The market for foundry products is tight-knit and global. In order to make their businesses future-proof, foundries and their investors are frequently reliant on the expertise of external business consultants. But how do legitimate business consultants differ from assumed “know-it-alls”? To put it simply: in the results. Legitimate professionals guide their clients to an excellent competitive position using knowledge, experience and courage. They are often also eagerly called for in a reoccurring case.
Glowing passion for liquid metal
The fact that the KW Consulting Group belongs to the serious professional consultant category is not least a derivative of the business philosophy: “Thinking ahead – Designing – Assisting”. The consulting group is run by three professionals with glowing passion for liquid metal: Dr.-Ing. Hans-Peter Krapohl, „Primus inter Pares“, CEO and associate of the network and also managing director of Krapohl Wirth Foundry Consulting GmbH, has many years of management experience in international markets. His research and development activities at RWTH Aachen document, furthermore, his scientific skills. The 46-year-old’s specialist area, with more than 70 projects in 10 years of consulting, is strategic re-orientation. With over seven successfully mastered interim management mandates for clients, which have managed to turn their businesses around using his know-how and today successfully earn money, he personifies the theme “thinking ahead”.
Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Wirth stands for sophisticated “designing”. The foundry engineer – born in 1959 – has carried out leading functions in various foundry businesses since 1985: the last 7 years as a consultant responsible for projects and since 2004 as associate of Krapohl Wirth Foundry Consulting GmbH. Whether iron, steel, aluminium, sand or gravity die castings, whether as project leader or as interim manager, he actively looks ahead for the optimisation of operative processes, the statistical data, times and budgets for profit maximisation. His working locations in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and South Africa prove that he is an all-round achiever and a global player.
Corresponding to this Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Veigel, architect and construction engineer, takes on the part “assisting”. Within 10 years, he built or turned around over 10 foundries. Among these were the most modern aluminium and iron foundries in Germany and Europe. This was both for OEM’s and for Tier 1’s and also for non-automotive clients. He utilises his almost 20 years of rich experience in working for clients.
Full service thanks to strategic alliances
Under the leadership of the three associates and the KW managers Krapohl, Wirth and Veigel, KW Consulting Group constitutes a potent network of experienced professionals around the Krapohl Wirth Foundry Consulting GmbH in Augsburg with an extremely tight organisation. The network connects both technological and business economic excellence with distinct national and international foundry industry and market knowledge. The KW Consulting Group is the only independent branch focussed consulting group which simultaneously provides successful managers, commercial employees, architects, construction, foundry and furnace engineers for the industry from a single source. “Our consultants are industry specialists with at least five years of practical and management experience. With this approach, we guarantee that the tasks set by the clients can be analysed in an interdisciplinary fashion by the network and professionally solved. This way, we ensure that the client learns from us – not that we learn from the client”, to quote Wolfgang Wirth.
Comprehensive skills in the network
The interdisciplinary nature of the group makes it possible to design strategic business concepts for the client worldwide, to shape the implementation using technical innovation and to react to changes in the market, and then also to accompany the business processes which arise from this. At the headquarters of the holding in Augsburg, the threads come together in a know how pool made up of 40 highly specialised consultants. Here, integrity and client confidentiality are of the highest importance. Expert teams providing consulting on the highest level of quality are formed corresponding to the client’s requirements. The teams complement each other in each consultant’s area of expertise in analysis, planning and implementation. The inter-methodical quality approach leads to the best possible results. With this, KW Consulting Group follows a tradition which has existed for 60 years, which was once “cast” by such renowned personalities as Klingenstein (retired), Wegenstein (retired) and last but not least Erhard Wendling (retired). Most of the KW consultants have been bound to this tradition for over ten years.
Different abilities, one aim
Essentially, the KW Consulting Group network increases the client’s business statistics. For example, Krapohl Wirth Foundry Consulting GmbH exceeds client’s original business plans by a two-digit percentage by professional interim management (see graphic: interim management). Firstly, the KW experts’ intervention leads to a temporary drop in the result values due to cutting measures. However, from the second month on, the results increase significantly and then show a partly two-digit, stable and sustainable growth in the following time. In the planning and building of a foundry operation, the investor frequently saves over 15 percent of the capital injection which he would have had to use without the aid of consultants (see graphic: industrial engineering) thanks to creative and innovative problem solving. Krapohl Wirth Foundry Consulting is able, concerning to its field and industry expertise, to reduce the required capital while considering the local situation and with this truly create value and added-value. A qualified potential audit by Krapohl Wirth Foundry Consulting shows distinct approaches and strategies for e.g. improving the
specific productivity of a business markedly(see graphic: potential audits). Additionally, the client’s target market can be extended and deepened by tapping this potential, and the market value of the business can thereby be increased at the same time. Improvement of processes, logistics, technology, products and services holistically strengthen the client and guide him in the direction of cost, technology and innovation leadership with positive effects on his operative results.
The other network consultants produce client benefit, too. ICME International AG constructs strategies for complex change processes which orient the whole character of the business to the client’s advantage for the future.
InterQuality AG overcomes technological hurdles and guides the client to the zero-error target. Industry consultant Wegener GmbH (IWF) orients its focus on SWOT analyses and also the optimisation of business processes using time economy. Advises & Engineering (AJE) employs its technological industry expertise to increase technical benefit levels and assembly optimisation.
Briefly put: The KW Consulting Group is made up of specialists with the most varied abilities which develop synergies bundled and coordinated under the slogan “Thinking ahead – Designing – Assisting” in order to maximise client’s results and market value. The KW Consulting Group can be understood as a complete provider in the foundry industry in all its rich facets.
Efficiency through flat, lean structures
The KW Consulting Group’s network structure convinces with flat, lean structures with which it is in a position to quickly and comprehensively intervene.
“We live lean”, as Andreas Veigel emphasises “it makes us what we are! “ On the subject of the group’s cost-benefit ratio, Dr. Hans-Peter Krapohl explains: “The clear measurability of our performance based on business statistics documents the quality of our consulting. At the same time, we are in a position to assume price and technology leadership thanks to our management, organisation and cost structures. Fees and service packages are oriented to the economic benefit of the client.” Success-oriented fees have long been standard in the group. Rigid structures and fee systems are out of date and obsolete from today’s viewpoint.
Client loyalty: a sure sign of success
The group’s clients come back to the experts in 90% of cases when they have questions concerning the foundry industry. This is an enormous success and for Dr. Krapohl this is a sure sign that he has set the business on the right course. Quality and legitimacy are of highest importance in the business’s codex.
Furthermore, the client only pays fees for the operative team formed for his individual needs. No more: no overheads, no overblown administration, no hidden costs. “Apart from this, word has got around that the commonly developed know-how stays exclusively with the client and provides long-term market leadership there. The clients’ strategic business development, the extension of their markets and the increase of their business results are clear evidence of this and secure our future and growth in the short, middle and especially the long term”, to quote Dr. Krapohl.
Conclusion: the aim is our client’s profit
We aim to implement robust and efficient structures for our clients, to optimise performance through this and to generate stable growth. The success of the business can have many facets here: more profit, optimised processes, lower investment and a better employee/turnover ratio, but also more customers, presence in international markets and technical leadership or increase in productivity. As the client’s benefit is in the foreground of all our activities, it has been possible to position the KW Consulting Group as a label – derived from the initials of two associates – in the market.