Operational Excellence takes center stage for national and multinational companies during Best Practice Day Brazil

July 1, 2024 | News Brazil

staufen’s international conference brought together executives on June 18th and 19th to discuss how productivity gains and operational improvements impact company results and ensure greater competitiveness

“Productivity gains are the key driver of long-term growth. Low productivity stems from a hostile environment where our companies face challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, tax litigation, and excessive judicialization, diverting focus from management. Companies need to invest in productivity gains today to strengthen resilience.” With this phrase, the economist Zeina Latif opened Best Practice Day 2024, the International Conference on Operational Excellence promoted by Staufen Consulting on June 18th and 19th, at the Santo Amaro Convention Center in São Paulo. addressing the challenges of industry competitiveness in Brazil.

Marking a record attendance since its last edition in Brazil in 2019, hundreds of executives, managers, and leaders from major national and multinational companies participated, featuring presentations from executives of companies such as Embraer, Suzano, Gerdau, Siemens Energy, BRF, São Martinho, Grupo Carrefour, WEG, Marcopolo, Construtora Tenda, CI&T, Dürr Brasil, Agrosuper, among others.

The agenda included dozens of speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and guided tours of best practice partner companies. The event also featured Canadian author and executive mentor Pascal Dennis, who shared insights from his two main books, “Getting the Right Things Done” and “Harnessing Digital Disruption,” with the audience.

Improving operations directly impacts business outcomes

According to André Machado, CFO of Siemens Energy in Brazil, the operational excellence journey initiated by the company in 2020, when it began developing its new management model, has already resulted in significant improvements in delivery times and productivity at its Brazilian subsidiary. “This undoubtedly contributed to transforming the company’s profitability from negative to positive in just a few years,” evaluates Machado.

André Machado, CFO of Siemens Energy in Brazil, assesses the positive impacts of the new management model on the company’s numbers
For Luis Marinho, Executive Vice President of Operations at Embraer, the Business Excellence Program has been a major driver of the company’s growth

According to Luis Carlos Marinho, Vice President of Operations at Embraer, in 2007, the company faced a very positive financial period with high sales but struggled with aircraft delivery challenges. “It was out of this need to improve deliveries that the Embraer Business Excellence Program, P3E, emerged, which has been in place for 16 years due to the excellent results it has delivered. Since then, with the support of this program, we have been able to expand significantly into other markets beyond commercial aviation, such as defense and executive aviation,” comments the VP.

combining continuous improvement with cost deployment

In the case of Brazilian company WEG, founded in 1961 in Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina, and now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electrical equipment, net profit growth has been attributed, among other factors, to operational efficiency in Brazil and abroad. According to Sérgio Wonczewski, Operations Director at WEG Motors, the current management model allows monitoring of productivity and efficiency parameters, identifying the maturity level of each factory worldwide and ensuring precise actions for each one. “WEG’s secret lies in combining continuous improvements with cost deployment, which reduces transformation costs and consequently improves financial results,” explains Wonczewski.

Sérgio Wonczewski, Industrial Director at WEG Motors: “WEG’s secret is to combine continuous improvement actions with cost breakdowns.”

increasing profitability through efficiency is achievable for all companies

Dário Spinola, Managing Director of Staufen Consulting in Brazil, emphasizes that increasing profitability through efficiency improvement and innovation for sustainable growth is achievable for all companies, whether industrial or service-oriented, large or small. “Investments in Operational Excellence are low, and returns can be very high. Investing in process management improvement and personnel development makes a significant difference for companies, as we have seen here today. You can’t afford to miss out,” concludes the Staufen director.

the essence of modern Operational Excellence lies in safeguarding the company’s core through efficiency to be profitable, while also innovating and digitalizing for sustainable growth.

Dário Spinola, Managing Director of Staufen Brazil

High labor costs also impact Brazilian competitiveness

According to Zeina Latif, high Brazilian labor costs are another factor impacting competitiveness. “Reducing labor costs should be Brazil’s next step, as it can provide a significant competitive advantage for the country, which lacks technological sophistication to compete internationally. To achieve this, reducing payroll taxes through spending containment is essential,” evaluates the economist.

She also underscores the importance of executives having moments to reflect and exchange experiences outside their offices, focusing on the long term.

“Competitiveness is a major theme for Brazil, and it won’t be the public sector that leads the way. It’s the private sector that must lead, including in shaping public policies. Companies aware of their challenges and vulnerabilities can generate demands for adjustments in public policies. It won’t be a bureaucrat sitting in an office who knows what’s best for the productive sector. Fostering this debate is essential,” concludes the economist.

It won’t be a bureaucrat sitting in an office who knows what’s best for the productive sector. Fostering this debate is essential

Zeina Latif, economist

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