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It could be the result of an acute imbalance or a deliberate change initiative, but when things need to happen fast, our experts are on hand to provide analysis and custom solutions to help get your project or company back on track – and move forward with renewed vigour.

 ASSESSMENTS & AUDITS 

ASSESSMENTS & AUDITS

Accordionelement

Our consultants are often called into action when the lights on the KPI board are blinking bright red as a company finds itself at sea in the grip of a storm or one of its projects is on collision course with an iceberg. In these crisis-level situations, the current state of affairs needs to be fully examined and then analysed systematically, objectively, and rapidly. The decisive phase follows as a specific way forward is plotted. Getting it wrong here could endanger the survival of the business as a whole. So to make sure that we get it right, we start by examining the five most important dimensions of the situation: strategy and objective, organisation and structure, processes, products and services, and finances. Within four-to-six weeks, you will then receive a custom action plan covering the way forward in all the relevant fields of action. We will create transparency about where quality weaknesses and problem issues are lurking, expose over-optimistic business case calculations, and lift the lid on hidden project issues. Following on from this, you will receive a detailed road-map showing you a way out of the project or company crisis and opening up perspectives for potential savings and concrete turn-around scenarios in the short term.

  PROGRAM & PROJECT    MANAGEMENT  

PROGRAM & PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Accordionelement

Turn-arounds, reorganisations, launches of innovative products, complex IT programmes, or critical projects which unexpectedly turn bad: projects of all kinds need strong management to keep them on track. The most common causes of failure are unclear requirements and blurred targets, energy-sapping turf wars, a lack of stakeholder management, or – quite simply – poor planning, communication, and coordination between the various departments and functions involved. Even though project work and project management competence have become everyday elements of working life, the standard toolkit and methodology are by no means sufficient to solve all the problems which can occur on their own. The key is not only to use these tools and methods effectively, but to look long and hard at what the project is supposed to achieve. That is why we have made a habit of diving deep into client-specific issues so and helping to reshape thinking from an entrepreneurial perspective, all the while not losing sight of critical success factors.

  TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT    & REVITALISATION 

TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT & REVITALISATION

Accordionelement

Over the years, company restructuring has itself undergone a transformation: from a reactive, “cost-cutting” approach, reorganisations have become increasingly focussed on proactively securing a sustainably profitable position. Previously, the emphasis was primarily on stabilising the financial basis on which companies operate and implementing measures to bring costs under control. Now, the preferred approach is a holistic revitalisation initiative. This entails coordinating all of the substantial parameters in a business in a whole-company transformation. The starting point is identifying a future-proofed business model and the organisation, costs, and financing structures required for it. It is also predicated on bringing all of the stakeholders affected around a single aim and then turning the initiative into a lasting, continuous process of adaptation. e&Co. guides companies through this process with a view to developing the client’s business model systematically towards a stated aim while balancing the needs of restructuring, innovation and development, costs optimisation, and growth. For us, transformation means creating an agile, efficient, and sustainable basis for your business going forward.

 CHANGE &   TRANSITION MANAGEMENT 

CHANGE & TRANSITION MANAGEMENT

Accordionelement

Today, businesses find themselves in a permanent state of flux. Between the advance of digitisation into all areas of everyday life and the continuous evolution of customer wishes and needs, no area is left untouched. This means that business models need to be rethought, re-adjusted, and sometimes completely remodelled on the go; the days of three or even five-year business plans are more or less over. Yet while isolated change drives are now to be found in almost every international business, very few companies have developed these initiatives into concerted, holistic ways of working. In order to reach genuine change-readiness, the right mind-set in top management is essential – i.e. executive teams need to have a sense of urgency when it comes to implementing a central, dynamic adaptation and change process at all levels of the organisation. We call it transition management. To implement it consistently, the key challenge is to update the whole team’s approach to business and to make the organisation as a whole more flexible, putting it on a course towards working as an agile, high-performance unit. In view of continuing technological development, this is all the more necessary so that companies are enabled to reinvent and reposition themselves in response to shifts in the market. To bring about change, our transition experts use the most up-to-date methods and instruments – and, most importantly, their breadth of experience.

When the focus is on increasing business results without damaging company structures, we can help you to make considered, targeted adjustments which will increase the performance of your organisation and processes.

  PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT  

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT

Accordionelement

In order for your company to realise its full potential, regular adjustments need to be made to crank up performance in a variety of areas. Our management consultants will help you to evaluate your organisation as a whole and then identify specific drivers for performance – and impediments to it, too. We will then show you where and how you can make improvements, going on to produce suitable solutions which will rapidly generate tangible results, all the while paying due attention to the importance of overriding concerns up and down the value chain: increasing turnover or profit; potentially repositioning the company; improving processes; optimising production; re-examining existing IT architecture and technology; potential savings in transportation and logistics, as well as in developing employee competences or adjusting organisational structures. 

  MAKE OR BUY ANALYSIS 

MAKE OR BUY ANALYSIS

Accordionelement

For today’s managers, decisions on whether to up the amount of in-house production and administration (and, in many cases, needing to build up non-core competencies to do so) or to outsource (and increase dependency on external providers and suppliers) are everyday trade-offs – and genuine dilemmas. By way of example, should a carmaker which, in view of the progress of electrification, will experience an enormous surge in its demand for lithium batteries in the coming decades look to expand its competencies in procuring raw materials (including setting up a materials science department), manufacturing batteries (i.e. actually making cells), and assembling modules? Or should OEMs treat batteries as yet another commodity, leaving manufacturing to established makers and buying them in using the usual tendering mechanisms? Answering this question leads us through the full spectrum of strategic positioning, evaluating supplier landscapes, and hands-on tactical considerations. When responding to these challenges in practice, we examine the specific situation of the company, starting with its overall entrepreneurial orientation and moving through its core competencies through to a risk assessment and a detailed study of the possible economic effects. In addition, we apply our knowledge of best practice in other companies and work with the client so that, at the end of the process, a comprehensive set of recommendations can be presented to management.

  PROJECT GOVERNANCE  

PROJECT GOVERNANCE

Accordionelement

Our understanding of good project governance is that it ensures that management functions are put in a position to be able to exercise their responsibilities, preventing projects from becoming trapped in between various divisions and competencies. As such, project governance constitutes a framework for measuring progress within which not only the project team itself is held accountable, but also the parts of the company who have commissioned it: these are expected to fulfil their duties in terms of sharing information and materials with the project, taking decisions where required, and offering strategic guidance. This approach to project governance posits a clear direction of travel under strong leadership, weighing up short-term and long-term goals against one another: the result is that the right decisions are made at the right time and that the project is overseen with due sensitivity vis-à-vis reporting and steering outlay. Project governance is the supreme challenge of project work – and can be supremely challenging. It requires organisations to put in place the necessary structures and anchor them deeply within the company, training staff involved in the project and applying stringent processes across the board in order to guarantee quality results. In the course of various assignments, e&Co. consultants have proven their ability to contribute to making sure complex projects deliver actual results.

  SOURCING & CLOUD    TRANSFORMATION  

SOURCING & CLOUD TRANSFORMATION

Accordionelement

Our experience shows that around 40% of outsourcing projects fall short of their goals in terms of service quality or costs savings – and even once their weak-points have been identified, outsourcing initiatives cannot be stopped overnight. Indeed, in view of contractual periods generally exceeding three years, a swift change of providers comes with considerable costs of change, which makes it all the more important to get things on the right track from the very beginning. This means sourcing strategically, rather than buying in single services on a case-by-case basis. We begin by analysing your starting position, systematically and objectively, taking an overall perspective on your sourcing orientation as it relates to the organisation as a whole and your corporate strategy. To do this, we examine the core areas: strategy and goals; organisation & structure; processes; products and services; and finance. e&Co. consultants are skilled in all areas of sourcing, from tendering and contracting through to transition management. We can also offer support in critical situations, mediating contractor-purchaser conflicts using a classic sourcing intervention approach. We call our package best-fit sourcing: it is about finding an individual, suitable, sustainable solution fitted to the needs of your company. Click here for more information.

Taking companies to new heights – with our Cloud Transformation Services.

Many companies, especially in Europe, are currently planning to migrate their infrastructure resources into innovative Cloud solutions – and there are very good reasons for so doing. The advantages of the Cloud are self-evident: highly standardised on-demand solutions which can be scaled up, at any time and at insignificant cost. Whether large corporates or family-owned champions, organisations of all shapes and sizes can use the Cloud to help them break out of problematic outsourcing contracts or to start scaling back their own expensive data centres. What is more, new, innovative business models and services of the kind needed in today’s corporate environment – but so often hampered by inflexible outsourcing arrangements or internal IT departments – can be accelerated by Cloud solutions. This kind of major change is not without a range of challenges, however, which are principally caused by the considerable alterations to internal structures, e.g. adapting traditional service management processes and organisations, modernising non-cloud-ready applications, and reviewing IT security and data protection. Our end-to-end Cloud delivery model covers all relevant and necessary aspects across the following five areas: virtual data centre layer, cloud operations, cloud governance, service management, and application cloud readiness. Click here for more information on our Cloud Transformation Service Portfolio.

The English word “entrepreneur” comes from the old French for to undertake, to act boldly, and originally meant ‘leader’ or ‘champion’. In that spirit, let us help you conquer new markets and get real traction into your organisational transformation projects.

  INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS    & STRATEGIES  

INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS & STRATEGIES

Accordionelement

We are living in the time of fastest historical change ever, and the US Military’s acronym VUCA sums up the challenges of this permanent flux perfectly: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. This state of affairs has enormous consequences for how individuals and organisations navigate their way, with companies subject to the need to constantly reinvent themselves in the context of a digital world; the transformation extends to all areas of business and of life generally. Tried and tested business models now find themselves permanently under pressure and are often overtaken by new approaches. Customers have morphed into digital users – and users in turn have become the central axis around which everything else is organised. As a result, companies now have to create products and services which are of genuine use and offer real solutions to comprehensive requirements, all the while providing as much interaction and personalisation as possible. This could lead, for example, to a product-as-a-platform concept within a networked service ecosystem. To make sure to stay on the cutting edge of developments, our entrepreneurially-minded consultants develop innovative concepts and strategies which can help your organisation, your products and services, and your business models to remain competitive and relevant moving forward. And to establish a company culture in which tomorrow’s most important natural resource, the ability to innovate, is challenged and encouraged root and branch.

  ORGANISATIONAL DESIGN    & HR GROWTH  

ORGANISATIONAL DESIGN HR GROWTH

Accordionelement

As architects of change, we help you to shape your organisation in such a way as it is prepared for the increasing levels of complexity in global competition. Yet although this genuinely Herculean task is one which requires the full attention of the whole management board, classic executives often fall at this step, conditioned as they are to generate consensus and avoid disruption. Yet “disruption” is just what is on the agenda, and in order to secure lasting participation in the digital economy going forward, an agile, flexible organisation with new management processes must be developed as the overall attitude to business within the company is brought up to date. Once this transformation has taken place, companies find themselves robust and structured to generate value for users rather than waste resources on internal politics. We can also offer accurate support in recruiting the right staff to drive this digital transformation, as our subsidiary skill-fisher GmbH has specialised in bringing the right companies together with hand-picked digital top talent operating at the interface between business and IT at all points of the digital value creation chain. skill-fisher is a venture which allows us to offer innovative network-as-a-service to both legacy organisations and growth-phase start-ups. While talent networks are an element of recruiting that will be of increasing importance in the future “war for talents”, many in-house HR departments remain closed to them. We are concentrating on a very specific niche within which we are continually expanding our network – and to which we can offer our clients exclusive access. 

 M&A & POST MERGER   INTEGRATION 

M&A & POST MERGER INTEGRATION

Accordionelement

We focus not just on deals, but on enabling real deal value, because take-overs and mergers – as well as the ensuing integration of organisations into existing structures – require the very highest standards of planning, strategy, coordination, management, and communication. Our experienced transaction experts will support you through all the phases of a tie-up, from exacting due diligence at the beginning along every step of the way through negotiations and agreements with stakeholders to contract negotiations, product portfolio and business area optimisation, and, where applicable, carve-out planning. In parallel, we take care of constant monitoring of all operative processes and consistent standardisation of business practices, ready to offer crisis management whenever required during integration. In addition, we make sure that IT systems are integrated with due strategic foresight, that staff management is put on a sustainable footing, and that the ideal depth of integration for the new company is determined early on so that the synergies envisioned can be realised to the maximum possible extent. All of our M&A activities pursue the single goal of increasing value for our clients above and beyond the growth generated by the tie-up or take-over. What is more, we see M&A processes as the ideal chance to carry out holistic optimisation of business models, performance, profitability and efficiency – i.e. to help orient the new organisation from a consolidated position of strength encompassing the best of both companies. 

  BUSINESS & MARKET    BRIDGING ASIA  

BUSINESS & MARKET BRIDGING ASIA

Accordionelement

“Think global, act local”: from the very beginning, e&Co. has had a strong presence in Asia, due both to long-standing client relationships in Japan and to our subsidiary in Seoul. We have continued to develop this position, and our Korean expert team has now built up a wide-ranging network across south-east Asia, composed primarily of representatives from the manufacturing industry, Chaebol conglomerates, public-policy institutions, and academia. Our Seoul office allows us to provide consultancy services to clients in the region and to function as a bridge between Europe and Asia, offering rapid yet solid access to this attractive market. Our consultancy activities focus on complex technologies and product evaluation, market entry strategies and implementation (both for Asian companies in Europe and vice-versa), scouting investment and venture capital opportunities in the start-up scene, and networking stakeholders with matching business interests. Our South Korean team works closely with the German offices, with constant exchange about our experiences, requirements, and predictions; we share analyses of upcoming trends, develop new strategies jointly, and expand our expertise on both sides of the globe.

Know-how, know-who, know-what: benefit from our network of specialists for specific assignments and from our wide-ranging expertise to help you make the right strategic business decisions.

  HEAVYWEIGHT EXECUTIVE    MANAGEMENT  

HEAVYWEIGHT EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

Accordionelement

As part of our project work, we provide you with multifaceted change experts drawn from our network of specialists and ready to work with you in a solutions-orientated way to master the central challenges facing you and your organisation. Our network includes successful company founders, experienced executives, and specialists with years of industry experience, project and change managers, and hands-on implementation experts with broad experience and a drive to get results. Use our experts to react to turbulent disrupters with the right moves, to turn your technological developments into business models as fast as they are happening, to get immediate help on reorganisation projects, to help you set up a new business unit, or to set up, take over, or sell off businesses. 

  INDUSTRY SPECIALISTS &    FOUNDERS BREED 

INDUSTRY SPECIALISTS & FOUNDERS BREED

Accordionelement

Change begins in the mind – and with the best minds. Which is why e&Co. has a diverse staff of multifaceted consulting personalities with a wide variety of backgrounds, who see their role as being bold “engineers of transformation”: thoroughbred business advisors meet physicians, mathematicians, engineers, marketing experts, finance professionals, philosophers, IT geniuses and software cracks, and even sociologists. What unites them all is their striving to think like and act as entrepreneurs. What is more, our consultants are sector-specific experts of standing who can call on an expansive network across a range of industries and deep into the start-up scene. Some of our consultants also act as mentors for leading business accelerator programs and keep up close links with selected start-up firms. These contacts allow us to act as a bridge between the fast-paced tech scene and established industrials, offering both sides advantages as our clients get direct access to the most innovative talent and their understanding of tomorrow’s trends while the start-ups benefit from our experience and passion. This combination has already proven to be decisive in several projects: in one instance, we connected an automotive group with a start-up which implemented innovative solutions for online vehicle sales; we were able to gain another young tech firm specialising in AI as a strategic partner for a big-data analytics project at an internationally-active manufacturer of commercial vehicles.

  RESEARCH & BENCHMARKING  

RESEARCH & BENCHMARKING

Accordionelement

Accurate information, valid market data, and professional benchmarking are the basis for good strategic decisions; but with the sheer number of rapid developments on the market, it is becoming increasingly difficult for top management to keep this overview in all areas and distinguish the relevant facts from the buzzwordy background noise. Our consultants have their fingers on the pulse of the market – day in, day out – and can offer both an objective angle on its developments as well as a reliable feel for positive movements or dangerous shifts; they keep in regular contact with industry experts and think about how to shape the future as the context around them changes fast. Combined with our long track records of market expertise, especially in the automotive and mobility industry, our innovative foresight is what makes us the ideal partner for a range of exciting research and benchmarking projects: that’s why an Asian carmaker commissioned us to take a deep dive into the world of artificial intelligence and produce a comprehensive study of all relevant technology providers, automotive suppliers and manufacturers, and research institutions in the area with a view to pointing up potential for cooperation; the result was a strategic document which provided an extremely profound understanding of the topic and the market, leading to specific recommendations for action in research and development and in new business models. Another client asked us to produce a market study of selected initiatives undertaken by carmakers to electrify their vehicles; we also ran a research project which shed new light on the lobbying efforts of the automotive industry at European level. A South Korean government institution commissioned us to produce a survey of the international high-performance car market (supercars), and we could list several other interesting studies here, too. Why not use our excellence centre for your next ambitious research initiative? Or, if this sounds like your kind of work, why not join our successful team?

  THOUGHT LEADERSHIP    WORKSHOPS & COACHING  

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP WORKSHOPS & COACHING

Accordionelement

Truly excellent consultants are marked by their ability to plan for tomorrow’s world – today. And as congenital entrepreneurs, we don’t just talk about this future, but actively shape it. We support our innovative approaches and sometimes controversial ideas (because in our view, you can’t move forward without friction) with a panoply of studies, publications, opinion pieces, lectures at universities, and a series of interdisciplinary client events called “Future Talk” – that’s a title you can take at its word. We also offer thought-leadership workshops within companies, too, to help foster exchange between people inside organisations who think differently or work in different departments and, in so doing, to lay the groundwork for facing up to future challenges. Encouraging this diversity of thought leads to new solutions as different areas of organisations learn to bridge gaps between them and start working together flexibly. More than just an exercise, this approach can lead to the development of a lively, genuinely innovative company culture. At top management and board level, we also offer one-to-one executive coaching programs to enhance leadership and transformation skills, leading to an increase in value across the organisation.

PROJECT CASES

REVITALISING A MEDIUM-SIZED AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLIER

WHAT

A strong decline in profits and negative capital cover as a result of management mistakes and pressure on prices; serious performance problems in development, production, and administration; outdated business model; conflicts of interest between partners.

HOW

Assessment and restructuring report commissioned by partners; re-orientating the business model; drawing up a business plan; closing two business areas; renegotiating prices with corporate customers; costing various liquidation scenarios; moderating merger talks.

WOW

Turn-around and return to path to profitability; employment secured in an economically disadvantaged region; synergies generated by consolidating business areas with the parent company.

REORGANISING A VEHICLE NETWORKING DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

WHAT

Coordination issues between two business areas (run as “silos”), lack of clear decision processes, divergent directions of travel, individual interests taking precedent, no common vision; serious lack of resources, considerable operative issues regarding products in the field and at roll-out; difficulty launching new products and product versions.

HOW

Assessment of the status-quo, re-design of decision-making bodies with clear processes and orders of business; implementing a new organisational structure with e2e product managers, centralising the development and integration remits, and creating a cross-disciplinary organigram with mixed competencies; developing a transparent, shared vision, communicating the changes in an active, open way; implementing a process-driven re-organisation (tasks > processes > committees > roles).

WOW

Greater transparency and a shared understanding of remits, responsibilities, and contributions to value on a role-by-role, employee-by-employee basis; a joint vision for the organisation and its products, leading to a “one team” mentality; strong reductions in the intensity of turf wars between company divisions; faster, clearer decision-making structures; flexibility and speed in product development; improved customer-facing product quality.

DEVELOPMENT OF A GLOBAL MULTI-CLOUD-IT INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGY.

WHAT

The in-house IT service provider of an international blue chip is in a precarious situation: the existing IT outsourcing solution is non-functional, with dramatic delivery issues, poor performance and service delivery, global coverage and planned growth are at risk - a new future-proof IT infrastructure strategy is to be developed and implemented.

HOW

Carrying out benchmarking exercises with internal interviews; scanning the market for partners and researching alternatives; developing a multi-cloud way of working; delivery strategy workshops to top management; producing a business case; process-modelling the new services; far-reaching internal change program and organizational transformation.

WOW

Worldwide delivery restored; turnover and Ebit potential increased; contractual disputes and customer-side claims reduced; future-proof model for innovative solutions established.

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT FOR SERIES TECHNICAL SUPPORT

WHAT

An multi-brand OEM is financing the costs of series technical support (maintenance, updates, patches) out of project budgets in a decentralised way; Build and Run organisations are not synchronised; many measures do not penetrate the whole applications landscape and lead to a permutation of component versions running in parallel; this increases costs and creates security risks.

HOW

Steering committee with stakeholders from both Build and Run; creating transparency with regards to all relevant measures in Run-side series technical support (component responsibility); including the Build side in the initiative and consolidating outlay expended in carrying out support measures; organising and moderating the steering group at principal department level; taking on project management duties as required and coordinating all activities. 

WOW

Synchronised Build and Run organisations and allocation of central budgets for all activities of the series technical support.

ACQUISITION AND INTEGRATION OF A BIG-DATA SPECIALIST

WHAT

A DAX-30 company is dependent on a service provider to manage its customer data and is trying to insource this capability while building up its own big-data analytics division. 

HOW

Providing a make-or-buy analysis and evaluating the way forward; carrying out due-diligence checks from a business/strategy standpoint and tasking the IT, HR, tax, and legal departments accordingly; delivering management briefings and negotiating contracts (signing/closing); running a post-merger integration office.

WOW

The service provider’s monopoly was broken; the purchase price was reduced as lower turnover and decreased margins were demonstrated; long-term costs savings and company-wide synergy effects following integration.

INNOVATIVE BUSINESS MODEL FOR ONLINE AUTOMOTIVE SALES

WHAT

In response to the significant changes in user behaviour due to the digitisation of transactions and communications processes, an automotive OEM decides to create an online sales channel for vehicles, parts, and services; its existing multi-level sales structure (importers/dealerships) is generating high distribution costs.

HOW

Benchmarking the online sales models of European automotive manufacturers; developing business models from strategy, IT, legal, and data protection standpoints; generating relevant requirements for contracts with importers and dealers; proposing adjustments to overall margins and incentive systems; holding workshops with organisations in relevant pilot markets; presenting a single-platform e-commerce strategy at board level.

WOW

High degree of customer acceptance recorded in pilot markets; initial potential for costs reduction identified; pilot projects successfully implemented.

DESIGNING & INTRODUCING A SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION

WHAT

At a leading supplier in the commercial vehicles segment, the decentralised development organisation is generating considerable inefficiencies and hemming productivity. A reorganisation programme to reorientate the entire division is launched with the aim of bundling all software engineering for control devices under one roof and centralising all software development.

HOW

Deploying our team of automotive software engineering and organisational design experts to define the essential principles for the new organisation; working through the organisational and procedural problem areas; producing proposals for solutions; redefining the international team structures for 200+ software engineers (including a plan for communications); implementing the concept and then heading the new area at director level for another 12 months with an e&Co. executive management personality.

WOW

State-of-the-art art standards for embedded software engineering established; flexibility of resource use increase and productivity increased lastingly.

EUROPEAN MARKET STUDY FOR AN ASIAN MANUFACTURER

WHAT

An Asian carmaker has a range of concept designs for its first premium vehicle on the European market, but is lacking knowledge of what European requirements are for the premium segment and is unsure of its prospects for success; it needs to better understand the preferences and purchasing patterns of potential customers as well as the overall developments in the EU premium segment.

HOW

Producing a concept for market research, then planning and carrying out the project using a range of methods (survey of automotive industry experts, the media, and digital voices; focus groups with a range of potential buyers in cities across Europe; continent-wide mass online survey of potential customers); managing the project and partners; conducting the field survey phase jointly with the customer in Europe; analysing the data and producing a final report with closing recommendations vis-à-vis the concepts at hand.

WOW

Valid insights (quantitative and qualitative) into buyer preferences in the premium segment generated; customer’s strategic thinking with regard to future business models and vehicles in the EU premium segment readjusted.