R/€ = 14.93Change: 0.06
R/$ = 14.01Change: 0.08
Au 1079.54 $/ozChange: 3.48
Pt 847.50 $/ozChange: 5.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Jul 13, 2012

Barloworld chief reflects on organisation’s far-reaching restructuring

Barloworld|Caterpillar|Concrete|Contractor|Industrial|Industrial Equipment|Testing|Training|Russia|Capital Equipment|Equipment|Equipment Giant|Industrial Conglomerate|Industrial Equipment|Logistics|Service|Services|Clive Thomson|Infrastructure
Concrete|Contractor|Industrial|Industrial Equipment|Testing|Training||Equipment|Industrial Equipment|Logistics|Service|Services|Infrastructure
© Reuse this

The delivery of services in challenging environments, financial or physical, and the fulfilment of challenging contracts set companies apart in tough financial times, while the active manage- ment of changes to a business can effectively develop a company in challenging conditions, says industrial equipment and logistics company Barloworld CEO Clive Thomson.

Barloworld underwent significant restructuring and unbundling in 2007, changing from a multinational industrial conglomerate to a capital equipment and logistics-focused company.

In 2010, during the height of the global financial crisis, the company set itself the goal of tripling its market value by 2015 through incremental growth and niche or strategic acquisitions.

Thomson notes a critical component of managing change is a focused execution, specifically on incremental and achievable objectives, the involvement of employees and the development, recruitment and retention of core competence skills.

“Do not clutter your targets. Keep them focused and have measurable objectives over shorter timeframes to assess progress. Further, each division’s management must use the overarching concrete objectives to define measurable and aligned aims for that division.

“The execution of a strategy is what is mostly lacking in corporate restructuring. How do I position myself for growth? How do I change what people do from what they have always done to what the strategy demands?” he asks.

Different skills are often required to effect a change in strategy. This requires firm alignment between the corporate strategy and employee training, performance management and incentive rewards.

“Customers want to shift their risk to you. However, if you manage to deliver the services effectively and efficiently, you will also see commensurate returns for the increase in risks.”

In Russia, the company bought the earthmoving equipment giant Caterpillar dealership for R363-million in 2007. It took the company five years to generate returns in the territory, owing to testing conditions such as subzero winter temperatures and muddy summers that bogged down logistics. However, yearly revenue from the territory is currently about equal to the initial purchasing price, explains Thomson.

“You need a can-do attitude in management. You need to go out there and do what others cannot, which is what will set you apart.”

The risks in emerging markets, owing to difficult operating conditions and a lack of supporting infrastructure, are significant, but there are significant growth prospects for companies that can manage those risks and deliver successfully on contracts, highlights Thomson.

Clients will often demand that a contractor or service provider intimately under- stands their industries and the nuances across different territories. This necessitates a high level of technical skills from the contractor or service provider.

However, a company can deploy its tech- nical experts where they are needed and recruit local managers who have a good knowledge of the local conditions, languages and culture.

“Send your best Romans. Expatriates are ambassadors of your corporate culture; however, do not underestimate cultural differences and do not overestimate poten- tial synergies. In fact, there may be dysergies present that you may not have expected, which is why you need your best people and local knowledge,” explains Thomson.

Barloworld grew its share price from R43 a share in 2007 to R83 a share in 2011. Thomson was speaking as a guest at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in June.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Economy News
South Africa’s economy grew marginally by 0.7% in the third quarter of 2015, Statistics SA announced on Tuesday. The gross domestic product (GDP) announcement comes after a second-quarter contraction of 1.3%.
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies expects the growth potential of the local business process outsourcing (BPO) industry to continue increasing over the next five years, particularly in contact centre, shared services centre and legal process outsourcing. He...
South Africa's rand snapped a five-day winning streak against the dollar on Monday, reflecting renewed concerns about the impact US interest rate hikes could have on emerging markets. The JSE securities exchange's Top-40 futures index was down 0.4%, pointing to a...
Latest News
Maurice Radebe
Imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to initiate the greater use of gas in South Africa’s currently coal-dominated electricity generation. Anticipated is the establishment of infrastructure at South African ports, such as Saldanha Bay, Coega or Richards...
As South Africa battles water restrictions precipitated by the El Niño phenomenon, aged infrastructure, above-average temperatures, below-average rainfall and climate change, industry stakeholders have called for a collaborative water stewardship approach that will...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, has the potential to completely change the relationships between individual consumers, professional designers and manufacturers. So argued Loughborough University Reader in Computer Aided Product Design Dr Ian...
Airbus Defence and Space: Military Aircraft has highlighted that its A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) has significant commonalities with the Airbus A330-200 commercial airliner, upon which it is based. The South African Air Force (SAAF) once operated a fleet of...
Financial services provider Nedbank launched the second edition of its Carbon Footprinting Guide earlier this month, which is aimed at demystifying carbon footprint approaches and help readers grasp the main concepts of carbon measuring, monitoring, reporting and...
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Caterpillar’s first backhoe loader. This also coincides with the worldwide release of its latest-generation F2 series backhoe loader, which was launched at supply chain services company Barloworld Logistics’ Big Dig Day in...
BARRY DWOLATZKY The CPD programme provides advanced skills required locally, and provides a stepping stone to Wits University’s Master of Engineering degree in software engineering
A shortage of software engineers is leading to fewer information technology (IT) projects in private and public sector organisations. This also places a dampener on the economy, as IT is an integral part of business and civil service, says University of Witwatersrand...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96