I am a Jargon-Free Business & Operations Specialist with both national and international experience. I spent 25 years working with both corporate & privately-owned companies & at all stages of the business lifecycle (start-up, growth and mature turnaround). Have had success leading ad-hoc projects, system implementation, supply chain development, cashflow and strategic business planning in sectors as diverse as Manufacturing, Production, Financial Services, Distillery, Engineering & Retail. Personally, I love to work with different cultures, within all levels of the business & cross-functionally with all departments. I thrive on change and is passionate about unlocking people’s potential. While my foundations are rooted in finance, accounting and bottom-line ‘numbers’, these have helped me realise my true passion: working with people and helping You understand how you add value to the business; and how rewired business processes can lead your organisation to stress-free operations and organisations.
In a nutshell:
- I am a forward thinker (what happens if we do or don’t do something?), always striving to prevent a worst-case scenario by questioning the “what if scenario”.
- Help you become compliance/audit-ready with peace of mind
- Create easy to access information, in an organised fashion
- Streamline processes – to make them easy to do and understand
- How I present information is important based on who the stakeholder is
- I am ethical and honest and seek like-minded people within the organisation
- I help balance the shareholder – customer – employee triangle
- Document innate employee knowledge to avoid loss of such knowledge should a key staff member leave
- Set out training documentation for new employees
- Promise: set-up your people and business for success by defining and creating the necessary processes
But what do I really do, when I go into a company?
Most companies want to do the following: improve their bottom line, add more profit (avoid making a loss), create flow in communication (avoid bottlenecks); have happy employees (decrease staff turnover), increase sales (decrease the cost of sales); balance all the different stakeholders (avoid unhappy ones); apply for funding. Yet, they feel overwhelmed and need direction. Decision-makers and key people may think that the given task(s) are too big, and don’t know where to start. Many times, systems are too manual and need to be automated; partly because of this, companies may be challenged in growth.
Taking all the above into account, my main strength is making all these seemingly dry, inhuman things…human. It’s my way with people. I believe all jobs within the company are equal: people like being treated equal and I am not afraid to ask questions to figure out processes. The result? It leads people to trust me, as I find a common voice with them, one by one. I am able to break down business processes, and in general ‘things’, into sections. I provide realistic expectations so people don’t get so overwhelmed. I involve others and ask their opinions on issues they know best. This – as simple as it sounds – helps with getting things done and people get on the same page. It can be quite demoralizing for people when they don’t understand what leads to what (and this is often the case).
I am usually called in to a company when there is a problem. Once that is ‘fixed’, things return to normal – or so they think. In my experience, those companies can sustain their ‘new’ normal, who make an effort to understand what they need to do to keep everyone on the same page and aligned in the same direction. This is my ‘secret sauce’ I can add and pinpoint for decision-makers to keep on track. I am usually called in, because of finance bottom-line related issues. Finance-related issues almost always turn out to be a non-finance related. Business processes and communication is usually behind such things (e.g. returning goods not done properly, the warehouse is not aligned properly; processes not in flow; missing training; opinion of employees not valued enough; contracts are not right; compliance-related issues to help plan processes accordingly, etc.;) Many times, smaller companies don’t even have a finance department, tying down all the knots.
If you are a company in a growth stage and doing your stocktaking, spreadsheets, etc., you want to automate and set up a new system. When setting it up, an external company may help in the initial phase, but you may need someone internally to help out. If your company has an accountant, you need to look at things strategically. To grow, you need your systems and processes in order. If your company has a vision, how do they feed down into operations? How do management take this down to the employee level? Important questions to consider and answer.