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Resilience & Reimagination

Reimagining operations for productivity, resilience, and environmental sustainability through performance gains, flexibility, and speed

There is a socio-economic imperative for companies to reconfigure their operations and transform them for improved performance, resilience, and environmental sustainability. Leading organizations are applying lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly frequent climate-change-related shocks to reimagine what “operational performance” truly means.

They’ve recognized that new digital tools and analytic approaches are freeing enterprises from having to choose between accelerated productivity improvement, environmentally conscious resource and product-lifecycle management, lowered carbon emissions, and a flexible value chain. Instead, businesses can—and must—attain all of them at the same time.

Our approach

An operating model for the next normal is one that continues to generate value through business cycles, managing competitive disruption, increased environmental regulation, and profound economic and social shifts. And to be effective, it will require a workforce with the skills to capture the opportunities and value available from digital and analytics technologies.

We help organizations understand precisely where and how they can maximize operational performance, resilience, and environmental sustainability and identify opportunities for reimagination including through conscious consumption and demand management. Through thoughtful, targeted development of the highest-impact applications of new technologies and workforce capability building, an organization can create a virtuous cycle in which resilience and reimagination drive simultaneous improvements in productivity and environmental sustainability.

Featured Content

The Next Normal Demands Resilience

McKinsey recently partnered with CNBC and several business leaders to discuss how to build a business that's ready for tomorrow.

Featured capability

Operations Resilience Index

The Operations Resilience Index is a proprietary methodology that helps organizations benchmark the resiliency and flexibility of their value chains.

Based on a detailed analysis of an organization’s cost structure, current productivity levels, and rate of improvement, the index looks at a set of more than 40 factors across an organization’s value chain.

Resource Cleansheet

Bring environmental and economic transparency to product development and procurement by integrating CO2 optimization with cost and product design.

Special collection

Building supply-chain resilience

At a time when cost control is critical, a reimagination of supply chains can deliver the resilience and efficiency business needs for the next normal—if leaders make smart investments to minimize costly disruptions before they occur.

Find out how the Operations Resilience Index can help your organization

Featured insights

Article

Responding to inflation and volatility: Time for procurement to lead

– A digital nerve center can help procurement teams collaborate better and act faster during turbulence.
Article

In volatile markets, embedded product costs can be a hidden treasure

– Raw-material and component costs are on a wild ride. Procurement and product-development teams can keep their grip by better understanding... and managing embedded costs. A new approach can help.
Article

How to boost growth in industrial services: Better customer experience

– Customer experience is increasingly critical for industrial-services businesses—and the bar is rising. Here’s how... to exceed it.
Article

Prediction at scale: How industry can get more value out of maintenance

– Machines can now tell you when they aren’t feeling well. The challenge for today’s industrial players lies in applying... advanced predictive-maintenance technologies across the full scope of their operations.
Article

Establishing the right analytics-based maintenance strategy

– Why many tech-driven maintenance programs are not working and what to do about it.
Article

Call for action: Seizing the decarbonization opportunity in construction

– As decarbonization initiatives gain momentum, construction players can benefit from this growing trend—but only if they... view ESG as a strategic opportunity and collaborate with other stakeholders in the ecosystem.
Article

Overcoming barriers to multitier supplier collaboration

– Digitally integrated supply chains could generate billions in new value—if industries find ways to manage perceived risks,... realize the value at stake, and distribute it fairly among partners.
Article

Beyond gadgetry: Changing the game in maintenance

– Digital work management can transform the maintenance function’s productivity, flexibility, and predictability
Article

Making supply-chain decarbonization happen

– Active supply-chain decarbonization is becoming a license to operate for businesses, but companies aiming to be role models in... the fight against climate change must overcome roadblocks along the way.
Article

Industrial services’ overlooked sales force: Their technicians

– With sales teams less able to visit their clients, aftermarket services have become harder to sell. With a careful strategy and... suitable training, service staff can help fill the gap.
Article

Virtually possible: Getting remote work right for G&A functions

– Companies are weighing permanent shifts to remote working. For general and administrative (G&A) functions, such arrangements... offer advantages—and drawbacks. To find the right model, let form follow function.
Article

The project of the future: The best ideas from the 2021 GII Summit

– At the seventh Global Infrastructure Initiative Summit, more than 500 leaders gathered to explore the future of the industry.... Here are some of the best ideas that surfaced in project development, project delivery, and digital and talent strategy.
Article

Do your G&A functions fit your growth trajectory?

– New research shows how a company’s growth trajectory affects the size of its HR and finance functions. The insights can... help leaders shape general and administrative functions to strategic needs.
Article

Can your supply chain deliver what your consumer wants?

– In a far more complex business environment, consumer companies can rethink—and potentially redesign—their supply-chain... operating models for the resiliency and agility they need.
Article

A smarter way to digitize maintenance and reliability

– In heavy-equipment maintenance, digital and analytics tools are struggling to live up to their promise. Here’s how to help... them pull their weight.
Article

Analytics-to-Value: Digital analytics optimizing products and portfolios

– Better, faster product-development decisions have never been more critical. New techniques can provide quicker, deeper insights,... at scale across an entire product portfolio.
Article

Labor-intensive factories—analytics-intensive productivity

– New analytics tools can help manufacturers in labor-intensive sectors boost productivity and earnings by double-digit percentages.
Article

Net zero or bust: Beating the abatement cost curve for growth

– Companies can both decarbonize and boost long-term growth. But it means pushing beyond abatement curves’ focus on cost and... instead empowering people—while making a few big, strategic bets.
Article

Rethinking operations in the next normal

– The resilience that businesses have developed in the face of disruption can provide a new foundation for growth—provided... leaders seize the moment to build on what their people have achieved.
Article

Everyone is within learning distance: Building skills remotely

– With careful design and implementation, remote capability building provides an effective lifeline for organizations adapting to... entirely new ways of working.
Article

Calculating complexity: Maximizing the value of customization

– New tools that help pinpoint complexity’s cost—and where it comes from—can help companies make better tradeoffs... in managing product portfolios.
Article

CEO dialogue: Perspectives on reimagining operations for growth

– The hyper-acceleration of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has led to an unparalleled industry transformation, giving organizations... a unique opportunity to reimagine operations for growth.
Article

With artificial intelligence, find new suppliers in days, not months

– Companies that rapidly adapt their supply bases reap rewards in cost, resilience, and growth potential. New tools can cut the... time required to find the right suppliers by 90 percent or more.
Article

Transforming quality and warranty through advanced analytics

– Industrial companies are leveraging advanced analytics, through artificial intelligence and machine learning, to drive quality... and warranty transformations to the next level.
Article

The future of G&A: Revitalizing the heart of the organization

– General and administrative functions are under pressure to become more digital, more agile, and better aligned to the needs of... the wider business. A more strategic model could hold the key.
Article

The manufacturers lighting a path to sustainable growth

– Amid disruption, lighthouses have unlocked hidden capacity, widened new revenue streams, and gained market share—all while... engaging workers and increasing sustainability. And at surprisingly low cost.
Impact Story

How a steel plant in India tapped the value of data—and won global acclaim

– By upskilling employees and innovating with analytics, Tata Steel’s plant in Kalinganagar, India, achieved performance gains... that earned it recognition as a leading digital facility by the World Economic Forum.
Article

2021 and beyond: Preparing for the future of SG&A

– Shorter planning cycles, higher cost-cutting targets, and hybrid working models are defining how organizations reimagine their... sales, general, and administrative (SG&A) functions for 2021 and beyond.
Article

Now is the time for procurement to lead value capture

– With companies facing more pressure than ever to deliver savings, procurement teams can offer not only short-term relief, but... also long-term rewards.
Report - McKinsey Global Institute

The future of work after COVID-19

– The pandemic accelerated existing trends in remote work, e-commerce, and automation, with up to 25 percent more workers than previously... estimated potentially needing to switch occupations.
Executive Briefing

Capital Projects 5.0: Reimagining capital-project delivery

– What could your business achieve if your large capital projects were 30 to 50 percent faster and cheaper? The opportunity is more... real than you think.
Collection

The industrial revolution in services

– Weaving digital into the entire organization will require companies to raise their aspirations, expand their toolkits, and deliver... impact across the board.
Article

A new growth story: Maximizing value from remote customer interactions

– To lift remote-channel sales, focusing on analytics-based lead generation is important. But turning contact centers into real... revenue generators means boosting seven other capability areas as well.
Article

Building a digital bridge across the supply chain with nerve centers

– Many companies operate some type of supply-chain control tower, but upgrading to a digital, end-to-end nerve center can manage... risk even more effectively, while boosting output and productivity.
Article

Five themes can help procurement shape recovery in the next normal

– For procurement to help lead growth in the next normal, now is the time for leaders to begin work on reimagining every aspect... of the function.
Article

CEO dialogue: Perspectives on reimagining industrial supply chains

– After seeing the COVID-19 pandemic generate unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains, CEOs are taking innovative approaches... to build resilient, digitally infused operations.
Article

COVID-19: An inflection point for Industry 4.0

– Industry 4.0 technologies played a decisive role in the pandemic response at many companies, but the crisis is putting the future... of digital operations under new pressure.
Article

The corporate center: Driving the next normal

– As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, evidence is mounting that the next normal will bring key shifts. As organizations adjust,... they’re looking at the corporate center to take the lead in driving the change.
Article

The resilience imperative for medtech supply chains

– The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted issues with supply chains around the world. As medtech companies prepare for the next normal,... they have a mandate to rebuild their supply chains with resilience as a new priority.
Interview

Digital performance management: From the front line to the bottom line

– Industry 4.0 technologies let manufacturers integrate top-down performance management and bottom-up problem solving into business-as-usual... routines—without replacing their current systems. The result? A virtuous cycle of improvement. 
Article

Breaching the great wall to scale

– Introducing a new operating model is hard. Doing so quickly is even harder. Under pressure to accelerate their transformation,... how can companies overcome the barriers that often hold them back?
Article

The right tools for every job: Lean and agile in maintenance

– Why tomorrow’s maintenance function will combine the strengths of lean and agile organizations.
Article

Finding the sweet spot in product-portfolio management

– It’s more urgent than ever to rebalance product portfolios so that complexity creates value rather than destroying it. Here’s... how.
Article - McKinsey Global Institute

What’s next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries

– Hybrid models of remote work are likely to persist in the wake of the pandemic, mostly for a highly educated, well-paid minority... of the workforce.
Article

Reimagine: Preparing for SG&A in the next normal

– As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and its economic impact increases, the productivity and reallocation imperative for sales,... general, and administrative (SG&A) activities continues to sharpen.
Blog Post

The seven investment priorities for a resilient procurement function

– Standard cost-cutting tools do little to improve a procurement function’s long-term resilience—and may even do more... harm than good. Here’s where to focus instead.
Blog Post

Ops 4.0—The human factor: Skill, will and the next normal

– The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically accelerated the acquisition of digital skills. That could be the beginning of something... even bigger.
Article

Analytics helps global business services fuel resilience and return

– As companies navigate the COVID-19 reset, global business services organizations can deploy advanced analytics to equip leaders... with the information needed for better, faster decision making.
Article

Design cost-effective, carbon-abated products with resource cleansheets

– Resource cleansheets assess component costs and carbon emissions at the same time—so designers and engineers can model design... and production choices without compromising emissions goals.
Article

Reimagining procurement for the next normal

– Procurement has led the way out of a crisis before, and can again. But success will mean rethinking every aspect of the function.
Article

Operations-driven sustainability

– Optimizing operations can unlock simultaneous environmental and financial benefits.
Article

Building the vital skills for the future of work in operations

– Operationally intensive companies have entered a new wave of automation and digitization. That will have a big impact on the skills... they need to remain competitive.
Report - McKinsey Global Institute

Risk, resilience, and rebalancing in global value chains

– Companies need an understanding of their exposure, vulnerabilities, and potential losses to inform resilience strategies.
Article

The role of spend analytics in the next normal

– The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that procurement functions can deliver at speed. But how can they also ensure that they’re... spending wisely?
Article

Industry 4.0: Reimagining manufacturing operations after COVID-19

– Industry 4.0 technologies were already transforming manufacturers’ operations before the pandemic. Now adoption is diverging... between technology haves and have-nots.
Article

Why now is the time to stress-test your industrial supply chain

– An effective way to increase supply-chain resilience is to understand the impact a crisis could have, well before it happens.
Article

Resetting supply chains for the next normal

– The coronavirus pandemic’s unprecedented tests are inspiring companies to consider bold moves in rebuilding their supply... chains for the future.
Article

Taking supplier collaboration to the next level

– Closer relationships between buyers and suppliers could create significant value and help supply chains become more resilient.... New research sheds light on the ingredients for success.
Article

The next normal in construction: How disruption is reshaping the world’s largest ecosystem

– The COVID-19 crisis looks set to accelerate an overdue transformation of the world’s largest ecosystem. We expect nine shifts... to radically change the construction value chain, and offer a blueprint for the next normal ahead.
Article

Reopening safely: Sample practices from essential businesses

– The safety protocols of hospitals, grocery stores, and other establishments that stayed open during the COVID-19 pandemic can... offer ideas for businesses preparing to welcome employees and customers back.
Article

Beyond contactless operations: Human-centered customer experience

– As we look forward to the next normal, consumers are already demonstrating a preference for companies that deliver great service... while reducing risks all along the customer journey.
Article

Is your supply chain risk blind—or risk resilient?

– Operational risk to supply chains has been growing over the last several years—compounded by the ongoing impact from COVID-19.... Organizations need a new approach to manage risk and build resiliency.
Article

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

– COVID-19 has created an imperative for companies to reconfigure their operations, and an opportunity to transform them.
Article

From surviving to thriving: Reimagining the post-COVID-19 return

– For many, the toughest leadership test is now looming: how to bring a business back in an environment where a vaccine has yet... to be found and economies are still reeling.
Article

Coronavirus’ impact on service organizations: Weathering the storm

– With thoughtful, judicious moves, businesses can manage coronavirus’ impact on the service sector and keep service personnel... supported and effective—even during a crisis.
Article

Managing a manufacturing plant through the coronavirus crisis

– Manufacturers can follow three guiding principles to keep their workers safe while preparing for increased uncertainty and long-lasting... changes to the work environment.
Article

Supply-chain recovery in coronavirus times—plan for now and the future

– Actions taken now to mitigate impacts on supply chains from coronavirus can also build resilience against future shocks.
Article

Building resilient operations

– In the face of rising uncertainty, get ready for the unexpected. To build resilience, accelerate productivity improvement and... operational flexibility.

Featured Experts

Philipp Radtke
Senior Partner, Munich
Advises automotive manufacturers and suppliers, construction equipment makers, and other industrial producers as they improve...
Katy George
Senior Partner, New Jersey
Leads client transformation and research around technology-enabled operations and manufacturing. Is a member of McKinsey’s Shareholders...
Rafael Westinner
Senior Partner, Madrid
Leads end-to-end operational transformations for industrial clients, working along the operational value chain to boost productivity...
Kweilin Ellingrud
Senior Partner, Minneapolis
Drives strategy and operational transformations as a leader in North American insurance work
Ignacio Marcos
Partner, Madrid
Focuses on client service in consumer and medical-technology companies, with an emphasis on end-to-end transformations
Ed Barriball
Partner, Washington DC
Leads transformation programs across the public and private sectors, with expertise advising organizations that manage complex...
Martin Linder
Senior Partner, Munich
Leads our manufacturing and capital productivity work for the automotive sector and advises automotive OEMs and suppliers on operations...
Yogesh Malik
Senior Partner, Washington DC
Advises leaders in the industrial and automotive sectors on operations strategy globally, with a focus on using data and digital...
Christophe François
Senior Partner, Paris
Specializes in operational excellence, in particular Lean, supply chain optimization, and capital productivity, and leads our...
Bill Lacivita
Partner, Atlanta
Leads comprehensive transformation efforts across the globe—with a focus on high-hazard operations—and coleads McKinsey’s global...
Karel Eloot
Senior Partner, Shanghai
Focuses on industrial Internet of Things and digital transformation in the industrial sectors, particularly for companies in China
Joseph Tesvic
Senior Partner, Sydney
Leads McKinsey’s Asia-Pacific Operations Practice, working across industries and helping clients achieve results through operational,...
Takehito Sumikawa
Partner, Tokyo
Leads strategic, operational, and organizational transformations for Japanese, Asian, and global companies and institutions in...

Connect with our Operations Practice