Case Studies

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

Problem

James had written his business proposal on PowerPoint slides – 80 of them! The headings lacked continuity, there was no colour scheme, the logo was missing, and much of the information was cut and pasted from other sources. He needed the content edited to reflect his message, to incorporate the correct colour scheme for the brand, and the whole PowerPoint proofread for mistakes, all within a very tight deadline.

Solution

The solution, had there been time, may have been to transfer the information into a Word document as a report, complete with a cover and contents page for reference and ease of reading. However, there was little time. Instead master template slides were set up with the correct colour scheme, header and footer. Then systematically, every slide was edited, deleting any information not required and ensuring all text was placed in a single text box and that the layout of the master template was followed for diagrams and images. Before proofreading, the text and layout were reformatted and index slides inserted where required. Finally, the entire presentation was proofread, before being checked again in slideshow format.

Result

The presentation looked impressive and professional. The task was completed within deadline and the client was even able to add some extra slides himself without upsetting the formatting. The end result was a win for the client.

ORGANISATION, CREATIVITY AND TEAM BUILDING

Problem

As part of a large food festival, this company was holding a long table lunch at its country premises. At 5:00pm the night before, it was decided to turn a large area used for wine tasting into a shop, to be ready for 8:00am the following morning. There were numerous boxes of marketing items including souvenirs, T-shirts and food – but no display units, signs or price lists.

Solution

Using my previous experience owning and operating a retail business and café, a plan was drawn up and a map sketched for everyone to follow. All available staff were gathered and given a specific task, from moving furniture (from wherever it could be found – even ‘stealing’ shelving from the existing café area!) to sorting the merchandise. Prices were agreed and scribbled on bits of paper, to be typed up in the office and laminated. A second sketch was produced for the best way to display each item and after offering a few suggestions along the way, staff were left to their tasks.

Result

It took us until midnight but an ordinary empty room became an amazing pop-up shop, with eye-catching displays that turned a very healthy profit. I delegated specific jobs to those who I knew would do their task well but left some of the work to their imagination. Although very tired by the time we finished, everyone was feeling enthused and proud of what they had achieved. Not only was the event a success, but it was a great impromptu team-building exercise.

IMPROVING BUSINESS PROCESSES

Problem

The company was to undergo an Audit, following a demand from the Australian Tax Office for $100k. Accounts were being processed in three different systems: MYOB, the company’s own global financial accounting system, and through a third-party payroll company. Some bad debts were sitting at 120+ days overdue.

Solution

Following an extensive review of the accounts, a number of financial anomalies were discovered and, as a result, the ATO liabilities could be negotiated and reversed. New follow-up processes were created which, over the course of the next 12 months, recouped approximately $800k in bad debts. Operational costs were reviewed and reduced without disrupting workflow or staff morale, and eventually the two accounting systems were merged into one.

Result

Financial processes became streamlined, bad debts were reduced from 12+ months to between 30 and 60 days and communication between the company and its Head Office, as well as the Tax Office, was improved.

TRAVEL MANAGEMENT

Problem

An extensive business trip was to be booked, including meetings, for a period of 6 weeks. The challenge existed because it involved 6 people, from 2 separate organisations, heading to 3 different countries and not necessarily all together.

Solution

Firstly, a 6-week window that suited all parties was determined. Secondly, who was to accompany who, to which country and how many meetings were to be set up whilst there. Finally, all personal details were obtained for travel (highlighting passport expiry dates and whether visas were required at each destination), all within the given budget! Meticulous planning and attention to detail were paramount for this task, which involved a lot of confirmations and the creation of 6 very individual itineraries. Each person had to know where the others were at any one time, their contact numbers, and any time difference between them. At one point, because of the time of year, they were dealing with 4 different time zones.  Each traveller was given a separate (less detailed) itinerary for their partners and families, which listed the actual time here in Australia, alongside the local time for the traveller so they had a better idea of when they could be in contact.

Result

A successful trip without a single issue. There was a need to change a couple of flights and the odd meeting, but because everyone had every minute of their day logged with references, addresses and contact details, they were able to do it independently.