Strategy& developed an initial hypothesis through a detailed current state analysis, using both quantitative and qualitative tools, and conducted workshops to identify quick win opportunities. We proposed a redesigned operating model for the CoEs, and suggested in-depth implementation plan to drive the changes.

The project identified potential cost savings of $10M per annum and recommended lean FTE allocation across locations. The project also identified opportunities to achieve process efficiency and provided detailed target state structure of the CoE, including team size, shift patterns, and processes performed.

Enabling strategic supply management in lighting

A global lighting company with over $5B sales revenue across more than 130 countries was faced with tremendous market disruptions resulting from the transition from traditional lighting to LED. To successfully play in this significantly different market, the company sold off its traditional business and refocused on the technically driven, fast-cycled LED business. To enable this, the client had to adopt new business models. The procurement function had to undergo a major transition towards strategic supply management to effectively support the businesses going forward.

Strategy& supported the client in identifying the new requirements that resulted from the changed business models and in developing the procurement transformation programmes, based on 4-6 focus areas (e.g. SRM, Supplier and Innovation Scouting), including appropriate KPIs. Further, Strategy& helped the client design a comprehensive change management concept and roadmap to ensure engagement and buy-in from the client team.

The transformation delivered significantly improved service levels for the BUs, based on nine key strategic supply management capabilities. Further, the transformation created a new operating model which improved the division of roles and responsibilities between corporate headquarters and business units.

Boosting margins for an oil field services and equipment company

A leading oil field services and equipment company’s financial performance was lagging behind its peers and the company had committed to a 3% improvement in North American net margin. Management believed there was an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of their >$1B equipment maintenance spend, but was unclear on where and how to achieve savings.

Strategy& helped the client pinpoint inefficiencies in their maintenance operating model, shifting from a highly reactive and siloed operation to an integrated team, using advanced techniques to deliver maintenance when and where needed, based on data. The changes were substantial as the client reorganised in order to break down functional barriers and create a maintenance process focused on customer performance.

Results were impressive — the maintenance transformation programme was implemented at the top 80% of locations by revenue, resulting in a ~2% boost to net margins. It also drove a 20% reduction in maintenance cost, 50% reduction in maintenance related downtime, and improved customer service.

Contact us

Bernd Jung

Bernd Jung

Partner, Strategy& Germany

Harald Dutzler

Harald Dutzler

Partner, Strategy& Austria

Thom Bales

Thom Bales

Principal, Strategy& US

Haroon Sheikh

Haroon Sheikh

Senior Executive Advisor, Strategy& Middle East