Liberty Recycling is at a very interesting point in its lifecycle as a business, a prolonged period of growth and expansion was followed by a period of consolidation which saw the business divest a number of international businesses and close some Australian yards whilst under the Arrium umbrella. The subsequent act of Arrium Limited going into Voluntary Administration served as something of a turning point for Liberty Recycling (then Onesteel Recycling), despite the many challenges presented by operating in Voluntary Administration the business redoubled its efforts and was able to grow the business through the Administration process. The financial performance of Liberty Recycling was so strong as to cause GFG Alliance to throw out the Forecasts and Budgets previously generated for FY18 as the business was outperforming those targets significantly. The Budget for the remainder of FY18 was reset in line with the 3 Month forecast that was performed just prior to the takeover. Liberty Recycling remains in front of budget.
Despite the positive Financial performance there remain other issue for the business, an upward trend in Safety Incidents particular a much higher than normal frequency of low consequence injuries (Report Only or First Aid Treatment) led to a survey of employees to help determine the likely cause of this rise in incidents. One of the most common responses to the survey was that employees felt under-appreciated for their efforts over the Administration period, and that changes they had hoped might come post takeover had to this point come to nothing, leaving them not as focussed as previously on their day to day tasks.
This survey result points to an issue that can be seen anecdotally across the Recycling business, whilst the business is performing strongly financially, there is a general negative tension in its daily operations. A far higher than standard turnover of staff has been seen in a number of states along with a difficulty in filling roles. Despite the certainty provided by the new owners in their statements regarding the future of the Recycling Business, there has to this date been no physical change, not even rebranding across the business, to demonstrate this commitment to the business. My recommendation of a Marketing and Branding Campaign would be the first step in demonstrating GFG’s commitment to its employees and its customers.
This demonstration of commitment would be backed up by my recommended measures of updating processing equipment and operational sites, but more importantly these would improve the customer experience and service times, capitalising on an already positive culture towards the customer. In an industry where customer service is generally average at best it is my judgement that by providing the best customer experience in the industry is the key to generating a sustainable competitive advantage.
Section 1: Strategic Overview
Liberty Recycling is a part of the GFG...