With momentum through the economic trough?

How high-performance organisations are using the economic downturn to their advantage

Authors: Stefan Zirhan, Christoph Lanz

With momentum through the economic trough?

How high-performance organisations are using the economic downturn to their advantage

For many companies, maintaining or even sustainably strengthening their competitive position in an economic downturn sounds unrealistic. However, if the organisation brings the right prerequisites, it can increase its performance in economically difficult times and profit in the long term.

The economic forecasts for 2023 are not very encouraging. Depending on the source and the sector, a more or less significant economic growth decline is expected (also see hpo economic commentary). Ongoing inflation, delayed supply chains, and the uncertain energy supply situation severely impact the export-dependent industry. Many companies expect a decline in orders. Those properly positioned can react quickly to the economic downturn, deploy their strengths strategically, and reap above-average benefits during the next upswing.

Scalable organisations act faster and more successful in the cycle

A scalable, high-performance organisation has provento be an intelligent and lasting solution for successfully coping with economic fluctuations. Thanks to five typical characteristics, it can better cushion fluctuations in

demand and sustainably secure value creation:

A scalable, high-performance organisation

  1. is clearly strategically positioned in the market.
    • strives for a scalable role along the value chain.
    • focuses on high-margin stages of the value chain.
    • invests in strategic growth areas.
  2. avoids unnecessary complexity in the product/service portfolio.
    • systematically develops its own portfolio, separate from day-to-day business.
    • makes make-or-buy decisions from a strategic and cross-functional perspective.
    • increases the reusability of customer solutions through modularisation and standardisation.

  1. provides the basis for a sustainable increase in earnings by several EBIT points.
    • outsources non-differentiating stages of the value chain to reduce fixed costs and risks.
    • increases efficiency by eliminating wastefulness in all areas of the company.
    • ensures that budgeted costs are met in cost management.
  2. has end-to-end business processes.
    • consistently aligns business processes with the customer journey.
    • has a common process understanding of how services are provided to the customer.
    • has clear responsibilities for revenue and costs, which are separated in terms of processes and systematically anchored.
  3. has a process-oriented, transparent management structure.
    • makes quick decisions thanks to clear areas of responsibility.
    • makes managers capable of acting by ensuring that the operational and organisational structures are in harmony.
    • empowers employees by clearly defining tasks, competencies, and responsibilities.

Scalability as a decisive success factor in the industrial environment

hpo accompanies you systematically and from start to finish on your way to a scalable, high-performance organisation. Together we identify the right levers and most promising potentials and develop the individual target vision. This is implemented step by step and with the involvement of all affected stakeholders in the company to ensure a successful transformation and the long-term effectiveness of the new organisation.
Four steps to a scalable, high-performance organisation
Four steps to a scalable, high-performance organisation

Your Contact

Our approach has been proven for over 25 years to increase the performance of industrial clients, including ABB, Implenia, and Stadler Rail. Get in touch with us. We look forward to your call or message.
Stefan Zirhan
Stefan Zirhan


+41 44 787 60 04

Christoph Lanz
Christoph Lanz

Head of Industry Team

+41 44 787 60 00

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hpo makes companies more successful and more innovative. The strategy consultancy for enterprise design boasts more than 25 years of experience in the creation of strategies and organisations spanning many different industries. The management consultants at hpo specialise in the meticulous development of strategies, processes, business models, innovation and culture, and in accompanying the transformation.

The hpo design approach enables companies to better cope with strategic and organisational challenges and to realise substantial competitive advantages. The basis of the industry-spanning design approach is an academically grounded methodology with which high performance organisations are shaped and which is continually further developed with the latest findings from research and practice.

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