Two minutes with Mark, an exceptional business transformation consultant

Nicki Burns

Mark is a results-oriented executive with over 25 years experience advising C-suite executives on a broad range of strategic and tactical issues, delivering nearly 300 successful performance improvement initiatives.

He is a recognised specialist in the area of cross-functional business transformation with significant experience selling and delivering multi-functional global business services (GBS)/shared services, transaction integrations and separations, enterprise performance management/business intelligence, large-scale (global) programme management, transformational benchmarking, robotic process automation, and business process outsourcing. Mark has served in interim CFO and CIO capacities through client periods of transition and previously held senior operations management and advanced technology consulting positions for a broad range of companies over a 12-year period.

We spoke to Mark to learn more about his most recent project and his most significant accomplishment.


Most recent project:

I recently worked for a global diversified technology and multi-industrial company, in the early stage of closing a multi-billion-dollar acquisition (combined company operating in more than 150 countries and more than 2,000 locations) looking to develop the strategy and detailed design for transforming three regional GBS centers and consolidating the target’s seven financial shared services operations into those centers. As part of this effort, I managed the design of the future state operating model and governance framework for the GBS operations, prepared a detailed transition plan for migrating more than 700 positions world-wide, and developed solutions for applying RPA to high-impact financial processes to eliminate manual effort and reduce the need for transitioning positions. The project was undertaken to capture synergies communicated to The Street in support of, and coincident with, the global acquisition which created a complex technology environment consisting of more than 200 ERP instances, challenging the company’s ability to standardise and streamline end-to-end processes.

What makes a project successful?

Paramount to project success is executive sponsorship of the initiative, commitment to targets, and a compelling case for change. Initiatives that lack executive mandate typically fall short of target, owing to significant resistance from middle management. Other critical success factors include implementing an effective change management and communications programme (i.e., communicate early and often), allocating sufficient budget at programme outset to fund necessary investments (e.g., technology acquisition and implementation), and avoiding “political compromises” that produce suboptimal results. Finally, it is critical at project outset to agree with the client to project targets, deliverables, and timelines – thereby minimising the risk of expectation gaps at project end.


Most significant accomplishment:

My most satisfying career accomplishment was serving as Managing Director of The Hackett Group’s Asia-Pacific Region consulting practice, centered in Sydney, Australia. In this capacity, I directed a practice offering a broad range of consulting services including multi-functional business transformation, global business services/shared services, transformational benchmarking, enterprise performance management, working capital management, and Advisory services. I was responsible for the region's P&L as well as business development, service delivery, practice development and management, marketing, recruitment, and talent development for the APAC practice.


My most satisfying project experience was leading the detailed design and implementation of a global rubber products company’s captive GBS center in Manila, transitioning nearly 300 Finance, IT, Procurement, Customer Service, Human Resources, and Legal support positions from 11 countries and 22 plants into a single shared services location. My responsibilities included running the transformation management office over the implementation of targeted end-to-end processes, organisations, and enabling technologies, including selection and implementation of telephony, OCR/workflow, CRM, HCM, supplier portal, and multiple other technology initiatives. On behalf of the client, I helped prepare the economic incentive and tax filings and led development of their business continuity plan. The center was designed, implemented, and stabilised in an aggressive period of 18 months and delivered savings of more than 30% in the impacted areas. 


Best bits of being a consultant?

I enjoy the ability to pursue and accept projects that most interest me and which present new challenges, enabling me to further-develop my skills and capabilities. I particularly enjoy working with clients that are committed to achieving transformational change and which possess a culture for working collaboratively to achieve targeted outcomes. As an independent consultant, I find I am better-able to balance work and life interests. 


Why work with an independent consultant?

Knowledge transfer is best accomplished when a company, working with an “expert advisor,” dedicates its own resources to effect performance improvement. Independent consultants provide the experience and skills that help guide the team, successfully navigate challenges, improve the probability of project success, and mitigate risk. The company benefits from lower project costs but more importantly develops valued resources and aids in their retention through greater job satisfaction. Too little knowledge is effectively transferred to company resources when the majority of the project work is undertaken by an external consulting team.

If you are interested in Mark’s profile or consultants with similar experience, contact Talmix today and see how we can help solve your company’s business challenges. Talmix – the home of independent business talent.


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