Commercial Excellence

 

We will drive both margins and growth by applying best practices in pricing and sales and by providing premium products and services tailored to customers’ needs.

Summary

  • Commercial excellence is one of the key pillars of our strategy.
  • We will deliver significant growth and margin synergies as a result of the merger.
  • We will enhance our go-to-market models and differentiate our offerings for specific markets: retail, building, small to midsize projects, infrastructure, and specialty solutions.
  • We will use our scale and expertise to continue to innovate, building tomorrow’s solutions, and driving sales and pricing performance through the dissemination of best practice across the organization.

Objectives

  • We are confident that we will deliver our growth synergies of CHF 220 million through cross-selling, short-term price optimization, and rollout of commercial best practices.
  • Some 1,000 sales and marketing staff are working on exploiting synergy benefits and we have already implemented a systematic synergy rollout program in over 20 countries.

To successfully differentiate and create a competitive advantage, companies need to provide high-quality products for their customers, and perform well in marketing and sales so as to deliver value for their various stakeholders. At LafargeHolcim these two areas, which we group under the heading commercial excellence, are among our main strategic priorities.

Commercial excellence begins with the best products. We have combined the expertise and R&D resources of our two legacy companies. Thanks to this unparalleled know-how, we expect to continue to be the leading innovator in our industry. We already have an ambitious innovation pipeline, and are working on a number of significant and distinctive product developments.

We are also improving the ways in which we go to market in order to better position our products, for example by focusing on early involvement in major infrastructure projects. This helps project managers, architects, and engineers better understand the advantages of our products, so they can specify them, and it helps us better judge the full scope of planned projects, so we can offer integrated solutions.

In retail we have identified a set of proven concepts from the two companies which we are now replicating in about 40 countries. Among these are a number of initiatives, like premium branding techniques, innovative packaging, or loyalty programs, as well as new retail store concepts.

We are also working on establishing pricing best practices across the organization. Such best practices include differentiated pricing strategies for customer segments, micro-markets, and for high-value products. To implement these practices we are, among other things, putting in place dedicated resources in each country, introducing rigorous targets and actions plans, putting together a best practices toolkit, training our 5,000-strong sales force worldwide, and implementing a specific dashboard.

Finally, we are concentrating on developing our cross-selling opportunities. In cement we already have action plans in place for cross-selling in 13 countries. In ready-mix concrete we have identified a number of products with distinct advantages for global cross-selling. Commercial excellence is a key pillar of our strategy. Thanks to the product and sales synergies inherent in the merger, we are confident of delivering on it to the benefit of our customers and stakeholders.

Agilia: Value-added solution for the whole organization

Magazine – Agilia (icon)Magazine – Agilia (icon)

For builders, speed is of the essence – but not at the expense of quality. This is the proposition behind Agilia, a line of self-placing and self-levelling concretes developed by Lafarge and now being rolled out in Holcim markets in Latin America.

The different Agilia concretes are innovative in many ways. They are very fluid and require no vibration to set, improving workplace conditions and reducing noise. They are strong and have outstanding aesthetic properties, and so are suitable for a great variety of applications. Agilia concretes remain fresh longer than competing products, and can be produced in the same quality in any market.

With its superior qualities, Lafarge’s Agilia was a natural candidate for cross-selling in Holcim markets. This is the case for example in Colombia, where the ready-mix concrete sales team began early on to analyze the potential for Agilia in the market, particularly in the Bogota area. They have also been starting to work towards a solutions-based sales approach, to be sure that customers understand the product’s wide range of applications.

Related efforts with Agilia are being made in Mexico and elsewhere in the region, and Agilia is only one of many such examples where best-in-class products from one company are opening up cross-selling opportunities throughout the new organization.