Kevin Jessup, Franchisee
What has been your career highlight-
I was working for a Civil Engineering & Plant Hire firm didn’t have a finance person for 18 months after the previous CFO committed a fraud, there was a lack of trust in the finance team but the business was doing well and had won some large contracts. The CEO admitted that they hadn’t done much record keeping but felt they were doing well because there were millions in the bank.
I had to reconstruct 18 months worth of transactions when I arrived, and found that tax, superannuation, GST and a range of other statutory payments had not been made. Whilst this was an accounting challenge there was a serious impact on cash flow to pay these back. I was able to get everything up to date within in 6 months using some great cash flow strategies. The CEO was very grateful that I was able to navigate the business through that period.
What is the biggest impact you have had in your career-
I was working for the world bank in Ghana and asked to look at a goldmine that was losing money and haemorrhaging cash. Our cost to produce an ounce was $290 but the market price was only $250.
I literally went through every single cost of the mine and work out:-
We identified areas where expenditure had to stop, like exploration work which was needed for a future that would never have come if we ran out of cash. This cause some heated debate about strategy but I held firm. We also went to every supplier to renegotiate costs and trade terms.
There were 1000 people working the mine and so I managed huge rationalisation of the work force.
We moved people from exploration into mining of our actual site, to maximise output per day and had to move some people on.
We also worked out how much machinery we needed to meet goals and off loaded excess equipment.
Over a period of 6 months we reduced the production cost per ounce rate from 280 to 170 which had a $10.8 increase of profit in the business.
Why do you like working with SMEs
I love to see success and I love to see great results. I want someone I work with to be successful and play my part. In SMEs I get to do that with real business owners and any contribution I make to their achievement of goals gets me excited. It’s why I work. Working in big business, despite my results, I was a small part in a large organisation, I can have a greater impact, and work with the beneficiary of my impact in an SME
The reality is that each time this happens I get re motivated to go again.
What industries do you have experience in
Mining and Mining Services
Manufacturing (Austalia and Global)
Importing/Exporting (Supply chain management)
Independent farming (Agri)
How do you communicate with your clients
I am committed to my clients, I can’t say I am available 24/7 but I want to be seen a partner in their business and I know that in the SME world, this often means time to talk outside of the day to day running the business.
When it comes to technical skill, I used the same methods at the Gold mine as I did in a small scale organic egg farm to achieve similar results. I know big business strategies work for SMEs.
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