Triumph International is one of the leading lingerie producers in Europe. Since its foundation in 1886, it has grown rapidly and in 2009 employed 34,000 people globally. Instrumental to the company’s success has been its dedication to the very best standards of service, product innovation and creative marketing campaigns for women’s underwear, lingerie, sports bras, swimwear and nightclothes.

The Goal

Due to the effects of the global recession on sales volume, Triumph International faced significant excess capacity and consequent losses for the year. To avoid further losses in such an economic climate, the company recognised that it needed to quickly and sustainably address its cost base, of which production was the biggest contributor.

Triumph launched the ‘Fit for Future’ initiative. Integral to this initiative was a large change programme focused on significantly rescaling Triumph’s production base. Our task was to manage this right-sizing programme which included the closure of a number of production and distribution centres across Europe and Asia.

Four Points were able, with the barest of information and planning from us, pull together the right levels of detailed actions while pulling in the perspectives from across Triumph affected organisations with a balance of sensitivity and assertiveness to ensure we met our targets on time in full.
Prasad Ramakrishnan, Global Head of Production Triumph International

The Achievements

  • The production and distribution changes were implemented on time, within budget and with minimal operational disruption.
  • The company’s cost reduction target was achieved thereby making a significant contribution to Triumph International’s profit improvement plan.
  • Triumph has maintained their production flexibility to allow an increase in output when demand dictates.
  • The restructuring programme that affected 3,900 employees was delivered without any negative impact on the Triumph brand or staff morale.

The Journey

Working with the Switzerland-based Global Head of Supply and Global Head of Production, we first set up a formal programme structure to ensure the effective planning and implementation of all the required changes.

This involved establishing:

  • A steering group to ensure progress was maintained and relevant decisions made.
  • A project office to track progress and align all work streams.
  • Tools and templates to aid planning and tracking.
  • Metrics to ensure the right outcomes were being delivered.

Once the programme was launched, we then worked alongside each work stream leader and sponsor. With them, we developed integrated plans that ensured activities and timings were aligned to meet implementation deadlines.

Areas that we focused on included:

  • Freeing up capacity at production centres so that new volumes could be taken on as plants closed.
  • Reallocating raw materials, machinery, people and facilities.
  • Changing distribution network and transportation providers.

Sustaining the Change

  • The local governments commented that the approach taken and severance package proposed were a ‘best practice’ and far beyond what was required by law.
  • We developed a project process and toolkit for Triumph International so that the company knew what to do if it faced a similar situation in the future.
  • During our time at Triumph, 5 project managers were trained and coached with the skills to execute similar change projects in the future without the need for external intervention.