Chief executive officer Steven Golding explains how a lack of fear, a willingness to embrace innovation and good old fashioned family values have combined to create a leading project management consulting company.
The concept of family values is one that stretches across all four corners of the world. From the United States to Brazil, South Africa to China, the concept of family exists as a fundamental building block of society. In each of these countries and beyond one will find a multitude of businesses that adopt family values as a part of their core philosophy, yet perhaps no better example can be found than SSG Consulting.
“We are a company,” explains chief executive officer, Steven Golding, “that is very much built on a Christian foundation with the concept of family very much at the heart of what we are all about.” Formed in late 2007, SSG Consulting has developed rapidly in the years since, based almost exclusively on previous relationships with clients and their founders. Possessing collective experience of more than half a century within the field of project management, the company is ideally placed to service a growing client base within the infrastructure, energy, mining and petrochemical industries.
“Embracing innovation and having a lack of fear,” Golding continues, “are two of the core characteristics that define us as a company. We are a relatively young crowd, by comparison, with an average management age of under-50 and we believe that this comes across in the way that we approach each task with a degree of boldness and energy that others may lack.”
Looking at the company’s offering, it provides services through four different spectrums, those being project execution, consultation, the SSG Training Academy and its KEY360 management system. KEY360 was borne out of the company’s frustration based on years of experiencing business and project management systems that often did not facilitate the basic function that they themselves were designed to perform.
“As part of executing our projects,” Golding states, “we soon realised that effective data management and having the ability to work with a large number of documents, and present them back to our clients efficiently, required a system that did not come close to existing within the marketplace at the time. It was our own internal requirements that drove us to develop what is now a commercially successful product and one that we, quite boldly, predict will result in a scenario where, in a matter of years, no mega-projects under construction anywhere in the world will run without KEY360 being used somewhere in the fold.”
The human aspect of the KEY360 system has similarly been a major contributing factor to its success, as Golding goes on to highlight. “A lot of what we try to do as a company, both internally and with our clients, involves energising and motivating people. What KEY360 does is provide its users with the ability to monitor people in such a way that it can improve efficiency, output and collaboration. Actually being able to watch people grow and mature in the field, thanks in part to the use of KEY360, is definitely one of the most exciting and inspiring things that comes from the work that we do.”
It is messages like this that SSG Consulting intends to take with it to the 2013 Investing in African Mining, INDABA, event in Cape Town this coming February. “We think that this INDABA is going to be a massive springboard for a lot of investment,” Golding says, “and Key360 was built for that exact purpose.”
Investors across Africa are today in the process of establishing assets and, as an investor, having access to up-to-the-minute information regarding said assets is fundamental. In reality, most project management information that is delivered at present is not real-time. KEY360 on the other hand is specifically designed to provide minute-by-minute data that is available to all stakeholders, making it an incredible tool that gets information to where it should be quickly, accurately and in a useful format. This, in turn, helps get the assets in question up and running faster, and in a more cost effective manner.
The need to be on top of information when establishing an asset is clearly the core message that the company is hoping to put across at the INDABA event. “Information,” Golding reveals, “is what we, in our experience, find actually costs projects the most in terms of time and money. The reason being that, while technical solutions are more often than not fine, it is the physical execution of the project in terms of pure management and data management that holds back the process. This fact makes it all the more important that those involved in establishing assets have an understanding early on of the importance of using effective management systems that provide the information that is needed, when it is needed.”
KEY360 was developed at the same time as, and very much inspired by, the explosion in popularity of social networking, driven by the likes of Facebook and similar programmes. What KEY360 was designed to create however is what SSG Consulting defines as corporate networking. “In some cases,” Golding enthuses, “we have examples of upwards of 50 companies working together on a single piece of software. This is unheard of anywhere else and goes to prove that KEY360 has the ability to become a networking tool that gives different parties the opportunity to work together in establishing assets, as opposed to against one another.”
Providing companies with a platform that allows them to work together seamlessly is yet another example of the way SSG Consulting is able to bring innovative ideas to the fore. “Innovation,” Golding concludes, “as well as the way in which KEY360 works and, of course, the way in which we as a company execute business are the things that have enabled us to get where we are today, and they remain the aces up our sleeves that will allow us to remain relevant in an ever-changing market.”
Written by Will Daynes, research by Marcus Lewis