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Typical Projects

A multi-faceted profession

Our projects deal with current challenges at the interface between strategy and technology. The areas we work on range from market analysis and strategy development, to enhancing the efficiency of technology development and the reduction of product costs, right up to production and logistics optimisation, or the restructuring of sales organisations. Typically, we work for four days onsite at the customer – whether in Germany or internationally – and one day from our Munich office. We always work as a team consisting of two experienced project managers and two or three junior consultants. 

Project examples

Technology strategy for an international automotive manufacturer

Initial situation

A supplier of powertrain systems realised that its traditional business was under threat from increasing hybridisation and electrification. The CEO and Head of Development asked us to forecast the future of their core business, and identify alternative business areas in order to secure the existence of the company, and enable it to benefit from growth opportunities.

Project approach

The team we put together, consisting of a Partner, a Principal, an Associate and technology experts from AVL, worked on the solution for three months. The project was very diverse. In addition to workshops with the customer we were often onsite in Graz. This allowed us to work closely with our AVL colleagues to use our defined structure for identifying and evaluating as many ideas as possible. We worked with the customer in a joint workshop to select the most attractive technologies, and examine them detail, e.g. how much market potential do we believe a technology like ‘variable compression’ has, and so on. For the most attractive technologies, we then defined action plans and budgets for pre-development in intensive discussions with the customer – definitely a project at the interface between strategy and technology!

Set up of a development centre for a Chinese-European automotive manufacturer

Initial situation

To realise cost savings and synergies, an Asian and a European automotive manufacturer were planning the construction of a joint R&D centre. The idea was to enable both brands to use the resulting vehicle architecture, without damaging the differentiation between them.

Project approach

This was an extremely challenging consultancy project in which we supported the restructuring and expansion of the entire development centre. Our team, consisting of two Partners, a Manager and an Associate really had to hit the ground running in terms of process development and implementation, in order to meet the customer’s ambitious goal – the creation of the new development centre from scratch within just one year.

At the same time, it was important to develop competitive processes. We achieved this through systematic benchmarking against other development organisations that allowed us to identify efficient organisational structures and synergies. We then used this knowledge to inform the new structure of the development centre. In addition to implementing a milestone system and defining the decision-making process, we also established interfaces between the different development organisations. The success of the implementation was ensured using pilot phases.

Through close cooperation with the customer, and the industry and technology expertise of the consultancy team, we were able to build a successful joint project team for both OEMs. It won’t be long before vehicles based on an architecture designed in the development center that we helped build, are coming off the production line. Feedback doesn’t get better than that!

Profitability program for a leading automotive manufacturer

Initial situation

Our customer, an international automotive OEM, identified a significant misalignment between target product costs and the current status during the concept phase for a new vehicle. The company’s management team asked us to identify the cause of the product cost discrepancy, and identify counter-measures to reduce product costs. 

Project approach

The project was split into three phases and was run by a Principal, an Associate and a Business Analyst over a six-month period. We always worked as a team, but every team member was responsible for a specific work stream. Our Principal controlled the project, while the Associate and the Business Analyst were responsible for analyses, workshop preparation, moderation and follow-up, as well as the creation of customer presentations and progress reporting.

Phase 1 – Analysis:

To kick off the project, we conducted a detailed review to establish the current situation. This involved analysing how the target cost discrepancy occurred, which components and factors it could be traced back to, and what the causes of the current situation were. On the basis of this analysis, we identified the measures with the biggest cost reduction potential.

Phase 2 – Idea generation:

Together with the customer, we generated cost reduction ideas through interdisciplinary workshops. The participants included leaders of various specialist departments at the customer, additional experts in specific technologies from AVL and our project team. Together we analysed selected solution directions and discussed cost-efficient alternative suggestions. To support this process we also deconstructed competitive products to use as benchmarks. At the end of the idea generation phase, we developed a portfolio of appropriate measures.

Phase 3 – Action evaluation and implementation planning:

We then evaluated each individual measure more precisely in terms of its chances of success. In addition to detailed technical analyses and cost-effectiveness considerations, we also generated implementation plans. Finally, in order to be able to track the progress of the selected measures, we supplied the customer with a project structure featuring defined processes, responsibilities and decision-making committees.

We reported back on progress to the customer’s management team on a weekly basis throughout the course of the project, through standard reporting that the client could continue to use after our involvement had ended. The project management, progress reporting and the coordination of customer teams were also key project elements, in addition to the core technical tasks.

Finally, together with the customer we defined appropriate measures to close the cost gap and further reduce product costs. In addition, we introduced a project structure for the efficient implementation of the measures within the organisation. A result that both we and our customer are very proud of!