FMCG specialist Pollen Consulting Group lauded for growth

17 January 2019

Pollen Consulting Group, a management consulting firm for the fast moving consumer goods sector, has been named one of Australia’s top entrepreneurial companies. “We work with retailers, suppliers, and producers to deliver engagements across the value chain by putting values, not process, first,” explained Paul Eastwood, founder of Pollen Consulting Group. 

Since establishing the business in 2016 after working over a decade for Coriolis Consulting Group, Pollen has gone from strength to strength, and has nestled itself as a leading player in Australia’s US$5 billion consulting industry. The consultancy has as its mission to help raise the bar in the FMCG sector, working with clients on value chain transformations and bottom-line performance improvements. “We work exclusively with a number of select customers that we enjoy working with – our advice and support comes with a deep and intrinsic understanding of their business and the industry they work in,” explained Eastwood.

Among the clients that sit on Pollen Consulting’s roster are food and beverage family-run businesses and larger companies such as Woolworths. As part of a large transformation programme, Woolworths is working with the Sydney-based consulting firm to harness savings in the end-to-end value chain. Harnessing the power of collaboration, underpinned by data insights, is central to the ambition. Value chain collaboration needs to be a core value of each business involved in a wider ecosystem,” Eastwood said.

FMCG specialist Pollen Consulting Group lauded for growthAfter performing an as-is analysis, working with stakeholders across all levels of Woolworths’ businesses, the consultants identified a range of opportunities. These were validated and then prioritised, and after approval from the business, activity plans were developed and rolled-out. Months later, the transition has already made a significant improvements in a number of areas, most importantly how Woolworths and suppliers engage. 

“With facilitation by Pollen, a number of improvement opportunities have been identified that might have otherwise been overlooked or dismissed. Roadblocks and bumps have been managed. And the energy levels and commitment are clear to see in teams,” said Andrew Francis, General Manager at PFD Fresh to Go, one of Woolworths’ suppliers that participated in the programme.

“We’ve gone from being reactive […] to being much more collaborative and much more forward looking with suppliers,” remarked Brad Banducci, chief executive of Woolworths. 

Collaborative approach

According to Eastwood, the collaborative approach applied at the FMCG giant is reflective of the firm’s vision on consulting work. “Rather than a traditional model of trying to fix problems or put out fires I believe consultancies can forge a more sustainable business by helping clients collaborate and look for ways to innovate in their own businesses for future growth and profitability.” Key offerings the firm offers include manufacturing excellence, supply chain management, strategy, operations, asset management and technology adoption. “In our 2 year history we have grown to a team of 16 and delivered 40+ projects in the FMCG sector.” 

The firm’s work for clients has won the firm several accolades in recent months. After being listed as an ‘Top 100 Fast Starter’ by AFR and a ‘Consulting firm to watch’ by a consulting industry magazine, the management consultancy at the start of this year landed a spot in Business News Australia’s first ever ‘Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs’ list.


Big Four firms make it to the list of Australia's top 25 employers

18 April 2019

LinkedIn has come out with its top 25 companies to work for in Australia, and the Big Four accounting and advisory firms all feature on the list. The financial services sector emerged as the most popular, with the top four all being occupied by banking and financial services institutions. 

The list of top companies to work for is prepared for a number of major markets across the globe, and is based on four primary metrics to measure a firm’s popularity. The first is overall interest in the company, measured by the number of visits a firm’s LinkedIn page receives from outsiders.

The second is employee engagement, which examines how many outsiders view the profile of a company’s employees. Thirdly, LinkedIn records the number of applications received by a firm for each opening that it posts, in a bid to measure job demand at the firm. The last metric is employee retention, which is measured by the number of employees that remain at a firm for more than a year. 

All of the Big Four accounting and advisory firms have made the top 25 this year, which corresponds with a drive to employ young talent in these organisations. Early this year, it came to light that the Big Four were cumulatively planning to hire more than 2,500 graduates across the first half of this year.Big Four firms make it to the list of Australia's top 25 employersEngagement with these firms is a highly competitive process, helped along by the prestige and recently introduced comfort that the jobs bring with them. EY placed the lowest of the four on LinkedIn’s list – at 13th – although this might change for next year following its announcement in March this year that employees could potentially take as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year in the future. 

KPMG Australia was just ahead of EY, placing in 12th, while Deloitte and PwC made it to the top 10. Deloitte Australia placed in 8th, which can be attributed to a renewed focus in the firm on innovative human resources mechanisms, with the objective of becoming “the most inspiring firm to work with — for its people, its clients and its communities.”

PwC Australia, meanwhile, was the highest ranked accounting and advisory firm in the country in 6th place. Nevertheless, sixth position represents a dip for PwC, given that it has topped the entire list for two years in a row before this. The firm’s popularity is often attributed to its flexibility with employees considerations.

The top four positions on the list were all occupied by banks, namely the Westpac Group, National Australia Bank, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank in that order. Other big global names on LinkedIn’s list for Australia are Salesforce in 9th and global ecommerce giant Amazon in 10th.