Three Rivers Machinery

‘. . . things started to change – immediately!’


Client Challenge

The owners of Three Rivers Machinery have been operating their Agricultural machinery dealership located in Regional NSW since 1992.

The Dealer Principal found himself swamped by day to day issues in the business (staff and shop floor issues, sales inquiries etc). This made strategic and future planning impossible and emerging opportunities to grow the business were being buried by operational issues within the business.

The company also desperately needed to recruit a number of staff in a highly competitive market place (due to the mining boom). In addition keeping the current team happy and safe was a priority as there were indications of HR issues developing and staff turnover was becoming a constraint to business performance and service. The need to implement a new WHS industry compliance system was essential and the development of a company wide HR & WHS management systems was evident.

Due to the clients location it was difficult to find local HR expertise and the Dealer Principal did not have the time, resources or expertise to implement what was required. A virtual solution hadn’t been considered.

Business By Design Solution

Three Rivers Machinery engaged the Virtual Executive services of Nikki Tomasoni at Business By Design to provide HR and recruitment expertise which included;

  • Development of specific position descriptions and performance KPI’s for all staff
  • Recruitment campaigns for new staff (inc. advertising, application review, interviewing, rejection and offer letters)
  • Implement a system for staff feedback and policies that ensure staff well-being is addressed and maintained – staff appraisals & review
  • Development of an exit policy & exit interview system
  • Development of an in-house HR documentation system (electronic version) & oversee HR compliance
  • Liaise with finance department in regard to awards and wages to ensure all employment agreements & salaries are Fair Work compliant
  • Implementation of WHS documentation system & oversee WHS compliance

Separately business coach Sean Martyn conducted a strategic planning workshop with the principal, senior staff and the external company accountant. This identified four (4) primary bottlenecks to growth and profitability.

  1. Marketing
  2. Key supplier relationships
  3. Strategic decision making and communication
  4. Gross margins

Sean then coached the Dealer Principal and senior staff to execute a solution to these bottlenecks.

Client Results

Within a period of eight months Three Rivers Machinery successfully recruited 6 new staff members (2 admin, 1 technician, 1 senior sales person and 2 apprentices). Formalised an online HR system for all staff members including a 360o performance review system. The Safe Shop WHS management system was implemented and all systems were then maintained virtually.

The senior team agreed upon a ‘one page’ strategic plan and a ‘one page’ marketing plan that was used to guide decisions and activities form that point forward. A rhythm of formal meetings replaced ad hock crisis meetings and monthly themes focused all staff on the four bottlenecks until they were removed. These meeting then also identified new themes and have become a permanent feature of the management style at the dealership.

Within 12 months the dealership was offered a vastly expanded territory by its flagship supplier. Gross margin in parts and workshop improved greatly, offsetting a general downturn in sales due to a seasonal drought.

More critically 12 months after engaging Business By Design the Dealer Principal suffered a life threatening health issue requiring many months off work. The business was not significantly disrupted during this period and on making a full recovery the Dealer Principal and his wife now have begun to split their time equally between their holiday home purchased on the South Coast of NSW and their base in the western region of NSW. The experience of Virtual Executive Services showed the way for a more remote basis of business management and directorship.

Client Testimonial

“. . . things started to change – immediately! On my first one day session with Sean he ‘reshuffled’ my thought process, coaching me to take one step back from the start, then hold the line, hold the line, (whilst recruiting) until we were confident we had a candidate that would not only suit the role, but would go the distance in that role for a ‘substantial’ period of time. This then allowed the business to take two steps forward by having made the right choice, and six months down the track have a valuable team member. We would then empower that team member with the necessary skills and training to see them reach both their professional and personal development potential.”

“It gives myself and Bronwyn (and hopefully Sean and Nikki) a great sense of satisfaction to reflect on where we were as a company prior to engaging Business By Design to where we are now when it comes to company structure, human resources and recruitment and meeting rhythm, just to name a few.”

Phone (02) 6658 0775