"graphic dashboard software introduced by Ashton Wheelans has been revolutionary"
In more than 80 years in business Davis Ogilvie & Partners Ltd has seen most market conditions and business norms come and go.
In 2010 the 70-strong surveying, engineering and planning business turned its back on a traditional corporate structure because it was taking the business’s owners too far from customers.
Coinciding with this Ashton Wheelans role within the business increased, with a stronger emphasis on advice. Ashton Wheelans director Andrew Oorschot has since attended board meetings, acting much like an advisory board member to the three other board members, the company’s owners.
“As property owners we’re sticking to our knitting in our operational areas, and we need an advisor at the board table with wide financial management experience,” Director Russell Benge says.
“We have quite a straightforward business philosophy - we succeed when we keep clients and staff happy.” This means, Russell says, that Davis Ogilvie values an impartial eye on the figures that guide decision making.
“One of Andrew’s particular areas of interest is the financial effect of variations and changes in scope. For us, changes in scope are common and it’s vital that our understanding of changes matches that of our clients, and we’re on top of the financial implications each time.”
Russell says this financial focus will become even more important as the post-quake boom recedes. “It is likely to get tighter and we need to focus strongly on the bottom line. In that sense we feel we’re in good hands.”
Russell says graphic dashboard software introduced by Ashton Wheelans has been revolutionary, allowing the directors to see trends and to visualise the bottom-line effect of future changes to revenue streams or cost of business. For Davis Ogilvie, these pictures are, almost literally, painting thousands of words.
Russell says the directors benefit from Andrew’s breadth of visibility of a range of businesses and his experience of running a similarly-sized professional services business.
“I do struggle with advisors whose business is advising and not doing. One of Andrew’s strengths is that he has skin in the game in his own right.”