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Development of a Group-Wide Digitalization Strategy

Case study Marcolin / LVMH / Thelios

Business Challenges

Long lead times existed for the development of new products, and the new product pipeline was not transparent.

Given that commodity products are used as raw materials, for which the prices have been rising, a better utilization of those (yield) was required.

Due to the Client’s strong sales around the world, an increase in manufacturing capacity was needed. This had to be achieved by increasing efficiency, not by expanding.

The advantages presented by the use of connected machinery across the globe had not yet resulted in an improvement in line speed through the consistent use of data.

A group-wide digitalization strategy had not yet been defined, although plants had been working on this individually.

A global IT/IoT architecture had not yet been defined, and diverse systems had been introduced.

The organization of Industry 4.0 and the split of responsibilities were not clearly defined (especially between the plants and the group).

Quality controls were being conducted differently across the different plants.

Production planning and scheduling involved a high level of manual effort.

Warehouse capacity was a bottleneck, which resulted in a need for frequent re-stocking.


The project started with a strategic alignment in collaboration with the company’s senior management team. We defined the key financial and strategic fields of action for the group-wide digitalization project. All results and activities taking place during the course of this project had to be clearly linked to one or more of these strategic fields of action.

A project team of four consultants conducted assessments and identified the most beneficial digitalization initiatives for each plant individually. This activity took place alongside a gap analysis of the company’s current and future capabilities in a fully digitalized world. All this was consolidated across the group to generate the global roadmap and strategy. In addition, the organizational structure of the global digitalization team was drawn up.

The project included the following steps:

  • Strategic and financial planning with the senior management team
  • Assessment of the digital maturity of five plants globally
  • Definition and prioritization of digital use-cases, working alongside plant management teams
  • Conceptual development of the technical solutions required
  • Definition of the future IT architecture
  • Development of individual roadmaps for each plant and consolidation into a corporate roadmap
  • Development of the future organizational setup

The Client

Our Client is a leading premium chocolate manufacturer. Most of its manufacturing locations are in Europe and the USA and its end products are sold and enjoyed throughout the entire world.

The challenge

EFESO was brought in by the corporate Group to develop a digitalization strategy with a scope covering five plants globally. Many diverse digitalization initiatives had been driven by the plants individually, but a holistic strategy and an overarching IT/IoT architecture had not yet been defined.

Industry: Food and Beverage
Location: Global footprint
Project duration: 4 months
Expertise: Industry 4.0