In today’s increasingly complex business environment, addressing the perennial challenge of controlling the costs of support functions has become more important than ever. Likewise, the consequences of failure have become more serious—even for top-performing companies that have been relatively unscathed in the past. To compete in this more complex environment, companies must globalize operations, respond to rapidly changing customer requirements and regulatory demands, and pursue and defend against digital disruptions. These imperatives have made maintaining cost-competitive support functions even more crucial for long-term success and profitability. Indeed, high-performing support functions can mean the difference between winning and losing in extremely competitive markets and industries.
To thrive in this environment, companies need smart and simple support functions. Such functions deliver value-adding services, help the core business sustain competitive advantages, and facilitate executive decision making, while also being cost-efficient. To achieve these goals, leading companies have applied a holistic yet modular approach developed by The Boston Consulting Group called Exercising for Excellence, or X4X. The impact has been significant. Companies have reduced the costs of support functions by up to 35 percent while increasing productivity by approximately 50 percent. Employee satisfaction and engagement have also improved substantially.