Troostwijk Asset Management: Why your business needs a Chief Junk Officer
In your business, what happens to your old machinery when it needs replacing? What do you do with out of date technology when a new piece of kit becomes available?
If you are like most companies, the chances are you will be either throwing them out with the scrap or you will have a store room (or even a warehouse!) full of junk which can be conveniently ignored or pilfered for spares further down the line.
So, what can a forward-thinking business do to recognise the scale of the opportunity from assets that are deemed to no longer be of use?
Introducing the Chief Junk Officer
While the list of new C-suite titles seems to grow longer every year – think of the Chief Visionary Officer, the Chief Happiness Officer and the Chief Experience Officer – it seems that no-one wants to be held accountable for maximising value from these assets that could be utilised for future business success.
In the current business climate, the formula to maintaining a successful business is no longer black or white. As a result of the ever-changing political and economic factors, particularly in a time where Brexit still harbours so many questions, businesses must find alternative methods to grow and meet objectives.
There is no doubt that in the next year or so, from a practical and legislative perspective there will be even more challenges thrown at SMEs. Laws and regulations will be updated to cater to the new wave of trading rules because of leaving the EU.
To tackle this, we’d like to introduce a new title to the C-suite, the CJO – or Chief Junk Officer – a person within the executive team who oversees managing and optimising a business’ assets. By elevating the issue to the boardroom, you will immediately create the accountability needed to solve the challenge and develop a long-term strategy.
What is ‘Junk’?
We need a revised view on what businesses define as junk. The truth is the majority of what businesses see as junk actually does have latent value – it’s just that they haven’t learnt to see it yet. In a world where waste is abundant, it’s vital we remember that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
“Re-preciating” your assets
At Troostwijk Asset Management, we believe that everything has value. So, rather than thinking about how much an asset has lost in value, businesses should be thinking about how they can ‘re-preciate’ their value.
Our estimate, based on the size of the B2B auction market which is worth around £480m per year in the UK, is that British businesses could be leaving around £1.7bn worth of assets dormant, losing their value for no good reason at all.
Business’ are missing out on huge growth opportunities by not embedding an asset management strategy into their operations or utilising the blooming B2B online marketplace as a source for acquiring new assets.
This switch in focus would incentivise the Chief Junk Officer to implement a full-asset management strategy, enabling them to fully understand the opportunities available and by providing the executive team with increased visibility of their surplus assets.
The curse of the zombie asset
As it stands, most companies in the UK have not yet implemented a full asset management strategy across their business to take in to account unwanted assets, in large part due to lack of ownership around the issue and where it should sit within an organisation.
Businesses up and down the country, across all sectors and industries, are sitting on billions of pounds worth of assets that are depreciating day by day, many of which are not even accounted for on balance sheets until they are eventually moved on or scrapped.
We have termed this as the ‘curse of the zombie asset’ and it has the potential to harm business growth as well as hampering research and development by restricting cash flow.
Timing is everything when it comes to avoiding ‘zombie assets’, so having a strategy in place for the selling process and knowing when to act is essential to ensure all business investment objectives are realised.
Unlocking Growth Potential
The B2B auctions market is continuing to grow rapidly, and is now worth £480m in the UK alone as more companies are identifying them as a viable route to market, gaining access to new customers around the world. And yet, we have estimated that only a quarter of businesses currently use B2B auctions as part of an asset management strategy.
We firmly believe that the challenge of asset management is business critical and essential to the future growth, so in the era of the CVO, CHO and CXO, why should they not be joined by the CJO in the c-suite?
About Troostwijk Asset Management.
Troostwijk is an asset management specialist and the biggest industrial online auctioneer in Europe. Believing everything has value, Troostwijk has 90 years’ experience of helping businesses develop strategies that unlock optimum value from assets. Troostwijk prides itself on its international capabilities, connecting vendors with buyers from 127 countries.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.