Engineering Consultancy – Power and Energy


Primary: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 

Secondary: Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 


 Key Contribution 

Advised and guided the company’s owner managers on strategic development, governance, succession, business improvement and operations. 

 The Business  

A privately owned engineering consultancy in Auckland, aspiring to be NZ’s first choice provider of engineering services to the power and energy industry. 

 The Challenge  

To continue the growth of a successful, small independent business, turning it into a more professional, medium sized enterprise, while finding a way forward for the two shareholder business leaders who were pursuing different goals. 

 The Assistance Required 

Appointed Chairman of a new Advisory Board. 

 The Approach  

  • Separated governance from management; 
  • Recruited a leader for the core power systems division; 
  • Overhauled finance and support team, strengthening management and statutory accounts and reporting; 
  • Encouraged greater rigour to project management, controls and reporting systems; 
  • Drove adoption of formal business planning and budgeting processes using established performance metrics; 
  • Outsourced HR function; introduced improved selection, recruitment, employment and retention practices and policies; 
  • Oversaw improved H&S protocols and performance; 
  • Withdrew from Australian market; 
  • Promoted the opening of a Christchurch office and South Island business development; 
  • Launched an inhouse civil and structural engineering capability, providing integrated design; 
  • Devised succession plan, profit sharing and an employee loyalty scheme. 

 The Results Delivered 

  • Successfully spun out a new 20 staff consultancy, focused on control systems engineering; 
  • The existing business reverted to being 100% owned by the founding shareholder and ‘sale ready; 
  • Maintained a growth rate of >10% pa, increased annual turnover, growing to 40+ staff and achieved the target net margin. 

 Client Testimony  

“Richard has been consultant to Ergo for over 5 years (a bloody long time). During this time, the company has been through a demerger, doubled in size, implemented a practice management system, and moved to Xero. While Richard’s primary role is chairman of the board, he has always taken a hands-on role within the company and is the de-facto CEO. He provides leadership both in direction and style that has contributed to Ergo’s success. Under Richard’s leadership, Ergo has made strategic decisions to expand into Civil Engineering, into the South Island and through project reviews and better project management increased profitability. This has put Ergo in a strong position to ride out the Covid-19 shut down.” 

Chris Turney, Owner, Ergo Consulting Limited