STEP 2020 is fundamentally concerned with continuous improvement. Each initiative, no matter how small, is a step in a series of commonly themed staircases aimed at reengineering everything we do.
We operate a varied and wide ranging set of business processes which differ in almost all locations. All of them inter-link in different ways with multiple different users and computer systems. The Business Process Efficiency staircase of projects is aimed at delivering our strategic goals of optimising business processes and lowering our breakeven point.
Our aim is to implement one global standard operating model. This will unify our people, processes and systems. Each of our business processes is being designed to be simple and effective while being robust and as automated as possible. That will free up management time to focus on value added activities. It will also reduce the cost and simplify support for our information systems.
Our manufacturing facilities have been under invested in previous years. This has led to inefficient manufacturing processes, long lead times, excess waste and waiting time as products pass between multiple work centers. The Manufacturing efficiency staircase of projects is aimed at supporting delivery of a number of our strategic goals such as lowering our breakeven point.
Our aim is to modernize our manufacturing capability to match our leading edge engineering and production know how. Better equipped facilities will shorten lead times to enhance customer service, reduce stock holdings to improve the balance sheet, and contribute strongly towards our goal of mid-teens operating margins by 2020.
Our commercial business processes are focused on improving customer service and enhancing our service offering.
Like many of our diverse business processes, there is much scope for us to standardize and simplify. The Commercial positioning staircase of projects is primarily aimed at supporting delivery of our strategic goal of enhancing customer service.
We are working hard to improve our customer service. We know we have a long way to go as this is an area that has been weak in the past. Through improved management of our commercial teams and resources and by re-connecting with customers in their own local markets we aim to make our reputation for service as strong as that for our superior products.
Much of our operating footprint has been accumulated over a long period of time and in many cases either falls short of modern standards, is too big, or over-priced for our needs. The corporate efficiency staircase of projects is aimed at supporting delivery of a number of our strategic goals such as strengthening our balance sheet and improving financial performance.
Put simply, we want to make the best use of the spaces we occupy. Where we have too much space will aim to reduce it. Where we overpay for space we will renegotiate lower rents or move to better priced premises. Where we have surplus assets or facilities we will aim to realize value and avoid unnecessary costs.
Our diversity of markets is a major opportunity for the group. By bringing greater focus to our sales activities, we can deliver steady and sustainable growth and eliminate much of our historical cyclicality. The growth activities staircase of projects is aimed at supporting delivery of our strategic goal of generating margin enhancing growth.
Because we are underrepresented in a number of geographies markets and industry sectors, we are aiming to deliver annual growth in the period to 2020. At the same time, we will leverage superior product capability to enhance our operating margins and retain value for our shareholders.