Reorganisation of international business for a leading producer of consumer goods
A German manufacturer of premium consumer goods was selling his products worldwide via fairly independent affiliates. This way the company had grown very successfully and was globally present. The international growth, however, concealed the stagnation and fierce competition in its traditional markets. The marketing approach to the emerging markets was opportunistic, locally different, and increasingly complex. The company wanted to come to grips with this complexity and was looking for new ways to hold its ground in the traditional markets.
The subsidiaries including the sales organisation in Germany were used to determine their procedures and organisation themselves. The business processes and systems varied from country to country. Faced with a heterogeneous landscape, an overall optimisation was not possible. The decentral units were not inclined towards a common approach, previous optimisation attempts from head office had been undifferentiated and impractical.
A systematic international exchange of best practices mobilised the country organisations to rethink their set up. International work groups proposed standard solutions, clarified local requirements and brought about decisions among the managing directors. The best-practice business model was supported by a new IT system and introduced to all countries over several years.
The intensive collaboration of the country organisations led to a 5 % increase in sales in the course of the project by adopting the best practices ad hoc. The introduction of the new IT system yielded additional cost advantages in IT and the support processes in sales, logistics, service and administration, a high double-digit million figure after three years.