Adrian Fahey is managing director and CEO of SAGE Group in Australia.
ADDEDTuesday, December 14, 2021
Our story to date has been one of diversification. Starting in one industry sector in automotive, we expanded to fill other industry sectors. Now work in resources, which is mining for us. We work in the utilities area, defense infrastructure, so we’ve really broadened our industry base.
And then it was geographic diversity. We have 14 offices in Australia, now three also in India. We started diversifying from standard automation services into field services and digitalization, around optimization. We’re actually incredibly broad business now.
The biggest challenge for customers, which we’re hearing at the moment, is around resources. People challenges have always been there, but they continue to be there. So that’s a real challenge.
The other challenge is this whole idea of a digital journey. Where do you start? And we’re finding the customers are really finding themselves quite stuck and not sure where to start. So that would be the challenge.
The smartest decision we’ve made recently? I’ll put it into two. One is around people. Just pre-pandemic, we put in a new HR Manager. It was perfect timing having that capability in our business to make sure that we’re supporting our team and their well-being during COVID, which has been very challenging, and certainly, my thoughts with everyone that’s been challenged through that.
The second would be we’ve really branched out into a digital space around digital products. We’ve got a couple of SaaS products that we’ve built, and one that we’ve acquired. So really building out our own product range and something we can offer to a global market.
What advice would I give myself? I think it would have to be always hire ahead of where you think you are. Hire the best possible person to supplement what you’re not good at. It changed our journey when we got our first professional CFO. Our journey changed again when we got our first professional marketing person, when we got our first professional HR person. So, if I could tell myself something I’d say, “You know, stretch yourself and hire ahead of what you can actually afford, because you know, those returns will be a huge. Trust in what you know, but there’s a whole heap of things that clearly I didn’t know.”