G&A Optimization

What we do

To create lasting improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, we help companies focus on getting four things right:

  • The appropriate role and aspirations for support functions: G&A leaders need to anticipate and adapt to evolving industry and functional trends. G&A functions are evolving their roles to focus more on enhancing business value as opposed to delivering transactional support.
  • The service portfolio and service levels aligned with business needs: Top-performing companies build alignment with the business on which support services should be "best in class" and which services should be "good enough" to help meet business needs and manage demand.
  • The optimal service delivery model: Companies fundamentally change how work is done in order to simplify and eliminate low-value activities. These structural changes require a greater commitment than quick cuts to the current system but provide much longer-lasting value.
  • The right people, processes, and systems: Optimizing the G&A function is not a one-time event. Ensuring the right people are in the right jobs with the right priorities and the right incentives ensures that costs don’t creep back in. Companies that get it right offer the re-training necessary for employees to succeed in their newly designed roles, invest in tools that drive productivity and create a culture of continuous improvement to ensure that processes keep getting better and costs don’t creep back in.

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Our Approach

Bain has a differentiated approach to G&A optimization:

  • We focus on effectiveness and efficiency versus just cutting costs. Instead of starting with what functions are doing (the "supply side"), we start with what customers want (the "demand side").
  • We tackle both the function-specific improvement opportunities and the deeper structural issues. These often cut across functions and involve organization, processes, systems and culture.
  • We don’t streamline processes. We change how the work is done. We offer customized solutions using multiple levers and tools to create larger and faster results that are sustained over time.

At the heart of any G&A improvement is recognizing that support functions may need new roles for new aspirations. The greater a company’s aspirations, the deeper the structural changes required. We work with business leaders to redefine the work, and to help employees find fresh ways of adding value to the broader organization.

In the past few years, in part driven by the economic downturn, companies cut G&A costs aggressively—18% on average, reports a recent Bain & Company survey of support function heads and operating executives in 770 companies in the United States—yet these results are not translating into higher satisfaction among the business leaders. Some 60% of business executives in our survey still rate their support functions as high cost, ineffective, or both. Most alarmingly, only one in four companies is able to sustain these savings after two years. Support functions seem to be working harder to run in place.

Client Results
We share our clients' ambitions. We work to understand their reality and deliver true results—focusing on strategic decisions and practical actions. And we align our incentives with our clients' objectives, so they know we're in it together.
Our team

We work as an integrated part of your team, from frontline to C-suite, to deliver true results and make the changes stick.

Our leadership team

In addition to the leaders listed above, we have an extensive and diverse team of experts ready to serve the needs of clients worldwide. Please contact us to submit a business inquiry.