• Logistic Solutions
  • Information Services
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Industrial Products Packaging
  • Protein Products
  • Leadership Coaching
  • Industrial Distributor
  • Product Development Funding
  • Industrial Manufacturer
  • Steel Distributor
  • Optimisation of Contingent Labour Supply
  • Helping Youth Through Sport
  • Supporting Business “Start-Up”

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

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%

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”

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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