Supply line

Restructuring a manufacturing supply line

The takeover of a traditional UK based electrical engineering firm by a global defense contractor, meant a supply chain restructure. Retonomy was brought in, initially, to manage this process. It was then asked to consult on a separate internal programme.

In May 2014, the aerospace and defence giant plc paid almost £1bn to takeover a manufacturer of wireless communications testing equipment.

After a successful pitch to the operations director, Retonomy was asked to apply its knowledge and experience of outsource management to restructure the UK manufacturers supply chain.

Rationalise and consolidate

Following the takeover our client was in a position to rationalise. The firm needed to move on much of its existing component manufacture supply chain and, where appropriate, bring in new suppliers.

Our client’s new parent company already had a range of existing contractors. In the first instance, Retonomy was tasked with analysing existing supply contracts to ensure they were fit for purpose.

As the contract analysis was underway, it was also vital for our client to understand the requirements of the firm’s future product order and likely costs. Retonomy therefore ran a parallel process to understand these elements and forecast likely demand and process costs and management issues that were likely to arise as a result.

Once the analytical elements of the project were complete, Retonomy took on the key change management role of establishing supplier exit scenarios, supporting negotiations on extraction from existing contracts, and overseeing the bringing on-board of new suppliers.

Additional oversight

Because of its unique position within our client, and its experience of managing complex outsourcing projects, Retonomy was asked to expand its role from solely managing change in the supply chain to also help bring additional oversight to a project where teams had been brought together through the buyout.

The project, which was at a critical phase, was spread across four sites in three countries – with outsourcing partners also across three territories.

Fostering closer collaboration between the separate elements was key. Retonomy brought the various players together into a single team by establishing a set of common goals, establishing daily and weekly meetings, and creating a process for clear communication.

In addition to establishing new ways of working, and providing accurate management information on the project, Retonomy interceded on the problem management process to ensure the overall aims and ambitions of the project were maintained.