An Annual Report -

VALUE FOR MONEY


THE SITUATION

A service company long established in the New Zealand marketplace, was required to present an Annual Report to its shareholders. The company approached the Consultancy to prepare this important document, after a bad experience the previous year when the report had cost nearly 20% over budget, did not represent the image the company wished to portray and was nearly a week late in delivery.

We were asked to produce the Annual Report within a set budget, with a fresh image that portrayed a company in touch with the marketplace, while providing the statutory information in a well laid out, easy to understand format.

THE PROGRAMME

After meeting the chief executive and financial controller, we commissioned a reputable art studio to design a report that met the stringent criteria required by the client. Our consultant prepared a list of requirements of those executives who would contribute to providing information necessary to compile the report, as well as strict timelines for its completion.

The design was approved by the client and photography and initial compilation of the copy for the script began ahead of schedule. The company chairman and chief executive were interviewed by our consultant for their overview of the industry and company operations, while line managers were asked to complete a questionnaire which was used to write each operating division's commentary. The financial controller provided a draft set of accounts which were typeset and checked ahead of schedule, ready for the final accounts to be approved by the auditors. A printer was selected after quotes were sought from 4 firms - his price was not the lowest, but his reputation for finishing a job on time to the highest standard were key factors.

At all stages of the project, and at least weekly, all personnel involved were advised of progress or problems, with the final decision resting with the chief executive who understood the need to make decisions promptly, to achieve production deadlines.

THE RESULTS

As expected, the report was delivered on time to the mailing house for posting to shareholders. A meeting with the media to release the report publicly drew comments (unsolicited) that the report was well presented and understandable with good visual impact.

The project was completed on time and within the budget set by the client - not the consultancy. The only problem to occur was that divisional managers were so impressed with the report as a marketing tool, that a reprint had to be reordered only two months after publication because all copies had been distributed.