TAG Heuer boss: “We’re 70% more efficient with 25% fewer staff”


Structural changes at TAG Heuer have led to the brand growing its output by more than 70% while using 25% fewer employees than it did previously, its CEO has claimed.

Jean-Claude Biver said the Swiss watch giant’s business is now more efficient than ever before following a series of production changes implemented since he took the helm in December 2014.

Following a review of its facilities, the company has tweaked its watch-building set-up and placed added emphasis on a people development strategy that champions internal performance and promotion.

“The first major restructuring we’ve done is in production at three factories,” explained Biver. “We’ve restructured the movement plant completely, the dial factory and the case factory. This means changing the organisation of the work, in some departments changing the machines, and also the managers. The bosses of those three factories are gone, and we’ve changed the numbers of people over all: today we have 25% fewer people, and we produce 70% more.”

One of the biggest challenges for any business executing operational changes is maintaining the morale of staff. But Biver insists Tag has overcome that issue by rewarding existing employees with more responsibility and seniority.

“We brought up talent: the bosses were all replaced by people already at the company,” said Biver. “If you bring in the production director of another brand, nobody will feel motivated; but if you replace him with someone already in the company, it totally changes the atmosphere. People see that one day it might be their turn, everybody goes up a place. We changed 30 top managers, and 28 were replaced by people already in the company.”

Biver was speaking about the changes at TAG Heuer as part of an interview with QP magazine, which will be published on SalonQP.com from Thursday 17 March. WatchPro will bring you more excerpts from the interview tomorrow.



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