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Operations Improvement

A company’s organizational structure sets the baseline for the successful interaction between employees to enable them to reach the company’s objectives.

To achieve these business targets operational excellence has become increasingly important. Business leaders recognize that world-class operations are the key to secure your competitive edge.

After cost-cutting: restructuring and outsourcing

The challenges automotive OEMs and suppliers are currently facing on the upstream side of the business are as diversified as the OEMs themselves.
After a period of cost cutting, restructuring and outsourcing, where OEMs in the triad markets have focussed on improving their cost position, OEMs are now tackling the complexity created by shortening life cycles, proliferation of new models and new emerging markets. However, cost pressures continue due to globalisation of the competitive landscape.
Emerging market/new entrant OEMs are rapidly closing the gap in terms of product quality and production efficiency, while maintaining their advantageous cost position.

Operational Excellence

Operational efficiency is a key lever to deliver the OEM’s objectives.  Within the automotive industry, operational excellence covers the optimization of each step along the value creation process from product development, sourcing, supply chain management, manufacturing, to the management of warranty and quality issues.

With a unique blend of deep-content technical consulting, real hands-on experience from our work with automotive operations, and classic strategic consulting expertise Ricardo helps its clients create efficient and competitive operational structures and processes.
Key topics we focus on are:

  • Manufacturing & Supply Chain Management
  • Warranty & Quality Management 

Manufacturing Strategy and Management

Almost by definition, manufacturing excellence continues to be a cornerstone for any successful “manufacturer”.  Regardless of how good your product is on paper, if you can’t assemble it cost effectively at the volumes required and with the appropriate level of quality it will face serious challenges in the market.  Because manufacturing is generally the highest cost area outside of purchased materials, producing at a lower cost and comparable (or better) quality than your competitors can be a sustainable advantage that is not easily replicated.

So while their importance has not diminished, the challenges facing manufacturing organizations have grown. Common issues include:

  • Proliferation of product variants required to meet the need of increased market segmentation
  • Globalization of markets and companies means that manufacturing footprints are under constant re-evaluation
  • Growing emphasis on the ability to flex both volume and mix to meet market demands over the traditional “mass production” philosophy
  • Constant re-evaluation of make or buy decisions
  • Increased frequency of product launch due to shortened business cycle – drives increased pressure on the organization for flawless implementation and launch
  • Increased production localization creates the need to replicate corporate manufacturing excellence in various markets and cultures

Why choose Ricardo

Our unique mix of strategic vision and hands-on experience positions Ricardo to support both manufacturing strategy development and tactical implementations.  Specific areas where we can add value include:

  • Planning of global production system
  • Insourcing vs. outsourcing strategy
  • Lean process improvement implementation and replication
  • Optimization of capacity and capital investment planning
  • Quality system implementation
  • Focused quality issue resolution


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