CAST 2021 Summary.

  • Andrew Winnell
  • Friday, Dec 17, 2021
  • Tags: Capability and Strategic Advisory

Most of us considered 2020 to be an anomaly – an outlier. It was a year where we held our breath, waited for the next social and cultural pivot and continued to expect the “new normal” to set in at any time.

In 2021 Covid continued to demand innovation and persistence on a scale that few of us were prepared for – yet here we are at the end of the year, celebrating the extraordinary gains achieved against this challenging backdrop.

In a year where many of us hoped for recovery, we showed resilience and immense personal growth. The CAST story is no different to many new businesses during this time. We knew we needed to be agile and to create opportunities out of adversity - plans changed, priorities shifted, and volatility was embraced.

We have continued to build a team that is excited by change and willing to offer the flexibility that these times demand. The team is stronger than ever, and every single one of us has taken a big step forward this year.

As a result, it has been an incredible year filled with collaboration and heartfelt mutual support across all our customers, partners and people.

We end the year tired, but happy, confident, grateful and hopeful.

Our footprint

Building on our expertise within the Workforce Planning discipline has been one of the overriding themes of 2021. We are aware of the impact that current skills shortages and restricted international migration has had on workforce availability - and longer term - employee expectations have irrevocably changed - we say: “for the better!”

Adding this to our existing consulting, analytics and development strengths has allowed our clients to ride out this storm and prepare for the future.

CAST has grown significantly once again this year, both independently and with the support of KBR as a Defence Major Service Provider, truly demonstrating their commitment to Small and Medium Businesses, and with a team of exceptional professionals dedicated to delivering the very best quality Services to Australian Defence.

Our Australian Defence projects have included:

  • Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Engineering Division

    • Navy Assurance Management System (NAMS)
  • Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Air Command

    • Air Command Preparedness Management System (ACPMS)
  • Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group (CASG), Business Management Division

    • Strategic Workforce Planning Review

    • Strategic Workforce Plan

    • Qualification, Skills & Experience Baseline Review

  • Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group (CASG), Aerospace Systems Division

    • Airlift System Programme Office (ALSPO) Workforce Planning Support

    • Project AIR555 - Integrated Logistics & Workforce Planning support

Other projects we’ve had the privilege of working on have included:

  • KiwiRail (New Zealand)

    • National Asset Renewal Planning
  • Sydney Metro (New South Wales)

    • ‘Performance Exchange’ Major Contract Performance monitoring
  • Tonkin & Taylor (New Zealand)

    • Analytics & cloud infrastructure training support

    • ‘Plexus’ wastewater monitoring and predictive analytics system

  • A leading Global Pharmaceutical firm (US, UK and Switzerland)

Our Research & Development

As usual we have also worked with summer interns as part of our R&D activities. At the start of the year Jiro Ishida investigated production logistics optimisation for a pharmaceutical manufacturing problem, and going into 2022, we are working with Brett Jones on automatically detecting and counting road signs from videos. Thanks to them both for their exceptional contributions.

Keep an eye out for CHARM – our set of AI Natural Language Processing and capability systems modelling tools to organise and analyse unstructured data for many workforce planning and capability management activities. Stay tuned!

Our Team

We have been incredibly lucky to add some impressive names to our CAST list this year.

In the capacity of advisors, we have had the joy of working with Greg Hewson and Mike Smith AM. As our executive guide in the “SharkTank”, Greg’s ability to navigate complex environments has been invaluable, he makes us think better and harder, and he still has the coolest car.  Mike stepped up as our specialist Workforce Planning guru, he has pointed us in the right direction so many times, and he takes it to our kiwi caucus with unrivalled rugby knowledge.

We’ve also continued to work closely with Michael Schlatter CSC and Jeff Budgen AM. Michael combines a truly rare blend of senior military, technology delivery and people development experience, and the programme oriented perspective and discipline he brings made him the perfect addition to the CAST team late this year. Welcome Colonel K!  Finally. Jeff, the OG himself, has, in recent days, finally, mostly, retired.  We are so very sad to see him go - he’s the teacher we tattled to and the shoulder we cried on when things went ‘non-Newtonian’.  He, on the other hand, seems entirely happy to be off the hamster wheel, which is odd.

We have more team announcements on the way and of course, our recruitment plans are very active - with opportunities available in Workforce Planning, Project & Program Management, Business Analysis, Systems Engineering, Defence Logistics and Mustang Driving.

There wasn’t much time for getting together and having some fun across borders - but we did finally get to be in the same city at the same time in May – culminating in the inaugural CAST eKarting event which was fantastic fun.

This short newsletter cannot possibly highlight everything that has happened in the CAST world in 2021. It has certainly been a year where our hard work is proving to be engaging, valuable to our clients, and worthy of a long Christmas break!

Once again, we are looking forward to a new year that builds on the previous one - while we take baby steps towards Covid recovery in 2022 - nothing is stopping us from taking huge leaps towards our own success.  This team is amazing. 

Thank you, and we can’t wait for 2022.

Andrew Winnell