A SELECTION OF PREVIOUS PROJECTS
We have worked on a number of different projects that spanned various industries and problems. We believe that businesses are all the same, in essence, we are all selling something. Below are some of the projects we worked on and the nature of the problems we experienced. Click to the left or right to read our projects that we believe were the most interesting and fun.
A SELECTION OF PREVIOUS PROJECTS
*Strategic and financial management training.
This was for a major SA commercial bank in conjunction with a leading academic in the field.
*Strategic and operational review.
One of a host of such projects involved a large family-owned and managed retail department store. The outcome was a managed sale of the business and property which accorded with the wishes of the family and was financially beneficial to them.
This was on behalf of a consortium of pharmaceutical companies which was a 2-year project that investigated the feasibility of privatising the State pharmaceutical distribution system.a
*Organisation structure, reporting and communication review
This was for a large insurance company which was owned by a major offshore entity. Although we were tasked with assessing the structure it became apparent that the real issue was that the CEO, who had been highly successful as the Marketing Director, simply did not possess the attributes that the top job demanded. A highly emotional situation was resolved by the appointment of a new joint CEO with the requisite skills.
*Restructure of group of companies
The group was in the specialised graphics, signage and print industry. It had not been equipped to deal with rapid growth and was experiencing severe liquidity problems. The result of our intervention was a Section 311 restructure whereby the profitable companies were recapitalised with innovative funding.
*Strategic planning and business plan development and implementation
We have been involved in numerous projects of this type where we assisted clients to establish a sustainable competitive edge, and then to exploit it successfully. Industries covered ranged from lady’s high fashion to heavy engineering.
*Production and reporting systems design and implementation
These projects were for a variety of clients in both the light and heavy engineering fields They included the design and implementation of project management systems.
We have developed incentive schemes which were unique to the clients specialised requirements; all had measures of productivity and bottom line impact as part of the scheme.
*DTI incentives and funding/business rehabilitation
We were retained by an offshore owned heavy engineering company with non-South African management to assist them in resolving their highly-distressed situation. Business rehabilitation plan was formulated and presented to the bankers, creditors and all other parties with a vested interest. We assisted the management team daily to adhere to the agreed plan and effectively acted as an honest broker between the parties. We also represented the client in negotiating specialised funding mechanisms provided by the DTI and IDC?
*Offshore marketing strategy and implementation
We developed successful on and off-consumption markets and networks in the UK and Europe for a wine marketing client. This included sourcing a sustainable source of the requisite quality product at the relevant price points.
*Shareholder and financial restructuring
We resolved major shareholder disagreements for a chain of retail chemists by acting as impartial arbitrators and then sourced funding for the new structure with a new business plan.
We have done several forensic investigations, most of which simply required assessing financial statements. However, one involved uncovering fraud and deception on an audacious level, whilst another sadly uncovered fraud in a charity organisation.
We assessed various options for a rapidly growing international sports eventing company. The various sources and types of funding were analysed to ensure the optimal fit and alignment with the company strategy, together with a cost-benefit exercise to quantify that the bottom-line targets would be met.
We have both facilitated strategic planning sessions for clients as well as doing the process for the client. An example of us facilitating was for an industry oversight body that required industry scenario planning with their team, followed by an industry-wide strategic plan for utilisation by industry members. On many occasions clients wanted us to formulate an appropriate strategic plan in which case we would work closely with senior management to ensure they ended up with an appropriate competitive advantage that they could exploit.
We have spent many years rehabilitating distressed companies. We are totally differentiated from the many and varied advice-providers who have given the management consulting profession such a shocking reputation. Our experience has taught us that our clients will always know more about their business than we will, and that they have a good idea of what needs to be done. Their problem is that they lack the capacity or capability to effectively implement the plans they formulate (the last thing they need is some guys with strings of degrees behind their names who have no experience of running a business dropping a theoretically sound document, which certainly passes the weight test, on their desk and saying "ok, now all you have to do is follow this.") When the client is confused by the jargon and theory and can't implement effectively, the consultants say that the client is a turkey! The definition of a management consultant? ; someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time (it’s the only clean one we could come up with, but you know what we mean!)
A tough barrier to success in business is successfully handling the critical growth phase, where management teams are confronted with entirely new challenges to those previously encountered. Amongst many others, we assisted two companies in the lady’s high fashion design and manufacture industry. Both initially required the formulation of simple management control systems that provided them with critical information on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. With the younger, more Avant Garde firm we established a chain of retail outlets under their own brand because it had such a strong presence in the market. The other firm had been established for years with its target market being a more mature market and therefore we put their ranges into select upmarket retail stores that their customer base frequented; this allowed them to continue with their bespoke made to order business that had high margins.
When partners fall out or disagree it often causes emotions to run high. The use of an ethical 3rd party to mediate often produces a swift and practical solution. In one of such cases we handled a professional practice was involved and the creation of two separate entities with a co-operation agreement resolved a delicate and highly emotive situation.
*Company wind-ups and closures
We were involved in the wind-up of a listed company which encompassed, inter alia, contract resolution, staff retrenchments and severance negotiations, disposal of assets and the sale of subsidiaries.
*Directors fiduciary duty hearings
We have both assisted clients to prepare for and assist them at such hearings.
*Sale of companies
We have prepared the relevant documentation to present the company appropriately for sale and handled the negotiations
*Export strategies and implementation
We have been involved in negotiating and implementing the export of goods into Africa. This is extremely complex and can be hazardous unless carefully planned, particularly when securing payment.
In conclusion, we have successfully assisted many clients over many years. It should be noted that the above list is but a small selection of some of the types of client projects and industries we have been involved in. You will have noticed that we have kept client identities confidential as we would under no circumstances disclose any client information without the permission of the client.
Although every profession has its own jargon (designed to mystify and confuse outsiders!) the principles of business are straight forward. In most instances the most important requirement of us is common sense, which is unfortunately not very common!