• Project Management of School Building Program
  • Trusted Business Advisor
  • 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

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: Mid-sized construction products distributor wanting improved outcomes.

Project Summary: 

  • Independent and pragmatic governance of the delivery of change initiatives

The Challenges:             

  • Leadership had a clear strategy and knew what needed to be done to enhance business outcomes and increase enterprise value but were struggling with sustained execution of the required change initiatives.
  • They lacked clarity on where to start, the appropriate sequence of steps and the change management techniques that would deliver the best results.  That is, they lacked experience in efficient and effective change management. 

Solutions:

EPRAKT provided a client specific combination of: 

  1. Converting business strategy into change initiatives, which involved
  • Confirming actionable elements of the business strategy and their possible time horizons
  • Definition of those immediate and critical actions that matter
  • Analysis of current business outcomes and setting of performance targets and milestones linked to the critical actions
  • Identification of emerging opportunities
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of functional activities and how they are measured

2. Facilitating or leading execution, which involved

  • Project management
  • Implementation of process improvements
  • Compliance with quality and safety requirements
  • Vendor selection and contracts

3. Executive coaching, which involved

  • Mentoring the business leader and selected members of the management team
  • Ongoing “show me” and/ or “do it with me” support with the execution of specific longer-term initiatives
  •  

Outcomes:

  • Our approach ensured that we built management team capability in leading business change through their approach, management of permanent behavioural change and successful introduction of new processes and systems.
  • We left the client with an enhanced rigour and discipline in business systems and with a management team that was more effective in “working on the business” rather than only “in the business”.
  • As a result, the identified change initiatives are realised to their fullest potential. 

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

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

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”

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%

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

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