Case studies

Oil & Gas products and services: Turnover $30m

Facilitation: Strategic planning
Adviser: Acquisition integration implementation

This firm is a supplier in the Oil & Gas sector acquired by a multinational company 12 months before our appointment. Although the Parent had made significant investment in each of equipment, systems improvements, training and communication, the results from the acquisition were below expectation. Staff ‘buy-in’ was not occurring to the extent needed.

The engagement was facilitation of the strategic plan with aligned operational plans and provision of a strategy implementation process. Trebling of revenue with strong EBIT was the target after 5 years, and was achievable if the firm became fully integrated into the group and changed to the solution focus needed to maximise results. This meant that the firm’s leadership had to be effective in its management of the strategy implementation process, alongside everyday activities. The facilitation created a plan which closed the gap between current and desired performance, and had active buy-in of the Executive and Management. Executive and Management worked together to prioritise areas of activity and develop short and long term plans which created a ‘whole of entity result’. The implementation support improved buy-in from operational staff and kept the firm on track to its goals.

Mining services: Turnover $10m

Coaching: Business diversification, profitability and productivity

This mining services firm had enjoyed solid growth and so diversified into new areas adjacent to its core offering. The diversification was accompanied by lowered gross margins and cashflow was tight. Cracks were appearing in all levels of the business and the negative impact on client service was resulting in the Executive team spending significant amounts of time managing client disappointments and upsets. Productivity was dropping.

The engagement was as coach to the Director Shareholders and to Executive staff. The need was to create clarity of direction, formulate strategy, and support the embedding of a strategy implementation process which would enable the business to increase customer loyalty, and revenue, through a balance of quality, pricing and ease of relationship. The process was also designed to increase the agility of the firm in changing circumstances, and so ensure achievement of short and long term goals on time and to standard. Working with the Directors and Executive, EBIT grew from 10% to 25% in an 18 month period, through attention to client needs, staff skills and mix, a focused service offering, and cost management. At 3 years EBIT had stabilised around 28%.

Consulting: Turnover $5m

Facilitation: Strategic planning
Adviser: Strategy implementation

This firm had established a solid market niche but was struggling with staff productivity which resulted in lost market share. Five years earlier the owner had sold equity to external parties and the shareholders assumed Executive roles. Operationally this was unsuccessful and business suffered. Two years before our appointment the CEO also the major shareholder, asserted his authority and regained operational control. Through his endeavours revenue and client satisfaction improved. However there was limited delegated authority and the CEO was fatigued. Over the period of streamlining there was passive acceptance of changes, but as soon as attention was removed from any area the old practices returned. There was a strong risk that any gains made over the last two years would be lost. The engagement was as facilitator and adviser to support the CEO in clarifying the challenges and opportunities facing the firm, create a strategy and with it a strategy implementation process which would achieve his growth and productivity goals. The results were clarity of vision, simple plans, a consistent decision making process and increasing accountability throughout the firm.

Construction: Turnover $200m

Coaching: Leadership development, productivity improvement, succession planning

This firm has had many years of robust profits but rapid growth and changing economic climate showed that it was not implementing strategy successfully. The engagement was as coach to the Management Team on an individual and group basis in order to achieve strategic, divisional and personal development goals. Intrinsic to this was the development of skills, abilities and attitudes to assure a business built on internal promotions assuring succession from within.

Implementation used an 8 week process cycle keeping urgency and effort balanced. Bi-monthly presentations by project team leaders to the Company Advisory Board kept the Board abreast of operational activities, opportunities and challenges, and so kept strategy relevant. Key strategic issues were dealt with in a timely manner and leadership development improved innovative thought, accountability, attitude, skills and results.

Retail: Turnover $1m

Coaching: Profitability and productivity

This firm wished to win a global award for excellence. To do so the owner engaged us to facilitate a strategic plan in a staged process and then keep her accountable. Sessions were facilitated to keep her on track including adapting to barriers and celebrating her successes. The firm achieved the award.

Mining Services: Turnover $180m

Project: Independent adviser

The firm had a large strategy division but there was a disconnect between the strategy and operational plans, and outcomes were below expectations. A Business Coach had been engaged to assist in resolving this, around a year before our appointment. The coach was highly experienced in this sector and progress had been made in improving the cohesiveness of the Executive Team. However no improvement in operating results could be seen and the disconnected planning and execution was still occurring.

The engagement was to increase the GMs knowledge and skills in strategy implementation, be a sounding board for his ideas and concerns, and to evaluate and advise on the process employed by the coach. The project resulted in clarity of strategic priorities, specific accountabilities assigned to the coach and faster achievement of outcomes from the Executive Team.

Engineering: Turnover $50m

Coaching: Consolidation

The firm was an Australian company partly owned by the South African firm it was founded by. The firm had been aggressive in its expansion into Asia and demand had slowed. The combination of a commodities downturn in Australia, strained foreign government relations and general business difficulties was resulting in heavy losses. The MD wanted to reverse the losses and keep the offices in both Australia and Asia open.

The engagement was as coach / adviser to the Australian MD. The MD was also the Chairman for the global entity and had easy access to many highly skilled and experienced executives throughout the world. At the end of the engagement the offices in all locations remained open, costs had been substantially reduced, and revenues were improving.


Testimonial by Kate Meares

“Although I have worked with other professional coaches in the past, I found Jennifer’s commitment and proactivity refreshing.”