Our Strategy in Action

We have a strategy to make sure that we are the leaders in our field, with the customer and materials insight to apply our capabilities quickly and effectively.

Drive sales effectiveness and market focus

The Group is focused on improving a number of aspects of our sales activity and the capability of our sales teams: sales processes and their efficiency, the management of key customer accounts and distribution channels, deeper understanding of end-markets and faster-growing segments, enabling systems, and sales incentives plans. The Group is driving improvements in these areas through its sales effectiveness programme.

During the first half of 2019, we have continued to deploy the approaches we developed in 2018 including: embedding our pricing tools across the sales teams; rolling out our sales skills training to our commercial organisation; launching our new sales incentive plans across; deploying and enhancing our customer relationship management (CRM) system and implementing a clearly defined and mapped sales process with associated leading KPIs across the
business.

Throughout 2018 we focused on deploying the approaches we developed in pricing, segmentation, sales incentive plans and training:

  • Pricing: Continued work in Thermal Europe yielded additional revenue to date. Our deployment workshop in Thermal North America substantially improved the team’s understanding of pricing strategy and created opportunity for the future.
  • Segmentation: Methods of market and customer segmentation were defined across each global business unit and are being used to help align service levels, manage sales teams and better understand our customer base. Sales incentive programme: We deployed four trials across the Group which has changed behaviours and helped to guide the overall future Group deployment.
  • Training: We completed a trial for sales teams in Thermal North America, with the programme design being finalised, sales team training was delivered to the majority of senior leadership teams.

Morgan has continued to drive efforts in market focus throughout 2019, particularly with regards to investing in facilities to meet the needs of our growing market segments. One key example of this approach is the opening of a dedicated Chemical Vapour Deposition – Silicon Carbide (CVD-SiC) manufacturing site in Daegu, South Korea. This site will substantially increase our manufacturing capacity,  in order to meet local and global demand, with a specific focus on the growing semiconductor manufacturing industry.

Increasing technical differentiation

Research and development (R&D) investment has been increased to build Morgan’s technical lead and to accelerate new product development. The Centres of Excellence concentrate our development efforts in those areas that can deliver the greatest benefit globally to the Group and its customers.

A key underpinning principle of Morgan’s R&D strategy is in the investment in four global materials Centres of Excellence (CoE):

  • Insulating Fibre
  • Structural Ceramics
  • Carbon Science
  • Metals and Joining

These four CoEs consolidate the Group’s R&D efforts around its core technologies, and provide the opportunity to create critical mass to increase the effectiveness of our R&D spend and accelerate key projects.

During the first half of 2019 We have maintained investment levels in line with the prior year and we continue to focus our new product development efforts in our four research and development Centres of Excellence. Our development teams are focused on 5-10 priority development projects in each global business unit that deliver improved materials properties and performance to meet the needs of our customers, and expand our fundamental understanding of the characteristics of our materials as well as their performance in varied environments.

Increase investment in people management and development

During the first half of 2019 we have been filling the last remaining gaps in our leadership teams and working with them to strengthen their performance as teams. In 2019 we also launched new Group-wide development programmes for our future leaders at multiple levels of the organisation. These programmes are designed to develop a global network and pipeline of leaders who inspire and develop our people, drive alignment to our purpose and strategic execution priorities, and to support the leaders to drive and manage change.

We also continue to enhance our approach to driving higher performance by integrating our leadership behaviours into a globally consistent performance management process, creating a stronger link between performance and reward, and building the performance culture across the Group.

This build well upon the significant investment and progress on this execution priority in 2018, where the focus was placed on:

  • Reinforcing our leadership behaviours with our top 100 leaders – through how they are measured and rewarded.
  • External recruitment and internal promotion into new and existing senior leadership roles to strengthen leadership and deepen functional capability.
  • Increased communication and engagement across all levels of the organisation and on a broad base of topics – from updates on strategy and change programmes, to our key focus areas of ethics and safety.
  • Supporting our sales organisation to better support the business;
  • Continuing the investment in graduates and early career employees, and we are developing our programmes to be more aligned to the needs of our businesses and better serve our global organisation.

Improving operational execution

There are a number of opportunities across the global business units to improve operational execution. Resource and capital are allocated to support specific improvements to efficiency and effectiveness on a business-by-business basis.

We continued to make good progress with our operational efficiency programmes during the first half of 2019, with year-to-date net savings underpinning the margin expansion seen in the first half. These savings come from a wide variety of projects in automation, global sourcing and multiple local projects designed to improve efficiency and eliminate waste across all of our global business units.

Our operational efficiency programmes focus on:

  • Global sourcing – moving from local to regional or global sourcing of raw materials.
  • Lean manufacturing – identification and elimination of waste within the production processes and the acceleration of continuous improvement projects.
  • Manufacturing strategy – improving global capacity management and sourcing.
  • Benchmarking – sharing best practice across Divisions and global business units to achieve and monitor cost savings.
  • Local continuous improvement – multiple local improvement projects to improve efficiency.
  • Automation – the use of automation to improve effectiveness and reduce production costs.