Consulting Partner - Wellington
Stefan Collins see’s his role in the Consulting practice as delivering perhaps one of the most crucial services any business can have right now. ‘I deal with the issues that keep CFO’s awake at night, and right now, there are a lot of them,’ says Stefan.
A fresh pair of eyes doesn’t go amiss
Beginning life in the Accounting & Advisory part of the practice as a graduate Stefan leapt at the opportunity to get more deeply involved in the broader business issues when an opening in Consulting came along in1994. ‘I consider myself to be a lateral thinker, I love delving into problems and looking at a variety of ways to solve them, and it’s now more than ever that this kind of thinking is needed. I’m seeing a lot of businesses almost frozen by fear of not knowing exactly how to address a certain challenge. This is mostly due to the fact that they don’t know what the future holds both in the short and the medium term, so this lack of clarity is rendering them immobile. I work with CFO’s to break down the challenges into manageable chunks, so they can see the scale of what they need to focus on, then follow a systematic approach to finding solutions for them. It’s usually things like ensuring they have the right information at their fingertips, without committing huge amounts of resources to the problem or helping finance teams cut their costs intelligently without compromising key operations. It’s often easier to see the opportunities when you are outside the organisation and not distracted by the day to day operations or the legacy of past decisions,’ says Stefan.
In these times, ask the hard questions
Of the current climate Stefan has some practical advice for businesses, ‘eliminate waste and ensure the organisation is getting value for every dollar spent’, he says. For instance, ‘does an organisation really need the tens or hundreds of reports produced each month, or could that effort be applied to building the business in different ways? Look for duplication of effort, quite often there will be pockets of the organisation working on exactly the same problem, often without any sight of the other team's endeavours. Are organisational budgets being developed in great detail, only for that detail to be ignored in the day to day oversight of operations?’
Making a difference
Of his new role as a partner Stefan is effusive about the opportunities it provides, ‘it’s a great chance for me to get out there and talk about what I do, developing new networks and establishing myself. I see it as a challenge but one that is firmly supported by the firm and our existing clients. We’ve done great stuff and having that track record behind us helps businesses make those all important decisions around who to use so much easier. Clients need to know you can make a difference, because that’s what’s truly needed.’ And examples of the types of differences that Stefan can make are no more evident than one particular NZ corporate where Stefan assisted them. ‘We identified several hundred million dollars worth of savings, much of it achieved within a very short time frame which was hugely satisfying. It required a tight team, good professional judgement and a robust rationale for the proposed savings. It also needed a highly motivated and enthusiastic client, which we certainly had, and when you look at the result it’s not surprising really!'
Stefan’s areas of expertise include:
- Finance transformation, with a particular focus on the design and implementation of efficient planning and budgeting process and systems
- Strategic and business plan development
- Cost reduction initiatives
- Development and review of business cases for investment
Email Stefan or call him on +64 (4) 470 3790
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