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Accelerating Operational Leverage (AOL)
Performance Improvement in the Private Sector
Syngenta is a global agribusiness, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, that develops and markets seeds and agrochemicals. One of its strategic ambitions is to lead a worldwide step change in farming productivity to help address one of the planet’s greatest challenges: how to grow more crops using fewer resources, in a secure and environmentally sustainable way for an ever-expanding global population.
In early 2014, Syngenta faced challenges in profitability, productivity and strategy execution as well as having to negotiate difficult market conditions. The company posed three strategic questions: (i) How to achieve sustainable and profitable growth? (ii) How to do so by building a customer-centric commercial organisation? And (iii) How to build the required leadership capability to unlock the ability to succeed?
In response, the company launched an ambitious improvement programme known as Accelerating Operational Leverage (AOL) consolidating many new and existing changes across the business into a single global, company-wide transformation.
AOL aimed to transform Syngenta’s customer experience, drive growth and profit, and equip the organisation to outperform its competitors in an increasingly digitally-enabled market.
Syngenta chose Deloitte as its transformation partner to operate AOL from concept to completion based on its breadth and depth of end-to-end transformation experience; its capability to deliver change flexibly and at pace across many countries, and; its specific expertise in digital and commercial operations.
By the end of 2017, despite ongoing market challenges and disruption in the agri-business sector, AOL had delivered $1Bn of productivity and efficiency benefits, representing a 5% EBITDA improvement on 2014 sales, by transforming and digitising Syngenta’s commercial operations.
The programme has harmonised and improved operational and financial performance across a multinational organisation of 28,000 people. It has enabled Syngenta to transform how it engages with its customers, differentiating itself from its competition, and has positioned the company as a pioneer in digitising agribusiness.
The ‘Accelerating Operational Leverage (AOL)’ project has been named the winner of the Performance Improvement in the Private Sector category in the Management Consultancies Association’s 2018 Awards.