Back on Course
Ways out of the Crisis

The Covid-19 crisis has not affected all parts of the economy equally. For some industries it has even brought more opportunities than challengesWe present crucial considerations for top managers in fields from mechanical engineering to financial services.


Reorientation: Two tugboats help a container ship execute a turning maneuver. The powerful tugs can pull or push larger vessels into position.Suriyapong Thongsawang/GettyImages

Consumer goods: Know your customers and please them with the right products

Michael Tribus, Senior Partner, Porsche Consulting Porsche Consulting
“The Covid-19 crisis harbors a number of opportunities—and for the consumer goods sector, these can even outweigh its challenges. It has highlighted and amplified a number of existing trends. Companies that had already developed a high degree of digital expertise were considerably quicker at shifting their businesses online, and now have an overall edge over the competition. For many of them, the crisis has meant switching to more direct customer contact via online shops or social media. Moreover, the extreme situation has clearly shown which products in their portfolios are truly of relevance to their customers. Both these factors are helping companies understand their customers better and ultimately provide better products. In addition, greater calls for sustainable economic management have made noticeable inroads into procurement strategies and supply chains. Companies in the consumer goods sector should now focus primarily on anchoring the changes they have made and integrating them into a new normal. That requires the courage to develop greater customer centricity, to accelerate the digital transformation, and to consistently professionalize processes not only in their operations but also in their administrative areas. An openness to change and the ability to generate a spirit of optimism are essential for bringing a transformational process to fruition. For this reason, too, now is an ideal time for companies to make themselves fit for the future. To do so, they need to critically examine and realign their brand positions as well as their values. One thing is certain: the consumer goods sector will not be the same after the coronavirus. Customer centricity, digitalization, direct sales, multi-channel capacities, and sustainability have become uncontestable conditions for entrepreneurial success. The future of the sector will be shaped by companies that know the value of information, and use it to give their products even greater importance and meaning.”

Dos  & don’ts: Consumer goods companies 


White Paper: Creating Growth in Consumer Goods

Porsche Consulting

Financial sector: Reduce costs and create digital customer journeys

Dr. Matthias Tewes, Senior Partner, Porsche Consulting Porsche Consulting
“The Covid-19 crisis has affected companies in the financial sector very differently. Banks are burdened with greater risk provisions and loan defaults—especially in Europe, where many financial institutions were already reporting declining results over recent years due to low interest rates. For them, the need to reduce costs is now more important than ever. At the same time, digital services and processes are helping to resize branch office networks and administrative areas. With video consultations, virtual payment options, and paperless processes, the trend toward digitalization has accelerated as a result of the coronavirus. What’s important for financial service providers is not to provide new individual applications but instead to create complete and high-quality digital customer journeys—without any breaks or gaps in the work flows. Purely digital companies with well-integrated fintech solutions have an advantage over traditional establishments here. Savings institutions and commercial banks therefore need to devote even greater efforts to placing a comprehensive focus on their customers and communicating with them in even more interactive ways than before. It’s also important for them to draw on the customer bases they have often built up over years, including the associated trust in their institutions, to guide customers into a new world in which digitalization is now the standard state of affairs. In contrast to banks, insurance companies need not fear sudden major losses in existing contracts. But they too are seeing declines, such as lower payments toward private insurance policies. Even when the demand for insurance rises in the future, it will be met over the long term by companies able to orient their digital services entirely to the needs of their customers. Also of note in connection with the coronavirus is the fact that skyscrapers and enormous building complexes, which are emblematic of financial districts everywhere, are becoming increasingly less meaningful. Many companies have now realized that working from home is a viable option—and the corollary to that is a substantially lower need for office space at their premises.”

Dos  &  don’ts: Banks and financial service providers 

Business models for the new normal

Sev­er­al long-term trends have fur­ther inten­si­fied as a result of the corona­virus. Now is there­fore pre­cise­ly the time for many com­pa­nies to crit­ically assess the future via­bil­i­ty of their busi­ness mod­els. Here are five help­ful means of lever­age.

Long-term growth via holistic value creation

Integrating the interests of society at large, customers, employees, and shareholders will generate sustainable value.


The United Nations’ Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals can serve as a compass for sustainable growth. They address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and environmental destruction, as well as peace and justice.

New business fields beyond traditional industrial lines

Disruptive potential should be sought in targeted ways beyond the current bounds of companies’ fields of activity.


The traditional boundaries between industries are becoming ever more porous. The focus is less on products and services than on customers themselves and holistic solutions for their needs. Established companies that do not adopt this approach are leaving the field open to new players.

Competitive success by focusing on customers and core areas of expertise

Unique customer experiences coupled with tight cost structures and processes lead to better results.


Customer-centric value propositions can only be fulfilled by companies that are set upon achieving high performance. A deep understanding of customers and markets, universally optimized processes, and a focus on core areas of expertise are indispensable factors here.

Digitalization across all company departments

New technologies offer potential for internal processes and business models.


Technological advances are turning companies with brick-and-mortar backgrounds into digital players. That applies to customer experience on the one hand, but also to internal business processes. A digital strategy helps to harmonize these two areas.

Corporate culture as leverage for innovation

The interplay among leadership, organizational design, and innovation-promoting processes is key.


Innovations do not arise by chance, but rather as the result of targeted promotion. Employees should be empowered to develop their potential in this respect. Flat hierarchies and a collaborative culture are helpful.

Restructuring in mechanical engineering, new heights in healthcare

Dirk Pfitzer, Senior Partner, Porsche Consulting Porsche Consulting
“The disruption in the global economy has hit companies in mechanical and plant engineering hard. Even before the pandemic, the sector was struggling with faltering exports and challenges associated with digitalization and electrification. Numerous areas have now seen a drop in demand, from production machines for consumer goods to machine tools for the automotive and aviation industries. Many mechanical and plant engineering companies are anticipating a decline in order levels of 30 percent and more. They will have to substantially lower their costs and capacities. One hopeful note is that the sector was able to recover well from the global financial and economic crisis as of 2009. But a rapid return to pre-Covid levels is not expected. Restructuring programs will therefore become standard practice. It will also be necessary to foster innovations, develop new products and services, and vary fixed costs and supply chains. In the construction and infrastructure sector, long lead-up times mean that order books are still largely full until at least the end of 2020. The outlook is clouded, however, especially for commercial projects. Demand for housing continues at a high level, which suggests the construction sector could recover as early as next year. Government investments in infrastructure provide a solid basis in many countries. The picture is completely different in the medical technology and pharmaceutical industries. Many of the companies providing essential goods have reported growth of 5 to 10 percent in the wake of the pandemic. Although this level will not persist over the long term, the market will continue to show greater attention to the healthcare sector as a whole and the high potential of new technologies. Companies that see themselves as part of the healthcare 'ecosystem' and can therefore serve the full range of patient needs by developing suitably integrated and connected products and services will be out in front.”

Dos & don’ts: From industrial goods to the healthcare sector  


White Paper: The Rise of Digital Health

Porsche Consulting
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