Ken Somers

Partner, Antwerp, Belgium

Ken Somers is a partner in the Antwerp office of McKinsey & Company. His main interests and activities are in the field of metals & mining and chemicals, with a specific focus on operations—energy efficiency in particular. He is the European expert on the waste management industry. Ken leads the energy efficiency service line within McKinsey's global basic materials sector and has assessed the energy efficiency of over 60 plants in the last three years.

Since joining McKinsey in 2004, Ken has served major clients primarily in global energy and materials on a worldwide scale. Recent work has focused on energy efficiency programs across a variety of industries, quick diagnostics for assessing energy savings potential, and waste management.

Prior to McKinsey, Ken worked for four years at the IWT in the chemistry lab of Arnout Ceulemans at the KULeuven and obtained a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry (focus on protein modeling and spectroscopy). He also holds a chemistry degree with "great distinction" from the KULeuven, and an academic degree in teaching.


Extended lean toolkit for total productivity

By adapting and extending current lean-management capabilities, companies can put new resources to the best possible use.

Pushing manufacturing productivity to the max

Time is money, especially on production lines. New tools make it easier than ever to manage profitability on an hourly basis. 

Find buried treasure with advanced analytics

With advanced analytics, it’s cheaper and easier to crack bigger problems—and more of them—than ever.

Unlocking Industrial Resource Productivity

This video previews Ken Somers and Markus Hammer’s new book, Unlocking Industrial Resource Productivity, on opportunities to increase energy, material, and water efficiency.

The Dirty Little Secret About Digitally Transforming Operations

As manufacturers implement digital, they must pay close attention to the people, roles and systems needed to make them effective.

Greening the future

We identify 33 innovations that can help industry significantly improve its use of energy.

More from less: Making resources more productive

Resource-productive operations requires new approaches and a new way of thinking.

Resource Productive Operations: The resource productive organization

Creating circular business models that embed resources in their offerings has major cost advantages, but also forges closer bonds with customers

Automating the math makes analytics more democratic—and more human

The managing director of an established data analytics firm shares insights and views based on his 25 years of experience in the field.

Resource Productive Operations: Think circular

Individuals and organizations need to “think circular” to avoid running out of constrained resources in energy-savings efforts

Resource Productive Operations: Think holistic

An integrated approach that covers all aspects of a company's operations is essential to the success of resource productivity gains

Resource Productive Operations: Think profit per hour

In many organizations, resource-productivity responsibilities are divided between functions and units, an approach that ends up leaving money on the table

Resource Productive Operations: Think limits

A focus on theoretical limits can lead to greater improvement in yield and energy use

Resource Productive Operations: Think lean

The second part of a series looks at Lean and the tremendous impact it can have on resource productivity

Resource Productive Operations: The imperative

Finding ways to save more by better use of resources is an inevitable challenge companies will need to address

Resource Productive Operations: An introduction

The imperative is now for manufacturers to take a new approach to green operations

Lean and green

Leading companies are helping their suppliers improve the sustainability of their operations

Mastering manufacturing and supply chain complexity with advanced analytics

Manufacturing systems aren’t getting any simpler, but powerful analysis and optimization systems are

Bringing lean thinking to energy

Deeper insight into company operations can lead to unexpected (and significant) savings

How advanced analytics will power the next wave of process optimization in manufacturing

Knowing which component of a complex process to optimize can make all the difference

Profiting from compliance

Companies that have invested in energy management are also reaping the benefits of certification in ISO 50001

Five ways 3D printing is poised to change your business

No longer confined to prototypes, 3D printing offers more than speed of manufacturing

Advanced analytics and resource productive manufacturing

Basic materials and chemicals manufacturers can reduce costs and material waste with the help of cheaper computing and sensor technologies and more broadly available advanced analytical techniques

Defining a multisite operational strategy

A scalable approach to large operational improvements across a large network doesn't have to be complex or costly

Five core beliefs on resource productive operations

Resource productive operations is helping many companies attain significant savings with a holistic approach

Taking a fresh look at water

Companies that recognize the importance of water as a carrier for other processes can generate significant savings

Making green manufacturing pay

Combining a classic transformation with a theoretical limit approach can yield enormous paybacks in savings from energy optimization

A COO's energy efficiency primer: Responses to five common myths

Common objections to energy efficiency measures need to be understood as the myths they often are

Supply circles infographic

Optimizing the entire supply circle for resource productivity can yield significant savings not achieved by other measures alone

Resource productive manufacturing: use fewer resources, make more money

A new approach is enabling significant insights into ways to optimize variable production costs and increase profits

Manufacturing resource productivity: optimizing the supply circle (part 3 of 3)

By optimizing supply linkages and resources, manufacturers can open new sources of value, such as business lines or new products

Manufacturing resource productivity: optimizing the value chain (part 2 of 3)

The second of a three-part series looks at ways to optimize three specific areas of the manufacturing value chain for significant savings and increased operational stability

Manufacturing resource productivity: introduction (part 1 of 3)

Manufacturers can gain big advantages in energy efficiency and achieve greater operational stability through a holistic approach that optimizes each part of the value chain

Lean for green manufacturing

By adapting the lean approach to include energy efficiency, a new green production system can be designed that reduces emissions

Grass-roots green

Senior Expert Ken Somers talks about uncovering important opportunities for energy saving in perhaps the most obvious of places: the shop floor

Optimizing production in the age of the machine

As machines play an ever more important role in production, companies need smarter and more holistic ways to optimize performance.