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Docklander - August 2019

30 Jul 2019

Docklander - August 2019 Image

Getting better with age

Docklands resident Dr Ian Brammar shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

At 84, Ian could be easily forgiven for spending this stage of life enjoying its finer things from the comfort of his Docklands apartment at Victoria Harbour. But instead, the inspirational former metallurgist continues to work tirelessly on an exciting and innovative business venture that he is passionate about sharing with as many companies as possible.

Originally from Sheffield, England, Ian and wife Wendy have lived in Docklands for three years. Migrating with their three kids, Ian was first brought to Australia in the late-1970s to help mining giants BHP develop a better steel in the aftermath of the collapse of the King Street Bridge.

Ian’s original roles saw him living in Newcastle for four years where he was hired by BHP to develop stronger steels for gas pipelines, before moving to Melbourne to start work in a research laboratory developing steels.

He said that, ironically, it was through working with some of the largest companies in the world throughout this period, which motivated him to switch careers in an effort to help solve widespread problems he saw in business management.

“I began to realise that companies were still going out of business and I realised that it all comes back to these strategies,” Dr Brammar said.

“Only half the story for a company is developing its products and so on. You can still become a world-beating company if you have world-beating products but that’s very rare. That’s why I started getting into management.”

Leading up to forming his own company International Executive Strategies Pty Ltd in 1990, Dr Brammar had discovered that the corporate strategies were too heavily focused on products, rather than operations.

Having worked on the modules, survey design and program over the course of the past 20 to 30 years, he said that only last year had his company found the solutions required to form the “extra half of top-down” high performance management.

The Expanding Value Scientific Management (EVSM) system developed by Dr Brammar is the only one of its kind in the world and its main focus is to connect corporate strategies and employees directly to a company’s profitability.

Dr Brammar said that of all companies who had tested and implemented the program to date each had shown a doubling in profit, enhanced employee satisfaction and had been able to effectively measure corporate culture. However, with companies having operated under the same systems for hundreds of years, he said it was proving a challenge to sell.

“The top-down management system of companies is virtually unchanged since 1865 when companies were first incorporated. We found that some things can’t be done with that top-down system,” he said.

“If you look at the current situation in Australia at the moment we’ve got some major problems and we’ve got to a situation where all these tactics that we’ve been adding on since the early 1900s to increase the productivity are running out of steam.”

“Standard of living is not keeping up with salary and wages. There is a ceiling on profitability of about 15 per cent to earnings before interest and tax. Over 30 per cent of investments are locked into operations that companies can’t use. Each one of those we can solve.”

Before moving to Docklands, which is now his home office, Dr Brammar and Wendy had a property in Steeles Creek where they had established a winery together 45km north-east of Melbourne.

Sadly, the winery and much of the property was wiped out in the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, which he and Wendy survived by hiding in their cellar. Miraculously, with their home built to specifications issued after Ash Wednesday fires, the house too survived the fires.

“We didn’t get any warning of the fire coming so we couldn’t get out,” Dr Brammar said. “Fortunately, our house withstood the blaze thanks to having these specifications, which included metal shutters and a sprinkler system and we hid in our fire-resistant cellar in the hillside under the house.”

“The house was built so well that the only damage we got was two cracked skylights and the only person who got injured was our dog with burnt paws!”

Once they got their devasted property back into a condition that they could sell it, they moved to Victoria Harbour so that Ian could continue his dream of growing his business and raising awareness about the EVSM system. He hasn’t looked back!

“We moved to Docklands because at that stage I hadn’t quite finished all the development of this program and Docklands was an excellent place for us to be because we were close to the CBD,” he said.

“We’re overlooking the harbour on the 15th floor. Living here is like living in a little village because it’s five minutes from everything with the banks, the supermarket, the doctors, so it’s all there.”

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