I have held many functional roles in the areas listed below. The breath and depth of these experiences underpin my claim to be one of the leading Interim Managers in the UK focussing on business growth & performance improvement.
I have highlighted in each section the roles which are examined in more detail.
Sales & Marketing roles:
Head of Sales I&C (t/o £2.5BN, 135 FTE); Marketing Consultant (Financial Services); General Manager, Home Services (planned EBIT £100M); Business Consultant (Customer Renewals & Retention); Head of Sales & Commercial SME (t/o £0.8BN, 200 FTE); Head of Marketing & Commercial Services B2B (t/o £1.6BN, 50 FTE).
I was asked to join the leadership team of a business to transform the sales function and lead the sales and commercial effort, reporting to the Managing Director. Business results had been continuing a downward slide reflecting lack of competitiveness, leadership focus and sales capability and sales moral was rock bottom.
Key aspects included a wider external assessment and internal capability review followed by managing a process to redefine, communicate and embed a new sales vision, strategy and objectives; before defining and then leading the necessary transformation required to create the right environment and align organisational capability to most rapidly operationalise business strategy; including leading the cultural change required to address issues around capability, confidence and team-working; leading a programme of sales excellence; leading the sales transformation from being a provider of energy supply to one delivering broader energy solutions; re-designing the organisational structure, roles and sales processes; physically locating all sales personnel in a single space; shaping and implementing new commercial propositions to improve competitiveness.
I was asked by a Financial Services company to consult in two respects; to examine the poor performance of twenty or so marketing innovation pilots to determine the ‘what, when, why’ hampering their delivery; and to guide the customer experience team in reviewing and interpreting existing measures of customer satisfaction in order to support the rationing of capital and investment required to bring about a significant increase in future customer satisfaction right across the organisation.
Swiftly diagnosing the true causes of underperformance I planned and led the market re-entry of a failing home services business (planned £100m EBIT) with full P&L accountability, growing coverage to 8 million homes within 12 months and thereby setting the foundations for organic growth to 300k customers over five years whilst also identifying and reviewing the opportunities for acquisitive growth.
Key aspects included developing a new business strategy, plan and investment case and securing stakeholder support; designing and implementing the operating model for the business, including a 5 Year business plan supported by a detailed route-map of system & process capability requirements and a project plan to guide the successful re-launch of the business; designing and implementing a new organisation, business systems and operational processes; building and launching new product & service sets (subsequently award winning 'Best Buys' with Which? consumer magazine); introducing effective cross selling and lead generation (up to 3,000 FTE); establishing new sales channels, processes and capability; insourcing the delivery operation in order to control the heavily planned customer experience; adopting an appropriate methodology for measuring customer satisfaction in order to highlight areas for management focus and remedial action.
I was asked to play the leading role in improving the performance of a multi-product SME facing service business. Successfully reversing the slide in profits and market share, I worked in tandem with the Managing Director successfully changing the company’s strategic direction, integrating a fragmented and geographically disparate business around new, shared goals, creating world class employee satisfaction and exploding profit forecasts.
Key aspects included focussing on margin management, cutting costs through off shoring, reorganising and streamlining a multi-site operation, investing in reducing the customer churn especially at contract renewal; overhauling the multi-channel sales operation after the managed exit of the Sales Director; managing all third party relationships; rebuilding the telemarketing operation, field sales and commencing successful cross selling to the 800k customer base; managing all internal and external commission payments and incentives; developing new and existing products and services; identifying key risks to the business and mitigating; revolutionising the integrity of business reporting, KPIs and Scorecards and driving performance management.
Head of Commercial Operations & Deputy Operations Director (budget £400M pa, 350 FTE); General Manager, Home Services (planned EBIT £100M); Head of Sales & Commercial SME (t/o £0.8BN, 200 FTE); Commercial Manager (t/o £55M, budget £30M, 50 FTE); Head of Materials, Planning, Logistics & Business Systems (budget £90M, t/o £300M); Head of Marketing & Commercial Services B2B (t/o £1.6BN, 50 FTE); Manager, Commercial Services (t/o £1.6M, 25 FTE).
I was asked to lead the Marketing & Commercial Services team in advance of the merger between Corus and Hoogovens. This was a senior management role reporting to the Commercial Director where I was responsible for leading a central team including Marketing & Marketing Analysis, Pricing, Sales Agencies, Publicity & Promotions, Business Planning and Forecasting, Management Information & Reporting Commercial Services.
Key aspects included developing commercial and marketing strategy and analysis, with routine contributions at Commercial Management Committee and Market & Product Group chaired by the Managing Director; developing Sales, Marketing and Commercial systems and processes and representing both at the IT Strategy Committee; heavy involvement with cross-functional business transformation projects, especially with external consultants; developing and implementing a single commercial forecasting/ planning toolset; developing and introducing a new performance management framework for the sales organization
Following the announcement of the merger I led several reviews of capability and business readiness, e.g., commercial business processes, systems infrastructure.
I was asked to join a business as no.2 to the Managing Director to address the poor performance of a loss making subsidiary and to address some significant issues around business risk and control. It was also made clear that the mother company was keen to sell the business should the right offer be forthcoming. The day to day role of Commercial Manager was to lead finance, customer pricing, billing, credit management, gas procurement, customer retention and business development (including business systems).
Key aspects included focusing on pricing strategy; creating a cultural shift towards ownership and achieving results; designing and implementing a new forward buying policy and hedging strategy for liquid petroleum gas; reviewing the investment strategy; leading a cost reduction initiative, including reducing gas input costs and restructuring the HQ and reducing the headcount; undertaking a comprehensive review of outstanding debt followed by new policies, processes, roles and training; creating a comprehensive asset register; introducing P&L accounting at depot level; focusing on rationalisation opportunities across around 30 depots; valuing the business; preparing the business for sale, and managing due diligence including creating a data room.
Programme Delivery roles:
General Manager, Home Services (planned EBIT £100M); Programme Director (t/o £1.5BN, budget £70M, 270 FTE); Project Manager (business sale); Manager, Commercial Services (t/o £1.6M, 25 FTE).
I was asked to lead the development of a business transformation programme, one of the largest SAP based projects in Europe at that time, which was in danger of failure, risking commercial, public and political harm, and replacing the previous Programme Director. I inherited a project in great distress affected by problems created by an inexperienced project team, poor high level design, lack of business focus and an unrealistic delivery timetable. In this role my remit was to get the programme back on track to deliver the benefits identified and to ensure the fullest engagement of the business in doing so. In the event design, build and sub testing phases of the programme were successfully achieved in nine months to time, cost and quality, and employee satisfaction 15% up year on year
Key aspects included rapidly engaged senior stakeholders and Group executives (e.g. CFO) in resolving significant challenges and soothed difficult relationships created by the previous underperformance; performed a review for gaps in high level design and confirmed that the programme would deliver as far as possible an ‘out of the box’, best practice SAP solution; delivered a step change in programme performance by identifying the need for, and leveraging experience, technical expertise and resources from other areas, e.g., SAP, Centrica; ensured excellent business knowledge transfer in the design process and that the wider business fully understood what would be delivered; defined and enacted the strategy and plan for all work-streams, e.g., Data Migration, as well as for the deployment of the solution to the business, e.g., IS transition established the programme governance and organisation, roles and responsibilities growing it from 30 to 270 within six months across multi-site locations, including India; defined requirements for a PMO, Design Authority & QA approach and established/implemented processes to ensure tight management of risks, issues, interdependencies etc.; managed the programme's budget, monitoring the expenditures and costs and matching to benefits to deliver the programme to time, cost and quality; negotiation of work packages with suppliers; reported the programme to the Board operating on a 'no surprises' basis
I was asked to lead a project managing the extraction and transition of a business (400 FTE, 24 depots across the UK & a fleet of 200+ vehicles) to new owners. There were numerous key elements in setting the business up as a stand-alone entity; such as the implementation of an Accounts Payable System, a Nominal Ledger, a Payment Processing Facility, a Data network, transferring the Payroll, generation of new stationery. It was also necessary to plan for the provision of transitionary services in the event that any elements of the project were undeliverable. The project was completely successful with all areas managed simultaneously to achieve the overall migration and to enable the new owners to trade normally from day one.
Key aspects included defining a project team and project governance involving the necessary 40+ specialists; capturing transition/ migration issues through engaging with business management; preparing the project plan; securing stakeholder buy-in; identifying risks and issues and focusing on their removal or mitigation; developing and implementing a communications strategy.
The consolidation of the ‘back office’ of four product sales teams resulted in the need for a new, single Commercial Services team to be set up. I successfully planned and implemented this change resulting in significant headcount reduction. Responsibilities of the new team included the sales order handling process, pricing, order progressing, the generation of customer rebates & credit notes and the production and development of management information & information systems (14K sales orders pa; £700K pa Commercial systems budget).
Key aspects included managing stakeholders in defining and agreeing service levels and processes; designing and implementing the new organisation, including defining and managing the processes around selection, redeployment and business exit; physically relocating the team to a single place; developing implementing new commercial systems and automation, e.g., document imaging & archiving, order handling/ pricing/ EDI; developing and implementing business a new data warehouse strategy, incl choice of platform, clean-up of data tables, capture of new data, delivery of front end tools to sales teams.
General Manager, Home Services (planned EBIT £100M); Programme Director (t/o £1.5BN, budget £70M, 270 FTE); Head of Sales & Commercial SME (t/o £0.8BN, 200 FTE); Commercial Manager (t/o £55M, 50 FTE); Senior Finance Manager (t/o £6BN, 13M customers); Financial Controller (t/o £90M, 9 FTE); Accountant, Business Performance (£3BN t/o portfolio); Plant Accountant (£160M t/o; 5 FTE); Management Accountant.
Reporting to Business Director responsible for a major business segment as Senior Finance Manager my principal accountabilities were covered by three areas, Business Performance Management. Strategic Planning Framework and Decision Support & Analysis.
Key aspects in respect of Business performance management included improving the planning & forecasting cycle; setting targets in the business in line with Medium Term Plan; value based management and developing the Value Model as a means of evaluating customer value/ profitability; managing capital rationing process; running business reviews and other performance reporting; preparation & interpretation of financial statements; building Cost to Serve reporting format using activity-based approach. Developing the Strategic Planning Framework included measuring the impact of strategy; designing and implementing strategy to execution scorecards; aligning customer feedback with performance statements; managing the change process; strategy development. Decision Support & Analysis included partnering the business with decision making; prioritising projects, tenders; managing commercial risk; investment appraisal.
I was asked to spend six months standing in as Financial Controller through the busiest period of the accounting calendar leading the Finance team of an autonomous manufacturing business. Reporting to the General Manager and a member of the Business Management Committee, I led nine accountants providing the complete accounting service to the business, including credit control, payroll, management accounting and financial accounting.
Key aspects included producing the annual financial plan, budgets and review of ‘standards’ for the business; ensuring that the year-end accounts were properly completed; managing the interface with internal and external auditors; improving the cash reporting model to improve cash forecasting; improving the reporting of results and written analysis to stakeholders and Head Office; improving the quality of P&L forecasting; reducing outstanding debt; developing new business opportunities.
As Accountant, Business Performance I worked for a main Board Executive Director running a portfolio consisting of steel manufacturing assets stretching along the east side of the UK. In this role I responsible for routine high level business contact across portfolio businesses in relation to business results and forecasts, and how they might be improved.
Key aspects included being responsible for financial analyses and results, including the monthly performance review of portfolio businesses chaired by the Group Finance Director; briefing papers for Directors; Secretary to Finance Director's meeting of Business Finance Controllers; routinely involved with the Strategy Director exploring key strategic issues and was a key contributor to a strategic review of portfolio businesses led by Strategy Director; I led a project analysing overhead costs in portfolio business reporting to Finance Director; appraising major capital projects requiring approval of Executive Director.
My first appointment leading a team was as Plant Accountant responsible for a £160M turnover manufacturing facility with its own P&L. I reported to the Works Manager and functionally to the Works Accountant managing a team of analysts producing cost & management information to tight deadlines for four tube mills and a steel coil slitting facility. This was a very ‘hands-on’ role and I enjoyed several short secondments to Operations, managing a manufacturing facility with c.100 operatives and with full responsibility for the entire operation/ output.
Key aspects of the role included improving the quality and timeliness of routine results and forecasts whilst at the same time reducing the size of the team by one role after streamlining operations; providing decision support to the Works Manager to improve profitability; delivering standard product costs for over 50,000 standard products; engaging works personnel in understanding and improving operational performance; managing internal and external auditors; developing investment plans and business cases for the Works; managing internal stakeholders in Sales and Finance especially.
Head of Commercial Operations & Deputy Operations Director (budget £400M pa, 350 FTE); General Manager, Home Services (planned EBIT £100M); Commercial Manager (t/o £55M, budget £30M, 50 FTE); Head of Materials, Planning, Logistics & Business Systems (budget £90M, t/o £300M).
As Head of Commercial Operations & Deputy Operations Director I was leading the core of a company which outsources all operational activity. My remit was to revolutionise planning and customer delivery, which was in an extremely poor state, establish an organisation capable of managing all operational and managed service contracts; lead a business wide IT transformation, and direct all day to day commercial operations.
Key aspects included reviewing the client’s ability to deliver current and future operational activities effectively, identifying capability gaps in process, people and systems; reorganising to establish a Commercial Operations team with clear accountabilities and responsibilities; helping the business to develop and implement the right strategies around sourcing and supplier selection; making an independent review of the progress of an IT programme highlighting opportunities for improvement, both quick wins and transformational; establishing a lean change programme; engaging with key stakeholders to maintain momentum during a period of change.
As Head of Materials: Business Systems and Logistics, I was a key member of the leadership team leading the integration and operational management of a seven plant Anglo-Dutch business unit following the merger between Corus and Hoogovens.
Key aspects included designing and implementing the new organisation structure and roles with the Managing Director across UK and Holland, managing the business integration process in respect to people issues; managing key stakeholder relationships; leading an exercise to reduce our spend on raw materials, including a review of product specifications across European markets and opportunities for consolidation of inputs (raw material comprised around seventy per cent of product cost); managing raw material procurement; improving the supply chain in a ‘make to order’ environment where product ‘went off’ in around six weeks, i.e. surface rust; tightening production planning disciplines to improve speed of operation and reduce re-tooling stoppages; negotiating and managing all inbound and outbound logistics (22Kpa inbound rail, road, barge deliveries; 20Kpa outbound road deliveries); creating a plan for the development of all business systems and processes; making routine contributions at the Business Management Committee and Supply Chain Steering Group (strategic cross-business/ supply chain group).
My strategic skill, operational pragmatism and leadership have been honed through practical experience and study; with the methodologies and techniques promoted by the following organisations being of particular importance.