oyster

Case Studies

Corporate Strategy & Business Planning

Civil Infrastructure Group: Strategic Planning Facilitation

Challenge:

  • A leading civil infrastructure and building group experienced a period of rapid growth and substantial change after concentrating its efforts on providing civil engineering and construction services to the mining, oil & gas and infrastructure sectors
  • While the company’s strategic direction had been discussed and developed to a minor extent, it had not been formally addressed at the corporate level and communicated throughout the organisation
  • Senior management sought to position the company for further growth by reaffirming its vision and values and identifying critical strategic actions

 

Process:

  • Completed an initial strategic diagnostic that assessed market attractiveness, external opportunities and threats as well as the company’s competitive advantage and its strengths and weaknesses
  • Facilitated and shaped the development of group and business unit objectives
  • Facilitated the identification, evaluation and selection of growth options
  • Translated the review outcomes into an actionable strategic plan and developed an approach for implementation and communication
  • Mentored senior management through the strategic planning process

 

Result:

  • A fact based, owned and well understood five year strategic plan was established that cascaded down to operating divisions
  • Since the review, the group has enjoyed sustained growth in revenues, net profit after tax and total shareholder return



Business Analysis & Options Evaluation

Major Iron Ore Producer: Operations Expansion Labour Requirements

Challenge:

    • Manning levels were a key consideration in the expansion of the company’s iron ore operations in the Pilbara region due to the scarcity and cost of professional and skilled labour
    • Rail Operations and Coastal Operations are two large organisational groups and were expected to see significant increases in manning levels
    • Limited time was available for Study Managers to effectively engage with operations to understand manning drivers and future needs

 

Process:

  • Developed and agreed the analysis methodology, required outputs and defined information requirements, assumptions and manning drivers
  • Developed the structure of the quantitative manning model
  • Collected data to understand the technical design, key manning drivers and other assumptions associated with the expanded operations
  • Structured interviews with line management to confirm future operating and maintenance tactics
  • Assessed the impact on labour productivity of any changes to current practices
  • Populated the model structured with base case and scenario inputs and analysed the outcomes
  • Syndicated the outputs with the key stakeholders and agreed final manning estimates

 

Result:

  • Justifiable top-down estimates of required manning levels were incorporated into the board approved expansion feasibility studies
  • Variations in manning levels were quantified for identified alternate operating scenarios
  • Estimated manning levels were endorsed by stakeholders across operations, maintenance, expansion studies, human resources, business analysis and infrastructure



Services Optimisation

Major Zircon Producer: Shared Services Optimisation

Challenge:

  • The structure of service and support functions was identified as a key constraint on the operations core process due to poor delivery quality and a lack of support in decision making
  • Cost pressure also demanded efficiency improvements through the consolidation of similar service and support activities

 

Process:

  • Engaged stakeholders early in the process and managed expectations through formal communications and change management planning
  • Conducted structured interviews and design workshops with internal customers and service and support leads to develop, test and agree a future service and support delivery framework
  • Developed the business case for change outlining the future state design, its benefits, costs and risks and obtained senior management endorsement
  • Developed a transition plan and actively managed the implementation of the new service and support framework

 

Result:

  • A sustained 30% reduction in service and support operating costs was realised
  • A services business model was established that optimised the balance between core processes and service and support functions
  • Consolidation and standardisation of policies, procedures and systems strategy across the group resulted in improved and consistent delivery of services
  • A sustained improvement focus was generated, driven by bottom-up staff engagement throughout the project



Business Improvement

South African Miner: Business Realignment

Challenge:

  • The company’s current revenue was insufficient to cover costs and urgent action was required to significantly improve margins and business performance

 

Process:

  • Undertook an initial diagnostic to quantify the scale of improvement potential and agree stretch targets
  • Designed the structure and sequencing of the improvement program
  • Prepared the business by gathering data and providing training to nominated work unit leads in business improvement tools and techniques
  • Facilitated the generation and harvesting of improvement ideas through structured workshops with front-line staff
  • Assisted in the prioritisation, evaluation, syndication and implementation planning of improvement ideas
  • Established a rigorous system for tracking and monitoring improvement actions and results
  • Managed the end-to-end improvement program, providing project and change management expertise and representation on the steering committee

 

Result:

  • A large EBIT improvement was achieved, comprised of throughput enhancements, operating cost reduction and capital efficiency improvements. The result was double the original improvement target
  • Benefits were  sustained by the implementation of a succinct and focused business monitoring and reporting system and the development of internal capability in the use of business improvement methodologies



Organisational Structure

Leading Engineering Group: Organisational Structure Review

Challenge:

  • The company had set itself ambitious exponential growth targets
  • Critical to the success of this vision was ensuring an appropriate organisational structure was in place

 

Process:

  • Developed and agreed a fit-for-purpose approach and overarching organisation design principles
  • Undertook a strategic analysis including structured stakeholder interviews to understand strategic imperatives, key uncertainties and core drivers of business performance
  • Developed a series of conceptual organisational designs based on the outcomes of the strategic analysis
  • Facilitated the senior management review of options against the agreed design principles
  • Reviewed the preferred design and developed an appropriate implementation plan
  • Provided ongoing feedback and syndication of the review findings throughout the process

 

Result:

  • An operational structure was implemented that aligned strategy and competitive advantage with organisation structure
  • Our well understood and inclusive approach produced full ownership of the results by the key stakeholders
  • The new organisational strucure has has facilitated the company in exceeding its ambitious growth targets by a sizeable margin