The Business of Transforming Business

The Business of Transforming Business

David Galea, CEO, Beat Limited. Photos by Inigo Taylor
David Galea, CEO, Beat Limited. Photos by Inigo Taylor

BEAT Limited – whose acronym stands for Business Excellence in Achieving Transformation – was set up in 2007, in response to a growing need in the market to help companies manage their change transition during periods of growth, and where these require assistance with the different processes, structures and systems required to make the leap. The company’s core expertise lies in the provision of integrated business process management services, as well as portfolio, programme, project and change management. “In layman’s terms, we essentially help companies to become leaner in their operations and manage their projects in accordance with time, cost and quality objectives,” explained BEAT’s CEO David Galea. “We also assist companies in prioritising and maximising the return on investment on a range of programmes.”

Since BEAT’s inception, the company has sought to become the leader in Malta in the provision of business transformation solutions, striving to help client companies reduce their total cost of operations, and become more competitive in their own sector. Between 2007 and 2012, its focus was primarily on helping companies manage change transitions. In 2013, BEAT branched out into project management and incubation – “primarily in response to the lack of proper management discipline evident in many projects which were being implemented around the island,” Mr Galea added.

BEAT also managed to penetrate the UAE market, and in 2012, the company developed an alliance with Informa, the world’s leading player in the conference training and exhibition market. “Through this alliance, BEAT continues to provide training to an extensive suite of clients in the UAE. Our search for partners of international repute has since led to other alliances, including with TUV Nord from Italy, the Houston Intercontinental Chamber of Commerce, Prime Advantage in the UK, and Auraportal in Spain,” Mr Galea explained.

One of the strengths of BEAT is the degree and depth of experience and expertise it offers its clients, having developed a network of quality assurance specialists in a variety of sectors, with whom the company then collaborates when approaching assignments in specialist industries.  “For example, when we were engaged on a project requiring the streamlining of business processes in an organisation involved in the wholesale and retail of fruit and vegetables, we engaged the services of an agricultural specialist,” said Mr Galea. “In another instance, we were engaged in the development of an automated ticketing system for a major organisation, for which we subsequently brought on board a ticketing expert to support us.  In a nutshell, we combine our process expertise with industry specialist knowledge available within our network, thereby offering flexibility in our approach, whilst servicing the specific needs of the client.”

Since one of BEAT’s functions is to provide strategic alternatives for the purpose of enhancing its clients’ performance in the marketplace, it often works closely with companies’ management at all levels, in order to ensure that they are capable of taking on the change process forward after the job is done. In fact, the company’s innovative modus operandi involves reinforcing its in-house specific process expertise by bringing on board client staff to provide the corporate cultural perspective, as well as external industry experts who are in a position to provide an independent external outlook pertaining to the sector in which the client operates.  “Moreover, although we lead and implement the various projects we undertake in conjunction with company owners and management, we also place considerable attention on the transfer of knowledge and expertise to ensure ownership and the long-term validity of our work. We therefore provide innovative and pragmatic recommendations which will allow in-house personnel to implement and follow up on our work effectively into the future,” Mr Galea continued.

“We have found that our clients greatly appreciate the high level of innovative strategic thinking we put on the table, complemented by practical advice tailored to organisations’ financial and operating realities. We regularly receive feedback complimenting us, amongst others, on our ability to manage change and to infuse the right mindsets to encourage change to take place. Other clients have pointed out our strong technical, analytical, and yet pragmatic approach to resolving operational issues, particularly in streamlining critical processes and achieving process integration. Just as importantly, we strive to infuse a culture of change, with an emphasis on increased accountability and responsibility, which will enable client companies to continue benefitting from the outcome of the change process well after our role has come at an end.”

For BEAT, business optimisation is an umbrella term, grouping within its scope services such as business transformations, project incubation, and implementation. “BEAT’s Project Incubation services put our extensive experience and expertise at the service of the client to help them develop and leverage ideas into pragmatic business concepts. These services encompass the whole cycle of this process, from concept origination, to determining the project’s technical, economic and financial feasibility, as well as its commercialisation,” Mr Galea explained.

As far as business transformations are concerned, BEAT is well aware that one rarely gets a second chance at turning a business around, and focuses on helping clients get it right the first time. “We do this by identifying, developing and implementing those fundamental changes which will enable their organisation to interact internally and externally to cope with evolving markets. As a result, their business will benefit from improved profitability and enhanced shareholder value. Our service portfolio in this respect includes the laying out of strategic blueprints, the formulation of performance management systems, as well as the provision of organisational and business process design capabilities.”

Finally, throughout any project undertaken, BEAT are on hand to guide and support their clients in implementing measures to achieve the long-term sustainability of their organisation. “Whether our clients require hands-on support to implement and manage change, or to maximise the value and impact of their project and programme investments, we will direct our experience and expertise towards ensuring that these deliver the desired business results.”

What drove BEAT initially was a passion for excellence in helping client companies cut down their costs and improve their operations. At the time of BEAT’s inception, Mr Galea estimates that the consulting industry in Malta was relatively immature, with a market size of around 100 million liri (around €233 million). It was a period which saw a number of large-scale IT projects mushrooming around the island, and a growing acceptance of integrating ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions. At the same time, most of these projects were IT-led, and limited importance was given to the implementation of changes in the business model. However, given the increased competition from abroad – particularly since Malta’s accession to the EU in 2004 – as well as a change in the ownership structure of companies and the handover of the operations to the younger generation, BEAT experienced “a growing acceptance of managing change as a profession,” as Mr Galea described it. “Importance also started being given to engaging outsiders to help in the shaping of new and improved processes. Today, with technology revolutionising many businesses, the demand for process improvement and project management is set to increase significantly, and will become increasingly recognised as a fundamental service. Just as in the early 2000s technology specialists were embraced by industry, we have seen – and are likely to see in the future – a growing recognition for the need for more business process specialists.”

Mr Galea’s major impetus for BEAT for the future is to expand its global scope of operations and become the most internationalised advisory firm in Malta. “We aim to achieve this by developing our business processes in line with international best practices, by seeking international recognition such as ISO certifications, and by investing extensively in the training of our staff members, who are our strongest champions and ambassadors for growth. We are constantly striving to develop a customer-centric organisation by achieving growth, without losing that personal touch with the customer which has defined our modus operandi since day one. Finally, we will continue exploiting opportunities for further partnerships and joined ventures in the international scene with a view to gaining a wider reach on the global market.”

Original article published on The Business Observer on the 26th of October 2017, pages 20-21.

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