Global footprint for research & development

Development of long-term strategy for a global integrated R&D organization, which could deliver new products to meet global, national and regional customer needs.


The company is listed on the stock-exchange and is a world leader in the manufacture of domestic and professional appliances, selling more than 40 million products annually worldwide. It has more than 50,000 employees and operates in 150 countries.

The Research and Development (R&D) department of small domestic appliances division employs approximately 200 development engineers who, for historical rather than operational reasons, were clustered at a regional level. The task was to develop a long-term strategy for an integrated R&D organisation which could deliver new products to meet global, national and regional customer needs. By developing and analysing three scenarios, Mantec presented a vision for a future organisation, new ways of working and holistic governance.


Following initial definition of the company’s current structure, focus areas and interfaces, critical success factors for the analysis were agreed. Key employees from all regions were interviewed and data was collected internally, from competitors, and from other companies in a similar situation. Then three initial scenarios were developed through a series of workshops.

The next step was a structured assessment using SWOT (i.e analysis focusing on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), benchmarking, further interviews and stakeholder and risk analyses. These analyses were conducted in a fashion which demonstrated a clear understanding of the complex environment in which they were carried out, requiring sensitivity to geography, culture and stakeholders.

During workshops the models were further developed, named to be within the themes of process, organisation and governance. It was then simulated in detail with salary, relocation, and expatriates’ costs, and figures for profitability.

Supported by a detailed report, an extensive presentation was given to divisional senior management, who then decided to start a formal change programme based on the proposal. Within a few months, the restructuring was under way, with completion targeted for just one year after the decision point.


Key benefits to the company of following through on the change programme have been:

  • Streamlined global delivery of new products
  • Consolidation from four to two R&D centres
  • Clearer roles between marketing and product development
  • Significant efficiency improvement within R&D

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