RCS provides a highly skilled layer of technical, production and financial support between traditional owners and managers in indigenous owned businesses. This protects traditional owners against bias from management and provides management with accountability, strategies and direction in their language.
We have found that a combination of one of our training programs which gives us common language and focus, combined with ExecutiveLink™ and on-farm advice creates the fastest progress at a management level. RCS has developed a high level on-going support program for indigenous businesses where ExecutiveLink™ is not possible.
This program is highly adaptable and can be extremely comprehensive including a three stage approach:
- Ascertain key stakeholders, decision makers and primary contact points.
- Obtain and review previously prepared reports, business/management plans, financial analyses, technical advice and assessments for each station.
- Obtain previous financial returns, tax statements and any other financial reporting/records available.
- Clarify current office management procedures and book-keeping/accounting personnel. Obtain current chart of accounts from these people. Have the chart of accounts professionally reviewed by an accountant with agribusiness management skills.
- Obtain physical land data: maps, landtypes, fencing, waters and infrastructure etc.
- Obtain previous production records available (cattle numbers, sales, purchases, muster details)
- Analyse available information to form best available picture of the business performance, management and capacity.
Consultation and further investigation via on ground visits
- Meet and build rapport with key stakeholders on location.
- Assessment of land, animal, infrastructure, plant and equipment.
- Discuss current annual work programs and decision making pathways.
- Clarify station team members, their skills, aspirations, roles and responsibilities.
- Review any existing breeding, nutrition, marketing, grazing and communications strategies/plans in place.
- Review data recording systems
- Review office management and reporting procedures.
- Review WH&S system in place
- Investigate any funding applications in place/proposed.
- Provide feedback from research in stage 1.
- Develop with key stakeholders a realistic forward plan and work cycles for cattle, financial, people and land factors. Three levels of planning – strategic, tactical and operational.
- Based on these factors, build a station budget for future financial years with key stakeholders.
- Determine most appropriate manner of communication with key stakeholders for each station.
Planning, Monitoring and Management Support
The purpose of this stage has two key components. Firstly to build the individual capacity of key stakeholders on the property. Secondly to have monitoring and evaluation procedures in place to ensure professional management decisions are being made. It is about ensuring each station is in control and proactively managing the circumstances.
Where valid historical information is available, trends and benchmarking can begin at the completion of each financial year. Where valid data is not available, the focus will be on ensuring that the systems are installed so this data is available for future years. Ensuring that the financial management and book keeping procedures are set up appropriately is critical for the future success and professional management of each station. This may involve changing the chart of accounts or even book keepers to achieve the necessary outcome.
Lasting change in management approach requires knowledge and skills. Initially people need provision of the base knowledge supporting the change. For change to occur they then need ongoing skill development to understand why it applies to their business (linking the strategic factors to the operational) and repetition of how to do it. RCS provides the platform for this to occur.
Key stakeholders, most likely managers will be supported through the following stages.
- Monthly review of operational work plans in relation to overall strategic plan (historical outcomes and future plan).
- Monthly review of land, cattle, business and people condition.
- Monthly review of decisions made, their outcomes and consequent impact on business (e.g. marketing decisions).
- Monthly review of decision making needed for the next three months
- Quarterly review of stock flows.
- Quarterly review of cash flow actuals in comparison to budget.
- Quarterly review of economic performance using above information.
- Quarterly review of knowledge and skills progress and discussion of areas requiring more training.
- Building future budget.
RCS have developed a range of management tools (for example stockflows, 5yr cash and economic analysis models, gross margin models, feed budgets and feed planning), purpose built benchmarking software and have access to industry leaders management styles and results. These provide significant depth in knowledge base and support tools.