Operational strategy

Our operational strategy support aims to provide a unifying framework for analysing complex issues in manufacturing and service operations.

A unifying framework for analysing complex operational issues

Our operational strategy support aims to provide a unifying framework for analysing complex issues in manufacturing and service operations. 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 help clients create efficient and competitive operational structures and processes.

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Product launch support

One of the most critical points in the manufacturing process is when a new product or model initially enters production. At Ricardo, we implement and lead established program management processes to reinforce existing launch teams and increase launch programme efficiency. Our approach to launch support includes managing the total programme with Microsoft Project and action logs to ensure milestone and gateway accountability.

Asset management

As the automotive and transportation industries continue to be both extremely cost-conscious and forward-looking in terms of product and process innovation, asset management systems and methodologies are essential for meeting both goals. To overcome these challenges, Ricardo has developed sophisticated strategies to manage customer-owned tooling, identify key assets, and ensure compliance with asset policies.

Operations assessment and improvement

Operational improvement initiatives result in reduced waste and lower costs and can lead to sustained long-term growth. A thorough assessment should include evaluation of product and process technology, process design, process control methodologies, and system disciplines. Key aspects of improving operations include improving quality, safety, supply chain effectiveness, reliability, and inventory management. Our experienced consultants have extensive engineering, manufacturing, quality, and business experience and are well prepared to efficiently identify your company's strengths and weaknesses through a comprehensive review of your operations

Manufacturing and investment planning

Developing an appropriate plan for manufacturing requires an understanding of the trade-offs involved, including performance vs. cost, throughput versus quality, and scale vs. efficiency. Our experienced consultants combine a deep technical understanding, operational experience, and strong business acumen to develop and implement robust, tailored manufacturing and investment plans for our clients.

In a challenging and fast-paced market undergoing significant disruption due to the introduction of new technology, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers are increasingly re-evaluating their product portfolio and manufacturing strategy. To remain competitive, established industry players need to deploy their limited resources in a manner that minimises risk and maximises return on investment. New entrants to the automotive industry will also need to make smart, well-researched, and comprehensively planned investments to be successful.

Developing an appropriate plan for manufacturing requires an understanding of the trade-offs involved, including performance versus cost, throughput versus quality, and scale versus efficiency.

Our team has completed over 200 supplier quality assessments across North America, Asia, and Europe, providing detailed reports of gaps and risks with associated recommendations for improvement.

With diverse functional experience spanning a variety of industries (automotive, clean energy, power sports, marine, commercial vehicles) Ricardo is prepared to set a strategic plan to drive your company’s growth and profitability through approaches that are tailored to your specific needs.

Our professionals possess unique capabilities, including:

  • Financial analysis and modelling to assess strategic options on an objective and financially-sound basis
  • Make versus buy assessment across the full supply chain, including strategic considerations such as technology ownership, capability development, and intellectual property
  • Global supply chain analysis and development, including localised sourcing in developing markets
  • Competitor benchmarking and supply chain comparison
  • Stress-testing of potential investment strategies for robustness to future industry disruptions, including technical and commercial factors
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Operational strategy


This service is offered within the following sectors.

Discover our case studies

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Greenhouse gas reductions in marine leisure propulsion

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Alternative fuels roadmap

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3-80MW marine propulsion market​

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Operational strategy Resources

UK Government awards funding for place-based decarbonisation plans to Shoreham Port Industrial Cluster

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Understanding challenges in energy and mobility in 2035

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In conversation with Julie Fream and Leslie Bednarz

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In conversation with Jeff Morrison and Fred Gersdorff

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Meet the experts

Jake Cartmell Headshot

Jake Cartmell

Head of Engineering Strategy and Performance

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Scott St Clair

Scott St Clair

Vice President

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Elton Rohrer

Elton Rohrer

Chief Programme Engineer

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