From $6m to $10m in 3 years
A relatively small company engaged in manufacturing and installation within the construction sector approached Gibsons to conduct a Strategic and Business Plan.
At the time this company first met with Gibsons they were turning over $6m in revenue with EBIT at break even.
Once the planning process was in full swing we discovered some other issues that were holding this company back. They ranged from key staff modelling poor values and performance, manufacturing and installation process inefficiencies and the absence of clear and consistent communication across the business and management team. They were struggling to “see the wood for the trees”.
In our experience people issues are often the cause of the most serious business problems, and can be the most perplexing, leading to low levels of resolve to solve them. When ignored they can seriously endanger a business, and at the very least, leave businesses at a performance and success level that is far below true capability and potential. Businesses will also tend to build in layers of complexity in structure and process to “work around” people issues, adding significant cost.
To help solve these challenges Gibsons implemented a review of management practices to build a culture of understanding, addressing performance issues through a process of consistent, regular review.
We then helped them build an effective structure putting the right people with the right skills into the roles that best suited them with a more equitable sharing of accountabilities. Via progressive review of performance of key personnel; the entire time working side-by-side with the management team, we were able to help them rationalise their key personnel via retraining, mentoring, changes of roles to better suit skills, and in some cases, retrenchment.
Once all the right people were in the right place doing the right things we were then able to conduct a complete review of operational processes and factory layout with confidence that the recommended changes would be acted on with best immediate effect.
So, why would an organisation use external advisers like Gibsons to help them implement what might seem to be obvious improvements?
It is nearly always the case that when working inside the business, a strong internal focus masks objectivity. When additional stresses like poor culture and financial underperformance are added to the mix, objectivity becomes even harder.
It is not at all uncommon that even successful businesses have management that has ascended the ranks; perhaps even founded the business, who are technical experts and not trained managers.
Management is both art and science based on tried and true principles that Gibsons consultants have practiced and perfected week to week, over decades. Not only do we understand the theory of business improvement, we see it in practice every day, so we know what tools and techniques to apply with great effect in a variety of different scenarios.
It is not surprising that even small doses of objective wisdom and experience can make massive improvements to most businesses.
Over a 3 year period, working closely with Gibsons as a trusted advisor, this business improved profits on sales by 8-10%, improved culture and customer engagement and grew to $10m in turnover. Importantly, the owner is now in charge of a self-motivated team and has far less stress in his life as he watches his business grow.