Ansaldo STS is committed to maintaining and developing a series of distinctive abilities and expertise that create value and guarantee long-lasting company growth over time. This commitment can be seen in the company’s three strategic trajectories:
1. Selectivity: focus on markets where it has a strong competitive position. Ansaldo STS’s growth is the result of a continuous process beginning with its awareness of its positioning and competitive edge, the identification of market opportunities in relation to its competitive levers and their translation into action plans. This process has led to the definition of strategic markets – the domestic market and the areas in which the company has a significant, recognised presence, as well as markets presenting growth opportunities, by focussing on large projects with low overheads.
2. Innovation: focus on innovation as a lever to gain competitive edge for long-term growth.
Ansaldo STS’s innovation strategy to increase turnover is based on improving the products it currently offers customers and differentiating its product portfolio to expand the offer, extending its business model by offering complementary services that meet its customers’ specific needs (management and maintenance activities) and meeting the specific needs of customers given their particular geographical situations (complex areas with low traffic volumes), offering cutting-edge satellite technology solutions.
3. Flexibility and efficiency: maintain its competitive edge by optimising the business model with a focus on the flexibility of the offer and operating efficiency. Efficiency is one of the strategic levers in which Ansaldo STS invests to bolster its competitive position and ensure excellence in the performance of activities. To pursue these aims, it has launched an improvement programme that covers all company areas and exploits the opportunities arising from its global organisation.
In order to ensure the implementation of all efficiency initiatives, and, in general, all strategic initiatives, Ansaldo STS has developed an Action Implementation Monitoring (AIM) system.
Through AIM, the following have been defined:
- the definition process for action and monitoring plans;
- the governance rules to ensure the frequency of review meetings focused on initiatives and the identification of any corrective action in the event of critical areas;
- tools to support management of the initiatives. The contribution that Ansaldo STS expects of AIM is:
- completeness: having a consistent, updated picture of all initiatives underway;
- consistency: doing what has been proposed and following up on it until implementation;
- initiatives explicitly linked to company plans.
The V2A project
V2A stands for “Values to Actions”, the company’s most important strategic change programme set up at the start of 2014. It strategically links the company’s values to its improvement and transformation project. This project’s aim is to make Ansaldo STS more efficient and effective and, hence, more competitive on the market, thanks to the launch of important, innovative and challenging changes in how the company manages its operations and allocates its resources, how it manages suppliers and its commercial strategy without neglecting its values, its background and its people.
V2A is broken down into three macro workstreams.
The Lean workstream has the goal of identifying ways to optimise internal costs and includes some of the entire Programme’s most complex and challenging initiatives, aimed at simplifying the delivery process by slashing waste. The initiatives rolled out target identifying areas with potential for improvement in order to boost product quality, cut internal costs and speed up delivery times. Hundreds of people from all over the world are already on-board the V2A Lean activities and the Value Stream Mapping (VSM) tool has been used to analyse the processes for all main signalling and system integration technologies. The team has quantified the level of waste (roughly 20-30% on average) and identified ways to improve operating methods to eliminate (or significantly cut down) identified wastage. The improvement proposals were put together in a “Lean Catalogue”. In 2014 and 2015, the Lean catalogue ideas were progressively applied to all projects and, in the meantime, the catalogue was expanded upon. In the scope of this workstream, specific focus was given to streamlining the staffing for projects and optimising the use of all company resources. Ansaldo STS’s Lean Methodology is a bona fide cultural revolution in how company activities and processes are managed and requires the entire company workforce to change their mentality. In 2014 and 2015, the workstream identified gross internal cost cutting of over €60 million for the entire life cycle.
The New Road workstream is the natural development and continuation of other supplier optimisation projects aimed at cutting overall external purchase costs. The project selected certain cost macrocategories considered strategic. Detailed specific possibilities to create efficiency were identified for each macro-category of costs, with their implementation expected to generate results in the medium and long term. Procurement optimisation tools range from more commercial mechanisms like finding suppliers in non-traditional countries or combining the purchases of several projects to negotiate discounts, to more technical tools. Various department areas on a global scale are involved in the project, promoting and strengthening best practices in external cost management throughout the entire organisation. The gross results of this project for 2014 and 2015 show more than €120 million in greater efficiency for the entire life cycle.
The aim of the Top Line workstream is to find new market opportunities that ensure sound margins and relatively short life cycles (from the order to revenue generation) compared to traditional projects. In 2014 and 2015, the focus was mainly on components and services and in the same period, the workstream identified gross improvement potential of over €30 million covering the entire life cycle.
Specific communication campaigns targeting the entire workforce have supported the V2A project, spreading awareness of Ansaldo STS’s new modus operandi. The main slogan was “Share the passion, a call for action!”, inciting all employees to take part in the company’s transformation through their own professional contribution.