Project for cost optimization in the production of a flat glass manufacturer

  • Flat glass producer
  • approx. €15 billion in sales
  • approx. 56,000 employees
  • Position of the Interim Manager: Sole Project Manager

For a Japanese flat glass manufacturer with European HQ in Brussels, costs were optimized in their 16 large production plants in Europe. A mid-single-digit million amount per year was identified as potential savings, and a methodology was developed that can be repeated every two to three years.

The customer is the world’s largest flat glass manufacturer, with HQ in Tokyo. The European HQ is located south of Brussels. Globally, the company generates annual sales of around €15 billion with approximately 56,000 employees.

Initial situation/challenge of the interim project
The BU was not making losses, but costs had never really been optimized. These were predominantly acquired operations that had never been “standardized / harmonized.” Some operations were already relatively “lean,” while others were not. The project was also about developing a methodology that would be suitable for all farms and could be repeated every two to three years.

Goals / tasks of the project
Cost optimization in production

The project objective was to optimize costs in the 16 production plants throughout Europe, with a focus on maintenance and overheads. A low single-digit million amount per year should be saved.

Measures and implementation steps
McKinsey’s marginal cost value analysis (“Overhead Value Analysis”)

McKinsey’s marginal cost value analysis was used as the “methodology”, adapted to the customer’s production needs. A detailed analysis of the main cost blocks was carried out, as well as intensive discussions and workshops in the production plants.

Success and results brought by interim management
Double savings target achieved !

A mid-single-digit million amount per year has been identified as potential savings. This represented a doubling of the project goal (!).

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