• Business Strategy Development & Plan Execution
  • Strategic Planning
  • Executive Leadership Coaching
  • Executive Leadership Development
  • Business Coach for Entrepreneur
  • Project Management of School Building Program
  • Board Business Strategy Development
  • Government Funding for Innovative Product
  • Project Management of Warehouse Relocation
  • New Business Model Development
  • Supply Management & Product Packaging Optimisation
  • Manufacturing Process Improvement
  • Value Chain Analysis of Production
  • Business Process Redesign for Labour Hire
  • Quality Root Cause Analysis and Action Planning
  • Attraction and Selection of Sales Personnel
  • Role Transition Coaching

Client: Australian manufacturer of innovative plastic products for Mining and Aviation Industries.

Project Objective: To successfully transition to a more sustainable business model, less reliant on the day-to-day involvement of the Directors, while optimising business value.

Project Summary: 

  • Develop a Business Strategy;
  • Build an action plan of initiatives to address high priority business actions;
  • Ensure appropriate change management planning and execution skills were in place;
  • Capture opportunities to carefully diversify into new customers and markets;
  • Identify, mitigate and monitor risks;
  • Build more structure, general management skills and disciplines into the business; and
  • Set up a governance board or similar.

The Challenges:

  • The business was overly reliant on the Directors who were hands-on in all aspects of running the business;
  • Sales dropped during the GFC by 35% and had plateaued for the next five years;
  • Selling margins were being negatively impacted by price pressure from key clients;
  • Many growth opportunities had been identified, but most hadn’t been delivered;
  • Sales diversification plans were not being executed;
  • Underperforming employees were not being effectively coached or managed;
  • Leadership communication was a significant gap;
  • Many business processes and governance structures were loose or missing;
  • Without a significant change, business risked stalling, being out manoeuvred by a competitor and not optimising value

Solutions:

  • Developed a comprehensive business strategy;
  • Implemented a business cycle structure including Directors’ meetings, management meetings, sales meetings, operational meetings, etc;
  • Routine staff communication sessions implemented;
  • Simple sales process and sales pipeline management tools developed and implemented;
  • Executive coaching with the Directors commenced; and
  • This resulted in the business implementing new processes, making changes in organisation structure, position descriptions, job goals and a revitalisation of performance management

Outcomes:

  • Profit and cash generation significantly improved as sales growth increased and relative costs decreased;
  • Roles of business leaders became clearer;
  • Improved communication between all key stakeholders;
  • Directors are spending less time working in the business;
  • Professional business case developed for exciting new innovative growth products;
  • EPRAKT introduced Directors to expanded network including potential new customers and government funding bodies.

Client: Australian-based and privately-owned company importing and distributing large scale electrical infrastructure.

Project Objective: To successfully transition to a sustainable business model, optimising business value.

Project Summary: 

  • Develop a cohesive, and internally aligned Business Strategy;
  • Build a detailed and logical plan to address high priority business actions;
  • Build a pragmatic sales and marketing plan

The Challenges:

  • The business relied heavily on the Owner, who was hands-on in all aspects of business operations;
  • Sales volumes were in excess of existing capacity to supply, meaning that the business was unable to flex up;
  • Some strategically desirable projects were being turned down and some natural growth opportunities had not been pursued;
  • Negative customer feedback was beingreceived regarding non-availability of product;
  • A stressful and reactive environment with little down time or strategic planning; and
  • The Owner had committed to an overseas “Life Dream” family holiday (18 months) and wanted to come back to a “thriving business”.

Solutions:

  • Developed a comprehensive business strategy;
  • Defined a new organisational structure, including roles, responsibilities and delegated authorities;
  • A new General Manager position defined and recruited;
  • Identified , mitigated and monitored risks;
  • Implemented an executive coaching programme with the Owner;
  • Drafted contracts and important business documents; and
  • Developed a new website and business advertising, including case studies

Outcomes:

  • Significant business growth in sales, profit and cash;
  • Owner became clear as to his and others’ roles and responsibilities;
  • Comprehensive business and marketing plans developed, approved and implemented; and
  • EPRAKT introduced Owner to expanded market network

Client: Australian heavy industry manufacturer.

Project Objective: Improve business outcomes through enhanced leadership capability of senior managers.

Project Summary: 

  • Interviewed each coachee, their team members and manager;
  • Completed a personalised Development Plan for each coachee;
  • Facilitated building of a Behavioural Team Charter; and
  • Targeted development of leadership gaps while reinforcing consistent application of existing leadership strengths;

The Challenges:

  • Strong external market pressures;
  • Significant continuous improvement initiatives including in safety improvement and cost reduction;
  • Coachees struggling to prioritise long list of daily and long-term objectives;
  • Strong visible leadership from senior managers; and
  • Company had under-invested in personal, management and leadership development

Solutions:

  • Build high performing management teams comprising aligned leaders;
  • Target development of high value leadership competencies including conflict resolution, performance management, team building, making business decisions and general business acumen;
  • Help coaches to truly claim “senior leadership role”;
  • Plan and implement Site Communication Plan, including to frontline workers;
  • Build annual plan with SMART objectives to achieve improved operational excellence, efficiency, safe outcomes and reduced costs; and
  • Set up governance processes to ensure plans continue to be delivered

Outcomes:

  • Senior management feedback that coachees had become much more confident, planned and deliberate;
  • Coachees state that they are calmer, less stressed and more purposeful;
  • Coachees able to adapt to dynamic external market;
  • Significant progress on ambitious action plans;
  • One coachee was successful at an internal promotion (after seven years in role); and
  • Improved communication between all key stakeholders.

Client: Professional Service Provider, specialising in the provision of engineering and management services especially to the Defence industry.

Project Summary: Customised executive leadership development

The Challenges:

  • The executives were of long tenure, were technically and academically strong but were relatively immature at successfully applying leadership principles
  • Internal satisfaction surveys indicated that senior leadership performance was the greatest organisational gap and opportunity
  • The executives aspired to grow the business aggressively over the next 5 years
  • Recognised that a high performing leadership team was critical to facilitate success in the next growth phase

Solutions:

  • Individual Leadership Self Awareness Measurement and Feedback (using Human Synergistics Tools)
  • Facilitation of Team Awareness and Team Charter Workshops
  • Development of Personal Leadership Development Plan for each Executive
  • Ongoing One on One Leadership Coaching
  • Deep dive workshops targeting accelerated competence building in high priority gaps

Outcomes:

  • Executives recognise and claim the importance of their organisational leadership roles
  • ELT have hard discussions and call each other on poor leadership choices
  • ELT meetings conclude with SMART actions and improve accountability
  • High priority organisational gaps were addressed with pragmatic solutions. Areas that EPRAKT assisted included Governance, Strategy Development and Execution, Building Trust, Change Management, Organisational Communication and Decision-Making Processes, Business Clarity of Objectives, Behavioural Safety and Having Hard Conversations
  • Executives coach their teams on their leadership learnings

Client: Supporting Business “Start-Up”

Project Objective:Achieve sustained growth in a newly formed industrial product supplier

Project Summary:

  • Mentoring of the business entrepreneur
  • Facilitation of decisions on where and how the business will compete
  • Converting business ambitions into pragmatic near-term action plans and objectives
  • Supporting discussions with funding providers
  • Assistance in the recruitment and selection of new employees

The Challenges:

  • Making choices of where not to focus resources and effort 
  • Prioritising a potentially long list of daily work activities 
  • Establishing an industry recognised brand and reputation 
  • Maintaining strong supplier relationships 
  • Matching capacity with variable demand

Solutions:

  • Frequent short mentoring sessions with the business entrepreneur over an extended period 
  • Rigour in both setting of, and then adherence to, short-term action plans 
  • Establishment of cash management and forecast processes 
  • Development of leadership competencies including financial and general business acumen

Outcomes:

  • Target market segments identified with business resources appropriately focussed 
  • Volume growth ambitions realised 
  • Growing market reputation for agile and efficient service 
  • Supplier supported business initiatives enacted

Client: Private School

Project Objective: Develop and expand the school campus with modern buildings and infrastructure

Project Summary:

  • Represent the school through the design and building phases
  • Facilitation of decisions on where and how to meet the strategic plan
  • Supporting discussions with funding providers and the Board
  • Managing all non-construction contract but affected activities - alternative accommodation, relocation, IT etc

The Challenges:

  • Avoiding the perception by parents that the school is a construction site
  • Co-ordinating conflicting needs, demands and priorities
  • Maintaining and enhancing an industry recognised brand and reputation
  • Ensuring least disruption possible to daily school activities without impacting on the construction critical path

Solutions:

  • Frequent, brief and clear communication with all stakeholders
  • Rigour in both setting of, and then adherence to, short-term action plans
  • Establishment of review and decision making processes
  • Removing uncertainty and providing clarity of cost, time, safety and quality as well as ensuring all loose ends are taken care of

Outcomes:

  • Successful transformation of the campus over two years
  • Incident free and harmonious construction period with any impact or interruption well planned and communicated
  • Maintained ‘business as usual’
  • Stakeholders kept informed with relevant and timely information
  • Growing market reputation for a modern and caring learning environment
  • Delighted Client

Client: Not for profit helping refugee youth through sport

Project Objective: Develop sustainable strategic business plan

Project Summary:Facilitate workshop with charity board to review & develop vision, strategy, objectives and action plan. Recommend best practice strategy structure.

The Challenges:

  • Previous plans had been poorly implemented
  • Organisation had grown strongly in 3 years since start up
  • COVID-19 had increased risks
  • Organisation is run by volunteers with limited time availability
  • Significant amount of funding is non-recurrent
  • Growth in business is directly related to no of volunteers & donations

Solutions:

  • Review existing plans
  • Facilitate 4 hour workshop with Board Members
  • Utilise One Page Business Plan Tool

Outcomes:

  • Organisations vision and mission were refined
  • Defined organisation objectives
  • Strategies were developed
  • Clear SMART action plans were developed and allocated
  • Diverse Board became aligned around common organisational direction
  • Commitment of Board members to complete required high priority actions was reinforced
  • Board members updated One Page Business Plan on a monthly basis

Client: Innovative start-up company developing advanced materials handling systems.

Project Objective: Research and win government funding for accelerated commercialisation of world’s first and ground-breaking technology to rotate and manage suspended loads.

Project Summary: 

Following ERPAKT’s development and execution of the company’s manufacturing strategy, an opportunity was identified to:

  • Complete a significant funding proposal for IMCRC funding in conjunction with an Australian university;
  • Write a 60-page funding proposal;
  • Facilitate workshops with university academics to test synergies and address the project objectives;
  • Align the business, university and government stakeholders; and
  • Engage with key funding approvers to encourage buy-in to the proposal intent and tone, prior to seeking approval

The Challenges:

  • Diverse stakeholder needs between the company, academic advisers and funding body;
  • Creating a single proposal that incorporated 20 diverse, high-level individual views;
  • Limited available resources, and window of opportunity was tight; and
  • Difficulty in estimating the research and development of undefined product manufacturing processes

Solutions:

  • Development of a professional project plan;
  • Application of highly capable stakeholder management methodologies;
  • Conversion of esoteric concepts into a monetising commercial value; and
  • Prioritisation of approach to match funding criteria.

Outcomes:

  • Approval of a $4.4M project including government grant was achieved which enabled manufacture of the new product line;
  • Simplified highly technical concepts into a clear and achievable roadmap;
  • Successful transfer of ownership of funding proposal to client for execution phase;
  • Client was able to compress a planned three-year product development program into 1 year; and
  • Establishment of access pathway to academic staff and test facilities.

Client: Global leader in supply chain management

Project Objective: Rapid migration of two warehouses to a new facility

Project Summary: New facility to open; two older facilities to close at end of lease

The Challenges:

  • The older facilities have end of lease commitments and must close on fixed dates
  • The new facility will only open one month before the close date on the older facilities
  • High volume of goods to be migrated into the new facility: approximately 16,000 pallets
  • All goods to be meticulously tracked and accounted for during the migration
  • Engagement of numerous external suppliers: transport, MHE, labour hire companies

Solutions:

  • Intense and detailed planning for two months prior to go live
  • Comprehensive engagement of all stakeholders: management, employees, IT, Solutions, labour and MHE hire, transport providers
  • Trial runs of the best and most efficient processes
  • Detailed budget planning leading to full prior approval from the end user customer for the budget
  • Risk planning and mitigation
  • Weekly reporting to a senior Management Steering Committee during the planning process
  • Daily progress meetings and reporting during the go live stage

Outcomes:

  • More than 6,000 pallets migrated
  • More than 400 B Double truckloads moved
  • A workforce of approximately 40 people successfully engaged, many not previously employed with minimal performance issues
  • Project completed ahead of schedule and under budget

INFORMATION SERVICES

CREATE AND IMPLEMENT A NEW BUSINESS MODEL

Client: The industry leader in the provision of information and analysis services

Project Objective: The business’ annual sales growth since the GFC had been slower than in the early 2000s causing both profit and cash generation to be below expectations

Project Summary:

  • Determine and assist in implementation of a new business model

The Challenges:                     

  • The Client recognised that market conditions had changed since the GFC but was unsure about how to respond
  • Expansion into the Asia Pacific region had been commenced however the “beachheads of activity” were struggling to generate a profit
  • The domestic market had fragmented with the entry of financial services companies augmenting their offer with information and analysis services
  • Compared with global or regional players the Client’s relatively low economies of scale were restricting growth and profitability
  • We identified several business process improvements as lacking and resulting in poor effectiveness

Solutions:

  • An ongoing mentoring programme was commenced to allow the business managing director to discuss, debate and determine appropriate initiatives
  • This resulted in the business implementing new processes, making changes in organisation structure, position descriptions, job goals and a revitalisation of performance management

Outcomes:

  • Profit and cash generation improved as sales growth was increased
  • However, the inherent limitations of the current business scale and model were realised and so,
  • The business owners took to opportunity to be acquired by a global player in the same industry

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS PACKAGING

ADDING VALUE BY OPTMISING A NECESSARY OVERHEAD

Client: National stockist distributor of imported reticulation and plumbing products used in high pressure industrial (primarily manufacturing and mining) applications

Project Objective: Over the preceding few years the Client’s profitability had been undermined by high and increasing cost-to-serve ratios

Project Summary:

  • Packaging optimisation

The Challenges: 

  • Product was imported from low-cost country manufacturers (South-East Asia) in bulk
  • Orders were placed monthly with most SKUs ordered at least six times per year
  • The Client had positive and open relationships with their top five suppliers who accounted for in excess of 75% of volume
  • There was just over 2,000 SKUs held in inventory, each with a relatively low value and weight and almost all shipped direct to and held separately in each state of Australia
  • The Client had a highly fragmented customer base of maintenance sub-contractors and end-user “general stores”
  • Maintenance sub-contractors ordered by estimating each of their job’s needs while end-users generally operated a “max-min” re-order system
  • The average sales order size was below $1,000
  • Our data analysis showed excessive warehouse labour hours in picking, packing and despatching of orders

Solutions:

  • We conducted an analysis of order size history by SKU (average and range)
  • This led to the identification of an ideal minimum sales order quantity by SKU that could be offered to the market
  • Calculated minimum sales order quantities were tested with, and in some cases amended, following interviews with a sample of the Client’s customers
  • Minimum sales order quantities per SKU were then set; limiting the number of alternatives to five
  • We facilitated negotiations with the five primary offshore suppliers to package their bulk shipments into multiple cartons or bags each with containing the revised minimum sales order quantities

Outcomes:

  • While implementation in the market was immediate, benefits were realised over time as existing stock was sold and replenished with pre-packaged goods
  • The additional packaging resulted in a 2% increase in COGS
  • This was more than compensated by a 50% reduction in warehouse labour costs as picking and packing times were slashed
  • In addition, handling packaging rather than the goods led to a 90% reduction in cuts and scratches

The Client received positive market feedback was customers experienced a parallel “ease of product handling”

FOOD MANUFACTURING

CREATING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROCESSING OPERATION

Client: Part of a larger organisation, this business unit is a food processing business manufacturing and selling high quality product for the retail market from a single site operation

Project Objective: The Client was seeking to understand the causes and identify actionable remedies of poor process control; manifested in high inventories of work-in-progress and excessive daily crisis management

Project Summary:

  • Push to pull manufacturing

The Challenges:                     

  • The product being manufactured was shelf-life sensitive requiring full traceability and placing pressure on manufacturing lead times
  • There was no effective business-wide production plan in place due to both system limitations and people capability restrictions
  • Consequently, each stage of production operated in isolation, responding to the production outputs of the step before them and pushing value added product to the step following
  • The Client was struggling to service the reasonable demands of its retail customers causing a high level of daily expediting, rush jobs and panic scheduling of work
  • Management had grown accustomed to this reactive working environment life; they saw it as inevitable and had learnt to enjoy the “thrill” of responding to crises

Solutions:

  • With the support of senior management, we introduced production planning capabilities through simple systems, processes and work practices
  • We designed and implemented a mini Sales and Operations Planning process
  • This was reinforced by facilitating with management the re-setting and alignment of job goals and metrics
  • As these actions took effect and cash was released as daily crisis management was reduced, the business was able to properly investigate more automatic and integrated IS solutions

Outcomes:

  • Approximately 50% reduction in work-in-progress
  • Significant fall in labour costs through reduction of FTEs
  • DIFOT from mid-70% to in excess of 90%

PROTEIN PRODUCTS

OPTIMISING AN INTEGRATED VALUE CHAIN

Client: This second-generation family business is a producer, processor and trader of protein products (red meat) for the retail market

Project Objective: The Client was seeking clarity on where value was being created and destroyed across its internal integrated value chain, and what actions should therefore be initiated

Project Summary:

  • Value chain management

The Challenges:

There was no systematic planning in place across the value chain

  • Each of the production processes determined their activities in isolation and all were focussed on volume with the effect of “pushing” product through to the next manufacturing step
  • In isolation of an overarching approach, production leaders were working at several levels below ideal
  • We conducted a value chain audit which highlighted many efficiency opportunities, which were quantified by value of benefit, cost-to-implement and risk
  • A high variation in the selling price per output type was not a driver of production

Solutions:

  • Five key imperatives identified and for each a detailed implementation plan developed

Outcomes:

  • Financial benefit in excess of 5% of sales volume were identified, qualified and presented for implementation
  • Using these implementation plans as a base, the Client executed changes in organisation structure, position descriptions and job goals
  • Some leadership roles saw new incumbents
  • Implementation was completed by the Client

Client: Large scale services provider for the operation, maintenance, and management of public and private assets.

Project Objective: Direct cost reduction in the provision of contingent labour (ad hoc short-term hire) across hundreds of client-side contracts across ANZ and the US supplying over 1000 individual engagements daily 24x7.

Project Summary: 

  • We knew we were about to undertake a significant change to the way this service business did their daily work
  • Aligning the hundreds of contractual commitments made under very loose arrangement required design of a change program that focussed heavily on no disruption to service.
  • A key structural element was the introduction and progressive transition to new tracking tools

The Challenges:

  • Reduce service failure (the contract) and risk (our commitment to safety and quality) and remove uncontrolled overheads
  • Re-engineer processes to assure business level adherence to company policy
  • Apply higher competencies via outsourcing management of contingent labour providers

Solutions:

  • Engagement across the matrix organisation to aligment to a standardisation of corporate policy
  • Appointment and integration of a managed service provider and its tools
  • Central commonality of contract terms leading to negotiation benchmarks

Outcomes:

  • Profit delivery to corporation of 10x the preceding EBIT performance of this stream
  • Reduction in supply base from #240 loosely committed providers to 24 contracted providers

Client: Mining Services Provider

Project Objective: Identifying the source of costly quality problems

Project Summary:

  • The overall value proposition of the client’s customer was to provide a high specification consumable product to a defined quality level and DIFOT requirement
  • Failure of their service promise impacted badly on free cash flow characterised by:
    • scrapping and replacement of large amounts of product often at remote customer sites
    • extended clients plant stoppages incurring liquidated damages penalties
    • quarantine of raw material stock (dead cash) and storage bottlenecks
    • management time cost

The Challenges:

  • The business was a niche supplier held in high regard as a viable alternative to bigger players
  • Although the client’s senior team appeared to have a well-oiled enterprise with excellent approach to waste and continuous improvement, the actual approach needed challenge
  • Recognise the need for a review of the client’s manufacturing activity (people, systems, technology and process) and organisational structures across multiple sites focusing on variable quality outcomes
  • Was it Art versus Science? Recent attempts to fix included upgrading testing processes, acquisition of higher calibre people and extensive capital expenditure of process controls equipment

Solutions:

  • Gap analysis addressed established internal standards, assumed technical skills, levels of delegated authority, capital investment effectiveness and leadership competencies
  • Review of the client’s leadership structure revealed a varied response between safety, customer and quality values
  • The safety infrastructure was, in itself excellent, but when customer issues arose SOPs and records were reviewed rather than senior managers actively engaging. As a quality assured supplier the focus was on low impact, high frequency events (assuming great control of variation) and so leadership assumed their commitment to safety and customer needed to go no further
  • A recommended review of drivers of success in safety performance led to a parallel review of quality systems to assure alignment of leadership response and outcome-focussed role clarity

Outcomes:

  • The executive team removed barriers to continuous improvement thinking and moved away from statistics and empirical approaches to more holistic view of quality and client expectation
  • Adoption of more robust business case review of technical solutions seeking capital expenditure
  • Improved dashboard reporting and associated meeting practice including performance reviews to drive behavioural change

Client: National Industrial Products Distributor

Project Objective: Attraction and selection of sales personnel

Project Summary:

  • With sustained business growth being achieved and forecast to continue, additional sales resources were required
  • The business was seeking both in-the-field Business Development Managers and in-the-field Customer Service Managers
  • To maintain an existing strong customer focus culture, recruitment was based on attitude and competency rather than industry experience
  • EPRAKT’s scope of work was to facilitate both attraction and selection

Problem:

  • A tight labour market had led to few applications via traditional methods
  • None of the applicants to-date had demonstrated appropriate customer centric attitude or competencies
  • Business brand name recognition was low outside the immediate industry

Solutions:

  • Developed role profiles including position descriptions, near-term and mid-term job goals, nature of internal and external relationships and an ideal candidate description
  • Completed a written brief and obtained input from selected short-listed recruitment agencies on how they would approach the task
  • Selected and managed an agency
  • Developed selection strategies including first and second interview guides, and for short-listed candidates, developed role plays and referee interview guides
  • Facilitated all candidate interactions and provided independent feedback on each candidate

Outcomes:

  • Outstanding candidates were identified, had offers made and accepted positions
  • All appointments completed probation and received “glowing” 6- and 12-month performance reviews

Client:Manufacturer of Construction Materials

Project Objective: Role Transition Coaching

Project Summary:

  • High performing employee had been appointed to a new role with increased and broader responsibilities
  • This was occurring at a time when a new business strategy was being deployed and, consequently, the expectations of the new role were changing
  • EPRAKT’s scope of work was to ensure rapid achievement in role productivity, alignment with business objectives and appointee engagement

Problem:                                                                                                            

  • The appointee was shifting to a business function that was new to them, and would be operating at a higher level of work
  • Role reports were uncertain on how the new business strategy would impact on their work
  • The business leader had identified specific behaviours and competencies that the appointee would need to demonstrate

Solutions:

  • Facilitated the appointee’s full awareness and appreciation of the unique business contribution of their new role – responsibilities, goals, and metrics
  • Assisted the appointee to gather feedback and assess their relevant current strengths and gaps – skills and knowledge, demonstrated work behaviours
  • Developed a plan for self-development of required competencies (skills, knowledge), work behaviours and management rhythm (disciplines and rigour)
  • Customised and facilitated an ongoing development plan

Outcomes:

  • Appointee “hit the ground running” executing the new business strategy effectively
  • Internal suppliers and customers had clarity on their expectations and relationship with the role
  • Appointee quickly aligned own team around new business strategy and achieved business goals
  • Received very positive feedback at internal performance reviews