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New direction for the system provider Zarges Aluminium Systeme

Case Study

Challenge

After successfully entering the market as a system provider in the wind energy sector, the objective was to adapt production costs to new markets and quickly establish cost-effective procurement, production and a sophisticated logistics concept - all while maintaining Zarges’ high quality standards, of course. 

Success

With the help of Atreus, Zarges Aluminium Systeme GmbH was able to more than triple its turnover within a year. In addition, it was also possible to achieve a sustainable increase in competitiveness as well as cost reductions of around 2% in material procurement. 

Interview with Bernd Göpfert, as CEO of Zarges Aluminium Systeme GmbH

Why did you call in atreus?

Our success in entering the wind energy sector market was quicker than expected. As well as the good reputation of the ZARGESTUBESCA Group, we were helped by a targeted price policy. The objective was then to adapt the production costs of our products to new markets and to reduce material procurement costs. It was clear that we could not achieve this feat with our own resources. 

 
  • Increased competitiveness
  • Reduced production costs
  • Optimized materials management
  • Reduced material cost reference

"We needed a hard-hitting, practical person who would put the costs to the test and whose experience would allow him to quickly show us solutions."

What fundamental tasks awaited the atreus manager?

A sustainable mid- to long-term increase in ZAS’ competitiveness. The short-term objective was to reduce production costs by a double-digit percentage, optimize material management and reduce the material cost reference by 10%. 

What requirements did you place on the atreus manager?

It was clear to me that with increased procurement volumes, our existing procurement processes were under scrutiny. It was necessary for the manager to take a new approach. We were looking for a purchasing manager with many years of experience in international procurement projects. The manager was to cover the entire supplier management system from needs assessment and supplier selection to contract management, including quality and logistics agreements. It was also necessary, in close coordination with development engineers, factory managers and suppliers, to improve the products despite reduced costs. 

„The material proportion of our products is very high. The Atreus manager successfully helped us to quickly achieve sustainable profitability.“

Bernd Göpfert, CEO, Zarges Aluminium Systeme GmbH

„The material proportion of our products is very high. The Atreus manager successfully helped us to quickly achieve sustainable profitability.“

"I liked his approach, which was to always look for a suitable solution for our customers - and to find it."

What aspect of the interim manager’s work did you value the most?

He never failed to track down the best suppliers - those who were innovative and in the position to provide ZAS with top quality at a low price. In so doing, he created an essential prerequisite for our future business success. 

What shape did the project work take?

The manager immediately recognized that we required new and innovative processes to achieve sustainable profitability. It was impressive to see how new technical solutions were found, assessed and implemented under such time pressure. Our developers had a lot of ideas for cost-effective approaches and he quickly recognized and discussed these in the team, which comprised the in-house team, external suppliers and logistics partners. 

"The Atreus manager recommended that we invite our logistics partners to workshops in order to discuss innovative approaches to products. Prior to the negotiations there was always a benchmark analysis and the target costing was always successful."

What exactly did atreus do to achieve cost savings?

First he got an overview of the complete product calculations and discussed options for optimization with colleagues. This was the basis for the first talks with suppliers - two questions were paramount for the Atreus manager: “What can we do to make component XY better and cheaper?” and “Where can we move interfaces to save additional costs?”. The Atreus Manager was also not shy of replacing the three-tier distribution channel typical in Germany - via wholesalers or electrical dealers - to direct contact with the manufacturers. 

What were the highlights of the project team’s success for you?

A particular highlight was the cross-functional cooperation and the involvement of the entire value chain. We even managed to persuade our customers to adapt specifications. Teamwork and logical implementation were key to the success of the project. 

Atreus is the leading interim management provider in Germany and one of the largest in its field in Europe. We solve difficult operational management and transformation problems quickly and reliably. Contact us and find out how we can help you master your situation with management expertise that is available at short notice and that is the perfect fit for you.

Atreus is a co-founder of Globalise – the market’s leading and largest provider of international interim management. Accelerating change and delivering success. Worldwide. Structured as a global group of leading interim management firms, Globalise has the reach to support you in solving your company’s most important issues around the world.