A multi-national media company came to Q5 asking us to run a global project that would identify best practice across their three main businesses around the world. It was the first major project for our team in Australia and proved we could run an operation of significant scale – delivered globally – out of our new office.
The challenge was to compare and contrast all the different functions across their British, American and Australian businesses, and find opportunities for improving efficiency and quality in each of them. All three reported revenues and cost mix differently as well as their product ranges, customers, structure, and financial reporting requirements, and thus like-for-like comparisons were a major headache for the overall group.
The parent company wanted all three businesses to speak the same language, learn from each other’s successes and failures, and, where possible, find opportunities for greater cooperation or even common functions.
This was a global project with a crack team that rotated between our offices in Sydney, London, and New York, but our HQ for the project was Australia on account of the media sector expertise of the Q5 team there.
We reviewed the three businesses at an organisational and functional level. The project relied on workshops with key clients to gather data and accurately map all of the functions across the three operations, as well as to agree on a standard set of key metrics.
Q5 then built a ‘functional comparison model’ to provide like-for-like comparisons. Wherever one of the three organisations scored significantly higher, we worked with the respective Finance Departments to determine what the root cause of this better performance was, and whether a best practice could be identified, or whether it was due to external factors or strategic differences.
We helped the entire organisation create a unified language, and came up with a standard set of ratios and metrics that meant the businesses and their performance could finally be compared to each other accurately.
This was also a project that needed critical understanding of the organisations and how they fitted together. Working closely with the Finance Departments, we identified where the data flagged opportunities for organisational improvement, and where they had alternative explanations.
Overall, the analysis we conducted identified efficiency improvements across numerous functions for all three organisations, and also helped the Finance Department streamline the hundreds of budget processes across the group and simplify all of its reporting. The parent company now knows what the information is, what it tells them, and what levers they could pull to make quick and effective changes.
The end result of the project was that a number of improvements were made in all three organisations based on the examples of their sister organisations, and several activities were identified as being able to benefit from a pooled resource model.