Doing the dirty work to drive nearly $100 million in savings
I was part of a cross-function, 50-plus-person team that helped a large, multinational food producer implement a comprehensive performance improvement program.
I led the contract sanitation workstream, which ultimately resulted in a transformation of the company’s sanitation operations and a projected 25% cost savings.
Candidly, we did not expect to have such a big impact in this area at the outset of the engagement. However, after conducting an extensive analysis of the supplier market, we realized that traditional cost-saving measures like RFPs and negotiation were not going to work due to limited competition in the space, and that our client was potentially facing an increase in costs due to inflation.
With these options off the table, we explored insourcing, which we knew would result in substantial savings but would also require the client to fully transform its operations in this area.
This was a big ask, and so, we needed to provide concrete evidence proving that the 25% savings we projected in our costing-analysis was accurate. I volunteered to visit 26 of our client’s packing plants, and work alongside the crews during the midnight shift to perform a bottoms-up review of the company’s sanitation process and create a detailed plan for how an insourcing model would work.
With evidential support from my on-the-ground analysis, our plan identified a $90 million savings opportunity and has received broad support across our client’s senior leadership team. It’s also an example of the benefit of AlixPartners’ hands-on approach.
Being on the ground at so many plants was critical for us to build our case and get buy-in from the client.
I got into consulting because I wanted to have an impact on a range of companies, which is why I appreciate our approach working shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients to develop and implement solutions to improve their business.
From being initially tabbed to lead the workstream to being provided the time and resources necessary to fully develop the analysis supporting this transformational idea to being recognized with our firm’s Achievements in Excellence award, I received unequivocal support from the engagement leads throughout this project.
In my experience at AlixPartners, good ideas, even those that are outside-the-box or challenging, are championed, and our leaders are quick to share success and celebrate individual achievements.
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