Case studies

Metronet Rail Limited:

Interim Head of Finance, Maintenance  Incumbent walked out, leaving runaway cost overruns (in excess of £1.2m only 3 months into the financial year) and a demoralised team of seven side-lined by senior management and struggling to understand new ERP finance system. Achievements:

  • Overspend cut by 80% within three months on a budget of c£120m
  • Led Finance team to tighten period close process, halving reporting time to three days, simultaneously improving management report quality for both business as usual and projects.  This restored management’s faith in the team, allowing further improvements
  • Created cross-silo meetings allowing capex and opex allocations for forecasts and plans, removing large area of confusion and allowing refocus of management attention on cost drivers and improved controls as part of strategy review
  • Created and gained Board agreement to new corporate policies (deferred income and capitalisation)
  • Facilitated consensus across all finance functions to develop new standardised reports and agree restructure of standard chart of accounts without swamping IT

Finance Change Manager
VP Asset Performance needed to create improved processes and embed efficiency improvements enabled by relatively new ERP systems in order for Business Plan cost targets to be met.  Achievements:

  • Balance of requested data granularity with ease of capture for job costing
  • Creation of cross-functional teams to develop processes for increased data capture, gaining union agreement where necessary
  • Trouble-shooting of post-implementation issues, eg supplied flexibility to the selected system by assigning attributes to key information to support organisational restructure at roughly six-monthly intervals, obviating average 15 day suspension in reporting
  • Promoting knowledge of system capabilities and designing and communicating new processes that used these more effectively, regularly feeding back to CFO
  • As a sub-project, led benchmarking study across the three infracos to compare methods and costs, leading to the establishment of the “notional Infraco” as used by Office of Rail Regulator

Overheads Reduction Consultant
Severe overspending drove overheads investigation.  Identified cost drivers and process control mechanisms, and developed performance measures to enable best control of overheads for Head of Finance and IS. Developed new cost model, recommending process changes to improve control and make it easier to quantify overheads for future analysis

Service Level Agreement Consultant
PPP contract required contingency plan for company failure, which meant service level agreements were needed where functions were shared.  Developed and negotiated agreements for Finance, IT and Facilities.  Client specifically commended detailed RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) process descriptions, the positive impact on accountability of both service providers and customers and the improved feedback on service

London Underground Ltd:

Finance Manager (Company Plan)
Proposals by 26 teams of Value Analysis consultants needed validation and progression within a coherent financial plan, optimising special government grant.  Team’s role also covered facilities and payroll. Formulated and managed budgets of up to £88M and management reporting of £400m to achieve £120m pa of hard financial benefits, turning loss of c£200m to profit of c£250m after four years while increasing customer satisfaction.

Gillette Group plc UK:

Process Harmonisation Consultant
Group was formed from recent merger of four companies, each with its own (often conflicting) policies and procedures.  To accommodate inter-company sensitivities, Stephanie led team of representatives from each company to map existing processes and develop common policies and procedures that optimised departmental efficiencies without loss of control in order to prepare for stringent internal audit. These were combined to form online detailed policies and procedures manual.

For a long-term interim manager or short-term consultancy help, please contact us for an initial conversation.