Chris Rutherford

Executive Transformation Consultant

The first 10 years of my career were spent in Lord Weinstock’s GEC empire. Manufacturing costing and control processes were at the heart of that hugely successful organisation and I was fortunate to learn from some exceptionally talented practitioners. I was involved in the introduction of business systems into GEC long before terms like MRP, ERP or Industry 4.0 became the vogue. Large mainframes and even larger development teams were the order of the day – happy times!

Armed with my knowledge and experience of best practice from GEC I went over to the other side and joined the strange world of Implementation Consultancy. This is a challenging environment where intelligent and optimistic people are given sometimes underwhelming software functionality and expected to show companies how to run their business using these tools. My journey took me through such diverse manufacturing industries as aerospace, power generation, automotive, railway locomotives, brick making machines, potato snack manufacturing machines, shoe laces, PVCu products, peat bog harvesting machinery, security systems, industrial insulation products, subsea valves, cosmetic display units, parking ticket machines, compressed air products, refuse collection vehicles, pyrotechnic countermeasures, domestic showers and livestock identity tags.

I quickly learned that what drives a successful implementation is not only the functionality of the software but also the ability of the consultant to understand the business requirements and fashion a system or process to support those requirements. Information technology is a wonderful thing but if it is not aligned with the needs of the business then it can often be viewed as a curse rather than a panacea.

My 28 year journey in Business Consultancy has now brought me to Waterstons; a company I have long admired having collaborated with on several projects. The company’s approach to doing business is a refreshing change from my previous roles by being open and transparent with clients, and giving employees the freedom to provide high quality work to customers without restricting the methods of delivery. I find myself no longer having to defend software but rather challenging it to fulfil the essential demands of the businesses I help.

My outside interests including playing guitar, watching cricket, taking my dog for country walks, cooking and renovating a property in the Lake District.

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