Sunday, 28 April 2013

Business Exchange EXPO Interview: Matthew Ayres

Shoalhaven Business Exchange EXPO
Friday 17th May, 9.30am 

Workshop 1: 
Rock Your World - how entrepreneurial strategy and innovation drive
sustainable long-term growth.

Matthew Ayres FAIBF, EMBA
How would you describe your role in business? 
My role in business is to help businesses grow by understanding their marketplace and the key changes taking place within it. Every business faces change and competition; every business faces strong parts of the business cycle and also challenging parts of the business cycle. Those businesses that can respond and adapt to change using discipline increase their probability of success significantly.  

Who are some of the companies you have worked with and and what type of challenges have you assisted them with? 
I have worked with many large and mid sized companies, all with a common theme around growth and innovation. A few examples include:

AMP limited: worked on a project to lift productivity of their national distribution by 400% - establishing the best practice model in Australia.
General Electric: worked on pricing for credit cards that listed profitability by some 30% in one year.
Lend Lease: developed the global approach to strategy growth and rolled this out across Australia, USA, Europe and Asia.
Vodafone: developed the digital and social media strategy.
ANZ Bank: I developed the online product growth strategy for Australia.
Deloitte: developed an approach to win a large bid.
Boral: established an approach to manage innovation across their business.

Name two business leaders who inspire you and why? 

Steve Jobs, Apple. his passion for innovative and leading the market with new products and services.
Craig Dunn, AMP. His ability to inspire his team and staff to keep renewing the business in very tough times. 

Can you give us some examples of well known brands that have turned their fortunes through innovation? 

Apple: An undoubted leader in the field of innovation and stuck to its focus on product excellence over many decades.
Amazon: Made access to book buying easy and available to millions (all at a lower cost).
eBay: Developed a market for trading small and low cost items both for mum and dad consumers as well as businesses.

What thinking can small regional businesses apply to succeed in a dynamic, increasingly global market? 

Partnering and alliances are now critical in a globally connected world. For example, an electrician may be able to obtain supplies from overseas or alliance through a national purchasing alliance from another buying agent in a major city. Savings can be >20%. Also representing a major company in a regional area has benefits for both parties without losing independence.

Global markets allow new services to be created using online capabilities. Many companies are using online services supplied from USA or Europe as part of their business. A simple example is backup of files and computer storage. Dropbox allows massive storage for $5m per month, vs a cost and risk of doing this by hard drives. Each small saving on running a business increases cash flow. Many businesses (large and small) are moving towards 'cloud based solutions'  

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