The issue

  • LATAM division of a €3bn global construction product manufacturing & distribution group
  • Country-based business units in 14 geographies from Mexico to Chile with 3,500 staff generating revenues of €400m
  • A sustained period of under-performance with operating margins at sub-3% making it the worst-performing division in the Group
  • Divisional layer not adding any value with local businesses being left to operate independently, some with more success than others
  • An extended analytical diagnostic by a global consulting firm had established the scale of the problem, but no credible and accepted plan to address the issues had emerged
  • The need was for pragmatic help to make change happen with the full buy-in of local management


Plan and mobilise stage

  • Confirm the scale of the improvement opportunity
  • Agree targets and align with budgets to have one set of numbers
  • Create a plan and a governance model to balance top-down coordination with full engagement from the business units

Delivery stage

  • Initial focus on four of the largest markets where impact potential was greatest
  • Reduction in margin leakage through pricing optimisation, product mix & discount control
  • Introduction of operational excellence basics across manufacturing facilities
  • Inventory optimisation, including clean-up of obsolete and slow-movers
  • Reduction of corporate overhead layer and leverage of shared service centre to reduce in-country costs
  • Capability development of management and teams across all disciplines

The results

  • The Division was transformed from worst to best performer in the Group within 12 months
  • Operating margin tripled and accrued benefits delivered were 45% above the programme target
  • Working capital was reduced by €25m
  • The change management effort involved over 1,000 staff across all functions and businesses
  • Awarded ‘Best International Project’ by the UK Management Consultancies Association
  • Curzon entered a risk-reward commercial arrangement on benefits delivered

We wanted a step change in performance, done in a way that would build capability to make it sustainable… the results speak for themselves.  – Divisional CEO

An award-winning team


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