Global Organizations - R&D

R&D establishment: an asset for the company’s strategy success

By reviewing their footprint and organization of R&D (or Engineering), companies are addressing a clear need to improve their potential to be competitive. The aims are threefold: addressing local markets, making more with less, and optimizing the use of resources.

Context and challenges

The globalization of R&D and Engineering has become an imperative, which calls into question the traditional European development and cost model for new products.

However, making organizational changes in R&D is complex, because the value of such organizations resides in the knowledge, skills, and flexibility of the individuals who form them. In industries where projects are long and costly, this raises the question of how to deal with programs that are underway and ensure the sustainability of tacit or direct knowledge from past programs. Past experiences of outsourcing R&D have clearly demonstrated its limit.

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Although transforming R&D footprint and organizations helps to improve medium-term performance potential, it can create disorganization and under-performance in the short-term. Only detailed and supported on-the-ground implementation can limit these disturbances and the risk of loss of skills.

We believe that the success of such initiatives requires:

  • Appropriate segmentation of development activities, according to their current and future critical value for the company
  • Analysis of the targeted markets, their expectations and the potential share of standardization, as well as current and future skills
  • Definition of the location of activities according to the value that they have to generate in the development process (centers of expertise, application factory, service centers, innovation, greenfields, etc.), according to the product strategy (technological platforms and product line authority), and according to the business case related to the changes
  • Consistency of practicable scenarios with their feasibility, the company's strategy, the make-or-buy policy, the location of the industrialization and production centers, the competition, the internal improvement plan, and available subsidies and funding
  • Definition of the most relevant R&D and Engineering footprint for your company, related to a roadmap and step-by-step implementation plan that provides future flexibility and leeway
  • On-the-ground support to implement management modes and the development model, and ensure the actual transformation of the business case.

How can Argon Consulting help you?

  • Rationalizing activities (central/local, maturity of technological platforms for each site, location of lowest-value activities, etc.)
  • Harmonizing and growing potential (more open R&T, flexibility of a Design Anywhere, Build Anywhere approach, etc.)
  • Seizing growing markets (greenfield development, etc.).

Case Studies

Deployment of a standard design-to-cost approach in an international group
Management and acceleration of an innovation program
Comprehensive restructuring of R&D processes – skills transfer