Relentless execution is a hallmark of ABB that has enabled the company to emerge from the market turbulence of recent years in a stronger position. We have a particular focus on the execution of activities that are critical to achieving faster profitable growth.
One of the first actions taken under this new focus was to initiate a program to improve the management of our net working capital (NWC). The goal is to free up cash from our operations to make it available for investments in growth, and to steadily raise CROI.
We will continue to drive cost and productivity improvements to reduce our cost of sales by between 3 and 5 percent every year. At the same time, we are complementing existing productivity improvement efforts with a strong focus on white-collar productivity, for example by creating better tools for our sales staff so that they can spend less time on administrative work and more time with customers.
Customer service and quality in everything we do will become ever more important sources of competitiveness. Regular customer satisfaction surveys have shown us where we are doing well and where we have room for improvement, and we have put in place programs to find and eliminate the root causes of the weaknesses. The score from these surveys and other operational performance indicators demonstrates that we have created good improvement momentum, which we are now looking to accelerate and drive even harder.
Another important aspect of relentless execution is the successful integration of the companies we have acquired in recent years. In November, we created a new position on the Executive Committee with a special focus on managing these integration efforts, to ensure that we are getting the best value for investors from the $10 billion we have invested in acquisitions since 2010.
The goal of relentless execution is ensuring that ABB becomes or remains among the best in the world in all dimensions of business excellence.