Heike’s focus is on aspects of water management. Water is a resource without a substitute but many competing uses and stakeholders. Coming from the discipline of supply chain management, she is used to thinking in end-to-end systems, taking a pragmatic approach to short term versus long term impacts of strategic decisions and the trade-offs to be made around the allocation of critical resources. She brings a wealth of experience to the water issue, but no baggage since she has only recently elected to move into this new and challenging space. Heike has worked in senior roles in Europe and New Zealand for companies such as Hewlett Packard, Fletcher Challenge and New Zealand Post. She enjoys the development of long term strategies as much as their implementation. She is an experienced leader of change with a keen understanding of the varying needs of different stakeholder groups, the value of strong governance and measurable outcomes. In her experience the best outcomes are being achieved in environments that foster working partnerships between different stakeholder groups. Only when you establish upfront what the threats and opportunities for each group are, can you set a shared agenda. Transparency of decision making and communication are keys to success.
Over the last couple of years Heike has applied her skills in short term assignments for organisations such as Evergreen Packaging in the United States and Carter Holt Harvey in Australia. Her brief was to enable internal talent to deliver measurable outcomes under tight time lines through knowledge transfer, spanning all aspects from technical knowhow, to time and project management to personal communication and presentation skills. She has also done some volunteer work in Argentina for a small not for profit organisation.
At New Zealand Post she established a group wide Procurement function, up-skilling her team in the differences between input and outcome based supply arrangements, collaborative approaches to outsourcing and the development of robust performance measurement frameworks. In her role as leader of the Strategy and Innovation Team she was involved in mergers and acquisitions and the assessment of various innovation ideas and strategies for the group.
At Fletcher Challenge she led an end-to-end business re-engineering exercise for a $150m subsidiary, resulting in the re-creation of the company through shifting major paradigms. One of the most significant breakthroughs came, as the team realised that the company allowed for ‘waste’ in its budgets. The elimination of ‘waste’ in production processes, service delivery and project management was a major contributor in reducing the company’s cost base by 22% over an 18 months period. Rigorous project prioritisation and resourcing, supported by strong governance reduced project delivery time frames while lifting project completion in full on time and within budget to above 90%.
Amongst her most significant achievements was the development and implementation of Hewlett-Packard’s European Distribution strategy in the context of changing regulation for transport in the European Union. This project required her to work with more than 30 HP entities, suppliers and distributors as well as regulators across 14 European countries.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, horse riding and travelling. Particular highlights of recent travels were Antarctica and Patagonia. She speaks English, German and Spanish and is keen to keep a balance between New Zealand based and overseas assignments.