Operations Transformation

Transformation of the primary process: digital, responsible, and flexible

The world is changing faster than ever

The world is in flux and the pace of change is more rapid than ever: customer needs are shifting; the speed of digital innovations is accelerating, and unforeseen events are happening at an unprecedented rate. To deal with nowadays complexities, organisations have to change the ways they are doing business and by transform the primary process - tailoring it to today's demands and requirements.

This step change that is required does not stop at the operations domain. Collaboration between all the various functions within a company is essential, doing different things, and doing them differently. With Operations Transformation, we offer integrated solutions for the current challenges in the market, uniting cross-functional insights, aimed at digitisation, sustainability and flexibility.

Three global themes

Digital Operations

New technology is changing the world at breakneck speed and the possibilities are beyond imagination. Low value adding activities or repetitive tasks can be automated, more insight can be generated using digital solutions and cost can be saved to perform maintenance at the time that is required - minimising defects and down-time.

Digitising the primary business processes contributes to increasing productivity, reducing cost, or improving the customer experience. An important precondition for this is transparency and insight, which requires looking beyond software and systems alone. To integrate perspectives, silos must be dismantled, data must be in order and organisational change must be ensured so the organisation is ready to act on the insights acquired.

Responsible Operations

The increased environmental regulation, the scarcity of raw materials and production resources, as well as customer preferences for sustainable products require an increasingly responsible approach to business processes. In addition, ESG criteria call not only for sustainable choices and business processes, but ones that are socially and ethically responsible and contribute to a responsible supply chain.

This requires a transparent and circular value chain, one that reduces or reuses materials and remanufactures or recycles products, lowering cost and creating less waste. This all whilst demonstrating delivery against targets to minimise impact on the environment and make positive contributions to diversity and inclusion. 

We inspire, activate and assist in the more sustainable design of primary business processes. This may include the choice of (different) suppliers, production techniques, site selection and, for example, environmentally friendly distribution and transport.

Flexible Operations

Disruptions are increasing in frequency and magnitude, including geopolitical events and climate issues. Recent disruptions such as the Covid pandemic and the international impact of Brexit have demonstrated more clearly than ever that organisations cannot afford to stand still, not even for a moment. On top of this, customer needs are changing rapidly and in order to remain competitive, companies must be able to respond swiftly. Hence the importance of thinking ahead, being agile, and adapting to potential changes.

Flexibility within the organisation makes it easier to respond to any new situation that may arise. We help organisations to gain more flexibility in the primary process so they can react to rapidly changing customer needs and abrupt disruptions that (out of necessity) turn processes upside down.

ESG Empowered Value Chains 2025

More talk than action

PwC’s biggest study to date on ESG in operations, among 900 C-level executives, shows ESG officially is in full swing and very much on leaders’ agendas. However, there is often more talk than action. Three out of four companies are planning to reach net zero by 2050. However, our data shows that companies have not yet implemented measures to support these targets in their own operations, let alone across their entire value chains.

Our study discovered a subset of mature ESG performers (ESG Champions). These ESG Champions have moved beyond internal operations to implement measures across their entire value chains. The survey revealed some similar key attributes. ESG Champions:  

  • enjoy top management buy-in and support; 
  • are better at making plans, supporting them with concrete measures and following up on them; 
  • being successful at implementing ESG standards also demonstrate higher levels of digitalisation and data transparency.

ESG Empowered Value Chains 2025
Companies will be forced to act on ESG transformation. But those that act fast by reengineering value chains, including revising business models and product design, are more likely to earn big rewards: lower energy costs, less waste, more innovation and investor interest.

Download the report

Webcast viewback

We hosted a 75-minute webcast (in English) on 28 February which is now available for viewback. Our panelists discussed key takeaways from the survey results and shared their perspectives on how we can better embed ESG and implement actions into operations and business strategy to succeed. 

Webcast viewback - via registration link

How can we help your organisation?

With Operations Transformation, our consultants provide integrated solutions for key challenges within the primary process of organisations. Drawing on our in-depth expertise, global experience and specific knowledge of each sector, we deliver complete solutions for areas such as:

  • Digital Procurement for more intelligent, responsible procurement
  • Connected Planning to match supply and demand efficiently and transparently in the supply chain
  • Smart Manufacturing for more insight into production processes and smarter manufacturing

Alongside these specific solutions, we also help our customers in the operations domain with integrated issues that relate to Operating Models in collaboration with our tax colleagues or with opportunities regarding broader technology and cloud applications in partnership with our technology alliances.

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Rolf Bos

Rolf Bos

Director, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 149 54 19