The product lifecycle is becoming shorter, and there’s greater potential for disruption than ever before, which means we’ll have to make our operating model more flexible.

Bill Muir | COO Jabil Circuit, United States

At the Heart of the Hurricane

Today’s COOs are in the eye of the storm. Production techniques are evolving, manufacturing bases are shifting and industries are converging. To keep their companies on the right track, the leading COOs are redesigning operating models, forming more innovative ecosystems and boosting their digital acumen.

Torchbearer COOs consider more than cost when it comes to production facilities.


Determine production and supply locations based on technology, energy and total landed cost, replacing low-cost labor models

Torchbearer COOs

Market Follower COOs

Key Imperatives

What to do: Redesign your operating model. Torchbearer COOs aren’t just looking to cut costs and improve efficiency; they’re rebuilding operating models from the ground up and putting a greater focus on customers. 83 percent of the leading COOs are actively reviewing the components of their operations to make improvements.

How to do it: Innovate your ecosystem. No organization can do everything alone—even with the best operating model. Torchbearer COOs are building nimbler, more innovative ecosystems, and finding suppliers, service providers and other partners that can help them deliver compelling customer experiences.

What you need to do it: Boost your digital acumen. The leading COOs see the writing on the wall. 67 percent of Torchbearer COOs are already using advanced analytics to monitor operations. They’re also using new tools for forecasting, improving response times and incorporating customer input into their production and distribution processes.

Analytics lets COOs incorporate customer feedback into their decision-making.


Predict and respond to customer demand variability


Incorporate customer input into supply chain, production and distribution

Torchbearer COOs

Market Follower COOs

Seize the Torch

We heard from 657 COOs from 59 countries. The strategies of market leaders were clear. Get the insights on what it takes to become a Torchbearer.

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How to Create a Flexible Foundation: Banking in the Cognitive Era

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