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Issue Date: November 2006

Rethinking Rethink

1 November 2006
Paul Booth

When an organisation is looking for a management consultancy company to help them with an aspect of their business, it is normally the big names in the industry that come to mind, regardless of the product alignments they may have in place. In many instances, the use of one of these entities is also often associated with high fees.
This need not be the case. There is an independent, product agnostic company that has been established for over 10 years, is profitable, and is capable of performing much of this work at competitive rates; it is called Rethink.
Rethink Management Consulting was established in February 1996 and to date has successfully completed more than 200 projects with over 50 of South Africa's largest blue chip organisations, such as Afrox, BOE, Cape Town Council, Cell C, DBSA, FinSource, the JSE, Investec, Liberty Life, Metropolitan Life, Nedbank, Old Mutual, Sanlam, Sun International and Truworths. It boasts multiple repeat value-adding initiatives with these companies. The company is based in Sandton, but also has an office in Cape Town.
The company is headed by founder, Kem Tissiman, who has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and a BComm. Prior to the formation of Rethink, Tissiman consulted independently and also worked for Coopers & Lybrand Management Consulting and Unidata. He has over 12 years in management consulting, together with 15+ years in the IT and engineering industries. The other directors also boast similar histories.
Kem Tissiman
Kem Tissiman
The company maintains a lean management structure and infrastructure, operating as a near virtual company. This ensures that its consulting rates can be considerably lower than its competitors' prices, while still being able to provide good quality resources.
Rethink's mission is to become a leading independent management consultancy in South Africa, providing a range of business and IT services, to both private and public sector companies.
Rethink specialises in providing complementary solutions, services and skills that have a role to play in business performance improvement and business development initiatives. Specifically, Rethink has specialised capabilities in the areas of:
* Business performance management.

* Business process management.

* Business strategy development and implementation.

* Change management.

* Feasibility studies and business case development.

* Production management solutions.

* Project planning, initiation, delivery and evaluation.

* Workflow solution design, planning and implementation.

* Bespoke system design and specification.
With regard to BEE, Rethink has adopted the approach of having a BEE Trust that owns 30% of its shares. The trust is specifically geared to benefit a broad range of PDI beneficiaries, including its own black staff, until such time as a suitable and value adding BEE partner is found who will take over the shares owned by the trust.
Additionally, Rethink has had a bursary programme in place for a number of years to assist PDI students with their tertiary studies.
In 2003 their first candidate, a black female student from Vista University, attained her business management degree. Two tertiary students, as well as three scholars, are currently being sponsored. Rethink spends in excess of 30% of its discretionary supplier spend with black-owned companies, and donates 1% of its profits to black charities.
All too often the phrase 'big is better' seems to hold sway, but this is not necessarily so, especially if one does some homework on the successful players that operate in the local market. Rethink is one such example that has proved itself over time and deserves a place alongside its bigger, but not necessarily better peers.

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