Slide 1

Work Experience in Commercial

Sector Project Type Client Type Location Reference No. Statement ClientName
Commercial Office and Systems Review Barristers Chambers UK & Ireland 303 Our client, a barristers' chambers, had been experiencing problems with their administration, some of which was computerised. Working closely with a steering group of barristers and the senior clerk we were able to identify inconsistencies in working practices and expectations and under utilisation of available computer resources. As a result of our work, clearer role definitions (in relation to administration) were agreed and established, duties were more appropriately allocated to suit the personal abilities of the staff in the clerk's office and procedures were documented to ensure consistent use of systems. William George
Commercial IT Review Insurance Europe 105 We were appointed by a large general insurance broking company, covering the London and UK markets, to attend IT Board meetings in a non-executive role and provide advice on the following:
  • objective standards of reference on IT matters;
  • preliminary input on the overall direction of IT;
  • important IT projects that could be developed;
  • staffing and new technology.
We have been instrumental in bringing about a consolidation of the systems used by the company and ensured that the systems which had been implemented were working to user requirements.
Furness-Houlder (Insurance) Co Ltd
Commercial Capacity Planning Study Manufacturing and retail Asia 175 Our client is the UK subsidiary of a Japanese manufacturer/retailer of photographic equipment. As a result of continuing service level problems, the computer department called upon us to for assistance. We collated performance statistics, identified service levels, agreed growth assumptions, defined performance measurement factors and extrapolated computer power requirements over a 5 year period and advised on the selection of a new computer system. Nikon UK Ltd
Commercial Joint Venture Specifications Consortium Europe 78 A member of this consortium called upon us to assist them with the development of specifications and plans for a joint venture which is expected to alter fundamentally the advertising and distribution industries and have over £1 billion turnover within three years. For the media member of the consortium our most important contribution was the specification of the business and legal arrangements, including financial forecasts and corporate structure. They were particularly pleased by our ability to respond quicker to their changing environment. In fact, the entire negotiation behind this major initiative was completed within three months. The retailing member, one of the UK's largest high street shop owners, mail-order and domestic credit suppliers found our business planning and marketing services essential. The computer services arm of the largest US computer media company found our local knowledge and understanding of the business and technical requirements vital in securing agreement. With the organisation now set upon its way, we are working closely with the participants in all areas and look forward to the success of the venture. We are helping to implement the business strategy, marketing strategy, human resource plans, site planning, computer strategy for 1200 terminals, and financial systems. BSS Consortium of Media, Retailing and Computer Services
Commercial Voice Mail Selection and Negotiation Professional Services Europe 37 We were asked by our client to evaluate the responses to the ITT prepared and issued in a previous assignment. Each response was ranked against the required functional requirements, technical specification, support and cost. As part of the selection procedure we visited all eight suppliers and evaluated the systems for 'look and feel' and ease of system administration. Detailed negotiations were held with two suppliers. BDO Binder Hamlyn
Commercial SpecialiZm - Sales & Marketing Director Outsourcing Europe 344 A large business services organisation needed a Sales and Marketing Director at a time of tremendous change. Z/Yen’s expert needed to build a sales and marketing team in a short space of time in order to increase sales rapidly. Our expert built a new sales and marketing strategy, supplemented by market research. While building up the sales infrastructure of marketing materials, website, contact management and bid documentation, he also set about hiring a team of 15 business development managers and their support staff. Annual sales were raised in one year by 50%. Using his hard-won, competitive bid experiences, our expert then moved on to identifying key acquisitions and helped to consolidate the business service firm’s competitive position. Comax Secure Business Services
Commercial Review of Property System Property, Investment and Development Group Europe 165 We were commissioned to assess the risks and impact on the operations of Mountleigh from the sale of one of their subsidiary companies. The firm in question wrote Mountleigh's computerised property management systems and had maintained them since, also acting as DP managers for Mountleigh. However the subsidiary was losing money rapidly and Mountleigh wished to sell the company to its management. We evaluated the systems, secured the necessary data and hardware, gave Mountleigh staff basic training and drafted support agreements to protect Mountleigh's interests. Mountleigh Group plc
Commercial Cost Reduction Study Television Company Europe 15 For a regional television company preparing for submission of its franchise bid, we conducted a detailed overhead cost reduction study. The study investigated the costs incurred by overhead or central departments (accounting, personnel, administration, site services and office services) and recommended options for reducing costs. The work included detailed interviews with managers and supervisors, investigating opportunities for using outside contractors, and streamlining workflows to reduce inefficiencies. The study identified cost reductions of approximately 20% per annum. An implementation plan was developed to identify the resources, timescales and investments in new systems required to achieve the cost reductions identified. The study assisted the television company's management to define its future cost base to be included within its franchise bid. Anglia Television Group plc
Commercial Systems Implementation Banking Software Europe 140 For the professional services division of a banking software firm we helped launch the QMS and train staff, and provided support during live running of the system. We carried out part of the internal audit programme, and assisted in liaison with the certification body. Our client was successfully assessed to BS 5750 under the TickIT scheme. Internet Systems Ltd
Commercial IT Strategy Distribution Company Europe 141 Our client's sales were increasing at over 40% per annum and their existing computer system used for accounting, stock and equipment tracking was rapidly running out of both storage and power. Consequently, we were asked to identify and evaluate the possible options for the future. We analysed the business requirements and produced a series of costed options that would satisfy those business needs. We recommended a policy of phased replacement over a period of 12 months. We then assisted our client to identify potentially suitable system suppliers and helped to conduct contract negotiations. Interscan Communication Systems Limited
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Financial Controller Advertising Europe 168 The Financial Controller of our client had resigned, and we were asked to find his replacement. There was a tight timescale to meet for an individual who would need highly developed interpersonal skills as well as technical experience. We identified a suitable candidate within the timeframe and, because this person was not in employment, he was able to start work immediately. Multicom Holdings Ltd
Commercial Business Plan Regional Tourist Board Europe 184 Our client, a regional tourist board, was keen to introduce a participative review of its activities in order to establish a business plan to address the prospect of reduced levels of income from traditional sources. We defined a planning process which contained two management workshops bridged by a period analysis and preparation conducted by individual managers with our support. We acted as facilitators at the workshops ensuring that the client identified the corporate purposes and key objectives. Each department then reviewed its current activities and dropped any that did not contribute to the achievement of the 'corporate' objectives. As a result, we helped the management team develop a clearer understanding of the Board's activities, why they are important, and the resources required to undertake them. The client went on to prepare better information and a clear business plan which was well received by the main board and its many members. North West Tourist Board
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Group Accountant Waste Europe 21 Because of growth and restructure, our client asked us to recruit a group accountant. The advertisement brought in a very high quality response, which we were able to reduce to a manageable shortlist. The client duly recruited one of the shortlist and was very satisfied with the result. Attwoods plc
Commercial Requirements Specification Retail Group UK & Ireland 292 Following their decision to computerise the administration of corporate giving, our client asked us to prepare a user requirements specification document. We looked at the functions and procedures of the department in detail. Working closely with the senior staff in the department, we produced a document which could be used as the basis of an Invitation to Tender (ITT). We identified software houses with the relevant expertise and experience for this project. We also monitored the ITT process for our client. The client commissioned us to continue to work with them on the evaluation of tenders and the selection of a suitable supplier. Westend Client (Charities Department)
Commercial Systems Review Property Company UK & Ireland 204 For a large quoted property company who had just taken over a company with property interests, we reviewed both the existing and the newly acquired property management systems and their interfaced accounting systems. We identified the different options for our client against the background of current hardware and software developments. Considering the risks involved with continuing to use the existing hardware and the technology available in the market we recommended our client to select a new property management system with integrated accounting system, running on new hardware. The client accepted our recommendations and requested we provide additional support during the selection and implementation of a new integrated system. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Finance Director Security Europe 59 Our client, a division of a major security group involved in telesurveillance, asked us to carry out a search of our candidate database to see if we had any suitable candidates to fill the vacancy for a Finance Director, the agency that had been retained having failed to identify anyone suitable. We successfully identified four candidates one of whom was offered, and accepted, the position. CamEra Holdings
Commercial Selection of Head Office Accounting System Engineering Worldwide 22 For a large quoted engineering group, we investigated and specified the accounting requirements for the Head Office, evaluated the extent to which 24 packages met the requirements for the Head Office and shortlisted two which were reviewed in detail. The client required the consolidation of several companies and the ability to account in twenty currencies. The project included the design of a new account structure and the defining of analysis codes. Babcock International Group plc
Commercial Implementation Assistance and MIS Strategy Construction Europe 117 Our client is a construction group specialising in high quality house construction and commercial developments. We were asked by our client to provide the project management for the implementation of a suite of software for the construction industry to handle job costing, sub-contractor ledger, purchase ledger, general ledger, payroll and management information. We also produced, for the group, an MIS Strategy for the next five years to cover the implementation of construction systems, estimating, bill of quantity preparation, word processing and office automation products. The benefits to the group were twofold. Firstly the suite of construction software was implemented on time and to budget, and secondly the group had a clear MIS strategy that it could use to provide improved management information in a co-ordinated and structured manner. The Highcross Group
Commercial Business Strategy Waste Management Europe 71 The industry leader in waste management asked us to assist them in the formulation of their seven year business strategy. This strategy covered all three aspects of their business, i.e. Waste Services, Landfill and Technical Services. The strategy formulation was based on two streams of work, an internal stream, covering mission statement, SWOT analysis, critical factor definition, organisational structure analysis, resources assessment and financial analysis, and an external stream covering business environment assessment, market definition, competitor analysis and industry structure analysis. These internal and external steams resulted in the formulation of an evaluative framework for business opportunities within the waste management industry. The opportunities evaluated covered a wide range, including competing better, expansion of disposal (particularly landfill and incineration), personalisation and image (greeness). The project resulted in a clearly defined strategy based on improvement and growth planned to increase profits by a factor of four. Cleanaway Ltd
Commercial Systems Proposals Review Manufacturing UK & Ireland 216 For a manufacturer and distributor of natural health products, we were asked to review proposals for new computer systems. The company required new financial and administrative systems to control their rapidly expanding business. In addition, a number of very large accounts with major retailers needed to be efficiently managed. The client had identified already,the potential suppliers for hardware and software. We were able to assist the company by clarifying the business objectives to be met from new systems and by defining the selection criteria to evaluate the options. The basis of the decision to procure new systems was then established and a business case was prepared subsequently for the board to approve. Regina Ltd
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - European Finance Director Business Travel Europe 96 We were asked by the parent company to recruit a Finance Director for a recently acquired international business travel company. We placed an advertisement and successfully filled the position in Paris. Edinburgh House Holdings
Commercial Systems Selection Review Apparel Catalogues Europe|Asia 129 For a group of companies involved with the design, production, sales and distribution of clothing we performed a review of their systems selection for management information, order entry, stock control, MRP, purchasing, capacity planning, scheduling, import control and accounting software. The group had over 20 companies in the UK and Hong Kong and had a highly developed catalogue sales arm. Our work was to add value to the systems selection procedure by providing an independent, objective assessment of their shortlisted suppliers and planning for implementation. Our key recommendations were to improve the detailed planning, rethink the complexity of the systems architecture and increase the formality of the systems specification. These recommendations led to smoother implementation and more successful negotiations with the two shortlisted suppliers. ICD/Together
Commercial Systems Selection Retailer Europe 143 Our client is a major food retailer with an aggressive expansion plan, rarely expanding current property portfolio by 50 to 60 stores per annum. All property is managed by a combination of manual and in-house developed computer systems. We were asked to aid the company in selecting a property management system to interface with their current accounting and information systems. We produced a statement of the company's requirements which incorporated details of the interfaces needed their established accounting and information systems. Using this as a basis for a checklist, we attended demonstrations of the shortlisted suppliers and helped them decide on the chosen supplier. Kwiksave Group PLC
Commercial Stock Control Review Logistics Europe 236 Our client was an investment company. Within their portfolio was an international distributor of industrial fasteners. We were asked to investigate a reported stock discrepancy at their continental European hub. We analysed all business areas in the logistics chain to substantiate the discrepancy, which turned out to be due to a combination of poor internal controls, poor staff management and overly complex stock adjustment, rework and valuation calculations. We produced a detailed forensic analysis along with a plan of remedial actions. We executed the immediate actions ourselves, including replacement of the stock control system and staff disciplinary processes, within weeks. SEP Industrial Holdings PLC
Commercial IT Strategy, Selection & Implementation Furniture Group UK & Ireland 244 We were originally commissioned by our client to review and report on the new computer aided design (CAD) service in use in their main subsidiary which wasn't working for them. After recommending that the CAD system be abandoned we identified that more effective use could be made of information technology in the areas of order processing, stock control, factory processing and later, accounts. We conducted a requirements analysis and an ITT procedure and recommended the installation of a computer in head office with a permanent communications link to the factory. The system provided speedier transmission of documents allowing stock levels to be reduced and directly improving profit. In a later project we advised on the choice of computer systems for 2 other subsidiaries and managed the implementation of these systems. Smallbone
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Information Systems Director Multinational Worldwide 115 We were asked to run an executive search for a new Director of Information Systems. This is a very powerful role at Heron, with overall responsibility for all IT matters throughout the Group, yet with only a 'dotted line' reporting from operational IT managers; the position has a large internal consultancy element to it as well. We successfully identified a number of suitable candidates, one of whom was offered the job. Unfortunately the client restructured its Head Office just at this time, the position was made redundant and the offer was withdrawn. Heron International Plc
Commercial Implementation Planning Energy UK & Ireland 206 Following its recent privatisation we were requested by our client to provide expert assistance developing an implementation plan for new financial systems in five of the company's largest power stations. The plans estimated the effort and costs likely to be incurred during the development, testing, training, conversion and parallel running. The plan was then consolidated with the software suppliers plans to provide an overall project plan and cost estimate. The plan was then used to support contractual negotiations with the software supplier. Powergen
Commercial Systems Review Property Company UK & Ireland 202 Our client is an international property development and investment group. We were asked to review an integrated property management and accounting system already in use in a recently acquired listed group and report on its ability to meet the management and accounting requirements of the group as a whole. We defined in outline terms the management and accounting requirements of the group and evaluated the package against these requirements. We then reported our findings together with a suggested implementation strategy. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial Computer Systems Contract Negotiations Sports Club London 210 For this prestigious sports club, we were asked to help negotiate a contract for computer hardware, software and services. Our work helped to clarify the scope of work, price and timescales involved. In the event, the client chose not to proceed with the contract. The Queen's Club
Commercial Review of Controls and Procedures Television Company Europe 56 For this major television company, we assessed the effectiveness and adequacy of controls and procedures for handling subscription revenue. The review covered most departments of the television company and several other organisations involved with our client's revenue system. We analysed the issues involved by assessing the risk of loss (severity and likelihood) and evaluated possible actions (impact and ease of implementation). By presenting our findings in this way, our client was able of prioritise the implementation of our recommendations. The project sponsors commented that the review was very thorough in the time available and had clarified the issues for them in this complex area of their work. British Sky Broadcasting
Commercial Review of Job Control Procedures Chartered Surveyors Europe 85 For this major UK firm of Chartered Surveyors we carried out a review of current procedures for job control and the monitoring of client relationships. We interviewed key directors in all major divisions and departments, and sent a questionnaire to all directors nationwide. We proposed ways of improving client management and job control by assigning specific client responsibilities to individual directors, a more disciplined approach to procedures and administration. Debenham Tewson & Chinnocks
Commercial Voice Mail Specification Professional Services Europe 36 Following on from a feasibility study our client asked us to specify a voice mail system. The assignment began with a detailed assessment of user requirements based upon the technical environment of the new offices and interviews with potential users. We then wrote a detailed invitation to tender (ITT) with sections specifying functional requirements, hardware and systems operating environment, implementation support, hardware and software maintenance and support, system security, supplier company and user base, and finance and terms and conditions. To conclude the specification assignment we performed a comprehensive survey of the products available in the UK from which we identified eight possible suppliers. ITTs were sent to these eight suppliers. BDO Binder Hamlyn
Commercial Information Systems Strategy Retail Group Europe 190 Our client is a major retail group. They wished to provide new technology for retail chains that they had recently acquired. They wanted to bring the acquisitions within the group's network of systems but were unsure to what extent this was practicable. We investigated the problem working closely with the client. We analysed the various options available to them, produced cost and effort estimates for the main options and recommended a practical way forward. Orbis Services
Commercial IT Strategy and Selection Manufacturing Europe 123 Our client is one of the largest manufacturers and retailers of high class sporting weapons in the country. They had an outdated computer system for accounts that was not meeting their needs and requested us to examine the total business operations and identify opportunities for the effective use of modern information technology techniques. Paramount amongst the requirements was the need for rapid information exchange between the head office, the two factories and the central London retail outlet. We identified and evaluated the options and conducted an invitation to tender procedure. We then assisted with the implementation of the chosen system which comprised a central computer with permanent links to the other locations. Holland and Holland
Commercial Project Management Manufacturing Europe 42 For a wood veneer manufacturing company we were commissioned to project manage the closure of two manufacturing sites in London and the South-East, and to relocate operations in the North. The project extended over a period of four months and involved the transfer of productive equipment, providing facilities to a greenfield site, manpower issues and operational efficiencies. The project was completed successfully on time and to agreed budgets. BLP Group
Commercial Structuring Remuneration Package Travel Agent United States & Canada 7 Structuring the remuneration package for the client in such a way as to facilitate the introduction of a government P R P scheme. US Airtours
Commercial Selection of Clothing and Accounting Systems Clothing Importer & Distributor UK & Ireland 255 Our client is a clothing importer and distributor. Following difficulties with their existing clothing and accounting system, the client commissioned us to help them select a supplier and negotiate contracts for an alternative clothing and accounting system from a short-list of two suppliers. We carried out a formal selection procedure, helped the client through the process of selection and negotiated a suitable contract with the supplier. The client felt that our involvement in the project helped them to clarify their requirements, provided them with a logical system for making a difficult selection decision and helped them to obtain more favourable contractual terms. S U International Ltd
Commercial Accounting System Implementation Engineering Worldwide 23 For a large quoted engineering group, we project managed the implementation of a head office accounting system, which had been selected as a result of an earlier project. This involved contract negotiation relating to the purchase of the system, conceptual design of the accounting structure and chart of accounts, design of input screens and report layouts as well as ensuring that the system went live on the application date. The project also involved resolving a dispute with the supplier, over the extent to which some of the software met the requirements. This was achieved entirely to the satisfaction of the client. Babcock International Group plc
Commercial Datacentre Effectiveness Review Agrochemicals UK & Ireland 231 We were asked by a leading agrochemicals manufacturer to conduct a review of the operations of its three datacentres located within the UK. The datacentres support the company's product development and manufacturing and sales operations. The scope of the study included the effectiveness of organisation structure, technical environment, performance and capacity, problem and change management, operations and security management, contingency and service levels and resource charging. Having completed this study the client requested us to assist in evaluating options for rationalising datacentre operations to a single site. All our recommendations were accepted by the main board, which based its decision to amalgamate operations on the results of our review. Schering Agrochemicals Limited
Commercial Systems Testing and Implementation Retail Group UK & Ireland 289 Our client commissioned us to help them with the implementation of a computer system for grants administration. The software had been modified to meet our clients specific requirements. Working closely with the client team, we co-ordinated the software testing and implementation project. The new system has lead to increased efficiency and improvements to management information. Westend Client (Charities Department)
Commercial Systems Review Publishing Europe 121 Our client is a leading British book publisher. We were asked to report on the implementation of a software package which had over-run the initial estimates for effort and cost, and had missed a number of planned implementation dates. We spent a short period of time assessing the situation and were able to identify the major risks to the project, key problem areas and matters needing immediate attention. We advised our client on the options for the future direction of the project. Subsequently we worked closely with the new project manager to produce a detailed testing and implementation plan for the project. With our training and guidance and users were able to carry out thorough acceptance testing themselves to ensure that the new system met requirements. We also advised on security of the system and the client's telecommunications network. The system was implemented on schedule with very few problems. Hodder and Stoughton Ltd
Commercial Voice Mail Professional Services Europe 40 We produced user requirements, researched the market and evaluated the PC based voice mail systems from several suppliers. We held negotiations with the suppliers before arranging an extended trial of an advanced system with speech recognition. The system was a great success with the number of users quickly increasing from 20 to 60. BDO Binder Hamlyn
Commercial Management and Capacity Study Television Company Europe 12 We were commissioned by our client to perform a 'Measurement and Capacity' Study as the first stage of a cost reduction exercise. We determined the functions and activities of the group and divided it into discrete units. We then determined the inputs, outputs, internal and external interfaces for each unit. This analysis allowed us to determine the areas of poor efficiency or effectiveness for further study. Anglia Television Group plc
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Financial Controller (Director Designate) Leisure Europe 103 Our client was a newly formed leisure company with a turnover of some £5m. We were retained to find a young Financial Controller (Director Designate) with sector knowledge and demonstrable commitment and enthusiasm. We were able to identify a shortlist of three suitable individuals very quickly and, following complex negotiations, the successful candidate was able to join the Company within a few weeks. First Continental
Commercial Banking and Accounting Systems Implementation Planning Retail Group UK & Ireland 284 Our client provides banking and accounting services to various entities within its organisation. Following the selection of the banking and accounting systems, the client, a major High Street retail group, commissioned us to develop a detailed systems implementation plan. Following interviews and discussions with key members of the staff, we analysed individual staff work schedules and developed a plan that minimised the disruption to the client's normal work pattern. The plan met with our client's approval and we were retained to help with the implementation project. Westend Client
Commercial Business Case Surveyors Europe 112 For a large department of a major practice of surveyors, we produced a report setting out a plan to achieve BS5750 registration. This included flowcharting the procedures presently in use and comparing these to the requirements of BS5750. We then identified the major issues to be addressed and the benefits, risks and timescales involved. We produced an outline of a Quality Management System and a detailed plan for the achievement of certification. Henry Butcher and Co
Commercial Computer Systems Selection Retail Group UK & Ireland 294 We have been working with the property department of a major retail group. We assisted our client's systems selection project after helping them to define their functional requirements. We identified potential suppliers and monitored the Invitation to Tender process. We then assisted in the evaluation of tenders, drawing up a shortlist from the tenders, attending demonstrations of software, contract negotiation and the selection of a suitable system. Westend Client (Property Department)
Commercial Systems Selection Energy UK & Ireland 205 We were asked by our client, a major specialist publishing house producing over 1200 maps per year, to assist in the selection of a new Geographic Information System. This involved surveying the market to identify potentially suitable systems, interviewing a number of users and reviewing internal and external documents. We produced a report which recommended two systems likely to meet requirements. We also prepared a detailed implementation plan which identified the tasks, sequences, and resources required to implement the system in an efficient manner. Petroconsultants
Commercial Telecommunications Strategy Manufacturing Europe 81 For a diversified group of international companies in the Top 500 who source, produce and distribute textiles and chemicals worldwide, we worked with the senior information technology management to produce an international telecommunications strategy. Our work was directed by their business and systems strategy and covered virtual private network, point to point networks, WANs/LANs, supplier relationships, supplier evaluation and emerging technologies, e.g. VSAT, teleconferencing, frame relay, voice recognition etc. Our final product was a presentation workshop to the information technology officers, where we focused on some of the implications of their Far East developments on telecommunications in the region. Courtaulds plc
Commercial Re-organisation Property Company UK & Ireland 196 Our client is an international property development and investment company. A decision had been taken to restructure one of the UK divisions of the group and to merge two of the regional offices. We were asked to assume project management responsibility for the change. We prepared a detailed plan for carrying out the required changes. The plan covered staffing, system procedures and the merging of companies. The plan was discussed and agreed with the client's senior management. Over a period of three months we ensured that all the tasks were carried out - some by the clients staff and some by ourselves - prepared regular progress reports, discussed and resolved problems, and most importantly ensured key deadlines were met. After completion of the re-organisation we prepared extensive handover notes so that those client staff responsible for the new functions were in a position to manage effectively. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial Operational Review Manufacturer of Communications Equipment Europe 2 For a manufacturer of communications equipment we carried out an operational review of the company's supply chain. Our review incorporated activities involved in servicing customer demand from distribution back to the procurement process. We analysed the existing measures of performance and recommended a programme of activities that would provide the company with improved control. ACD Ringlan
Commercial Computer Systems Selection Retail Group UK & Ireland 291 We were commissioned by our client to select a suitable computer system for several small head office applications. The confidentiality of some of the data is so great that security was a primary concern in this case. The client would not introduce automation unless satisfied that the data was to be protected. We considered various options with our client, eventually settling for a local area network holding all the data on a removable hard disk on the file server. The sensitive data can be stored in a fireproof safe during non-working hours. The client has asked us to assist them with the implementation of the chosen systems. Westend Client
Commercial IT Strategy and Implementation Assistance Construction Europe 30 This is a very diverse group of companies with some in contracting and some in house building. We have advised several of the companies who were all at different stages of the IT development cycle. In each case our assistance covers the whole spectrum of the business from a systems viewpoint, beginning with estimating through to job costing, contractors ledger, sub-contractors ledger, purchase ledger, general ledger and management information. We advised two of the house-building companies on their IT strategy and with 6 of the contracting companies we have provided project management for the implementation of the group's chosen hardware and software system. Our experience was instrumental, in this case, in ensuring that the system became operational for all 6 companies within a six month period. Bestwood Group
Commercial Systems Implementation & Planning Professional Services UK & Ireland 275 For this major professional services firm, we prepared the business case and implementation plan for implementing a Quality Management System conforming to BS5750. We evaluated the current situation against BS5750 requirements, proposed the structure and outline contents of a QMS and evaluated the benefits, resources and costs involved in BS5750 registration. R Watson & Sons
Commercial Financial Systems Utilities Europe 179 For a large electricity board based in the North West we prepared a strategy for the development of financial systems over the next 2-3 years. The work took full account of the requirements of the different business streams (supply, distribution, retailing and contracting) as well as internal service departments. The needs of managers at all levels were considered. A final strategy was prepared and an action plan was presented to the board and approved for implementation. North Western Electricity Board
Commercial Re-organisation Property Company UK & Ireland 195 Our client is an international property development and investment company. A decision had been taken to restructure one of the UK divisions of the group and to merge two of the regional offices. We were asked to assume project management responsibility for the change. We prepared a detailed plan for carrying out the required changes. The plan covered staffing, system procedures and the merging of companies. The plan was discussed and agreed with the client's senior management. Over a period of three months we ensured that all the tasks were carried out - some by the clients staff and some by ourselves - prepared regular progress reports, discussed and resolved problems, and most importantly ensured key deadlines were met. After completion of the re-organisation we prepared extensive handover notes so that those client staff responsible for the new functions were in a position to manage effectively. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Information Systems Manager Multinational Worldwide 114 Our client is a large and diversified group with turnover in excess of £800m. It has major interests in property, retail, distribution and media, and operates in the UK, Europe and the USA. Its net worth exceeds £640m. We were asked to handle the recruitment of an Information Systems Manager through a programme of advertised selection. We advertised the position in The Sunday Times and interviewed those respondents who appeared most suitable on paper. We then presented a high calibre short-list to the client and assisted in negotiations with the preferred candidate. Heron International Plc
Commercial Banking and Accounting Systems Selection & Contract Negotiation Retail Group UK & Ireland 283 Following our work on specification of requirements and preparation of an Invitation to Tender document for the banking and accounting systems for our client, a major High Street retail group, the client commissioned us to help with the selection of the systems. Our approach on this project was to work jointly with the client by setting up a Steering Group consisting of key client staff and Z/Yen representatives. We helped the client to identify a suitable supplier with a good match to the client's requirements. The client was concerned about the long-term viability of support from the prospective supplier. We carried out an in-depth analysis of the supplier's business and set-up of its user-support operation. The client decided to proceed with the selection. We then helped the client to negotiate a favourable contract with the prospective supplier. The client commissioned us to continue working with the staff to prepare the Systems Implementation plan. Westend Client
Commercial Development of Accounting Procedures Property Company UK & Ireland 198 Our client was one of the UK regions of an international property development and investment company. A review of the accounting functions of the region had established that action was required to improve effectiveness. We worked closely with the new Regional Financial Controller to sort out accounting problems, to develop new procedures, and to improve controls and structures over the use of the computerised property management system. At the end of our assignment the effectiveness of the accounting function had been improved, staff numbers and costs had been reduced, and the accuracy, relevance and timeliness of management information was enhanced. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial Review of Cash Management Engineering Europe 25 For a major project-based engineering company we undertook a review of cash management. The work involved analysing systems and procedures and assessing the capabilities of staff. An assessment of the organisation structure was also carried out. A series of recommendations were made to improve the collection, forecasting and management of cash. Babcock International Group plc
Commercial Development of a Quality Management System Business Case Market Research Agency Europe 1 We were asked to prepare a business case report for this medium-sized market research agency specialising in transport studies. Our recommendations were accepted and the client subsequently asked us to assist in the development and launch of their quality management system. Accent
Commercial IT Strategy, Selection and Implementation Publishing Solutions Europe 118 We were commissioned by our client to review the management accounting systems in use and advise on the direction of future developments to meet the business needs. We devised a strategy of phased replacement of all the Finance division systems commencing with General Ledger through Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Billing, Management Information and Accounting Interfaces with other division systems. We firstly, identified changes to existing systems which had an immediate effect of reducing cash flow by #2M. We then began the process of preparing Operational Requirements and conducting Invitation to Tender procedures for each system in turn. These systems were package/bespoke combinations for a large ICL mainframe environment. Benefits obtained from the new systems included the production of accounts 10 days earlier each month and the provision of on-line access to data allowing quicker management decision-making. Her Majesty's Stationery Office
Commercial Banking Systems Implementation Retail Group UK & Ireland 285 Our client, a major High Street retail group, provides banking and accounting services to various entities within its organisation. Following the purchase of a new banking and accounting system the client commissioned us to project manage the implementation of the system. This involved co-ordinating tasks between the client's staff, hardware suppliers and software suppliers. The tasks we co-ordinated included the installation of the hardware and software, testing of the system, training of the bank staff and systematic setting up of the bank's data on the new system. Our strength in interpersonal skills and our experience in managing this type of project ensured that the implementation was completed within the allocated budget, on time and to our client's satisfaction. Westend Client
Commercial Review of Accounting Functions Property Company UK & Ireland 199 Our client was an international property development and investment company. Following a major acquisition and restructuring a new region was established in the SE of England based on the acquired company. The senior accounting staff had resigned following the takeover, and a new Regional Financial Controller had been recruited. At the financial year-end there were major problems in the preparation of the financial accounts. These problems were blamed on the computerised property management system. We were asked to review the operations of the accounts department to determine the reason for the problems. We established that poor management, lack of experience and the absence of procedures were causing the problem - not the computer system. We presented our findings and a suggested action plan to management. Our recommendations were accepted and our actions implemented. The accounts function is now operating effectively. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial Rewarding Performance Professional Services Europe 32 Explored the possibility of introducing performance related pay across a range of disciplines, e.g. audit, tax, corporate finance, in a situation where a government approved PRP system was not possible. BDO Bristol
Commercial Procedures Development & Systems Implementation Professional Services UK & Ireland 277 For the same professional services firm, we assisted the client with the implementation of the QMS, providing support during conversion to new procedures and during the run up to ISO 9000 assessment. We also designed and developed a large part of the procedures required to include the internal IT departments' work in the QMS and meet the requirements of TickIT. The client was successfully assessed to ISO 9000/TickIT in February 1994. R Watson & Sons
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Planning Manager Plastics & Packaging UK & Ireland 239 Our client manufactures plastic packaging for the food and medical sectors. The group has a turnover of £15m. We were retained to identify a planning manager with a sound understanding of capacity planning in a continuous process environment. We advertised the position and produced a shortlist of three candidates from which an appointment was made. Sidlaw PLC
Commercial IT Strategy Review Security UK & Ireland 218 Our client is a leading UK Security Services company, providing on-site security for over 1000 clients, using in excess of 3,500 security officers, based from over 20 regional offices. The company found itself at a cross-roads in the use of IT. Many applications had been developed over a period of 5 to 7 years, but on a piece-meal, without an understanding of the final target IT infrastructure. We helped the company define its revised High Level IT Strategy for the future. The study was based on a rapid review of current applications, in-depth director and senior management interviews and visits to operational centres through out the UK. The strategy defined the core systems towards which the company will move over the next 3 years. Reliance Security Services Limited
Commercial Computer Systems Selection Architects UK & Ireland 253 We were asked by our client to assist with the selection of a small multi-user computer system. The areas to be computerised included job costing, accounts and project management. We documented the clients requirements, evaluated proposals from suppliers and were able to recommend two potentially suitable systems. Stewardson Searle Partnership
Commercial Business Strategy Car Dealership UK & Ireland 245 Our client is a motor retailing group which includes several luxury and large volume dealerships. They also have substantial property holdings and a training and consultancy subsidiary. They asked us to look at their portfolio of businesses and to consider their position in their industry and the economy. We interviewed their directors and key staff and produced an analysis of the groups standing. As a result, the client improved its understanding of its market position and the processes required to formulate a strategic plan. The client then commissioned us to undertake a financial analysis of the current position of the group and to help them to identify options for future changes. Smithfield Monarch Group Limited
Commercial IT Strategy and Selection Solicitors Europe 147 We were asked by our client to examine their administrative procedures following recognition that other practices appeared to be more efficient. The practice comprised 3 offices around London and staff were dealing with over 1000 open matters. Our review examined the accounting, time recording, time costing and word processing operations. We identified and evaluated various options for the effective use of IT and recommended a course of action. We then conducted a full requirements analysis and an ITT procedure. We also assisted with the implementation of the chosen solution of a minicomputer (for time recording and accounting) in one office with communications links to the others, and standalone PCs for word processing. We then prepared a plan for the future considering such things as conveyancing support systems and links to legal databases. Lemon and Partners
Commercial Systems Development Banking Software Europe 139 For the professional services arm of this banking software firm, we assisted with the development of a BS 5750-compatible Quality Management System. We helped plan the project, provided detailed input to the drafting and review of the QMS procedures, and helped with the selection of a certification body. The QMS was reviewed and approved by the certification body, and our client retained us to support the launch and implementation of the QMS prior to assessment and registration. Internet Systems Ltd
Commercial Transfer Pricing Review Manufacturing Europe 84 For one of the country's largest manufacturers of calf milk replacers and protected fat products we reviewed the transfer pricing arrangements between the manufacturing and marketing organisations. During our review we identified a number of weaknesses in the existing procedures. Our recommendations centred on a fundamental change in management reporting which removed the need for complex transfer pricing arrangements. Our final report included a proforma management reporting pack which reflected the new organisation structure. Our recommendations have been accepted and implemented by the client. Dailybold Ltd
Commercial Document Standards Training Professional Services Europe 33 For this leading professional services firm, we worked with Senior management to develop a foundation course for the firm's BS 5750 implementation. Following a successful pilot of the course we organised and delivered the course to the 400 plus client staff at 15 different client locations. BDO Binder Hamlyn
Commercial Computer Systems Selection Consultancy UK & Ireland 224 We were asked by our client to assist with the selection of a multi-user computer system. The areas to be computerised included the accounts and cost ledgers. We documented the client's requirements, evaluated proposals from suppliers, and were able to recommend two potentially suitable suppliers. Messrs Sandberg
Commercial Cost Control & Project Management Aircraft Design Europe 6 We were commissioned by our client to assist them in the control of a £100M prototype development project. This was a unique international project which was won by the company against intense overseas competition. Our assistance covered acting as temporary DP manager, advising on the choice of project management software, advice on budgeting procedures and accounting implications, and the setting up general procurement procedures. We also analysed requirements for, designed, wrote and implemented a number of standalone systems such as; project costing, timesheet and expense recording, the registration of purchase orders and the maintenance of procurement controls. We were able to provide much needed specialist experience and continuity to a company going through a period of considerable change and growth. Airship Industries
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Design Manager Manufacturing Engineering UK & Ireland 243 We were asked to recruit a Design Manager for this small, privately owned manufacturing company. The salary budget was tight and the ideal candidate had to be able to handle the (new) position as currently defined, and also grow into a larger group-wide role. We successfully identified a suitably qualified candidate who was able to start comparatively quickly - another requirement of the assignment. Skerman Fabrications
Commercial Market Study Financial Credit Information Provider Europe|United States & Canada 100 Our client, the largest providers of financial and credit information in the US, asked us to evaluate the potential of an emerging market in the UK. We performed an initial market survey based upon their experience in the US, our knowledge of European payment systems and commercially available information. We identified key drivers, the markets potential and possible threats to market expansion. The study found that the sole UK market participant had only 15% of our estimate of the market's potential volume. Equifax Europe Ltd
Commercial Operational Review Retail Group UK & Ireland 297 Our client, a major High Street retail group, provides banking and accounting services to various entities within its organisation. The implementation of a new banking and accounting system allowed our client the opportunity to link the two systems and consequently reduce data entry and increase efficiency. The introduction of the link required a change in the procedures related to the accounting transactions coming from the banking system. The client commissioned us to develop the new procedures. We reviewed the current procedures, analysed the changes required by the new systems and developed new procedures that ensured that the transactions passing between the two systems were correctly entered, complete, accurate, valid and secure. Our understanding of banking and accounting transactions and our transaction audit skills helped to ensure that the analysis work we undertook was comprehensive and complete. The client implemented our recommended procedures and is now gaining the expected benefits from the banking-accounting link. Westend Client
Commercial Accounting Assistance Property Company UK & Ireland 197 Our client, an international property development investment company, made a decision to restructure one of the UK divisions and to merge two regional offices. As part of this change the Managing Director and Regional Financial Controller were made redundant. We were asked to provide interim management for one of the regional accounts functions. This assignment involved negotiating redundancy terms with accounts staff, ensuring the functions operated during the transition period, and assuming responsibility for the preparation of financial and management accounts. We needed to provide a diverse range of skills including staff management, knowledge of property operation and accounting and the intricacies of the Employment Protection Act. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial Banking and Accounting Systems Requirements Specification Retail Group UK & Ireland 288 Our client, a major High Street retail group, provides banking and accounting services to various entities within the organisation. We were commissioned to help the client develop a requirements specification for the banking and accounting systems, which would reduce manual work and increase the efficiency of the services. We looked at the functions and procedures of the banking and accounting departments in detail. Working closely with staff, we produced a document which could be used as the basis of an Invitation to Tender (ITT). We also identified potential suppliers that could be invited to respond to the ITT. Our independent and objective involvement ensured that a consensus was achieved on the set of requirements among the various departments. It also enabled a clear and comprehensive systems specification to be developed, which provided sound basis for systems selection. The client commissioned us to continue working with the staff to help them through the systems selection process. Westend Client
Commercial IT Systems Review Engineering Europe 31 For a company prominent in the glass manufacturing industry we conducted a review of all use of information technology. This was requested by the new financial director who wanted a health check of the systems that he had inherited. The review covered the company's business data processing operations, their office automation operations and their use of computer aided design (CAD) systems which were used for designing large bespoke glass making machines. The review concluded that minor improvements in the office automation network could improve productivity, but a major problem existed with the CAD system which would have to be replaced. Thus we were able to avert a potential disaster situation where the client may not have been able to carry on his business. BH
Commercial Management Department Set-up Property Company UK & Ireland 307 Our client is a local property investment and estate agency group. A decision had been taken to establish a management department to administer the groups own properties and act as managing agents for third parties. We were asked to assist in the establishing of appropriate management and financial systems. During the assignment we worked along side the management team establishing and testing procedures. We specified and implemented a computerised management and accounting system and trained the staff in its use. After completion of the assignment we prepared handover notes and monitored the effectiveness of the systems over an extended period. Wrather & Company
Commercial Banking & Accounting Systems Requirements Specification Retailer UK & Ireland 282 Our client, a major High Street retail group, provides banking and accounting services to various entities within the organisation through several of its head-office departments. We were commissioned to help these departments to develop a requirements specification for banking and accounting systems. We looked at the functions and procedures of these departments in detail. Working closely with staff, we produced a document which could be used as the basis of an Invitation to Tender (ITT). We also identified potential suppliers that could be invited to respond to the ITT. Our independent and objective involvement ensured that a consensus was achieved on the set of requirements among the various departments. It also enabled a clear and comprehensive systems specification to be developed, which provided a sound basis for systems selection. The client commissioned us to continue working with the staff to help them through the systems selection process. Westend Client
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Internal Audit Manufacturing Europe 119 We were asked to assist in the identification of a young, aggressive, recently qualified ACA. We briefed a number of agencies and screened the candidates. We put forward a shortlist from which a candidate was selected. Hillsdown Holdings
Commercial User Requirements Specification Computing Services Europe 74 Our client, a trade association representing the company services industry, wished to upgrade its existing membership database in order to improve its services to members. We developed a user specification for the membership system and supervised the tender, evaluation and solution of suppliers to determine the best option available. We also liaised with hardware suppliers to ensure that the association had the necessary hardware improvements to support the new user requirements. Computing Services Association
Commercial Project Consultancy Garments Wholesaler/Retailer UK & Ireland 256 Our client, a medium-sized wholesaler and retailer of children's garments, purchased a clothing and accounting system from a major software supplier. The delivery of the required software version had been postponed several times by the supplier to the considerable inconvenience of our client. We were asked to assist in resolving this situation. We created a constructive dialogue with the supplier and our client which culminated in a detailed planning meeting between our client and the supplier, under our guidance. The meeting resulted in a revised systems implementation plan which suited both parties. We were able to negotiate appropriate compensation for our client. SU International
Commercial Procedures Manual Magazine Distribution UK & Ireland 264 The magazine distribution division of a major national newspaper group asked us to develop a manual covering formal monthly and ad hoc procedures with specific reference to a new multi-million pound contract. We analysed and flowcharted existing processes and procedures, devised templates for a more codified and integrated approach to planning and control, developed the required policies, forms and procedures, cleared these through operational directors and published the results in a bound format. United Newspapers
Commercial Business Plan Utilities UK & Ireland 310 Our client, a major electrical retailer, was considering setting up a joint venture with a management team for an electrical goods retail business. We helped to prepare the business plan for the joint venture, which looked at market potential, set up costs and a range of operating scenarios. Yorkshire Electricity
Commercial Business Review Computer Distributor Europe 131 For this fast expanding computer distribution company, we undertook a high level business review. In consultation with the Directors and senior management we analysed options and made recommendations for strategic change and assessed the business' compliance with best practice. The main benefit that the client received was to build consensus and commitment among senior management regarding the direction the business was going in a fast changing industry. Ideal Hardware
Commercial Telephone and Voice Communication Systems Review Computer Distributor Europe 132 Our client, a fast growing telephone sales computer distributor, invited us to review their telephone and voice communications systems. We identified the problems for technological change, evaluated those options and produced a prioritised list of recommendations. The main benefits to the client were the clarification of the issues and prioritisation of the required actions. Ideal Hardware
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Managing Director Mining & Engineering Europe|UK & Ireland 192 Our client was one of the world's leading producers of copper and aluminium. Based in Europe, it has few operations in the UK but bought a small, specialised manufacturer of copper and aluminium processing machinery, a leader in the application of a particular processing technology. The incumbent chairman was retiring following the purchase and our task was to identify a suitable individual to run the company as Managing Director following acquisition. We successfully found a person who had the right academic, technical and interpersonal skills who was able to start quickly. Outokumpu
Commercial Project Management Software House Europe|United States & Canada 98 Our client was conducting a multi-million dollar software development for an American television network. They identified a need for an experienced project manager and called upon us for assistance. The project team consisted of 15 development staff in the UK and 2 project liaison staff in the USA. We provided the client with a fulltime project manager. One of the first tasks for our project manager was to automate the project monitoring procedures which meant evaluating project management software, selecting a suitable system and implementing the choice. The major tasks were then scheduling and monitoring the work of the team, liaising with the network staff and reporting progress to both UK and USA management. Enterprise Airtime Systems
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Financial Controller Construction UK & Ireland 304 The client was dissatisfied with the performance of the incumbent Financial Controller and wished to replace him with a more pro-active individual. The client was very specific as to the personality required for the new individual and this, combined with the absolute confidentiality required, made the recruitment process more difficult than usual. After some months of effort we successfully identified an individual who was able to start work immediately. William Steward
Commercial Requirements Specification Retail Group UK & Ireland 293 Our client is the investment department and pension fund of a major retail group. Substantial growth in trading and a buoyant property market had led to a dramatic increase in work for their property department. The department was using very little technology. We were commissioned to prepare a user requirements specification document for an IT system. We worked closely with the staff of the department and produced a document which could be used as the basis of an Invitation to Tender (ITT). Our client then commissioned us to identify potential suppliers and work with them on the evaluation of tenders and the selection of a supplier. Westend Client (Property Department)
Commercial Development of Specification and System for Contractor Control Transport Europe 102 For Eurotunnel SA, we developed the specification and system for contractor control. The objective of the system was a project management package which would allow Eurotunnel to identify the current position of their sub-contracted projects. At a detailed level, this involved handling and storing requirements specifications, contractual negotiation documents, purchase orders, progress reports, site reports, change control, invoicing and claims. The system provided management with reports which allowed them to understand and control the overall project. The reports included PERT charts, status reports, estimates to complete and financial accountability. Eurotunnel SA
Commercial Seminar Computer/Systems Corporation Europe 127 For this major computer corporation, we presented several seminars on the systems implications of the Single European Market. Our presentations helped our client to explain the issues to their customers and prospects, which enabled our client to show their services and products in this area in the right context. IBM UK Ltd
Commercial Business Strategy Car Dealership UK & Ireland 247 Following our initial strategic survey and financial analysis of the group, our client asked us to assist them in the evaluation of the strategic options that they wished to pursue. Working closely with their Finance Director, we produced a set of spreadsheet models which we used to analyse several alternative strategic routes. As a result, a strategic direction for the group was chosen and a plan formulated. The Finance Director also has strategic spreadsheet models which he can use to analyse future opportunities or threats as they arise. Smithfield Monarch Group Limited
Commercial Systems Selection Property Group Europe 158 Our client is a local group of property owning companies. A decision had been made to replace the ageing computer system as it no longer met the group's basic accounting and administrative requirements. We were asked to investigate and define the requirements for a computerised property investment system and investigate standard software packages available. We produced an outlining requirements specification which was sent to potentially suitable suppliers. The suppliers responses were reviewed and a short list produced. We attended demonstrations of the short listed packages and prepared a report detailing our recommendations and conclusions. We also provided implementation support by assisting in the definition of coding structures, project management and controlling the balance take on and testing of the system adopted. Migdal Investments Ltd
Commercial Governance Research and Index Professional Body London 381 The Institute of Directors invited Z/Yen to collaborate on a project to investigate whether and how it was possible to measure corporate governance in UK Listed companies. The objective of this work was to investigate different approaches to measuring corporate governance, see what kind of different results they produce and consider how more meaningful and consistent approaches could be developed. We looked at the corporate governance of the largest 100 UK listed companies using three different approaches: • a survey of members of the IoD, ACCA and CISI in the UK asking them to rate the corporate governance of companies they were familiar with; • a study of instrumental factors, a range of objective, directly measurable factors drawn from external sources; • a predictive model of corporate governance using support vector machine regression. Each approach gave different results, leading to the conclusion that no one approach can be used to measure corporate governance. The first edition of the report was published in June 2015, with further updates planned for the second half of 2015 and into 2016. Institute of Directors
Commercial Business Strategy Car Dealership UK & Ireland 246 Following an initial strategic survey, our client asked us to assist them in producing a financial analysis of the various businesses in the group. They are primarily a motor retailing group with several luxury and large volume dealerships. They also have substantial property holdings and a training and consultancy subsidiary. Working closely with the Finance Director, we produced an analysis of their individual business units and the group as a whole. We also agreed a set of key performance indicators to enable the group to monitor its progress. As a result, our client has improved management information on the economic performance of each business unit within the group, and on the group as a whole. The client then commissioned us to help them to produce financial models and to analyse possible strategic options. Smithfield Monarch Group Limited
Commercial Strategic Review Publishing Europe 125 For a quality magazine publication, circulation 20,000, we reviewed their strategy, products, pricing, systems, controls, financing, management and organisation. We were asked by the board to examine the strategy because of concern over the organisation's management. Our report to the board identified a number of issues ranging from sales commissions to management reporting. In particular, we analysed the publication's performance against a number of variables to help the board identify the economic cyclical element in recent difficulties, as well as some transfer pricing issues. These, and the other recommendations, gave the board the assurance that management had a workable plan to restore the publication to profitability. House Builder Publications Ltd
Commercial Standards Planning Computer Company Europe 93 This major computer company had been developing a Quality Management System (QMS) with a view to achieving BS 5750 registration. We were asked to assist them by reviewing their draft documentation and helping to plan the next stages of the project. Using our experience of externally verified quality systems in this sector, we helped the client to streamline their documentation and allocate the resources needed to meet their target date for registration. The client said '[We] found your advice valuable in clarifying issues within the project and providing us with ideas (which we have developed) in terms of both streamlining the QMS and ensuring we meet BS 5750 requirements'. Digital Equipment Co Limited
Commercial Systems Selection Retailer Europe 97 Our client is a leading specialist map and book retailer, offering 25,000 stock lines. The company has one satellite store and main site, which also caters for their mail order business. The company operated a manual system for stock control and accounting, and management information was difficult to obtain. The company wished to improve manual information, reduce operating costs, enable better control, and support changes to their organisational structure. We were asked to help them select a computer system which would control accounts, sales purchasing and stock control and provide information for marketing initiatives and other management information. This involved a detailed study of the company's requirements, investigation of suitable suppliers and selection of a computer system best suited to their needs. Teleordering and use of external databases such as Whittakers Bookbank were also considered. Edward Stanford Ltd
Commercial ITT Evaluation and Selection Property Company Europe 49 Our client was a major property development and management company with a turnover of approximately £100m and net assets of over £1bn. In a previous stage we produced a Requirements Specification document for Financial, Property and Management Information systems. We issued the Requirements Specification with an Invitation to Tender to potential suppliers and carried out a detailed evaluation of suppliers proposals to enable the client to decide on a systems solution. We assisted the client to negotiate a contract with the chosen supplier to produce the technical design of the new system. The British Land Company PLC
Commercial Project Management Design Engineers Europe 19 This design company was developing a computerised nautical navigation system which included the use of digitised sea charts. We were asked by non-technical investors in the company to provide project management assistance to the project and provide an interface between themselves and the development team. The product under development was designed to plot a ship's movements in relation to the digitised charts and then be able to automatically re-navigate the same course. The project included discussions with the Admiralty in order to gain approval to use their charts, and with organisations who would provide the digitising service. The development targets were met and the investors received their requested reassurances. Associated Seaways Hydrographics
Commercial SpecialiZm - Chief Technology Officer Medical Imagery Systems UK 354 Z/Yen conducted a research project with a software company for an innovative piece of software with applications in a number of sectors as diverse as R&D, financial markets and consumer electronics. The research project led to a technology commercialisation strategy focused on medical imaging. However, the software seemed to be always 95% complete, and had been so for over 18 months. Z/Yen provided a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who worked with the company over nine months. The CTO needed a broad range of skills in mathematics, software development, operating systems, statistics, imaging, security and the general software industry. In nine months he succeeded in delivering a working product. He also delivered a working medical imagery system, a “technology demonstrator”, which went immediately into successful medical trials in the USA. HTTP Technology - Medicsight
Commercial Voice Mail Project Management and Implementation Professional Services Europe 38 Having selected a system and negotiated a significant price reduction for our client, we managed the system integration. This included: project planning, coordination of the voice mail system installation and integration with the PABX, system configuration, set up of the user training programme, and assisting the supplier with user training. Since the initial implementation we have kept up a programme of continual improvements and release of advanced features. BDO Binder Hamlyn
Commercial SpecialiZm - Coach & Non-executive Director Construction UK 351 A construction company with two owner/directors sought to prepare itself for sale. Z/Yen provided a Non-executive Director who worked with the two owners as a coach. The non-executive director functioned as a sounding board for general management issues, but brought particular expertise in raising finance and marketing. He worked to get the management team to be more systematic about their sales and marketing processes as an important precursor to proving to investors that income was well-managed. He also structured their board meetings and finance so that investors could have a record of the company’s development. He introduced them to a variety of professional contacts which expanded their understanding of construction and facilities management, as well as the pro’s and con’s of trade sale, MBO and exchange listings. The firm is now poised for sale. CityAxis
Commercial Systems Selection Property, Investment and Development Group Europe 166 Our client is the property management function of an international property development and investment company. Their computerised property management system was inadequate to handle the increased size of their portfolio. In addition, the company providing support for the software went into receivership. We were commissioned to survey the market to determine whether there were any packages available to meet our clients requirements. The work involved drafting an outline specification of requirements, producing a list of potentially suitable packages and reviewing documentation, shortlisting a limited number of packages, and attending vendor demonstrations of the shortlisted packages. Finally, we prepared a report summarising our work and recommending two suitable packages. Mountleigh Group plc
Commercial Computer Systems Upgrade Manufacturing UK & Ireland 229 We conducted a review of IT systems developments and used workshops to help the client to identify the most appropriate way forward for computer system upgrades and future developments. Two strands of IT systems had developed and integration requirements were becoming more important. Scapa Porritt Ltd
Commercial Business Case Market Research UK & Ireland 219 We were asked to prepare the Business Case for the client to install a Quality Management System which would satisfy the requirements of BS5750. Our work entailed a series of interviews, analysis, flowcharts and recommendations. The client has three main operating divisions, which were believed to operate in different ways. Our work proved that there was, in fact, a high degree of commonality and the operational core content would apply to all activities. The client accepted the report and asked us to move on to the implementation phase. Research International UK Ltd
Commercial Report Writer Selection Retail Group UK & Ireland 298 Our client, a major High Street retail group, provides banking and accounting services to various entities within its organisation. Following the purchase of a computerised accounting system the client commissioned us to project manage its implementation. This involved co-ordinating tasks between three accounting departments and the hardware and software suppliers. We co-ordinated the installation of the hardware and software, testing of the software and setting up of approximately forty accounting entities on the system. We also provided technical assistance to the client in setting up the accounting entities. Our involvement helped to ensure that the implementation was completed with minimum disruption to the client's work, within the allocated budget, and on time. Our skills in change management helped to bring about a shift from a departmentalised paper based culture to a more open computerised culture, which was necessary for the successful implementation for the new system. Westend Client
Commercial Business Systems Strategy Selection Fashion Importer & Wholesaler Europe 148 Our client is the UK operation of an international ladies fashion manufacturer and retailer. A decision was made to set up this autonomous subsidiary in the UK and to move away from the third party who had administered their operations in the UK to date. We were asked to help them establish a business systems strategy within a tight timescale as the third party was withdrawing support within a month and the UK operation needed to control their buying and sales orders from this time. We produced the strategy to deadline, giving our client various options and recommendations for the short, medium and long term, taking into consideration their need for rapid uncertain growth, possible links to USA and the need for package integration. We also provided a draft systems specification and analysed the marketplace for potential suppliers. Following this we provided advice on the selection of the final system, keeping the client in line with the overall strategic development of their systems. Leslie Fay (UK) Ltd
Commercial Automation Strategy Communications Europe 91 Our client had recently embarked upon a major computerisation exercise with a specialist computer bureau. However, this system did not address their internal nor external communications needs nor the manipulation of their prime business product, namely, words on paper. The client asked us to consider these needs and to produce a strategy to cover the next 3 years. We conducted the study, considering such things as; word processing, electronic mail, connection to external databases, fax, telex, external transfers of reports, appraisal of alternative hardware and software options, future communications trends and finally the production of a recommended approach. We then assisted our client in the selection and installation of a large personal computer network which included over 10 external links available to each node of the network. Dewe Rogerson
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - ICT Entrepreneur Retailer UK & Ireland 274 We were retained to recruit a bright young ICT professional to assist in the business' expansion within the UK. We advertised the position and interviewed a large number of candidates. A shortlist of four was presented and an appointment was made. Warner Bros Studio Stores
Commercial Voice Mail Feasibility Study Professional Services Europe 35 As part of its move to new offices this major professional services organisation asked us to evaluate the potential benefits of voice mail for over 1,000 users. We established business requirements and outline solutions. For each solution we identified the benefits, risks and costs. Based upon our recommendations our client decided to proceed with the purchase of a voice mail system. BDO Binder Hamlyn
Commercial Operational Audit Wholesale Europe 186 Our client, a major wholesaler with 50 outlets throughout the United Kingdom, had recently introduced a new comprehensive branch operations manual. Management were keen to assess the effectiveness of the manual and the degree to which branches were complying with policies and procedures. We were asked to provide guidance and advice on the conduct of operational audits and the structure and content of the checklists to be used; to undertake several operational audits at various locations; to develop, where appropriate, improvement action plans for the branches and report progress and issues to senior management. Nurdin & Peacock
Commercial Implementation Assistance Manufacturing Europe 124 We have been working with a prestigious, public company in the manufacturing sector. Our client is in the process of computerising several of their functions. They were having some difficulty manipulating their base accounting data into a form suitable for input onto the new accounting system, as a result of which the implementation project was falling behind schedule. We spent a short period of time with our clients financial accounting department advising and assisting with this stage of the implementation. This support enabled the project manager to complete that phase of the project within the budgeted timescales. Holland and Holland
Commercial Disposal Analysis Property Investment Middle East 377 For a multibillion dollar development project we were asked to examine the project viability using our "investment gap analysis" approach. We reviewed the project business case and supporting documentation for sufficiency, viability, and appropriateness as a 'bankable' project for investors. We carried out a sensitivity analysis on time and costs. We critiqued the marketing and project planning. We used our analysis to estimate new timings, costs, and funding requirements. Our work informed our client's decision to seek disposal and supported their legal negotiations. Khalij Fiduciare
Commercial Support for Customer Management Operation Broadcasting Europe 55 We were invited to provide consultancy support for the customer management operation of a major UK broadcasting company. The customer service centre was designed to handle at least 2 million subscribers using over 1,200 workstations connected to 12 large interlinked mainframes. The project was noted for its pressing timescales and client resource commitment difficulties. Our role was to:
  • ensure that a working project library was set up and ensure strict version control over all systems documentation;
  • co-ordinate the production of the systems documentation to ensure that it adhered to industry standards;
  • set up a project management information centre to coordinate the various systems;
  • assist the company in developing a disaster recovery and contingency plan;
We were also instrumental in the preparation of a major presentation by the customer service centre to the broadcasting company outlining the functions and systems that were to be provided once the systems were running live.
British Satellite Systems
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Group MIS Manager Manufacture, Distribution, Wholesale, Retail Europe 110 We were asked to recruit a Group MIS Manager for this rapidly-growing group. The role was a new position, and was necessary because the growth had largely come from acquisitions, resulting in a wide diversity of systems in use throughout the world-wide operations. A very large response, of nearly seven hundred, was sifted and a strong shortlist submitted. The successful candidate was very close to the ideal specification. A combination of advertised selection and limited search techniques was used. The Hartstone Group plc
Commercial Systems Development Professional Services UK & Ireland 276 Our client is one of the UK's largest firms of actuaries. We were asked to co-ordinate the design and development of a Quality Management System to satisfy the requirements of BS 5750. Our work entailed designing and developing the Quality Policy and Audit Manuals and co-ordinating the efforts of a team of senior client partners and managers to develop the Operational and Infrastructure manuals. R Watson & Sons
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Commercial Director Plastics & Packaging UK & Ireland 241 Following a number of successful projects carried out for a major plastics packaging client, we were retained to identify a Commercial Director for a major subsidiary. We advertised the position and presented a shortlist which was assessed along with an internal candidate. Sidlaw PLC
Commercial Establishing Standard Chart Of Accounts Structure Retail Group UK & Ireland 287 Our client provides banking and accounting services to 80 entities within its organisation through several of its head-office departments. Following the selection of a new banking and accounting system, the client asked us to help them establish a standard Chart of Accounts structure that would facilitate the setting up of accounting entities on the new accounting system. By interviewing key client accountants we identified the accounting requirements for the various entities. We consolidated these requirements into a single chart of accounts structure that could be set up on the new system. This provided flexibility of setting up more specific account codes for each entity. The client implemented its accounting enitites using this Chart of Accounts structure. Westend Client
Commercial SpecialiZm - Chairman Construction UK 352 Z/Yen was asked to provide a Chairman to a growing company in order to help the company begin to meet more formal listing standards. Working over several years, the directors found the Z/Yen expert of immense value in guiding their growth. CityAxis
Commercial Communications Review Manufacturing Europe 80 We were asked by our client to review the proposed communications system changes detailed in their document 'Relocation IT Brief and Budget'. The scope of the review included office information systems, voice systems, cabling systems and data network. Our team of business and technical consultants commented on: points requiring clarification with suppliers, areas where costs could be reduced, the need for fall back procedures and contingency plans, service level agreements and definition of roles and responsibilities. It was also suggested that the client produce a short document on their communication principles, policies and procedures. Courtaulds plc
Commercial Job Evaluation Trade Windows & Door Systems UK & Ireland 266 Devised a new job evaluation system for all clerical, admin, supervisory and management staff together with a new salary structure. Veka Limited
Commercial User Requirements Specification Property Company Europe 50 Our client was a major property development and management company with a turnover of approximately £100m and net assets of over £1bn. They had an ageing computer system which no longer met all requirements, particularly in the accounting information available. Following our previous outline IT strategy work, we carried out a detailed analysis of requirements in two stages. In the first stage we examined the existing system and the requirements and produced an interim report on areas of opportunity. In the second stage we produced a Requirements Specification document for Financial, Property and Management Information systems. This Requirements Specification was to be included in a subsequent phase of work to select a supplier to provide the systems specified. The British Land Company PLC
Commercial Logistics Management Distribution Company Europe 43 For a major UK based distribution company, a subsidiary of a Dutch parent, we provided consultancy assistance in the preparation of their Corporate Plan. Our work included a review of future warehousing strategy, evaluation of future business sectors and support to their business plan presentation. Bleckmann UK Ltd
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Finance Director Lighting Services Europe 62 Our client installs and maintains lighting systems, predominantly for local authorities. The Company has a turnover of £5m and employs 75 staff. We were retained to find a Finance Director with proven commercial and management skills gained in a contracting environment. Within two weeks we had identified a shortlist of four suitable individuals from which an appointment was made. T Cartledge Limited
Commercial IT Strategy and Selection Construction UK & Ireland 221 Our client with a turnover of approximately £20M contains the divisions of main contracts, small works, electrical contracting, painting and decorating, and joinery. They were experiencing low profit levels associated with high stock levels and a lack of modern systems. We conducted an organisational review which recommended a number of changes and led to a consideration of IT strategy. We produced a report on computer system options and recommended an appropriate course of action. We followed this up with the preparation of a requirements specification and an Invitation to Tender, and selected the most suitable system which is now being implemented. The computer system, by its tight control of stock levels, is expected to contribute significantly to improved profit figures. R Holford & Co
Commercial Feasibility - Microcomputer Accounting System Solution Wholesale Distribution Business UK & Ireland 257 We assisted our client, a major UK wholesale distribution business, to assess whether a micro-computer based accounting system would be a suitable replacement for their existing computerised accounting system. Prior to the start of our assignment the client had identified a micro-computer package capable of meeting requirements, however, the cost was high. We completed a high-level analysis of requirements and survey of the market which showed that a micro-computer based system would meet the requirement at a significantly lower cost. The project involved working closely with both users and software houses to obtain the required information within the timescale set by our client. Surridge Dawson
Commercial Consolidation Package Selection Property Company UK & Ireland 201 Our client is an international property development and investment group. We were asked to assist in the selection of a financial consolidation package. We researched the marketplace, determined the client requirements of such a package, produced an Invitation to Tender which was sent to selected suppliers and attended demonstrations of potentially suitable packages. We then produced a report detailing our findings and recommendations, including a suggested course of action. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial Human Resources Electrical Assembly UK & Ireland 222 This company had expanded considerably in the eight years or so since it was founded. The management structure had not however grown with it and there was a lack of management training, especially in the area of financial understanding. Through the project we identified the company's aims for the next three years, recommended an appropriate organisation structure for the aims, identified immediate training needs for managers and supervisors and met those needs through a series of internal courses, including a residential weekend. We also provided human resources help to the Chairman of the company. The project was part funded by ELTEC under the Business Growth Training Scheme, Option 3. Richard Millington & Co Ltd
Commercial Strategy Project Television Company Europe 17 For an independent television company we evaluated the cost saving opportunities offered by a joint venture with another television company. The joint venture would provide essential programme-making and transmission to its two parents and, by achieving economies of scale, do so at lower cost. We worked closely with professional representatives from the other television company involved to provide a joint view of the opportunities. The assignment was undertaken against the background of television franchise renewal: as part of their applications for franchise renewal, each company involved sought to demonstrate efficient making and transmitting of programmes. Anglia Television Group plc
Commercial Reporting and Forecasting Business Training Europe 116 For a Training and Enterprise Council, we implemented a new reporting and forecasting system. The work involved preparing budgets, reviewing the chart of accounts, establishing new procedures, identifying information requirements and improving forecasting techniques. We held successful workshops, involving all seven managers of the TEC, to ensure that the new procedures and systems were understood and accepted. During the work we reviewed the use of different software in the TEC industry, including the TFS system and made recommendations for future use of IT. Herts TEC
Commercial Feasibility Study Property Company UK & Ireland 203 Following a major acquisition we were asked to investigate the options for rationalising the accounts function and simplifying the complex group structure. We were able to suggest a course of action which met the boards requirement to bring the accounts function into a single location and improved the overall efficiency of the department whilst providing significant cost savings. Having determined the complex constraints arising from the existing operational and financial arrangements we were able to present a method of restructuring the group which not only simplifies the existing structure but also provides a robust framework for the future expansion of the group. We also provided an initial implementation plan for both the restructuring of the accounts function and the first phase of the simplification of the group structure. Our recommendations were accepted and our actions implemented. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial IT Systems Strategy Property Company Europe 48 Our client was a major property development and management company with a turnover of approximately £100m and net assets of over £1bn. They had an ageing computer system which no longer met all requirements, particularly in the accounting information available. We conducted an initial review of the existing systems and produced a report outlining the existing problem areas and suggesting an IT systems strategy for the client. This was accepted and led to a further phase of work, the user requirements specification. The British Land Company PLC
Commercial SpecialiZm - Logistics Director Logistics and Post UK & Ireland 345 A major logistics company was failing to deliver and needed an interim Logistics Director. Over 800 vehicles and 2,000 staff had become used to an informal management system which meant that the company was failing to meet key performance indicators for major accounts. Z/Yen’s operations expert quickly came to terms with leading his team. His first major programme was a quality management programme throughout the company. This was followed by closer integration with the sales department to ensure major account promises would be kept. After 18 months, performance was so markedly improved that the firm was valued at three times what it had been earlier, and sold successfully to new investors. Z/Yen stayed on for a further three months to ensure a smooth transition. ICS
Commercial IT Effectiveness Review Security UK & Ireland 217 Our client is a leading UK Security Services company, providing on-site security for over 1000 clients, using in excess of 3,500 security officers, based from over 20 regional offices. We performed an assignment assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the company's IT operations. This assignment included investigations into the main aspects of IT service provision including organisation and staffing, performance and capacity management, contingency planning, problem and change control, security and the use of service level agreements. The work resulted in the formulation of a rapid improvement programme which was initiated immediately by the client. Reliance Security Services Limited
Commercial Asset Valuation Utilities Europe 182 For a regional electricity company, we reviewed the valuation of its distribution network. We reviewed the available valuation methodologies. We considered the information required for each methodology and the likely robustness of the values given. We recommended a revised approach which was adopted for accounting purposes. North Western Electricity Board
Commercial Report Writer Selection Retail Group UK & Ireland 299 Our client, a major High Street retail group, provides banking and accounting services to various entities within its organisation. One of the clients key requirements while computerising the accounting system was to have a flexible user-friendly report writer. Their selected accounting system could not meet this requirement, therefore the client commissioned us to help with the selection of a report writer. After identifying our clients requirements, we analysed over ten suitable packages in the market and shortlisted three. We assisted the client in making the final choice by providing them with an objective analysis of the advantages/disadvantages of each package. Following selection, we negotiated favourable terms and conditions from the package supplier on behalf of our client. We also assisted the client in implementation of the package. Given our negotiation and implementation skills, the client considered our involvement in these aspects cost-effective. Our overall involvement in the selection helped the client to make an informed decision within the constraints of a tight implementation timetable. Westend Client
Commercial Implementation of Property Management System Property Company UK & Ireland 200 Our client is an international property development and investment company. Following a major acquisition and subsequent restructuring our client decided to adopt the acquired company's computerised property management system throughout the enlarged group. Following a period in which little progress was made in the implementation programme we were asked to provide project management assistance. We carried out a brief review to establish progress and presented our findings to the client together with a suggested plan of action. The plan was accepted and we proceeded to implement the property management system in three of the four UK regions. Our work involved training staff, designing coding structures, and developing procedures. We controlled the changeover from the manual system to the new computerised system. Peel Holdings Plc
Commercial Task Force Investigation Television Company Europe 14 We were asked by the client to assist four of their senior managers (The Executive Steering Group) in their cost reduction investigations of eight specified areas. The scope of our assistance included: acting as leader and facilitator; driving the investigation to successful completion; providing supporting analysis; producing study notes, reports and presentations; and reviewing the ESG's output. Anglia Television Group plc
Commercial Standards Planning Direct Marketing Services Europe 101 Our client is a major credit referencing and marketing services organisation. They were considering seeking registration to BS 5750 in order to improve internal efficiency and respond to customer and market pressure. Having assessed current procedures against BS 5750, we helped them develop outline Quality Management Systems for their technical IT operations and sales activities. Finally, we produced a plan of the tasks, effort, costs and resources required to develop and implement a BS 5750 compatible QMS. Equifax Europe Ltd
Commercial IT Strategic Review Storage & Distribution Group UK 104 Our client is a major UK firm, with a turnover in excess of £30M, involved in the storage, distribution and transport industries. They are a part of a worldwide group involved in these activities. The UK management asked us to conduct an independent review of their IT Strategy which would be considered as an input (alongside one from their own DP department) to their business planning process. We conducted the review and produced a costed, prioritised 5 year IT development plan. The project led in turn to us conducting a review of worldwide IT strategy, the specification of a real-time sales order processing system and the requirements definition and ITT procedure for a transport control system. Frigoscandia
Commercial Systems Selection & Implementation Distribution Company Asia 167 We were asked by our associates in Pakistan to assist them with the selection of a computer for their client who was the largest distributor of any product in the country. We produced a requirements specification and conducted an Invitation to Tender procedure. The latter involved, because of the location, a detailed on-site evaluation of the potential hardware and software suppliers. The solution chosen was the installation of minicomputers at major regional offices with communication to head office by the physical transfer of magnetic media. The software was a bespoke/package combination and we assisted in the preparation of a phased development plan over a 3 year period. During this implementation period we provided support by telex, telephone and letter advising on planning, progress, problem resolution and documentation review. Muller & Phipps
Commercial Business Requirements Specification Tyre and Exhaust Fitting Specialist Europe 20 Following a review that we carried out for a major tyre and exhaust fitting specialist we were asked to undertake the selection of a new computer system using a more rigorous approach than was employed before. We were responsible for producing a detailed business requirements specification and for selecting suppliers to be invited to tender for the development of a major bespoke system. The end result was a specification for over fifteen networked minicomputers running a national integrated retail, distribution, stock control, financial and management reporting system. The main benefit to our client was that we provided them with a controlled approach to systems selection. Associated Tyre Specialists
Commercial Logistics Operation Review Warehousing.Distribution/Petfood Products Europe 106 Review of the logistics operations of Gamston Kennels warehouse organisation in the supply of pet foods and products. The project encompassed:
  • identifying performance targets for all logistics operations;
  • document the logistics chain;
  • identifying operations to improve effectiveness of logistics chain;
  • preparing an action plan for the implementation of the recommendations.
Gamston Kennels
Commercial Property Systems Selection Property Company UK & Ireland 308 Our client is a local property investment and estate agency group. A decision had been made that the management department's computer system had reached the end of its useful life and significant efficiency improvements could be made by replacing it. We defined in outline the departments management and accounting requirements, researched the market and prepared an Invitation to Tender which was sent to selected suppliers. We then evaluated the responses, suggested a shortlist and set up and attended demonstrations of the systems before producing a final report. Our final report detailed our conclusions and recommendations together with a suggested plan to implement any system selected. Wrather & Company
Commercial Audit Nuclear Industry Europe 185 We were asked to perform an audit of a series of spreadsheet financial models which our client, a major company in the nuclear industry, had designed and built to forecast its accounts for the next fifty years. Several of the models, which had all been built by different members of the clients staff, forecast information such as reactor fuel burn costs, fuel reprocessing costs and decommissioning costs. This information was transferred to a central model that forecast the company's financial statements. Our review was designed with four objectives in mind:
  • the models should be arithmetically accurate, that is all the formulae should be consistent;
  • the logic of the models should be correct, that is they should operate in the way their designers intended them to;
  • the procedures surrounding the use of the models should be well defined: changes to the logic of the models should be fully documented and reviewed, and different scenarios of the models should use consistent data;
  • the models should be consistent with the client's accounting policies.
We were able to make recommendations for improvement in relation to all four of these objectives, and also provided advice to our client on a number of principles of good financial modelling.
Nuclear Electric plc
Commercial Questionnaire & Conference Publishing UK & Ireland 194 Our client, a major UK publisher, asked us to assist them with a study for a conference focusing on the management of change and corporate culture in their organisation. We circulated a corporate culture questionnaire to a sample of 40 staff in their administration and distribution divisions. Following the survey, we presented our findings at the clients annual conference and helped to run syndicate group workshops on current major projects. The client wrote that 'by common consent this was the most successful of [our] conferences so far'. Further, the study on change has helped senior management to assess key issues when planning future major products. Oxford University Press
Commercial Cost Improvement Implementation Television Company Europe 11 For a regional television company we assisted their project management team implement a series of recommendations for new administrative and financial systems across a number of functional areas. The work was based upon our own set of recommendations that were agreed following our study to identify significant cost savings. We worked with the team for twelve months until the successful implementation of the last recommendation. The project was completed on time and within the company's financial budget. Anglia Television Group plc
Commercial Systems Selection Retailer Europe 122 Our client is a major retailer with over 100 outlets in the south and west of the UK. All their administrative and accounting systems were manual and they had decided to investigate the possibility of introducing computers. We assisted with a full requirements analysis of the business functions and conducted an ITT procedure for the first phase of computerisation consisting of branch returns and accounting. We chose a packaged-based system, conducted negotiations with the supplier and assisted with implementation planning. We provided support during the implementation which went so smoothly that the client decided to significantly advance his IT plans and consider the early introduction of computerised stock control, bar coding, and point-of-sale. Hodges Menswear
Commercial Merger & Acquisition - Relocation Implementation Plan DIY/ Manufacturing Europe 41 For a medium sized manufacturer of wood products for the DIY and construction market we assisted management prepare a detailed, fully costed task plan for the implementation of a major relocation and merger of two manufacturing business. These businesses based in the South of England were to be transformed to a single site in the North which was previously used for manufacturing but currently is vacant and run down. We used the latest project management computer tool to assist our review of task timings and costs. BLP
Commercial IT Strategic Review Manufacturing Europe 99 Our client is a specialist manufacturer primarily involved in Ministry of Defence subcontract work. Having undertaken a major restructuring, the company invited us to carry out a full review of costing systems and measure the implications of our recommendations on existing IT facilities. This incorporated a full strategic review of the potential use of information technology within the company, with particular reference to the costing,manufacturing and accounting areas. As an MOD subcontractor the company must employ procedures to ensure batch traceability and so this was an important factor when defining the application systems. We then produced a full Invitation to Tender and assisted the company to chose new systems which would support their business objectives. EPS Logistics Technology
Commercial IT Strategy Water Industry Europe 109 Our client is an independent water company, established for over 140 years, supplying 10 million gallons of water per day to 92000 consumers. The company have used computer systems to control the business financially and technically over a period of 15 years. The company needed to prepare an Asset Management Plan to cover their expenditure for the next twenty years which would include detailed IT expenditure. The company saw this as an opportunity to conduct a high level strategic review of the current systems and to plan an outline for the future. We were asked to help the company develop the IT framework which reflected their needs, size and resources. This was achieved through a series of interviews and a one day management workshop discussing issues, requirements and priorities. The results were documented and now form the basis of their IT policy. Hartlepools Water Company
Commercial Voice Mail Professional Services Europe 39 Working with our client, we helped them to implement the voice mail service provided by a major telecommunications organisation. The external voice mail system was used to gain experience for the client in the new technology and as a prelude to the selection and installation of an in-house system. BDO Binder Hamlyn
Commercial Feasibility Study Retail Group UK & Ireland 290 Our client is a major High Street retail group, which places a great deal of emphasis on corporate giving. Outstanding growth in recent years has created an overload of work in the charities department. We reviewed the work of the department and considered the case for automation of the department's functions. We also conducted an initial survey of the software market and provided our client with a cost-benefit analysis of various options that were available to them. This study helped the board to reach their decision to proceed with a computerisation project. The client commissioned us to continue to work with them on a user requirements specification document. Westend Client (Charities Department)
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Group Accountant Engineering Worldwide 24 Our client, a large international PLC sought our advice on certain human resource issues at head office, including succession planning. As a result of our recommendations we were retained to identify a suitably qualified individual for a high-profile role in the head-office team. We advertised the position and an appointment was made. Babcock International Group plc
Commercial Systems Planning Chartered Surveyors UK & Ireland 278 For our client, one of the leading firms of chartered surveyors, we assisted with the planning of a BS 5750 compatible quality management system. We interviewed partners and staff from various offices, assessed current procedures against BS 5750 and outlined the scope and structure of a suitable QMS. We then developed a plan covering the costs, effort and timescales involved in developing and implementing the QMS. Weatherall Green & Smith
Commercial Industry Review Direct Marketing Services Europe 187 For a major marketing consultancy we were commissioned to produce a briefing paper to enable their creative staff to prepare a campaign for innovative and business orientated view of the parcels industry. Our report examined the market structure, major trends, analysed the competition and examined the decision making process behind companies selection of parcel carrier. This report was used as the basis of advertising copy for the relaunch and has also provided input into the parcel firm's strategic planning process. Ogilvy & Mather Direct
Commercial IT Strategy Manufacturing Europe 113 Our client is a group of companies manufacturing internal fixtures for aircraft including; seats, overhead lockers and complete galleys. We conducted a business review and determined the possible advantageous uses for IT in two of the galley manufacturing companies. This was followed by a requirements analysis and an ITT procedure. Amongst the essential features was batch traceability, in order to comply with the Civil Aviation Authority requirements that detailed manufacturing records be kept for 10 years. The system was successfully installed and we advised the company again, some four years later, when internal growth and changes of direction by the company's software supplier necessitated an upgrade or replacement of their systems. Henshalls
Commercial Review of Cost Systems Printing Europe 126 For a major printing company we assisted our client to define a new approach to product costing. This approach established a framework for treating costs which were unit based, batch based, product line based and facilities based. Hunterprint
Commercial Replacement Accounting Systems IT Software Europe 111 For the UK branch of a leading international supplier of computer communications software and equipment, we conducted a review of existing operational and accounting systems. Our client had, at the time of our review, a variety of existing UK based systems with manual interfaces to centralised operational and accounting systems in the USA. The USA head office was also undertaking a project to develop a centralised system capable of supporting both head office and local branch requirements (eg European and VAT requirements). The client's main difficulties were identified to be a lack of sales information for managers and sales staff, poor controls resulting from the use of multiple manual systems, and difficulties processing sales orders as turnover increased. The review of current UK branch operations, and the status of the head office project led us to recommend that an interim PC network packaged solution be rapidly implemented over a period of two months prior to the implementation of the centralised head office system. This recommendation was accepted by UK branch management. Following this work, we went on to assist head office staff to understand local European requirements. Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Finance Director SpecialiZm - Construction UK & Ireland 301 Our client asked us to identify a suitable shortlist of candidates for the position of Finance Director. Their Finance Director had left suddenly, so it was important that a replacement was found with the least possible delay. We identified three excellent candidates who were interviewed by the client within one week. An appointment was made. Westminster Scaffolding
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Finance Director Travel UK & Ireland 193 The client wished to enhance the quality of financial reporting in a major division by recruiting a well-qualified, commercially driven Finance Director. We advertised the position and successfully identified a high quality shortlist with which the client was very satisfied. The new Finance Director found himself almost immediately in a takeover situation, on which we advised, and he performed superbly. Owners Abroad
Commercial Business Systems Strategy Retail Group UK & Ireland 295 Our client is the head office of a major retail group. They asked us to look at the various head office functions (which include retail banking, payroll, investment, legal and accounting services) with a view to planning their office systems upgrade. We considered the outline requirements of all the services and information flows. The strategy needed to consider the interrelationships between head office functions and the interface between head office and trading functions. We helped our client to identify a clear systems migration path that would allow them considerable room for organic growth and the acquisition of additional functions. Westend Client
Commercial Time Recording and Costing System Regional Tourist Board Europe 183 Following our work in helping this regional tourist board to prepare a business plan we were asked to define a time recording and costing system. The system was designed to provide the Chief Executive and individual programme managers with more accurate information on the actual costs of running individual promotions, publication and research programmes. North West Tourist Board
Commercial Systems Review Public Relations UK & Ireland 254 We were asked by our client to review their existing computer systems, a small network of microcomputers, and make recommendations for improvements. Stratton and Reekie
Commercial Outsourcing Contract Management Energy United Kingdom 364 Z/Yen played a major role in helping British Gas outsource its `legacy' Information Systems. In the 1990s British Gas Corporation underwent a major restructuring, demerging to form Centrica, BG Group, and National Grid, which involved introducing new computer systems for each business. The legacy systems needed to be kept running for a significant period during handover to new systems. The contract for managing the legacy systems was awarded to Capgemini (Hoskyns). With only four months to put in place a Contract Management Group (CMG), British Gas IS Change Manager Kevin Connolly turned to Z/Yen for help. Kevin recognised that it was essential to have a `core of expertise' who were goal-orientated. Z/Yen was asked to establish the IS strategy, pull together the CMG team, and develop processes & procedures. Perhaps the key decision was to show the new operating companies that they needed to work together on their legacy systems rather than hand over everything to the outsourcing supplier immediately, thus incurring excessive change control charges. Kevin Connolly explains: "Z/Yen's lively and energetic style constantly challenged us to find positive solutions while providing the knowledge and experience to help guide the contract management process. Their mission was to put in place the commercial management culture and make our contract management group `fit for purpose'. Their consultants helped us to establish policies, controls and reports necessary to manage this complex contract. Their approach enabled me to prioritise our efforts effectively and to interface quickly with the 48 members of the Hoskyns contract management team." British Gas
Commercial Strategy Visits Utilities Europe 178 We took our client, the newly appointed Head of Strategic Planning at a Regional Electricity Company to visit his counterparts in other large and international organisations in the energy, utilities and regulated business sectors. He was particularly keen to explore how other organisations addressed the unique requirements of highly regulated capital intensive industries. Accompanied UK and overseas visits were arranged, helping the client to establish useful business contacts as well as research this particular topic. North Western Electricity Board
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Finance Director Paper Merchant Europe 152 The client is a paper merchanting group with a turnover of £130m. It buys and sells globally, 99% of its turnover being matched bargains. The incumbent FD, whom we recruited two years earlier, had decided to move on because the economic climate meant that his scope for personal development was limited. The challenge in the recruitment was to identify an individual who was acceptable to both the executive management and the institutional investors who backed the management buy-out two years ago. The individual must also combine an attention to detail with acceptability to, and credibility with, bankers and other city institutions. We successfully identified a man with appropriated experience, who as able to start quickly. Meteor Holdings Ltd
Commercial Business Plan Marketing Consultancy UK & Ireland 207 For an innovative marketing consultancy and training firm we were commissioned to assist in the production of a business plan for a new direct marketing product. Our brief encompassed project management of the production process, development of a sophisticated financial planning model and acting as a 'sounding board' on many commercial issues such as pricing, competitor analysis and demand forecasting. Our involvement ensured that the business plan was produced on time and addressed the key issues facing the project. The Programmes Network
Commercial SpecialiZm - Systems & Procedures Review Magazine Distribution UK & Ireland 263 For a major distributor of magazines and periodicals we undertook three main streams of work: Stock and Issue Controls: we designed and implemented a stock control system designed to track the history of each issue of a publication, recording print orders, returns and current stock. We implemented wide ranging systems and procedures to facilitate the verification of declared returns to support affidavit claims to publishers; Review of computer Systems: we undertook a detailed review of the company's existing computer systems, covering the hardware platform, operating system and application system. Our review focused on the weaknesses of the current systems and recommended a number of options for the company to consider. The preferred option for the long-term benefit of the company was to source packaged software, tailored as required, to replace their existing systems; Finance Director Secondment: our preliminary work with this client recommended the appointment of a Finance Director based at its operational centre. During the 3-4 month recruitment period we provided a Financial Director on secondment. Areas covered were the introduction of EC VAT procedures and reporting, recommendations for new financial and management reporting, control reports for quanitfy publisher exposure, agent contract profitability and monitoring performance against publisher portfolios. United Newspapers
Commercial Systems Implementation Market Research UK & Ireland 220 Following acceptance of the business case, we provided assistance in the development of the Quality Management System manuals, gaining acceptance of the manuals by an appropriate certification body, launching the QMS, training staff, aiding the development of the Internal Quality Audit function and helping the client through to full registration under BS 5750. Research International UK Ltd
Commercial Task Force Preparation Television Company Europe 13 Having identified areas for further cost reduction study in the previous 'Measurement and Capacity Study', we were asked to prepare briefing packs for those areas which were to be investigated by a joint task force of Z/Yen and four of the company's senior managers. The briefing packs contained the results of previous study, general areas for investigation, preliminary options for investigation, the method of working and an estimate of resources and timescales. Anglia Television Group plc
Commercial Management Buyout Telecommunications Catering Europe 57 Our client was interested in reducing headcount and making support businesses more accountable for their actions. We were asked to examine the feasibility of spinning out the catering function so that it could compete with outside contractors. The company was one of the largest worldwide telecommunication groups and had the largest internal UK catering operation. The key problem was ascertaining the viability of the catering operation as a going concern in a competitive environment. Our study resulted in a short presentation which outlined the key problems and available options. In this instance, the client decided to proceed with outside catering contracts, but not to proceed with establishing a separate, competitive catering company from its internal function. British Telecom Catering
Commercial Systems Development Manufacturing UK & Ireland 211 Our client is a very large manufacturer and supplier of a basic building material. They operate several mainframe computers and have a large computer department. They had a number of strategic IT developments in hand at the particular time and had a shortage of experienced project managers. Consequently we were asked to act as project managers for the development and implementation of a new management information system. The development was carried out on an IBM mainframe the DB2 relational database management system and the SQL query language facility. An integral part of the project was introducing managers to, and instructing them in, the use of the system. The project was implemented within both time and cost budgets. Redland Bricks
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - European Systems Manager Retailer Europe 273 We were retained to identify a European Systems Manager for a start-up retail subsidiary of a major US communications group. We advertised the position and presented an excellent short-list from which a candidate was chosen. Warner Bros Studio Stores
Commercial Interim Management and Department Restructuring Publishing Europe 94 This major publishing firm was in the middle of replacing the majority of its central systems. The existing group MIS manager was taken ill with no prospect of return. We were asked to provide an interim manager to take over the day to day running of the computer department. In addition, we were asked to undertake a review of the department and prepare recommendations to improve the service levels provided. Our review addressed the mission and objectives of the department, the structure and resourcing and also service level agreements and departmental procedures. Dorling Kindersley
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Financial Controller Utilities Europe 181 We were asked to recruit a financial controller for an electricity company, following re-organisation of the finance function. The role was a new one and, as such, was difficult to define. A candidate from the original shortlist was offered the position but declined it, and the client asked us to identify further candidates. This we successfully did, and a suitable individual was offered, and accepted, the position. North Western Electricity Board
Commercial Banking Operational Procedures Review Retail Group UK & Ireland 286 Following the selection of a new banking and accounting system, our client, a major High Street retail group, asked us to review its banking department's existing procedures and recommend changes to ensure that the procedures were appropriate and efficient for the new system. The work involved us analysing the bank's existing procedures and understanding the requirements of the new systems. Our analytical approach to this work plus our knowledge of the bank's operational procedures and of the computerised banking system enabled us to make recommendations of changes that were practical for the client, could satisfy the Bank of England's procedural guidelines and would result in the system functioning efficiently Westend Client
Commercial IT Strategy and Selection Property Company UK & Ireland 238 Our client is a property investment and development company owning mainly retail properties with a small element of office and residential properties, both leasehold and freehold, single and multi tenancy. The properties are all managed in house. They had a B20 system which supported nominal ledger, payroll, word processing and spreadsheet applications, and were looking to implement a purchase ledger and property management system. Their current software house were pressurising them to move to a Unix based system. We conducted an initial review of the current systems, the property management systems in the marketplace and suggested the best way forward for the client in introducing a computerised property management system and purchase ledger given the current hardware and software in use. Shop and Store Developments
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Production Manager Plastics & Packaging UK & Ireland 240 Our client manufactures plastic packaging for the food and medical sectors. Turnover is £15m. We were retained to recruit a Production Manager with experience in a continual production/process environment, and strong staff management skills. We advertised the position and produced a shortlist of four candidates from which an appointment was made. Sidlaw PLC
Commercial Survey Computer Distributor Europe 130 For this fast expanding computer distribution company, we conducted a corporate culture survey. We sampled 12 staff and also surveyed the Board of Directors. Unusually, the Board was more critical of the existing culture than staff. There was a very strong consensus between Directors and staff over where the emphasis of culture should be and where there were gaps between existing and desired culture. This analysis helped the Board to prioritise procedures to enhance the corporate culture in the desired direction. Ideal Hardware
Commercial IT Effectiveness Review Office Supplies & Printing Group UK & Ireland 226 Our client had a mature mainframe computer installation and required assurance that it was still meeting the business needs, still providing value for money and would be able to support the predicted level of growth of the group's activities. We examined the hardware, the systems and applications software, the business requirements, the computer department's staff numbers and capabilities, their working methods and development plans. At the end of the project we were able to reassure our client on every point plus indicate where and, most importantly, when, changes and additions would be required in staffing, hardware, software and working methods. Satex Limited
Commercial Computer Systems Selection Sports Club London 209 Our client is a prestigious sports club, specialising in lawn tennis. We were asked to conduct a review of the existing computerised membership system, and investigate the client's requirements for an integrated accounting and membership system. We prepared a requirements specification system and issued an invitation to tender. As a result we were able to identify a suitable supplier to replace the existing systems. The Queen's Club
Commercial Interactive Voice Response Systems Selection Telecommunications Europe 135 Our client, an entrepreneurial venture in interactive voice response telecommunications, asked us to help them to find suitable systems to support their services. We conducted research into this fast changing market in both Europe and America and produced a request for information (RFI). We also circulated the RFI to potential suppliers identified by our research. Our work helped our client to understand the supplier market for their venture, enabling the client to make a well informed selection decision. Interactive Telephone Services
Commercial Cost Reduction Implementation Television Company Europe 16 For a UK television company who owns one of the ITV franchises we have provided project management assistance to the client's project team. Our work has involved directing the team in specification of a number of new systems such as purchase order management, payroll, artiste payments and MIS. We have assisted in the process of preparing invitations to tender, selecting tender list of vendors and final system selection. In addition we have undertaken data gathering interviews and trained and educated staff to appreciate the future systems direction of the company. Anglia Television Group plc
Commercial Personnel Manager Professional Services Europe 34 Our client is the seventh largest firm of chartered accountants and management consultants in the world. Following the appointment of a new Personnel Director, and a reorganisation of the personnel department, a generalist with experience in operational, strategic and project based personnel management was sought. We recommended a half page advertisement in Personnel Management and were able to produce an excellent shortlist within four weeks of the advertisement appearing from which an appointment was made BDO Binder Hamlyn
Commercial Systems Development Chartered Surveyors UK & Ireland 279 Our client is one of the largest firms of Chartered Surveyors in the UK with over 500 staff in seven offices. We assisted the client in developing the procedures and manuals for a BS 5750-compliant Quality Management System. The system was developed to be applicable to the full range of property-based services offered by the client from all its offices. Weatherall Green & Smith
Commercial SpecialiZm - Recruitment - Group MIS Manager Publishing Europe 95 We were retained by this major publishing company to recruit a Group MIS Manager. We advertised the position and put forward a strong shortlist from which an appointment was made. Dorling Kindersley
Commercial Efficiency Review Utilities Europe 180 For a privatised electricity distribution company we carried out an efficiency review as part of the setting of the price regulation formula. We reviewed the revenue and cost projections to assess the scope for efficiency savings. We also reviewed the capital expenditure projection to determine the financing requirements over a ten year period. North Western Electricity Board
Commercial Thought Leadership Study in Intellectual Property Law Firm Europe 320 In a full-service European law firm with a major US-client base, one area in which the firm was ranked highly in Europe was intellectual property (IP), yet partners complained that the firm did not have a high profile compared to some of its competitors in the crucial US market. Our aim was to try and help them 'own the IP space' with a piece of iconic marketing that would get the firm noticed by IP professionals. We proposed an index that compared national jurisdictions in various aspects of IP. A small group of partners was assembled from each IP discipline (copyright, trademark and patents) and a questionnaire devised. We then partnered with the leading IP publication, Managing Intellectual Property and launched the survey, mobilizing contacts of the firm and trade associations to encourage members to participate. We elicited several hundred responses and launched the report in May 2008. As for results, not only was there extensive media coverage with a piece of marketing property that increased in importance over time, not only did several companies ask for pitches, but the Global Intellectual Property Index (GIPI) also won the Excellence Award for Business Development & Marketing from the UK Law Society for 2008. As the lead client noted after the awards, "several competitors were furious they didn't think of this first". The GIPI continues to thrive and GIPI 4 was published in 2013. Taylor Wessing
Commercial Systems Review Architects & Building Surveyors UK & Ireland 252 Our client was formed in 1985 and brought together the unusual collaboration of Architect and Building Surveyor. Their contracts have been mainly for refurbishment, re-arrangement or extension of existing accommodation. They wanted to expand their operations and commissioned us to perform a review of their markets and internal business systems. Our market survey identified strengths, weaknesses and core competencies. We carried out a full review of their internal systems. These were divided into: technical information, document control, project control, management and financial information, micro-computers and automation. Stewardson Searle Partnership
Commercial IT Service Effectiveness Review Agrochemicals UK & Ireland 230 Our client is a leading European agrochemicals company with research and manufacturing centres throughout Europe. The Information Technology Department, based at one of the company's major agrochemical plants in UK, required an audit of the effectiveness and efficiency of the services it offered its users. We performed an assignment assessing the company's IT operations. This assignment included investigations into the main aspects of IT service provision including organisation and staffing, performance and capacity management, contingency planning, problem and change control and security. The study resulted in a concise definition of problem / risk areas and recommendations for rapid improvement. These recommendations were accepted, and formed the core of a service improvement programme controlled by the client. Schering Agrochemicals Limited