Operations Management: staying ahead of competition

Many of the issues companies face in striving for operational excellence are common across industries:

  • How do you manage the increasing variety in customer demand and reduce product cost at the same time?
  • How do you integrate the newly emerging markets, such as China and India, into the overall operations network?
  • How can you contribute to product and process innovation?
  • How do you master increasing complexity along the entire value chain?
  • How can you develop an intelligent approach to building and managing extended supplier networks and outsourcing?
  • How do you sustain lasting efficiency?

How we can help

Arthur D. Little is widely recognised for its excellence in operations management consulting. Whatever your company is facing, we can help address the issues by providing a strategic perspective and developing innovative solutions. Our side-by-side™ style working with our clients supports you in achieving real change.

With many years' experience across a wide range of industries and in the service sector, our consultants are experts in the latest thinking and best practices in operations management. Their insight covers operations strategy, purchasing effectiveness, manufacturing operations, distribution networks and excellence in the total value chain

Our services

Our set of operations management services is designed to accelerate our clients towards operational excellence.

Operations strategy improvement

This family of services helps ensure that your operations are in line with your overall business strategy and its related financial objectives. We can help you define the critical areas in your operational value chain and determine how to achieve leadership in them. We can also define the optimal network of facilities required by your business to meet volume and service demand while minimising the total cost of products or services delivered.


Lean provides a range of flow, productivity and waste minimisation techniques, but is also a management philosophy that makes people feel involved and motivated. It can also dramatically reduce the cost of serving to your customers and improve quality. The goal of lean production is described as "to get the right things to the right place at the right time, the first time, while minimising waste and being open to change". We acknowledge the Toyota production system as the key source of inspiration for lean. Arthur D. Little is frequently asked to launch lean in various sectors, both in manufacturing and service organisations. To do so, we bring together teams with capabilities in operations, strategy and organisation qualified for the pursuit of perfection.

Integrated value chain improvement

This group of services helps you to achieve breakthrough improvements in operational performance in terms of product cost, customer service and working capital requirements. This can be achieved through a comprehensive redesign of the logistics processes that drive the extended supply chain, including customers and suppliers. With our proven integrated value chain excellence audit, we can quickly identify where your value chain falls short of best practice in your own industry and beyond.

Purchasing Value Excellence

Our range of customised services to help you achieve purchasing value excellence includes:

  • Comparing your purchasing performance with that of global procurement leaders through our regular purchasing value excellence study (If you are interested in participating please follow this link)
  • Helping you meet ambitious budget targets in procurement, using our impact purchasing methodology
  • Identifying potential savings in procurement and realising them quickly
  • Addressing increasing complexity in your sourcing environment, e.g. shorter time-to-market requirements, increased risk in supply markets, using our strategic sourcing and supplier management tool-box.

Manufacturing improvement

These services focus on achieving excellence in specific parts of the manufacturing environment, using principles such as: manufacturing process flow principle, process driven work organisation, overall machine efficiency, total reactive planning and lean maintenance. By applying these principles, we can help you achieve dramatic reductions (up to 90 per cent) in lead times and work-in-progress, and increases in productivity of up to 30  per cent.

Distribution improvement

Greater product variety and the individualisation of demand are making product distribution more complex and can lead to high inventory levels and unsatisfactory delivery performance. Arthur D. Little addresses these challenges, using state-of-the-art tools and methods to design distribution networks and demand management and order-fulfilment processes that reflect the reality of the modern market. Our work in this field proves that excellence in distribution operations can help you achieve significantly improved customer service and lower inventory levels, warehousing costs and transportation costs.

Cross function performance improvement

Our cross-functional performance improvement services help you achieve a quantum leap in improving product and service costs, and they supply the methods and tools required to maintain operational excellence. We use an advanced business process reengineering (BPR) set of tools to assess process performance and identify potential for cost improvements. Our effective programme management methods support you in realising the potential improvements identified. We implement Six Sigma, total quality management (TQM) and other continuous improvement methodologies to ensure that stay ahead of competition in terms of operational excellence.

Search by keyword

| |Bookmark Arthur D. Little