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Case Study

Revamp­ing Organ­i­sa­tion Design to Improve Port Operations



Organ­i­sa­tion design is a crit­i­cal aspect of any com­pa­ny’s suc­cess. It involves the process of struc­tur­ing and align­ing an organ­i­sa­tion’s resources to achieve its goals effec­tive­ly. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant in the high­ly com­pet­i­tive and con­stant­ly evolv­ing port indus­try, where effec­tive organ­i­sa­tion design can pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant com­pet­i­tive advantage.

The span of con­trol is a cru­cial com­po­nent of organ­i­sa­tion design that deter­mines the num­ber of sub­or­di­nates that a man­ag­er can effi­cient­ly over­see. A prop­er span of con­trol is cru­cial as it can impact employ­ee morale, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and productivity.

It’s impor­tant to ensure that the span of con­trol is bal­anced, so that man­agers can pro­vide ade­quate sup­port to their sub­or­di­nates, while also main­tain­ing con­trol and achiev­ing organ­i­sa­tion­al objectives.

In this con­text, the rel­e­vance of organ­i­sa­tion design lies in its abil­i­ty to ensure that the span of con­trol is opti­mised for the most effi­cient and effec­tive per­for­mance of the organ­i­sa­tion. With numer­ous depart­ments and teams in play in Port Oper­a­tions, effec­tive man­age­ment of roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties is vital to ensure smooth operations.


Our Client is a glob­al leader in invest­ment, devel­op­ment and port oper­a­tions. They man­age some of the most famous water­ways in the world and serve as a dis­tri­b­u­tion net­work for var­i­ous major trade routes.

The com­pa­ny engaged with Renoir Con­sult­ing to devel­op and sus­tain­ably imple­ment changes to the Organ­i­sa­tion Design and Man­age­ment Con­trol Sys­tem that would sup­port the com­pa­ny and improve pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, effi­cien­cy and employ­ee sat­is­fac­tion. These changes would be rolled down to the low­er com­mand struc­ture and sup­port any fur­ther reor­gan­i­sa­tion of the man­age­ment struc­ture in the future.


The aim of the analy­sis was to review the cur­rent organ­i­sa­tion­al struc­ture, includ­ing the roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties and the report­ing lines. As part of this inves­ti­ga­tion, process­es, pro­ce­dures and sys­tems, and organ­i­sa­tion­al behav­ior were reviewed to deter­mine improve­ment areas through such activ­i­ties as:

  1. Eval­u­a­tion of the organ­i­sa­tion struc­ture (size and shape) and how it sup­ports the cur­rent oper­a­tional and finan­cial objectives
  2. Analy­sis of the organisation’s span of con­trol, del­e­ga­tion of author­i­ty, func­tion­al align­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion interfaces
  3. Man­pow­er allo­ca­tion, clar­i­ty of def­i­n­i­tion of roles, func­tions, account­abil­i­ties, respon­si­bil­i­ties and activ­i­ties to eval­u­ate resource util­i­sa­tion and optimisation
  4. Use of tools and com­pli­ance to exist­ing process­es and pro­ce­dures, safe­ty, risk and qual­i­ty stan­dards and con­trol sys­tems across the business
  5. Review of plan­ning process­es and cycles to iden­ti­fy inef­fi­cient use of human resources

As a result of the analy­sis, the organ­i­sa­tion’s span of con­trol showed sig­nif­i­cant room for improve­ment. The aver­age span of con­trol by area was estab­lished to be around 3:1, which is extreme­ly low com­pared to an aver­age tar­get of 8:1 for the industry.

The analy­sis also looked at some of the KPIs by area – across all lev­els – to assess their effec­tive­ness. It was found that much data/information exist­ed, but few KPIs mea­sured pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and per­for­mance. Sys­tems had grown organ­i­cal­ly with poor ori­en­ta­tion to the com­pa­ny’s strate­gic targets.


In the first phase of the project, Renoir imple­ment­ed the work­load and mas­ter sched­ul­ing method in order to iden­ti­fy the oppor­tu­ni­ties relat­ing to a “new” organ­i­sa­tion­al struc­ture. In the sec­ond phase, the new organ­i­sa­tion­al design was imple­ment­ed with all effect­ed per­son­nel trained and per­form­ing new work­ing prac­tices as defined.

Renoir also reviewed and doc­u­ment­ed 180 process­es with stan­dard oper­a­tional pro­ce­dures. In addi­tion, 185 Job descrip­tions were re-written and in accor­dance with new struc­ture func­tions, roles and responsibilities.

The assign­ment was designed for the Client and Renoir per­son­nel to work togeth­er to effect knowl­edge trans­fer. It includ­ed inter­nal devel­op­ment of a man­age­ment sys­tem that involved oper­a­tional and sup­port areas, com­ple­ment­ed with train­ing at all oper­a­tional lev­els in order to ensure sustainability.

“ Con­grat­u­la­tions on the work! Today the com­mu­ni­ca­tion between areas has improved. Now we dis­cuss the prob­lems togeth­er (oper­a­tions and sup­port areas) and we find solu­tions together. ”

Oper­a­tions Plan­ning Senior Manager

As a result, the organ­i­sa­tion achieved:

  1. Imple­men­ta­tion of best man­age­ment prac­tices in process­es redesign. For­mal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Man­age­ment Per­for­mance and Action Plans to increase sus­tain­able improve­ment of Func­tion­al Performance.
  2. Redesign of the organ­i­sa­tion­al struc­ture and cre­at­ed tools to scale the cor­rect amounts for each func­tion in order to reduce the labor costs.
  3. Train­ing of ‘Task Forces’ as ‘inter­nal con­sul­tants’ to iden­ti­fy, quan­ti­fy and qual­i­fy future areas of oppor­tu­ni­ty through Renoir Method­ol­o­gy, and devel­oped solu­tions that are geared to pre­ven­ta­tive rather than cor­rec­tive action.
  4. ‘Coach­ing — Shoul­der to Shoul­der’ in the field along­side those respon­si­ble for the exe­cu­tion of process­es using the tools devel­oped the­mat­ic and imple­ment­ed dur­ing the project to per­form their duties.
  5. Design and imple­men­ta­tion of a man­age­ment con­trol sys­tem in all areas which involved Task Forces, enabling them to mul­ti­ply knowl­edge when required.
  6. The col­lab­o­ra­tion result­ed in a 90% com­pli­ance with the man­age­ment con­trol system



Achieve­ment of the tar­get­ed finan­cial result to Cost Reduction 


Project ROI 


Head­count reduction 


Reduc­tion in annu­alised labor costs 

3:1 to 5.2:1

Improved Span of Control 

In addi­tion to the labor cost reduc­tion, the project also delivered:

  1. A struc­ture for the oper­a­tions, admin­is­tra­tion and sup­port functions.
  2. Key process­es and inter­faces aligned with oper­at­ing pro­ce­dures and improved com­mu­ni­ca­tion lev­els with­in the organisation.
  3. An inter­nal group of qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als to mul­ti­ply the knowl­edge acquired.


The case study of the glob­al port oper­a­tor show­cased how Renoir Con­sult­ing helped the com­pa­ny achieve a more effi­cient and effec­tive organ­i­sa­tion design, with improved span of con­trol and KPIs measurement.

The imple­men­ta­tion of best man­age­ment prac­tices, process­es redesign, and train­ing of task forces result­ed in a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in labor costs, a clear struc­ture for oper­a­tions, admin­is­tra­tion, and sup­port func­tions, and improved com­mu­ni­ca­tion lev­els with­in the organisation.

The project achieved its tar­get­ed finan­cial result and ROI and was imple­ment­ed in a sus­tain­able man­ner, ensur­ing that the ben­e­fits will ensue for years to come.

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