Comprehensive reorganization with efficient structures and a high level of standardization
National reorganization: Leading mobility company sets itself up for the future
The aim of the reorganization was clear: To establish a highly effective setup for one of the leading players in the mobility market. This meant homogeneous management processes in all functions, clear and highly standardized responsibilities and efficient structures. With the help of the Horváth corporate transformation approach, the transport company was able to reorganize itself under standardized management, make itself fit for the future, and at the same time achieve structural savings.
The transport company experienced strong growth before the reorganization and is now one of the largest providers in the corresponding market. The regional holding company employs several thousand people and most recently generated annual revenue in the billions of euros. Following this strong growth phase, the mobility provider urgently needed to adapt its structures, processes and (IT) systems, etc. to be able to realize the economic advantages of the company’s new scope.
As an upstream step, management first implemented a profit improvement program. Within this step, they identified a hugely ambitious target as a key optimization measure: Comprehensive reorganization. This was required with a view to significantly reducing costs and making management of the company easier across all operational units. The basis for the organizational realignment was to be a common understanding of processes, roles and responsibilities. The managers saw this as an essential prerequisite for realizing the required synergetic and/or scale advantages in the dimensioning of the future organizational units. One particular challenge was that employees were strongly rooted in their individual operational units. This led the company to focus from the very start on appropriately involving the workforce in the redesign of the organization. The goal was that all employees should share a common vision. In addition, the leadership relied on strengthening a shared identity and ensuring that the new structure was impactful.
MOVING INTO THE FUTURE AS A SINGLE UNIT WITH THE SUPPORT OF HORVÁTH
To achieve this goal, the mobility company brought Horváth consultants on board. The decisive factors in making this choice were, above all, industry expertise and the company’s corporate transformation approach. This approach integrates three elements together. With the first element – “Shape” – the focus was on the profit contributions that would be realized in the course of the reorganization. The second element, “Create”, closely connected those profit contributions with the core task of designing a structure that is fit for the future. Finally, the third element of the Horváth approach, “Empower”, anchored the reorganization by means of close communication and change support at all levels of the company.
During implementation, a bottom-up approach was coupled with a top-down approach. The Horváth team developed the new processes, roles and responsibilities together with middle management levels and other experts at the mobility company. At the same time, the consultants discussed the top-down structure development closely with the top management team. Best practice approaches and structograms formed the basis of this coordination. Respectful collaboration with managers and employees in combination with consulting the top management team proved to be factors for success. All sides worked in concert and considered themselves to be one team with a common task.
JOINT PROCESS MAP – BASIS FOR SUCCESSFUL REORGANIZATION
To transfer the heterogeneous operating companies into a joint organization, the procedural basis needed to first be created. To this end the Horváth team, in small teams together with representatives of the mobility company, initially developed an overarching process map as a common foundation. The processes and in particular success-critical interfaces were subsequently elaborated and operationalized for each functional area. The teams applied a targeted approach to taking up the expertise available in the individual operating companies from best practices, adapted it for the entire company, and prepared it for the roll-out. This not only enabled the participants to create a common understanding of future collaboration and functional management, but also to define a uniform role structure with clear responsibilities and without overlaps. The team then defined these roles clearly, in an easy-to-understand and binding format, by means of role data profiles and RACI charts. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed – a categorization that is helpful in the exact description of roles.
WORKING TOGETHER FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE
In parallel to the bottom-up work, the Horváth team worked together with top management to develop alternative structure variants, evaluated them, and selected the target structure that was appropriate for the mobility company. The resulting framework brought the roles defined in the bottom-up procedure together into organizational units efficiently and with few intersections. This meant that the manager and employee expertise infused into the process work could be combined with the strategic alignment from a management perspective. In this way, a structure was created that addresses the customer’s specific challenges in the best way possible. At the same time, this approach paved the way for smooth implementation of the reorganization. Potential resistance was even minimized in advance by inclusion in the team of affected employees as “participants” in the project.
The Horváth experts then dimensioned the target organization with the designated divisional and functional managers. Among other elements, the Horváth team brought in best practices and benchmarks from comparable industry companies as a basis for discussion and an aid to orientation, and moderated the process.
STRONG FOCUS ON IMPLEMENTATION RIGHT FROM THE START
The implementation and anchoring of the new processes, roles and structure were at the forefront of project implementation even at an early stage. In addition to collaborative organizational development with key stakeholders in the company, Horváth also utilized its experienced communications and change consultants. They were already involved even at the design stage – after all, it was clear that successful reorganization would require a new way of thinking and acting, and this had to be initiated at the very start of the project. Open dialog with stakeholders, uniform presentation from top management and the Horváth team, regular communication campaigns on project objectives, progress, and decisions, as well as virtual town hall meetings and rounds of Q&A contributed significantly to this.
In addition, the Horváth team also developed the necessary content-related foundations for implementation in parallel to the design. These included a negotiable personnel transfer matrix, the preparation of the content for upcoming negotiations with the employee representatives and the owner, and a roadmap that brought together all the measures relevant for implementation.
Appreciative and inspiring collaboration with managers and employees coupled with consulting and sparring with top management on an equal footing are important success factors in this. This collaborative approach in particular has led to everyone in the company working in concert with Horváth and seeing themselves as one team with a common task.
With specialist and industry expertise and its proven best practices approach, the Horváth team supported the successful reorganization of the mobility company. Appreciative and inspiring collaboration with managers and employees coupled with consulting and sparring with top management on an equal footing were crucial success factors in this.
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Dr. Christian Schnöbel