Leadership Team

Wilhelm Schultz

Introduction

Wilhelm has more than 15 years of management consulting and operational improvement experience. He has helped clients in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas on their most important strategic, operational and organisational issues. He gets excited about coaching clients to achieve the next level of operational performance. Wilhelm’s big passion is his family. He loves discovering the world with his wife, Jen, and his three kids, Ellie, Aidan and Ingrid. Outside of work and family, he enjoys pushing his own boundaries by doing silly endurance events like mountain biking, ultra trail running and triathlons.

Career snapshot

  • West African gold producer: supported a gold mine to reduce all-in sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce by 18%. Increased throughput by 14% and implemented $80m p.a. of improvement ideas.
  • South African manganese mine: helped the mine to reduce unit cost by more than 15% and increase labour productivity by over 50%. The mine successfully restructured its workforce, increased underground productivity, renegotiated supplier contracts, and established new wiring to drive accountability from COO to front line operators.
  • South African iron-ore mine: helped the mine to reduce planned capital spend on a new discard dump from $35m to $2m, while meeting safety constraints and improving downtime risk.
  • Global investment fund: supported the fund to evaluate an acquisition target. Identified more than 40% in potential NPV reduction of the main project due to more realistic cost assumptions, and 15%-20% NPV increase at existing operations through operational improvement. Built consensus with the investment fund management that the target was not attractive given these assumptions.
  • Power utility: assisted utility to develop and implement best practice outages. This included developing a new prioritised shutdown schedule, developing best practices, and implementing new processes at each shutdown.
  • Power utility: supported utility’s coal sourcing department in developing and implementing a comprehensive coal sourcing strategy. This included estimating the long-term burn rates of each power station, understanding the life and cost of each coal mine, and determining optimal logistics solutions.
  • Power utility: conducted a comprehensive energy efficiency diagnostic at a power station using sophisticated thermo-dynamic modelling. The diagnostic identified significant improvement potential to reduce auxiliary power consumption and increase power output of the station.
  • Coal mining company: assisted the company to define its coal resource acquisition strategy. This included evaluation of different resources based on technical feasibility, economics and risk. It also included a detailed negotiation approach to acquire each resource.
  • Coal mining company: assisted a coal mining company to optimise a capital project to build a new underground coal mine. This included optimising the design, setting up the appropriate owner’s team, and refining the EPCM contracting strategy. Of the $100m value improvement identified, $50m was captured within the first six months.
  • Coal mining company: developed a cost reduction plan to rapidly improve bottom-line performance. This included initiatives to reduce Opex by $100m, reduce stay-in-business capital by $50m, and increase revenue by $150m.
  • Iron-ore mine: assisted one of Africa’s largest mining operations to implement a holistic performance transformation. This included the identification of $500m NPV value creation opportunities, creating a detailed blueprint for a two-year journey, training a team of 20 change leaders, and implementing multiple waves of performance improvement projects. 
  • Heavy haul railroad: assisted a railway operator to improve its volume throughput in a low-skill environment. This included the improvement of the capacity of individual subsystems mainly through the reduction of cycle time. In addition, helping the railway operator to understand the implications of operational improvements on its capital expansion plan.
  • Sasol Germany: assisted the German division of this diversified fuel and chemical company in a strategic sourcing/purchasing effort to identify, implement and track major cost savings related to external procurement costs. The project identified and implemented savings of several million Euros p.a. for plants located in Germany, Italy and the US.

Education

Wilhelm holds an MBA from Oxford University and a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), cum laude from the University of Pretoria. 

His interests include cycling, trail running and triathlons.