Our team thrives on working alongside complementary businesses to take client value further. One of our specialist partners is Siecap. The team offers expertise in project management and advice. When we pair with them, clients gain an extended, business-wide improvement service that unlocks a broader and deeper assessment and strategy capability.

Siecap has worked across most major sectors, from mining, resources, oil and gas, and energy; to infrastructure, ports and industrial; to automotive, retail and fast-moving consumer goods. In the last five years alone, they have delivered hundreds of projects for various national and multi-national organisations including public, private, government and government-owned entities. We talked with Siecap Chief Executive, David Irvine, for an insight into what they are seeing in today’s marketplace.

What are the most common challenges and opportunities you see organisations facing?

Given the commodity cycles in recent years, market and industry disruption, and now the impacts of COVID-19, our clients are trying to continually serve their customers or develop their projects with a higher degree of complexity and uncertainty than ever before.

In the reverse, opportunities still abound. A fundamental opportunity is getting alignment and focus across business activities to ensure assets, teams and activities are all working together to support a common goal or output, whether through growth, rationalisation or other market-changing initiatives. We also regularly say to never forget to focus on the customer and markets you are serving. A clear primary focus is a powerful business anchor.

Are there key industry trends you’ve identified?

We have recently released a paper on supply chain resilience, which has always been on the radar for our clients but is now a more urgent focus given the challenges of COVID-19. The other focus for organisations is understanding the requirements for compliance in relation to the new modern-day slavery legislation. That demands organisations increase their visibility of the supply chain and operations to identify areas of risk so they can develop policies and plans to mitigate those.

Both of these areas focus on understanding the layers within your organisation and how to increase your strategic options to ensure you can continue to serve customers when things are good and when things are more challenging.

What are the top barriers that hold back teams, leaders, sites or whole businesses?

For many companies, their current focus is how to survive and flourish in complex and changing environments, and how to maintain, or lead with, a level of assurance across business activities.

There are four key barriers to success that we see playing out – the struggle to:

  • Manage that uncertainty and complexity
  • Balance the pressure on short-term versus long-term business goals
  • Decide where to deploy capital
  • Align all the energies in a business to the same, focused cause.

Success, for us, comes down to the ability to consider those challenges, opportunities and trends we’ve already spoken about, and dedicating the time needed to get your strategy right, which will essentially guide strong choices in light of today’s marketplace.

Where do you typically add the most value?

Clients commonly come to us for assistance in solving difficult problems – often around strategies to support cost optimisation, growth or optimising the asset base they have already invested in.

What is your advice for balancing a forward-looking and strategic culture with one that is responsive to the challenging economic climate most businesses are facing?

Embrace a problem-solving mindset; look to add value across internal and external customers; and break down communication barriers within your layers of management, across silos in your business, and/or between your organisation and your customers/supply base.

That’s at a company-wide level, but there’s also a critical role for leaders in demonstrating what good looks like. The adage that remains true is that what you walk past, is the level that you accept. Leaders are the ones that need to set a standard and aim to live by it. The standard may not need to be earth-shatteringly radical or different, but finishing the small things and getting engagement can make a huge difference as long as those actions are aligned to why you are doing them and what it means to your customers, people or whole business.

For more information about Siecap, visit https://www.siecap.com.au