Progress Through Consulting
In an act of unprecedented scope, Audi AG put its entire Production and Logistics department, with some 50,000 employees, on a totally new organizational footing.
The Biggest Transformation in Audi’s History
There’s a world of difference between a 30-year-old Audi and a brand new one today. When products change that much, their production processes cannot remain the same. So, Audi opted for a clean slate and started the biggest transformation project in the company’s history. The Ingolstadt, Germany-based company “pulverized the entire organization,” as they put it. And then they rebuilt it, supported and assisted by the consultants from Porsche Consulting. The reorganization of the five plants, which took barely more than a year, was dubbed “project P”: P as in production. Or P as in Porsche Consulting.
Audi completed a radical reorganization of its production in just twelve months.
Think Big Without Self- imposed Restrictions
A change team from Audi and consultants from Porsche Consulting and Audi Consulting followed a simple maxim: Think big without self-imposed prohibitions. A dedicated communication concept kept everyone up to speed – employees, the Works Council, management, board members. One workshop in which 1,100 strips of paper were dealt with went down in Audi history: each strip represented one process in Audi’s automotive plants. In the end, the number of main processes was cut in half and sub-processes by a third.
A New Era Begins in Production
In the old Audi-world, the production system was something like a federal system of five plants that all operated rather independently. In the new Audi-world, the Strategic Planning organizational unit binds them all together. With the new “expertise-oriented matrix organization,” locations are no longer on their own. So much is different: the collaboration model, the responsibilities, the communication pathways, the interfaces. One level of the hierarchy was entirely eliminated. The transformation’s biggest goal: freeing up the plants from unnecessary strains. A new era has begun in Audi’s production.