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Mechanical engineering

The engineered products industry has always been a cyclical one. Many companies have been expecting slower growth as far back as in late 2007. The events we witnessed in the years 2007 to 2009 nevertheless went far beyond any normal cyclical fluctuations. For many businesses in the industry, new orders collapsed by 45% and more. Nor was there any sign of improvement, at least not in the short term. Since then, many companies managed to recover and rebuild their business by streamlining processes, retargeting their sales and marketing efforts and realigning their cost base. Quite a few industry segments consolidated or saw the forming of new strategic alliances. Now is the time to think about new strategies on how to grow with the market after these drastic changes, enter into new emerging markets and make use of changing consumer habits, trends and technological developments.

In brief

We have developed ways to help engineered products companies emerge from the current turbulence in better shape than before. And we are not just talking about short-term effects. The fact is, there is a positive side to the massive upheavals that are shaking the engineered products industry right now. For those who act swiftly and intelligently, precisely these upheavals now present tremendous opportunities.

Drawing on our project experience, we present an array of tools that are essential in helping companies not only master current challenges, but also get them in shape for the time after the crisis. These tools include methods to boost efficiency, ways to optimize the structure of capital, bold approaches to human resources development, even in the midst of crisis, and the potential afforded by purchasing activities.

Despite all the turbulence that is understandably capturing our attention right now, we must not forget one thing: Global challenges such as population growth and climate change have not gone away – and they are still crying out for solutions. This is precisely where the future holds attractive growth opportunities, especially for German engineered products firms.

Our approach

Our approach covers all strategic issues for this industry, from reducing costs to achieving operational excellence and supporting growth. In the environment characterized by medium-sized players we tackle different issues in holistic cost reduction or operational excellence programs.

Furthermore, we develop strategies to expand business fields and boost sales. Growth strategies come into play when coordinating the product portfolio, developing new service business models and making the sales organization more professional. Opportunities for optimizing the cost base can be found in product design, improved purchasing and supply chain management and in the professionalization of the global footprint.

Sample projects

Restructuring an industrial conglomerate

We assisted with the turnaround of a systems engineering company. Its product portfolio was streamlined and the predefined target market and segments were adapted. Sales and project management organization was professionalized, and a focus was placed on adding value in engineering, supply and service. Along with cost-optimization actions, this led to a permanent improvement in earnings and the successful continued existence of the company.

Developing a new machine series for the Far Eastern market

A midsize engineered products manufacturer was looking for opportunities to meet increased demand in South Korea and China for standard-segment products, so we jointly revised the machine concept. Design-to-cost programs reduced features of the machines to the exact standard expected in the target market, thus leading to dramatic cost savings. Additional savings were made in purchasing through e-sourcing and supplier-base optimization, thus further reducing the production costs of the individual machine types.

Optimizing the global footprint

The sales markets of a leading manufacturer of lighting systems were steadily relocating to Eastern Europe. We assisted the client in adapting its vertical integration and supply chain to the changing conditions. In the process, wage-intensive and standardized process steps were offshored to Eastern Europe and service/sales organizations were expanded in the key Eastern European markets. The result was lower costs and shorter lead times.

Our experts

Belgium

Frank Lateur

Partner

Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 66103-37
E-mail: e-mail

 

Brazil

Stephan Keese

Partner

São Paulo, Brazil
Phone: +55 11 3046-7111
E-mail: e-mail

 

France

Max Blanchet

Partner

Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 53670-907
E-mail: e-mail

 
Michel Jacob

Partner, Member of the GEC

Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 53670-936
E-mail: e-mail

 

Germany

Martin Eisenhut

Partner, Head of EPHT, Member of the Supervisory Board

Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 9230-8262
E-mail: e-mail

 
Bernd Brunke

Partner, Member of the GEC, Head of Financial Services

Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 39927-3527
E-mail: e-mail

 
Albrecht Crux

Partner

Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 9230-8208
E-mail: e-mail

 
Oliver Herweg

Principal

Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 9230-8322
E-mail: e-mail

 
Astrid Latzel

Principal

Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 39927-3591
E-mail: e-mail

 
Thomas Rinn

Partner

Stuttgart, Germany
Phone: +49 711 3275-7349
E-mail: e-mail

 
Gerd Sievers

Partner

Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 9230-8543
E-mail: e-mail

 
Georg von Thaden

Principal

Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 9230 - 8655
E-mail: e-mail

 

Principal

Stuttgart, Germany
Phone: +49 711 3275 -7225
E-mail: e-mail

 
Marcus Weber

Partner

Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 9230-8140
E-mail: e-mail

 

Greater China

Qi Wu

Partner, Member of the GEC

Beijing, Greater China
Phone: +86 10 84400088-608
E-mail: e-mail

 
Ping Yi

Principal

Shanghai, Greater China
Phone: +86 21 52986677 - 833
E-mail: e-mail

 

Japan

Isao Endo

Partner

Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 3 358 76-660
E-mail: e-mail

 
Takashi Hirai

Partner

Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 3 35876-660
E-mail: e-mail

 
Ken Mori

Partner, Member of the GEC

Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 3 35876-660
E-mail: e-mail

 

Netherlands

Benno van Dongen

Partner

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 7960-600
E-mail: e-mail

 

Russia

Uwe Kumm

Partner

Moscow, Russia
Phone: +7 495 225 76 45 - 0
E-mail: e-mail

 

Southeast Asia

Joost Geginat

Managing Partner

Singapore, Southeast Asia
Phone: +65 6597 4566
E-mail: e-mail

 

Switzerland

Carsten Henkel

Co-Chairman and Senior Partner

Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 336-8610
E-mail: e-mail

 

Ukraine

Uwe Kumm

Partner

Moscow, Russia
Phone: +7 495 225 76 45 - 0
E-mail: e-mail

 

Further reading

INDUSTRY 4.0 – The new industrial revolution

THINK ACT, 2014

The next revolution with Industry 4.0 represents a huge opportunity for Europe – and it fits the European model …  >>

 
Learn from the champions - patterns of German engineering

Book, 2014

What makes an engineering firm successful, and what can firms learn from the champions in the engineering industry? Read more in our book authored by Martin Eisenhut and Ralph Lässig …  >>

 
Additive manufacturing

Study, 2013

The market for 3D printing of metal structures is still in its infancy. The experts at Roland Berger expect sales of this technology to more than quadruple in the next 10 years …  >>

 
Series production of high-strength composites

Study in cooperation with the VDMA, 2012

Our joint study with the VDMA Forum Composite Technology shows that the demand for high-strength carbon-fiber composite components will be rising by 17% a year …  >>

 
Production system 2020

Study (short version), 2011

OEMs have to create new strategies to face global challenges. According to our study three global mega trends are dominating the future development of the industry …  >>

 
Downturn in production systems

Study, 2009

The expected slump in the production systems industry will be worse than that seen in the automotive sector …  >>

 
Executive Review 2/2008

Client magazine, 2009

Most businesses in Germany's engineered products sector still have well-filled order books. So there is no cause for panic, even if darker clouds are undeniably appearing on the horizon …  >>

 

Your expert contact

INDUSTRY 4.0 – The new industrial revolution

THINK ACT, 2014

The next revolution with Industry 4.0 represents a huge opportunity for Europe – and it fits the European model …  >>

 
Learn from the champions - patterns of German engineering

Book, 2014

What makes an engineering firm successful, and what can firms learn from the champions in the engineering industry? Read more in our book authored by Martin Eisenhut and Ralph Lässig …  >>