Trying times for businesses in SA?

[Tuesday, 18 September 2018]

We at Primo Consulting believe this is the time that one should offer the ‘best in class’ management tools to CEOs and managers to handle the situation. These are:

• Scenario planning

We believe no company in our present circumstances should endeavour to either do strategic planning or update their strategic plan, without the ‘guidance’ of a renowned scenario planner of the likes of our associate. She will explore the most probable future scenarios for South Africa with you, to guide your planning. She is a world-renowned scenario planner who has been a guest lecturer at several business schools in SA and abroad. Her work with corporate teams and audiences has taken her as far as England, Scotland, Ireland, USA, Netherlands, Italy and Australia. She comes highly recommended!

• Latest strategic planning tool

Our new strategic planning tool consists of a systematic process to move organisations from cut-throat markets with ‘bloody’ competition, to new markets devoid from competition. It rests on three pillars, namely:

  • To find new value-cost frontiers beyond competition.
  • Trust and empowerment of own in-house team to do thorough research and roll out of strategy, once approved by executive team.
  • An in-house team of knowledgeable/influential employees from across all disciplines within the company to be led by a sponsor. The consultant to provide the technical know-how.

• Assistance with your research work into data mining, AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning;, through a leading Institution in Informatics with whom we are in association.

We suggest you either contact me, Nankie de Wit, on 082 824 3724 or Dr Raphulu (MC) on 083 205 0890 to arrange for a discussion and presentation on the above.

Succession Planning and Training & Development

[Tuesday, 17 July 2018]

This is the third facet of the Balanced Scorecard which we undertook to write about.

As this is an area which is well known to management, the writer will only highlight the areas that need to be focused on, now and in future.

While much is being said about succession planning, not much is being done to round off the training and development of identified successors - more so, to equip them adequately to handle the fast-changing technical environment. We are into the fourth revolution, but much still needs to be done by many companies to make sure that they get the best mileage out of Big Data, Data Mining and AI.

The second most important area that is being overlooked is to equip successors to be able create the most appropriate kind of culture for businesses to operate effectively now and in future. Most of the successors will be of the younger generation, who have been ‘brought up’ in a highly technical environment where little time is being spent on people skills, and it will be expected of them to manage and lead employees with a similar ‘draw back’.

We need to round off the ‘to be’ successors, to be well equipped to get the best out of what’s being offered through the fourth revolution, and to equip them to be able to create an appropriate organisational culture to carry out business successfully.

This type of training/’rounding off’ will take time!

For a free presentation or consultation, kindly contact us on 082 824 3724 or email

The Fifth Management Tool - The Business Scorecard

[Wednesday, 27 June 2018]

This week at Primo Consulting we describe the fifth management tool, namely, the Business Scorecard, all the facets of which we facilitate.

The Balanced Scorecard consists of five separate facets, namely:

  • Financial analysis
  • Customer needs analysis (both current & future)
  • Succession planning and employee development
  • Business Process Optimisation (analysing all business processes e.g. production, marketing, stockholding etc. and redesigning it to optimise such processes, in conjunction with management)
  • Organisational Culture (‘diagnoses’ and redesign)


  • The most appropriate time to make use of any of the above facets would be when an up to date strategic plan is in place and a company’s enterprise architecture has been aligned with the updated strategic plan.
  • There is no set sequence for addressing the abovementioned facets. It all depends on a company’s immediate needs.

In this article, the writer will address two facets:

Financial Analysis

As most companies have auditors on board, it is considered unnecessary to elaborate on it.

Customer Needs Analysis (both current and future)

We conduct face to face market research into both client satisfaction (includes ratings as well as reasons for any dissatisfaction), and future needs which are not yet addressed by the company. Based on findings, recommendations will be tabled to the appropriate management level for discussion, after which, final recommendations will be submitted.


For companies which would like to make use of data mining to improve their marketing and to gain a better understanding of their competition, we can provide specialist assistance via our association with a leading institution in informatics.

For a free presentation or consultation, kindly contact us on cell 082 824 3724 or email

Enterprise Architecture (EA) Which we Facilitate for Companies

[Wednesday, 20 June 2018]

This week we at Primo Consulting give you some insight into the third top down management tool namely:

Enterprise Architecture (EA) which we facilitate for companies.


EA is the construct of that which makes up an organisation; how it functions now and how it will function in the future. It is at the ‘heart’ of any organisation’.

It speaks for itself that an up-to-date strategic plan must be in place prior to embarking on either the establishment of an EA plan for a new business, or the updating of an existing EA plan for an established business.

EA consists of five components (ala Barbara Carkenord a renowned business analyst) namely:

• Business Architecture – It sets out:

  • The goals to be achieved
  • The organisational structure required for the goals to be achieved
  • A SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats
  • Product analysis – analysis of current product ‘performances’ – i.e. identifying which products are the ‘true winners’ and which are the ‘loss leaders’

• Information Architecture

  • It is a plan for where the organisation will store information so that it is safe, secure, and easily accessible

• Application Architecture

  • It is simply a plan for maintaining existing applications and strategies for replacement, as well as plans for new applications and their interfaces so as not to hamper business growth

• Technology Architecture

  • It is simply the decisions necessary regarding the types of hardware, software and operating systems required to achieve strategic goals and supports the application architecture

• Safety Architecture

  • Includes securing corporate assets like databases, business rules and specifying backup, restore, recovery plans and network security

Only when the above is in place, should interfaces with all the relevant sections of the business be examined, and linkages be designed and mapped out.

To arrange a free presentation or consultation, contact or call 082 824 3724.

The Myth of High Costs of Consultants Laid Bare

[Tuesday, 10 October 2017]

The writer found it necessary to shed some light on the unnecessary clutter about the high costs of consultants by highlighting how users should get their money's worth.


  • It is assumed that no corrupt activities are involved; secondly,
  • It is not aimed at 'seasoned' managers; and thirdly,
  • It does not cover exercises like the facilitation of strategic plans, the results of which will only been seen in the medium to long term.

The following should be in place:

  1. A clear definition of the problem with which all the stakeholders agree. The consultant to be requested to verify it with them.
  2. The consultant should be accountable to a sponsor, who understands the business, who he/she reports to, who is included in the Exco committee of the company, and who has a good knowledge of project management.
  3. The consultant should table a project proposal and a cost benefit analysis of the project, to be approved by the executive committee of the company, together with a time schedule or project plan with clearly defined benefits and deliverables.
  4. Regular feedback sessions should be held and any deviation from the plan should immediately be investigated and corrected by the consultant.
  5. A written contract, which makes provision that a portion of the consultant's fee will be held back until all benefits have been realised, should be included.

To find out more about the contents of this article, please contact Primo Consulting on

The Three Box Solution - The way to go in SA!

[Wednesday, 02 August 2017]

Dr. V. Govindarajin, creator of the Three Box Solution, advocates that companies must simultaneously 1) manage the present, 2) selectively forget the past, and 3) create the future. This is most appropriate for businesses in SA - now more so than ever before!

We at Primo Consulting have the skillset to assist companies to manage these Three Boxes.

This includes:

  • Scenario planning by a world-renowned scenario planner
  • Strategy facilitation
  • Enterprise architecture (analysis and alignment with strategy)
  • Financial analysis and advice
  • Customer needs analysis (present and future)
  • Evaluation of innovative capability for the future and the structuring thereof
  • Optimisation of all company processes e.g. production, marketing, inventory management etc.
  • Analysis of company culture and facilitation of changes where necessary

For more detailed information, read the remainder of our blogs on our website at

Changing the Culture of an Organisation - Demystified

[Tuesday, 04 July 2017]

Readers are all too aware that quite 'a song and dance' is made by many subject matter experts on the above topic.

I promised to write an article on changing the culture of an organisation which is devoid of any woolliness or mysteriousness.


I will steer clear of any long-winded definitions and descriptions about organisational culture, other than defining it in its simplest form, namely 'the way we things around here'.

For the most part, companies will consider changing the culture of their organisations when:

  • They have completed or revised their strategic plans
  • On feedback received from customers
  • When sales are going down, competition is getting fiercer and/or profits are dropping

What is Required?

The following is essential:

  • An analysis of where the problem(s) lie - Does the problem lie in the product/service or in the way 'we do things around here' or in a combination of the two?
  • If 'culture' is part of the problem the CEO and his/her team should:
    • Find out from their customers what their requirements are.
    • Determine what core values/beliefs must become ingrained in the day-to-day management of the company, as well as in all their relations with clients/suppliers and with their teams.
    • Brief all employees on the newly accepted core values/beliefs that have been decided upon by management and the importance of 'living it out' in all their relations (management with employees as well!).
    • Determine how progress will be measured, by whom, how often, as well as penalties for non-compliance.
  • In addition:
    • Measurement and feedback should take place on pre-determined times
    • It is recommended that a selected team from all layers within the organisation should oversee the implementation and monitoring of the system, and give regular feedback to management and employees on progress made and recommendations where necessary.
    • Management should 'walk their talk'.
    • The system of measurement and feedback should stay in vogue until the newly accepted core values and beliefs have become part and parcel of the way things get done.
    • Changing/removing structures, systems and procedures that do not serve the newly defined core values and beliefs.
    • Acknowledge where progress has been made.
    • Institutionalise changes that prove to bear fruits.

For a more structured approach, visit our blog on our website

How to remain competitive in South Africa, with its unstable socio/political/economic situation

[Tuesday, 30 May 2017]

Given an inept government, an unequal society, an economic situation that is the worst in twenty years (ala Lungisa Fuzile, ex Director of the Treasury) with full junk status and a recession looming, we wish to offer you a value proposition that makes business sense in these times.

Value Proposition

Our analysis of the of the abovementioned scenario points out clearly, that in order for companies to remain competitive, the following steps need to be followed expeditiously in the sequence indicated.

  • Knowing what the most plausible scenarios for South Africa are (ways that the current South African situation can turn out). We have a world-renowned scenario planner on board.
  • Updating of their short, medium and long term strategic plans considering the findings above.

Because of the importance of acting expeditiously, the following first two steps should may be conducted simultaneously:

  • Re-assessing a company's enterprise architecture and adjusting where necessary.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction, and establishing and staying abreast of their fast shifting needs.
  • Optimization of companies' business processes e.g. production, marketing, buying, product handling and stockholding etc. processes.


We are a B-BBEE level 2 company

We possess the skill set to handle all the above requirements. We would strongly recommend that we either have a session with CEOs and their executive teams to discuss their companies' specific needs, or do a presentation on our value proposition to the team.

Kindly visit our website for more information about our team, our skills set and our contact details.

Changing the Culture of an Organisation

[Tuesday, 9 May 2017]

Note: For the reader to get the most out of this article, the writer will focus only on the most important learning points.


It speaks for itself that the most appropriate time to determine the type and magnitude of culture changes required is when management has completed the revision of their strategic plans, as well as their companies' enterprise architecture, i.e. future goals, organizational structures, new technologies having been decided upon etc.

Description of Organisational Culture:

Organizational culture can be described as a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations (ala Torben Rick). Simply put, organisational culture can be defined as 'the way we do things around here.'


Salient points:

  • Culture change is one of the most difficult change management exercises.
  • Culture changes does not happen overnight.
  • Expect an evolution and not a revolution.
  • Change processes goes through a series of phases which, in total, takes time.
  • Managements as a rule, possess relatively little experience in renewing organisations, therefore mistakes can be expected to be made.

Some aspects of the methodology to be applied:

It is essential that the top man and his executive team:

  • Lead the envisioning of the culture changes; determine the strategies to achieve the vision; define the reasons for the changes and construct a compelling case for the changes that would be communicated throughout the company.
  • Decide, in consultation with specialists, the most appropriate technical as well as behavioural training.
  • Select a team, from a cross section of the company, to drive the change. Note: It is essential to select some strong, authentic informal leaders to be part of the team. Where possible, union members need to be involved or at least consulted.
  • Decide on avenues that will be used to communicate the vision and its requirements regularly.
  • Determine what behaviours the team would have to display, to set the example of what will be required to 'walk the talk'.
  • Be continuously on the lookout for obstacles to be removed.
  • Planning for acknowledging short term gains and the publication thereof (the when and the how).
  • Build credibility by removing or changing structures, systems and procedures that do not serve the vision.
  • Engage, if necessary, people who can positively contribute to the momentum.
  • Institutionalise changes that proved to be bearing fruits.


It is strongly recommended that a seasoned change management consultant be contracted to guide the process for the reason stated above (in bold). Visit our website to view our skills set and request us to do a presentation to your top team on our culture change methodology.

Business Process Optimisation

[Wednesday, 19 April 2017]

This is the fourth leg of the of the Balanced Scorecard Model, and the one where the quickest savings can be made in the short to medium term, provided that a company's strategic plan is up to date and the appropriate enterprise architecture is in place.

To jog your memory, the definition or description of a business process is a collection of related, sequential structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (source: Wikipedia). Typical examples are production, marketing, sales, buying accounting, and stock control processes/systems etc.

Our value proposition here is to:

  • Carry out a risk assessment or assessment of potential gains inherent in all business processes, in conjunction with SMEs (subject matter experts).
  • Submitting a recommendation accompanied by a cost benefit analyses of the business process where the biggest gain or biggest risk aversion would be realised.
  • Once the proposal is accepted, use will be made of our Lean Six Sigma methodologies, which are scientifically proven, as well as making use of business mapping and modelling techniques to realise the targets set out in the cost benefit analysis.

Note: All work will be done conjunction with SMEs.

It is suggested that you visit our website for more information about the team as well as the methodologies, and to contact us to request a free consultation.

Primo Consulting's Value Proposition

[Tuesday, 18 April 2017]

We at Primo Consulting can provide you with an in-depth management consulting service in the areas listed below, which would add value to the services that you provide to your customers.

Our company specialises in business process optimisation and turnaround of companies, and our competitive advantages are as follows:

  • We are a BBBEE Level 2 company.
  • Our methodologies are top of the range. We make use of the Lean Six Sigma methodology, which is a scientifically proven methodology (also used by General Electric and Toyota).
  • In addition, we make use of business mapping and modelling techniques, which enable customers to see the full layout of any of their business processes on an A4 page, with detailed task listings, and with pointers to ineffective business processes.
  • We possess the skills to provide the full range of services that any company may require to render them competitive, namely:
    • Strategy facilitation.
    • Enterprise architecture (analysis, and alignment with strategy).
    • Analysis of companies on the Balanced Scorecard basis.
    • Analysis and optimisation of all business processes which, among others, include business process redesign, lean production, and service delivery.
    • Programmed change management.
    • Training operational incumbents in business mapping and modelling, which equip them with the necessary skills to optimise their business processes by themselves, as and when required in the future.

Email us at or visit our Contact page to request more information.

How to Steer Your Business in SA's Tough Economic Conditions

[Friday, 13 April 2017]

First and foremost, we would recommend that CEOs and MDs call on a scenario planner of repute to spell out the most plausible scenarios for South Africa for the foreseeable future. Once done, one should review the company's strategic plan. In the volatile climate that we are in, it is advisable, if not done so already, to divide your strategic plan into a one, two, three, five and ten year plan, for obvious reasons.

Depending on the liquidity of a company, the four legs of a typical Balsanced Scorecard should thereafter be addressed. A company's business processes is the one area in which the biggest savings are normally realised.

In our next article, we will deal with business process optimisation in detail. In the meantime, we suggest that you visit our website to read more about our skills set in the above regard and request a presentation to your board or management team, as well as request us to do a risk assessment on your company.

How to Stay Abreast of Customer Needs

[Wednesday, 05 April 2017]

Note: For ease of reading, the writer will keep it short and to the point.

To ensure that companies stay abreast of their customers' needs in an era where disruptive technologies are the order of the day, a two-prong approach is recommended, namely:

  • At a strategic level, a dedicated team to focus on future developments. Here the 'Three Box Solution' by Dr Govindarajan is highly recommended. It tells of the following 3 principles:
    1. Manage the Present
    2. Selectively Forget the Past, and
    3. Create the Future
    Watch the 'Three Box Solution' by Dr Govindarajan on YouTube here:

    It speaks for itself that the concept can be adapted to suit a company's needs.

  • Secondly, and more on the operational level, it is of utmost importance that on a regular basis, use is made of the Quality Function Deployment model of Six Sigma (or similar model), of which the components are:
    • Customer requirements are formally obtained from the customers.
    • Customers are requested to allocate an importance value on a scale of one to ten, for each listed requirement.
    • The company then lists and rates how each customer requirement is being met, for example, 9 — Very Well, 6 - Reasonably Well, and 3 — Poorly.
    • A relationship matrix can then be drawn up, showcasing the importance values of customer ratings compared to how well the company meets important customer requirements.
    • Lastly, customers are requested to rate the company's quality of service in relation to the services rendered by its competitors.

Note: There is more detail to the model, but the crux is spelled out above.

For more detail about our services, visit our website and request that a presentation be made to your board and/or management team.

Lessons to be Learned

[Friday, 17 March 2017]

Herewith, some of the most important lessons about strategic planning for CEOs and business leaders.

  • CEOs need to have a clear vision in their heads of where they wish to take their respective companies.
  • Secondly, CEOs should communicate their visions to their top team and obtain buy-in.
  • The top team, as a team, should decide how to communicate their strategic plans to the rest of their employees. They should be prepared, where possible, to state the reasons why they have decided on their plans. NB: The team should ensure that they use the same message to avoid confusion.
  • As and when detailed goals and objectives have been decided upon, it should, where possible, be communicated to all those involved.
  • Progress on achievement of goals and objectives should be reviewed at least quarterly, and be communicated to their respective workforces in a manner that is understood by all employees.

It is often surprising the number of CEOs of major corporations who slip on one or more of the abovementioned steps, and then cannot understand why some or more of their strategies fail.

I suggest that where CEOs have technical issues that are to be explored further, prior to committing it into strategic goals and objectives, that they view the YouTube video 'The Three Box Solution' by Vijay Govindarajan

When old meets new and how to adjust

[Friday, 27 February 2017]


A real-life story of the early '80's, the principles of which hold true still today.


It was not long after the Soweto school riots, and shortly after black unions were legalised. Amongst other roles, the writer was called upon as negotiator for a local Technical High School, with some 1200 scholars. The writer will hereafter be referred to as the 'negotiator'.

What happened

Students started with strike action and disruptive actions, for what appeared to be no reason at all. A teacher's car was overturned, and general chaos was the order of the day. The invitation to talk to management fell on death ears. The negotiator recommended that the school be closed, to see if that would get pupils/parents talking. They (scholars and parents) advised that they would prefer the school re-open. This happened on two occasions. We realised that there had to be more behind the strikes and that they (scholars), plus some outsiders (some would call them 'stirrers', but they are normally the real leaders) had some other agendas. The negotiator invited the pupils and parents, and the pupils and parents had to invite the real leaders, as they were not known to us at the time, to come and negotiate an agreement that would meet the needs of all interested parties. The assurance was given upfront that the participants would be exempted from action against them.

The outcome

A grievance procedure, a disciplinary code, a code of conduct for pupils and teachers, and several other workable procedures were negotiated. In the end, the 'real leaders' were tasked to:

  • Sign each pupil back into school, as well as
  • Explain the negotiated procedures/codes to students, and to let them sign to the effect that they understood it, and agree to be bound by it, prior to being allowed back to school.


To this day, there have been no further strikes at this school!

#Fees must fall#

Instead of blaming outside forces, get students, parents, the 'so-called outsiders', black business leaders (say from Saving South Africa), senior officials from the Dept. of Education, and a senior official from Treasury, and establish a negotiation forum (country wide). Representatives from this forum should report to a parliamentary committee on progress and, in addition, be granted permission to sit in when the Auditor General report back on wasteful expenditure, and have the right to question how reimbursed monies should be allocated. They are to become the official communication body to students and parents at ground level.


It speaks for itself, that a set of values by which the committee should operate, be negotiated upfront.


Managers should continually be on the lookout for the 'trouble makers' in amongst their respective workforces, especially those to whom other workers go for advice. Start calling upon them for advice/input that affect the workforce. Endeavour to use them in leadership roles and, if they show interest, provide them with additional training where possible.


They never compromised their positions as 'informal leaders' of the workforce, i.e. he/she must never be seen to have become a 'management puppet'!

"The Voice of the Customer" (aka Lean Six Sigma)

[Friday, 24 February 2017]

Top performing companies have, for years, concentrated on the three facets indicated in this image, with client satisfaction topping the log.

In light of a changing world order, a fast-changing South African socio / political / economic landscape, and top of it, the influence of disruptive technologies, it has become a 'must' for companies to stay abreast of customer satisfaction and shifting needs.

We at Primo Consulting, use the Lean Six Sigma toolkit, which is scientifically based, to determine:

  • Your customers' ratings of your services / products.
  • How your clients rate your services, in comparison to your competitors.
  • The shift in your clients' needs, and your company's
  • Innovative capabilities.

Go to Services to view our skills repertoire, and to request a presentation, free of charge, on the abovementioned topic.

Note: Articles on the other two areas will follow shortly.

How companies can successfully explore or make use of the digital era

[Thursday, 23 February 2017]

We are into the fourth revolution with disruptive technologies, daily changing the way in which we do business.

The Three Box Solution of Dr Goven Darajan, namely, Manage the Present, Selectively Forget the Past, and thirdly Creating the Future, gives one an excellent strategic overview of how to manage this change (see video on YouTube).

In the Third Box, he advises strongly that CEOs/MDs assign a team, dedicated to 'Creating the Future' of a company. Herewith, some guidelines for making 'Creating the Future' a success.

Recommended steps:

  • CEOs/MDs must be able to visualise the company of the future.
  • Get buy-in from the top team, and the workforce.
  • Assign a project sponsor (from the executive team); accountable for successful transformation process, against measurable targets.
  • Sponsor to hand-pick a small team of people who are technically inclined, and who possesses excellent people skills.
  • Team to do research/visit companies who have had some successes already/study subject matter/talk to technical experts/arrange topical presentations for top management and employees, etc.
  • Team to report back to top management at management meetings, and brief the workforce on progress, regularly.
  • Provide the necessary training, as and when required.
  • Obtain 'buy-in' as far as possible, for whatever changes to be made in future.

The abovementioned steps have been tried and tested - however, we at Primo Consulting would gladly assist. Contact us to request a consultation meeting.

Positioning of Your Company / Institution in the South African Environment

[Monday, 14 November 2016]

It is surprising how few companies are in the process of positioning themselves to not only survive, but to prosper in the current and forecasted economic climate of South Africa, and with the disruptive technologies that see the light of day all around us every day, and, it is here to stay!It is unthinkable that the management of companies can think that they can survive without:

It would appear that it is mostly farmers (there could be 'internal customers' too) that feel the need for improvement, and it is important for all, agribusinesses to listen to the 'voice of the customer'.

We, at Primo Consulting would strongly recommend that a three step approach be followed, namely:

  • A proper strategic plan, spanning at least the three-year horizon; preferably the five- and 10-year horizons too.
  • Enterprise architecture that supports the strategic plan, e.g., what kind of new technologies are required, and when, what information systems (and security systems) would be required, and when, organisational structural changes required, choice of locations, goals, etc.
  • Carrying out an analysis of the company's financial position (current and foreseeable), customer satisfaction, and their shifting needs, innovative capability, and training and development of staff to meet changing needs.
  • Lean business processes (devoid of all forms of 'waste'); major forms of waste are all forms of excessive conveyance, slow inventory movement, excessive motions, waiting time, overproduction, processing, and cost of poor quality. Note: The above is just as applicable in an office environment.

As can be seen in the sketch below, all the above falls within our skills set, which we excel at!

The value proposition that we wish to offer is to facilitate the 'renewal' / repositioning of your company, and all the support structures required to meet foreseeable demands. In addition, we offer to do an initial analysis of all your business processes, be it production, buying, conveyance, accounting, etc. (that is normally where the 'bleeding' in the short-term is taking place), and table a business case of savings to be made, in any one of your business processes, which we undertake to achieve, free of charge*.

However, should you wish for us to carry out only one, or part of the facets shown in the above sketch, it could be arranged.

For further information, kindly visit our website or call us for a presentation.

Turn around strategies for agricultural businesses

[Tuesday, 11 October 2016]

Lately one quite often hears in the media, at conferences and by word-of-mouth that agricultural businesses, are in need of a proper turnaround strategy. Having read the financial statements and reports of a number of agribusinesses, one finds it hard to believe, as the majority of companies are doing just that.

One can only come to the conclusion that, because the last six production seasons were tougher than the preceding 10 seasons, with the last three production seasons being particular tough, that especially farmers, expect that more can be done for them.


It would appear that it is mostly farmers (there could be 'internal customers' too) that feel the need for improvement, and it is important for all, agribusinesses to listen to the 'voice of the customer'.

We, at Primo Consulting would strongly recommend that a three step approach be followed, namely:

  • Conduct a stakeholder analysis amongst all stakeholders to ensure that all new concerns are incorporated into the strategic action plans of the business (based on the assumption that their strategic plans are current and up to date) and will be addressed timeously and in the most effective and efficient way and, secondly that they
  • Re-examine the enterprise architecture with the aim to see that it is aligned to the strategic plan in the most effective and efficient way. Business architecture being the most important in the short term as it deals with:
    • the 'SWOT' analysis that had been carried out
    • the goals that had been set
    • the organisational chart that had been decided upon as well as
    • the product range should be addressed first.
  • Last but not least, we would strongly recommend that agribusinesses quite seriously, consider adopting the Lean Six Sigma management philosophy / methodology which was originally developed by Motorola, used by Jack Welsh as a central focus of his business strategy at General Electric and today it is central to Toyota's Total Production System and in use by many other companies.

    The reason for the aforementioned recommendation is that the agricultural sector will always experience good and not so good seasons, which speaks for itself that they must at all times, run a lean operation. Lean Six Sigma has exactly that as its aim, namely, to improve the quality of its products and/or services through the removal of defects/errors/all forms of waste. It also implies that the company is being managed with a 'lean' organisational structure and that all systems /processes are being run based on lean principles.

We suggest you that you visit our website for more details about our team and the aforementioned methodology. Kindly contact us should you wish us do a presentation to you.

Want to 'build' a successful company?

[Wednesday, 10 September 2014]

Then follow what the 'leaders of industry' are doing!

All major companies which have:

  • a sound financial system in place,
  • a market for their product(s), and have
  • a robust strategic plan

Focus in the main, and on an ongoing basis, on the following areas :

NB. These areas are interrelated, and interdependent.

Why these areas?


What successful managers realise all too well is that 'management only handles the monies that clients bring in'.

It is, therefore, imperative for them to remain in touch with any shift in client needs and requirements, and to respond timeously:

  • with products of the highest quality, that meet the changing needs of customers,
  • In the shortest possible time, and at the
  • lowest price possible.


The managements of highly successful companies focus on building cultures (a way of doing) amongst all their employees that strive towards the fulfilment of the abovementioned requirements on an ongoing basis. Successful behaviours are reinforced and rewarded regularly.

Business processes ( i.e. all the steps involved from placement of order, through production / service provision, to product delivery.

Managements realise that all their business processes need to be devoid of all forms of waste, and non value-added activities; they know that clients are not prepared to pay for non value-added activities. They, therefore, ensure, on a continuous basis, that all their business processes function optimally.

How to create a Six Sigma / Lean Six Sigma culture in your company

[Sunday, 27 July 2014]

My previous blogs refer. Before I address the abovementioned topic, herewith some reminders

  • Definition of 'Business Process': It is 'any number of sequential steps required to transform an input into an output' (be it a product or a service, a production line or a service department).
  • We make extensive use of Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma (suggest you read my previous blogs).

Our aim, at all times, is to get the managements of companies to adopt Lean Six Sigma as a business philosophy, and thus to create a lean culture (amongst others, Jack Welsch did it at General Electric, and Toyota did the same, with great success). This is the only way in which companies will remain competitive in the long run, provided there is a market for your product(s), and that the company has a robust strategic plan in place.

The following are some guidelines:

  • Engage a Six Sigma / Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (on a contract basis) to optimise a business process which is of strategic importance.
  • Make sure that sound business cases can be made out for such a project.
  • Appoint a young up-and-coming, bright, senior manager as a 'sponsor' (management representative) to the project. He / she will lead the project together with the Black Belt.
  • Establish the Six Sigma process baseline (i.e., how much variation there is at present from what the client view as ideal), as well as a financial baseline for the project.
  • Ensure that the necessary metrics for measurement are put in place, and that it is reflected on the CEO / MD's dashboard.
  • Select subject matter experts (SME's) to work on a part-time basis with the Black Belt.
  • The sponsor need to sign off each element of Six Sigma (elements-DMAIC - see explanation in previous blog).
  • Communicate progress and results to the company as a whole, on an ongoing basis.
  • Management to focus on client needs, company culture, and process management throughout the project. These aspects to feature regularly in management communiques.
  • Optimise at least one or two processes the Six Sigma way, and repeat points listed above.
  • The CEO / MD should announce at this stage, that the company has decided to adopt a lean philosophy, and will make extensive use of Lean Six Sigma principles, throughout the company, from then on.

During the above processes, use the Black Belt to:

  • Develop the typical set of values that should drive the Six Sigma culture change.
  • Recommend the most appropriate books / literature on Lean Six Sigma for the management team to read / study.
  • Recommend companies which have adopted a lean culture, for management to visit, and to gain insight.

Note: This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. For more information / advice, and / or a presentation, kindly contact the writer via the contact form at the bottom of this website.


[Monday, 16 June 2014]

Being a qualified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, the MD makes use of the following tollgates (steps) of the Six Sigma methodology, namely:

  • Define - A clear definition of what is to be achieved with a sound business case.
  • Measure - Any 'potential' weakness / shortcoming is measured first, prior to any action being taken.
  • Analyse - Measured data is analysed, and the root cause is established, prior to any possible solutions being generated.
  • Implement - Any solution generated, is with management's consent.
  • Control - Control systems are designed in conjunction with management nominees, and employees are trained, prior to implementation.

The advantages of using the Six Sigma methodology are:

  • It is a scientifically based methodology.
  • A sound business case can be made out for the project, prior to proceeding with the project.
  • A baseline is established, against which progress is measured and monitored.
  • The consultant prescribes the process to be followed, and the methodologies to be used. The consultant also provides the training of management nominees in the application of Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma methodologies.
  • Management appoints:
    • A sponsor (to be accountable for the project, together with the consultant).
    • SME's (subject matter experts, who will work with the consultant).
  • Management reviews progress made after each of the DMAIC steps listed above.


[Monday, 9 June 2014]

We specialise in the optimisation of business processes and / or 'restructuring' companies on lean principles, with the aim to deliver products / services:

  • of the highest quality.
  • at the lowest cost.
  • in the shortest possible time.

Define Business Process: "Any number of sequential steps required to transform an input into an output" (be it a product, or a service).

However, to live up to our logo of Company Performance Optimisation, we provide the following additional suite of service:

  • Strategy facilitation and / or testing the robustness of an existing strategy.
  • Assessment of:
    • financial state of the business.
    • client satisfaction.
    • Innovative ability.
    • manpower utilisation, training and development, and succession planning.
    • prevailing culture.
    • ability of management to deal with change.
    • and remedial action plans, where required.

Contact details & address

Primo Consulting; 1 Humperdinck Avenue; Van der Hoff Park; Potchefstroom; 2520

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