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Design-to-value

think:act BUSINESS - COO Insights

2010

For the first time, Roland Berger is devoting an entire publication to a very specific type of manager: the chief operating officer (COO). Why, you may ask, have we picked COOs of all people as our target group? That's easy: As the competitive battle for customers, capital and talent rages around the globe, companies of all sizes and in all industries are striving for the right balance between optimal strategic development and operational excellence – a balancing act that ties up a lot of time and a lot of resources. Top managers are beginning to set their sights higher and demand a new quality of specialization. While the CEO remains in charge of the "where" question, the COO coordinates the "how".

"think: act BUSINESS COO Insights", which will appear at regular intervals from now on, will support this trend by pooling and showcasing ideas for top managers in purchasing, development, production and supply chain activities. The focal topic in this issue is "design-to-value", the next logical step forward from the widespread "design-to-cost" philosophy. True, costs and the need to constantly tweak them in light of reality are a core management challenge. We are simply saying that that can't be all. Focusing on value is the order of the day. Society, the economy and consumers are changing – radically so, in some cases, and not only in the aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis. The corporate sector must respond to these changes. Some are already hard at work doing so.

What, for example, can COOs learn from value-based product design and development at Porsche? What does German engineered products firm Gildemeister have in common with Apple? How does Google COO Alexander Taro Zerdick understand his own role? All these questions are addressed in the first edition of our new COO magazine.

We trust that you will find this publication an entertaining read that gives you food for thought.

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