Industrial strategies and policies

Continuous competition

Challenges are never-ending, especially within the international business context. This means top management must be efficient and clear-headed in making the right decisions on an on-going basis.

Industrial strategies and policies

Increasing competitiveness within a highly-challenging environment means making strategic choices that can even involve the structure of the company itself.
Managers of top-level, international organizations—of all kinds, sizes and industrial sector—must be able to make frequent decisions, even complex ones, about their industrial structure that include:

a) level of vertical integration of their processes (make or buy);
b) outsourcing choices (which phase, from what source, where, what type of integration, etc.);
c) offshore production choices and delocalization in foreign countries with lower labor costs or specialized skills;
d) organizational methods for revising processes within a network of players (operational processes, required skills, support technologies, etc.);
e) ways of aligning the entire supply chain making up the system to the company’s strategic goals;
f) economic, social and environmental impact of a company’s manufacturing choices.

Over the years, The European House – Ambrosetti has developed vast experience in developing effective industrial strategies and policies, working alongside the top management of many Italian companies with the support of models used previously with American and Anglo-Saxon multinationals. The starting point of every project is to safeguard the patrimony of knowledge, resources and professionalism Italy possesses with its strong and vibrant manufacturing sector through which it still plays a leadership role on a global level.

The industrial management and strategy services to create corporate value offered by The European House – Ambrosetti include:

  • diagnosis of the industrial system and the extent to which it coheres with the strategic goals of development and competitiveness;
  • diagnosis and definition of a process of improvement for optimizing a company’s overall supply chain and creating a “first-in-class” supply chain;
  • improvement in innovation processes, new product development, industrialization and link to downstream production processes;
  • choices involving internationalization of production and new industrial frameworks on the basis of the company’s own strategy and market opportunities (in versus outsourcing and in versus offshoring);
  • definition of new organizational models and structures in industrial spheres (research and development, technical areas, production, logistics, purchasing and distribution);
  • training and development of skills and methods in lean manufacturing, value stream management, just in time, etc.;
  • organization of programs of study and analysis involving examples of the most forward-looking companies and best practices in Italy and abroad: study tours and benchmarking programs;
  • assistance in preparing and formulating medium-to-long term industrial plans designed to implement new industrial choices made involving productivity, product costs and margins, levels of working capital and actual levels of service;
  • other projects designed with and for our clients.

The European House – Ambrosetti services are designed for:

  • italian industrial and manufacturing companies that operate both in Italy and abroad;
  • foreign companies that have production facilities or intend organizing them in Italy;
  • service companies with operational difficulties who could gain advantage from examining manufacturing companies (for example, customer operations units, call and contact centers, etc.).

Innovation of the industrial system of an Italian multinational group

Leading company in the production, sales and distribution of industrial refrigeration systems with the urgent need to rethink its industrial strategy to acquire a strong competitive advantage both in terms of customization and customer service.
Specifically, the company depends daily on the speed and flexibility of its response to a wide range of customer needs on a global level. For this reason it chose The European House-Ambrosetti as its partner in a process of introducing the concepts of lean thinking (to increase efficiency and reduce waste) and industrial transformation towards a new system aimed at maximum reduction of lead times and eliminating all activity that does not include added value for the end customer.

Service themes
Detailed mapping of processes in the areas of planning, production logistics and supplier management to identify critical areas and generate ideas for improvement.
b) Organization of a series of group workshops over time to discuss the critical areas and trace a road map to introduce concrete principles of lean enterprise.
c) Benchmarking visits and meetings with leading companies that have successfully introduced aspects of lean management (production flow and maximum integration with key suppliers).

Service results
Spread of lean culture to all levels of the corporate organization.
Highly-detailed action plan, down to the most concrete and practical aspects to solve any impediment to the full implementation of the lean approach, to meet the goals of reducing lead times and maximum reliability in meeting established delivery times.
Integration of the processing of new product development into the supply chain (evolution towards the innovation chain concept).

Formulating an industrial plan to recover productivity and efficiency

Well-known Italian chemical/pharmaceutical group, one of the main ones with a chemical processing system upstream from its pipeline, with the urgent need to recover production-related competitiveness at its various chemical processing plants and to optimize management regarding fixed structural costs and indirect production costs.

Service themes

  • In-depth analysis of the industrial area of the group’s chemical division.
  • Identification of the main areas for reducing costs and recovering productivity (products, personnel, plant and management costs).
  • Creation of a medium-term (4-year) industrial plan highlighting the best ways to recover profitability in the division.

Service results

Complete, in-depth audit of the chemical division industrial system with competitive analysis of:

  • the workforce (direct and indirect) and productivity levels;
  • structural costs of support/service to industrial processes and plant management (in particular maintenance and technical services);
  • installed productive capacity, available technologies and their current level of use and efficiency;
  • levels of flexibility available/utilized (both for the workforce and means of production);
  • purchasing and sourcing policies for raw materials and supplier management;
  • make or buy (and outsourcing) policies and practices for plant services;
  • costs of lack of quality (reworking, waste and control costs);
  • level of service provided by plants;
  • foreseen investment plans and analysis of economic returns.

Areas of cost reduction, for a significant recovery both in terms of industrial margin and sales margin, including:

  • recovery of efficiency in raw material purchasing (inventory materials);
  • recovery in terms of contract acquisition and non-inventory services (general services, external maintenance services, consumable materials, telephony, etc.);
  • recovery of efficiency in continuous and discontinuous processing processes and plant set-up times;
  • recovery of productivity in the indirect industrial activity support structure;
  • recovery of productivity in the white-collar structure, specifically technical, administrative and management;
  • recovery of efficiency (in terms of response time, information exchange, enhanced integration between resources and use of suitable information systems) in the main management processes of the division and between the home office and plants.

Extent of the resources required for consolidation of an industrial plan for the division containing a multi-year profit and loss account based on the development of profits (volume terms) forecast by sales management and explosion of resulting needs in terms of industrial resources (variable and fixed costs and outside services).

Preparation of two scenarios: a best- and worst-case scenario for proper understanding of the gap and risk inherent in the plan, including:

  • restructuring costs and their impact on future fiscal years;
  • financial standing and expected cash flows (financial sustainability of the plan and own debt/capital ratio);
  • detailed feasibility plan including a breakdown of all actions (management, scheduling, impacts, etc.) to pursue in the short-term for full implementation of the plan.

Exemplary innovation in fashion: the supply system

Innovative company in the fashion sector

Service themes
The European House – Ambrosetti aided corporate management in preparing an innovative business model.

Service results


  • preparation of an innovative multi-channel business model (retail, wholesale, internet) characterized by a very advanced organization of the collection and by methods involving programmed, semi-programmed and ready-to-wear approaches;
  • development of a highly-advanced supply system with prompt reaction time, always ready to respond to the strong urgings of the market (and distribution channels and markets) through an excellent system of selection of production sources and management of suppliers.

The European House – Ambrosetti has developed its own vision and an original, innovative approach devoted to medium and large enterprises of the fashion and luxury sectors in Italy looking to use new strategic models and/or strengthen their level of competitiveness (in Italy, Europe and the world).