Strategic Analysis & Planning

John Shropshire is CEO of the G’s Group of companies which have sales of over £300m per annum in the UK and throughout Europe. The Group is a fully integrated farming, packing and marketing business with operations in the UK, Spain and the Czech Republic. Together with its committed growers, the Group produces over 300,000 tonnes of salads, vegetables and citrus annually from over 10,000ha of cropping and employs up to 5,000 people.

Fairstead helped G’s to develop an overall strategic plan for the business and to improve internal working relationships.

As part of the process Fairstead interviewed 68 senior managers and directors throughout G’s European operations.  They focused on strategic questions and perceived strengths and weaknesses. The data was pulled together by Fairstead and presented back to the Group Board.

The feedback encouraged further debate by the Board and was a catalyst for a more wide ranging and challenging discussion than normal. From that process decisions were taken on the strategic path for the business over the next 3 to 5 years, largely through a process of elimination from the large numbers of ideas that came forward.

Some of the feedback was good to hear and some not so good to hear and caused quite a bit of excitement and some angst amongst Board members. However the process forced issues out into the open and this led to on-going, significant improvements in intra-group communication and teamwork.

From this initiative G’s developed the ‘Altogether G’s’ strap line to promote teamwork across the Group, first launching at a conference which included participation from across the Group. Fairstead conducted further interpersonal skills work and analysis with the Board achieving valuable improvements in Board efficiency and effectiveness.

Fairstead’s usual no nonsense and honest approach to the feedback process and their insightful presentation of data achieved a far greater degree of success than anything G’s could have achieved internally. This success was certainly aided by Fairstead’s strong understanding of the farming and fresh produce industry and the way it works from field to shelf.’’

 

John Shropshire
Chief Executive Officer – G’s Group