The Benefits of Going Lean

This global consumer goods manufacturer was spending too much to acquire and upgrade a host of physical assets. It wanted to reduce production costs and inventory, while increasing capacity and improving product quality—all while avoiding high capital expenditures. Over the course of two years, the company’s lean transformation program identified low- or no-cost savings opportunities across hundreds of initiatives.

Working with BCG, the company conducted its transformation in two phases. The first was identifying manufacturing improvement targets in its Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions. This process involved conducting factory assessments and internal and external benchmarking to identify a manufacturing baseline. From there, the team quantified potential impact at a high level and identified which facilities would be targeted for improvement. During phase two, a series of workshops and trainings created a roadmap for implementation.

Before conducting a broad rollout of the program, BCG trained more than 200 employees at seven plants. The impact of training, clear objectives, and lean best practices was dramatic. During the two-year pilot, the company saw a nearly 20% reduction in addressable costs, 25% reduction in finished goods inventory, 50% reduction in cycle times, improved supply response, and a total benefit of $30 million.

After the pilot was complete, the client continued the project on its own at nine additional plants. It was able to trim an additional 5% of its total plant costs and 15% of its total addressable cost base without external help. It now has plans to roll out the program across its global network.

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Lean & Manufacturing