Driving the value conversation
Value conversations facilitate collaborative and innovative responses from stakeholders on how they manage their current costs and accurately budget for future periods, says Theshni Naidoo, a consultant at Magic Orange.
Whether your organisation wants to grow specific areas of the business or reduce costs significantly, achieving this requires a high level of cost transparency.
There is no doubt that costs, both internal and external, are receiving increased focus as organisations try to stretch budgets further in these tough economic times. What they require is a tool that enables them to obtain a clear vision not just of the cost seen on an invoice, but of the total cost of ownership (TCO). With such an understanding, it becomes much easier to tweak areas of the value chain to help the business find additional savings or identify specific domains where costs can be cut.
When armed with right information, explains Theshni Naidoo, a consultant at Magic Orange, it becomes possible to start driving the value conversations within the organisation.
"These discussions facilitate collaborative and innovative responses from stakeholders on how they manage their current costs and accurately budget for future periods. To make these discussions possible, you need a tool that provides you with a granular view of your costs, allowing you steer the conversation towards solutions and initiatives that add value and ultimately grow the organisation," she says.
"With Magic Orange, we have an offering that is applicable to various vertical markets and is useful to any organisation that wants to achieve a high level of cost transparency across the business. This is because it is suitable for any shared services area in any organisation. One of the complex areas of shared services in which we specialise is in IT costs."
Naidoo is thrilled to be part of an organisation that offers a product that can genuinely change the way organisations view their IT spend, particularly in this rapidly evolving digital age, where it is becoming increasingly important for your IT department to be seen as a business partner, rather than a cost centre.
Naidoo certainly has a solid foundation for working with this solution, as she has a BCom accounting degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as two post-graduate diplomas from Unisa. Having undertaken her articles at one of the world's 'Big 4' audit and consulting firms and qualified as a chartered accountant, she was seconded to its Chicago branch. This international experience allowed her to broaden her horizons and to experience a different culture, different clients and a different way of doing business.
"Following my time in the US, I took up a role at a large discount retailer in South Africa, prior to moving to Magic Orange. While my time at the consultancy firm was spent in the traditional audit role, at the retailer I took on more of a finance role, which was, in fact, the path I had originally envisioned for myself. My current role is, however, different from both of these, as it is more solution focused and advising and guiding clients on their cost transparency journey, which I find very fulfilling."
She indicates the most rewarding aspect of her job is helping clients eliminate the need for tedious and time-consuming spreadsheets to work out their costs to have a transparent view on costs. Magic Orange, she says, provides the business with a granular view of their costs, allowing the business to analyse these costs in detail for better cost management.
"My time in the US and my own personal travel experiences around the globe helped me gain a broader cultural perspective, allowing me to apply the lessons I learnt about these different cultures to my career; after all, a good consultant is always able to adapt to the culture of the client.
"The secret of Magic Orange's success is that the tool is versatile enough to tackle any shared services arena, across any business. Moreover, it is a solution that is constantly growing, and improving, as the company itself is built on innovation," she concludes.