The Dairy Producer Elsa


More Than Milk

Our Client Elsa is the market leader of Swiss dairy and milk products. He supplies major Swiss customers in its main market as well as customers in Western Europe, the U.S. and Russia. Nearly 600 employees produce a broad range of milk, cream cheese, yogurt and soy products generating a turnover of CHF 600 million.

The Challenges Of A Liberalized European Market

Despite being market leader and employing a motivated workforce with high technical expertise our client had to increase its competitiveness to compete against intensifying price pressure in a liberalized European market.

Identifying Wasted Potential

The team identified potential for growth in the overall productivity, ways to optimize the purchasing process as well as possibilities of saving in maintenance and storage costs. We guaranteed savings of CHF 22 million based on this 6-week analysis.

Transforming The Administration With Lean Asset Management Methods

Avance increased the overall productivity by introducing lean asset management methods and optimized all relevant processes on the shop floor through the use of tools such as Best Practice, SMED, 5S, Perform Close, Line Balancing and Adapted PEP.

The creation of lean administration processes including integrated planning tools and a new customer service, complaints and invoice system unlocked additional synergies. Procurement was enabled to utilize differentiated purchasing strategies by reorganizing the department into a strategic and an operational unit as well as by introducing a new category management and efficient e-purchasing tools. The team significantly reduced complexity in the supply chain. They identified four required initiatives to manage complexity and save costs short and long term:

  • Creation of a gate keeping process to prevent the introduction of additional complexity.
  • Forming a corrective, cross enterprise and cross functional SWAT team to significantly reduce complexity using existing data, processes, systems and resources.
  • Rigorously simplify the existing product portfolio.
  • Institutionalize the ongoing management of complexity in a long-term portfolio life management organization.
The Results

During the project Avance succesfully implemented not only lean asset Management but also lean administration methods. These new approaches led to cost savings of CHF 45 million over a period of four years. The holistic change management program resulted in a comprehensive cultural change - a higher cost awareness among employees ensures now sustained improvements and efficiency in all processes. The overall result of the project is a motivated company, equipped with efficient tools, increasing cost savings and a new European vision.

Are you challenged by increasing competition? Contact us to find out how to get ahead. 

Getting ahead? Assimilate. Activate. Iterate.
Founder & Managing Partner thibault.heck@avancegroup.eu +49 36412274949