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Success Story

Sustainable growth by redesigning the value chain

A manufacturer of electronic drive systemsidentified that, despite ongoing improvements, its current cost structures were no longer competitive. Zühlke supported the family-run Swiss company through the realignment process.

On account of the liberalisation of the euro exchange rate, many activities in the value chain can no longer be conducted competitively in Switzerland.
In order to retain a leading edge, the entire company needs to focus strictly on its strengths. With benchmarks, deep insight, and international experience, our consultants help identify areas that are suitable for transfer to lower cost countries.

Together with our partner Metroplan, we help you locate suitable suppliers or locations in Eastern Europe, and to optimise your supply chain management step-by-step. We can also assist with the adaptation of product design and documentation.


A client with a strong international focus needed to optimise its value chain in order to realise long-term improvements to its cost structure. This meant defining new production and location strategies to include relocation and outsourcing options. Proven experience from reference projects was essential for setting up new production sites and supply chains, as was local knowledge for the implementation phase. Zühlke was expected to lead and coordinate the realignment process, and to present options for improvement, whilst outlining any risks and cultural factors.


Zühlke supported implementation by means of the following measures:

  • actively supporting the decision-making process at both, board and management levels
  • technical and methodological support across a range of sub-projects:
    • implementing make-or-buy decisions on the production and logistics sides
    • setting up strategic partnerships and new supplier structures
    • setting up a new site in a low-cost country, including production ramp-up
    • optimising the assembly line according to «lean» principles
    • optimising manufacturing costs for a new range of electronic motors based on a platform concept
  • applying «change management principles» to implement, guide and support the change process

Customer benefits

  • By analysing and shedding a clear light on cost structures in individual areas, Zühlke flagged up areas where action was required and outlined options for improvement.
  • A range of scenarios were developed and intensively discussed in detail with the board and management team and examined against the company’s objectives and expectations.
  • Strong expertise in business logistics and potential low-cost locations enabled the programme to be evaluated and implemented rapidly to deliver sustainable business growth.

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