Today’s business environment demands flexibility and speed to transform
To stay relevant and to pursue a competitive advantage, organizations are constantly going through a cycle of change.
Whether that’s pursuing new markets, implementing the latest technologies, or undertaking structural reforms, each change requires time and effort to embed into the organization. Through our Implementation practice, we help our clients address important challenges to drive this change.
How do we help?
‘How to rapidly translate strategy into execution’
Fast adjustments to new technologies, consumer trends, ways of working, and competitors require continuous strategic changes, not just operational ones. Today companies need to be able to rapidly and efficiently redefine their paths and implement either important transformations or a portfolio of interrelated projects.
A common challenge of a CEO and its board is how to fulfill the company strategy through successful project execution. Integration helps to answer questions like:
- What are the priority projects that should be implemented to deliver business results according to our desired timeline?
- What implementation strategy should I adopt to ensure a smooth transition between systems/processes/services?
- How to avoid and manage implementation risks?
‘How to adapt standardized project management methodologies to suit company culture.’
Culture is unique to each company and must be considered seriously when operationalizing project management to avoid a clash with team ways of working. We consider in our solutions aspects such as:
- How to adapt project management methodologies to suit the professionals and culture of a company?
- How to involve and leverage business leaders to drive the implementation?
- What are the appropriate speed and pace for a project execution according to the industry, market, region, company values, professional’s motivation, business needs, etc.?
‘How to make project governance an enabler not a detractor’
Project governance can often feel like a chore to fulfill rather than an enabler to drive speed and efficiency into the project. Starting at the project conception it is important to foresee implementation needs along the different moments in the timeline and guarantee infrastructure, communication tools, and support materials to support project deployment.
A clear, robust, and comprehensive Project Governance is a must-have to enable decision-making processes and risk management. We help to answer:
- What tools should I use to allow for visibility and control? How centralized does control need to be?
- How to implement and maintain the right balance of quality and speed?
- How to plan infrastructure needs and consider them in the project budget?
‘How to take care of the most important asset – people’
To have the correct team, engaged, aligned, and motivated is one of the most important aspects when executing complex implementations; but it usually proves the toughest challenge considering unique individuals, group dynamics, and culture. Our Change Management expertise aims to support project leaders to answer questions like:
- How to keep staff motivated and energized over a long transformation?
- What is the most effective training strategy to adopt change and avoid business disruption?
- How to ensure knowledge is absorbed and kept inside the company when consultants exit?
What makes us different?
Together on this journey – we become one team
Considering these varied challenges, we aim to bring a pragmatic and inclusive approach to our projects which fully addresses our clients varied needs, goals, and contexts. Ultimately our mindset for delivery reverts to four key elements:
We stay close to our clients. They tell us that:
- We bring a human quality to our delivery, and honesty that means that there are no surprises
- We don’t just ensure that we deliver the technical outcomes, we go further to bring everyone from leadership through to operations onboard on the transformation journey
- We work together with complete commitment during both the difficult and the joyful moments
Our solutions aim to address our client’s differing needs across three dimensions:
Helping clients to deal with the most critical aspects of integration, right from the investment thesis through to full integration. Our approach encompasses integration strategy definition, preparation and execution of technical and human aspects, culture and leadership integration, synergies management and design of business solutions.
Supporting in the design, planning and implementation of a Project Portfolio Management Office (PMO) or temporarily executing the PMO role to ensure strategic projects deliver on their planned business goals. We improve internal capability, through instilling a project management culture, processes and governance which enables the company to achieve continuous transformation in response to a changing environment.
Guiding companies through comprehensive and often complex supply network transformations that require technical expertise and intelligent coordination across the organization. Our solid methodology and expertise ensure minimum business disruption, engagement across teams, individuals and relevant stakeholders (from suppliers to regulatory agencies and customers) as well as change management.
Ensuring the smooth transition to a new Go-to-Market model, through mitigating disruption to company’s professionals, clients, consumers and distribution partners and a comprehensive translation of the strategy into the field.
Helping organizations build the capability to execute and achieve sustainable organic growth for the long term. We help our retail clients make footprint expansion targets a reality by translating strategy into execution through targeted and tailored actions across four levels: strategy, process, governance, and organizational structure.
Supporting organizations implement and embed different kinds of systems and software, applying agile project management with a consumer-centric view.
Our client a large American multinational beauty company had recently acquired multiple brands in a strategic move to widen and grow its product portfolio. They had decided to integrate the Planning, Manufacturing, and Logistics Network of the acquired companies in order to capture the foreseen synergies.
The consolidation process was extremely challenging because it required a high level of coordination across +250 professionals in +30 countries in Europe, USA, Canada and EMEA, +15 production sites, and +76 distribution centers around the globe.
Moreover, the benefits related to this integration were desired to be captured as early as possible given the strategic importance to the company worldwide.
Given the accelerated timelines and complex challenges, a large Integration team was deployed to work fully on-site, bolstering the client team. This ensured close proximity with all stakeholders, on the job training/change management for staff, better communication across the countries, and an ability to resolve unforeseen issues swiftly.
We assumed the project management responsibility of the Manufacturing Footprint and Distribution Centers consolidation programs preparing a detailed plan considering all involved regions, business areas, and processes. To ensure the forecasted synergies would be realized, a robust PMO was deployed to track not just deliverables, but also operational objectives and benefits.
We supported the client in delivering the integration in a very aggressive timeline with minimal business disruption. Including the closure of some manufacturing sites in addition to the transfer of production lines. In distribution, in just 6 months we coordinated the building and starting-up of distribution centers across multiple countries and managed the incorporation of 3rd party logistics.
Beyond the business implementation results, Integration ensured the engagement, alignment, and cooperation along with the entire transition of the +30 involved countries. This ensured a sustainable operational transformation after our team had rolled-off.
A family-owned retail company was acquired by a large investment fund. Unfortunately, due to a combination of variables and the economic context in Brazil, the company experienced a drop in profitability.
An urgent turnaround of the situation was needed and a clear target of improvement of 2.5x EBITDA in 3 years, and a change in leadership, was set by the investment fund. Integration was selected as the consulting firm to address and solve this challenge, given our expertise in the sector, pragmatism, and speed to delivery.
A deep diagnosis to identify value creation opportunities in all areas of the company was done with two main objectives: 1) bring operating efficiency in the current business model and 2) generate future value in new business and commercial models. From those opportunities, we built a cohesive roadmap of projects and initiatives to reach the pursued target in a 3 years timeframe.
Once the path to follow was clearly designed, a variety of project and change management methodologies were put in place by our team: a ramp-up plan, detailed work fronts plan, project governance for weekly tracking, structured risks and issues escalation matrix and procedures, management tools for monitoring and communicating, and constant leadership involvement through the on-site and disciplined meeting to expedite project decisions.
At Integration, we do value professionals, engagement, ambiance, motivation, and inspiration as key enablers of major and deep transformations. With this in mind, we also developed a new variable remuneration and talent retention model to drive important behaviors within the company and culture.
The project delivered above expectations, reaching 2.6x EBITDA in the 3 years timeframe, and broke historical records in terms of both revenue and profitability.
Beyond the business result, the company benefited from achieving a renewed spirit of collaboration and improvement and was left better prepared to tackle future challenges with improved processes/tools/governance for project management.
After the multi-million dollar acquisition of a national consumer goods manufacturer by a global household brand, Integration was hired as the clean team, to plan and manage the Post Merger Integration process.
The strength of the acquired business’ portfolio, including sales and distribution, combined with the know-how and capabilities of the global company created a great opportunity for business expansion; however, given the large sizes of the two companies and the
Given the size of the deal, our main goal was to ensure the two organizations would be working together as one right from Day 1, avoiding any major operational issues.
With this in mind, we focused on developing (i) a clear and specific roadmap to concretely define the companies end-state vision and integration strategy, from transition plan to the longer-term and (ii) a highly detailed 100 Day plan to ensure teams and actions could be highly coordinated in the early phases.
On the people side, we needed to work across parties to ensure the people, cultural strengths and best practices of each company were preserved. An effective stakeholder-management process was implemented in an intensive and frequent basis to monitor and address engagement, concerns, and ensure professionals’ commitment and performance along the merger process.
The success of the implementation was characterized across multiple metrics:
- From Day 1 there was minimal disruption to operations – with business KPIs all remaining in optimal levels
- The synergies outlined in the Business Case were realized
- Successful internal communications to more than 3,500 employees with 100% of key professionals staying within the company during the transition
- External communications, that resulted in no negative impacts on customers, providers, or market perception
A leading global Consumer Beauty company had reached a moment where they were experiencing high performance in Modern Trade channels, but significantly lower performance in the Indirect Traditional Trade channel. The company came to understand that it was drastically under-indexed in sales via distributors in key-opportunity regions, and a majority of sales teams were reporting problematic distributor relationships.
To combat this challenge, they asked for Integration’s support in developed a global methodology that could support their local operations and boost indirect trade results.
In our first phase of the Programme we built a solid foundation for sustainable change. This took shape as a detailed, bespoke “playbook” that was not limited to the needs of emerging markets, but instead offered commercial teams at all stages, ideas for taking their distributor relationships to the next level, including the ability to:
- Map and select target distributors
- Run complete assessments of distributor performance, financial health and operational capabilities
- Design, implement and monitor annual plans to develop distributor capabilities and improve results for the client and its partners
- Terminate relationships with underperforming or operationally inadequate distributors
The playbook balanced the need for a global approach with fitting the local realities of each market. From the outset, we developed the methodology in strong collaboration with the regional representatives in each continent.
Next came an implementation phase dubbed ‘local acceleration’; where we aimed to guarantee the practical, effective implementation across selected zones.
Over the course of four years we supported the practical application of the methodology across 12 vastly different countries (ranging from Pakistan to Peru), running training sessions and adapting guidance appropriately to local needs. Each of these countries represented diverse challenges, ranging from finance issues to process improvements to deeper strategic discussions.
This highly tailored approach resulted in pragmatic recommendations for each market and enabled quick implementation. At the same time, the standard nature of the programme across countries made it possible to transfer best practices from market to market.
As a consequence of the successful implementation, sales by the distributor have outpaced growth in modern trade by 5 percentage points, thanks to significantly closer cooperation with distributors (e.g. (+123% Pay For Performance Agreements, +43% Joint Distributor Business Plans), while simultaneously reducing days of inventory by 16% on average.
The Implementation practice has delivered more than 450 projects with clients all over the globe, including Latin America, North America, and Europe in a wide variety of industries, such as Consumer goods (Beverages, Food, Health, Beauty & Personal Care, Domestic appliances, etc); Retail (Wholesalers & Distributors, Apparel, Food Service); Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals; Private Equity & Investments; Government and Public Services and others.
We have led projects for well-known clients as L’Oréal, Danone, Kellogg, Carrefour, J&J, PepsiCo, Red Bull, Kraft, Mondelez, Tupperware, Whirlpool, Sky, COTY, Grupo BIG, Centauro, Onofre, Ri Happy, Raia Drogasil, Boticário, Grupo Notre Dame, Eurofarma, Mafra, Onofre, Kroton, Grupo Zap, Edenred, and others.