Client Success Story:

PCL Group

Greg Ward


New executive team and restructure

PCL Group offers cutting edge print technologies and logistics for many of New Zealand’s leading brands, with offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Wellington. Services include print services and management, marketing, merchandise, warehousing and logistics and direct mail fulfilment.

Managing Director, Greg Ward, first saw Rob present at a local networking breakfast about the Scaling Up methodology. He approached Rob for help in creating an effective leadership team to scale his business.

Building a high-performance leadership team

Greg says one of his main challenges was the lack of a structured leadership team. While there were various leaders in different parts of the business, it was not an ‘executive team’, and Greg wanted people around him who understood the business at a more holistic level, to help achieve his vision to scale.

“I had three people in mind for the team, but they had a strong sales background and not the financial know-how Rob offers, along with dominant personalities. Getting Rob on board helped me bring these people into a coordinated team and working well together.

“One of the things Rob always says is – ‘make it about the issue, not the person’. He’s very good at bringing people together and on the same page. Whilst members of our team will always have their own opinions, their ability to work together has improved dramatically in the time that Rob’s been coaching us.

“Rob has changed the way we meet and set a new cadence that helps us get things done. Now we have a fortnightly leadership meeting for 40 or 50 minutes to revisit priorities and see where they lie, before our monthly meeting with Rob. This format means we make progress and don’t leave everything until our meeting with Rob, and it’s been very effective.”

From siloed to seamless collaboration

Greg’s other main priority working with Rob was to bring together three or four other businesses PCL had bought during a period of acquisitions. He wanted to move away from the siloed approach and have everyone working together seamlessly.

“I just wasn’t able to be everywhere myself. I had 100 staff and no holistic management structure; it was just me trying to manage 100 people across five different sites, and it was getting to the point where I was burning out.

“I didn’t have much support from the rest of the wider team to get these businesses properly incorporated and everything working well. Having an executive team to help tackle the broader issues was really important to me.

“Rob has helped educate the team on how to help support me to grow the business and, at the same time, grow themselves. His work in getting people to let go of their own little area and help in the wider business has been invaluable.”

Restructuring post COVID

Greg stated that due to COVID restrictions, PCL lost a lot of people or had to let people go, and having to bring teams back together and regrow the business was like ‘starting from scratch’. They also faced the well-known post-COVID challenges of wage increases and a lack of skilled staff.

“We lost about 30% of our revenue and about 20% of our staff, there were cashflow issues… it was like starting all over again. But after seven years in business, I knew I needed to bring some more people in for support.

“Rob’s financial background, having operated as CFO, is something we don’t have at a high level and is now so valuable. Overall, it’s good to be able to lean on other people in the business and Rob’s been an excellent facilitator to help me achieve this.”

An ally and trusted adviser

Greg says Rob has been a real ally, keeping him accountable, understanding the broad approach of the business and being another voice to help get things across the line.

“The moment I met Rob I liked the cut of his jib. He was very approachable, down to earth, and I knew this was the type of person I wanted to work with.

“I needed someone who could be a voice of reason, not emotionally engaged in the day-to-day, and able to ask relevant questions compared to what’s been seen in other businesses as well.

“Rob’s given me confidence in my own style and how I take people on a journey. And he’s very good at facilitating, allowing the team to shine.

“If someone was in a similar position to myself, I would say – get Rob on board. He will help you spread the risk on your business away from yourself. Some people love the fact that they’re the sole decision maker, but it’s actually detrimental to growth. Rob will help you grow the knowledge base in your business so you’re not the only person making decisions.

“I love the support. It’s an investment, but I haven’t questioned my decision to make that investment at all.”

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Right now, multiple New Zealand companies are building enduring, great businesses with our help. Don’t just take it from us, read first hand accounts of what our’s clients have to say about the impact we’ve made on their businesses.


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