Elders set for restructure

18 Jun, 2008 10:35 AM
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ELDERS is set to implement a major shake-up of its corporate structure.

The move will see 20 regional centres replace head offices in each state and completely re-move most of the organisation's middle management positions.

Elders managing director Mike Guerin said upper management had just completed a three month review of the organisation.

"The result of that review is a decision to make a considerable investment in the core of the company," Mr Guerin said.

"Arguably we have under in-vested in our core at times and part of this decision is to move the business closer to the customer."

Mr Guerin said a review had identified 20 regions across Australia that were 'like looking' agricultural communities.

"For example one region cov-ers most of the Northern Territory, the top end of WA and the top end of Queensland," he said.

"Obviously agriculture in Australia is made up of many production sectors and we have looked at those markets and tried to separate the country into those segments and will now go about orientating ourselves into those 20 communities.

"We envisage that the roll out from the current five state support centres to 20 regional support structures will take three years to finalise."

Mr Guerin said WA, for example, would be split into five regions with a regional manager for each region.

"We will be creating a lot stronger sales force of which a responsibility will be to look after bigger clients that cover multiple geographies," he said.

"At the moment we orientate ourselves all around the network so if there is a big farmer who deals with more than one branch we are not coordinated with dealing with that client.

"In the future we will have executive sales roles that will look after the bigger clients and they will deal with all aspects of the business from livestock sales to merchandise and inputs.

"There will be 24 of these top-end staff.

"The regional managers for each of the 20 centres will own the clients, the profit and loss statement and the proposition to market and will also have access to an expert support function if clients within that region request expert advice on their livestock or cropping operation.

"It is basically far more targeted and orientated than in the past."

Mr Guerin said under the new structure there would be a head of Australia role created.

"Instead of each regional centre manager reporting to the head of Australia, we have split Australia into north and south regions, which will have a manager each," he said.

"Regional centres within those north and south regions will rep-ort to its manager or 'span breakers' who will report to the head of Australia.

"The 24 key account managers will report directly to the head of Australia."

Mr Guerin said the restructure was also aimed at making Elders more relevant in the different segments.

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