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The rainmakers who are shaking up their industry

In our ever-changing business environment, companies are now faced with a choice: adapt or die. As such, RAiN with its innovative approach to survival adapts to thrive.

The reality of our current business landscape is harsh. Companies that do not keep pace with rapid technological advances – and the new way business is conducted in a digital age – are condemned. Some rapidly, others slowly, and sometimes without even knowing it.

Auditors and business analysts, who rigidly adhere to the methodologies they relied on in the past, are not helping their clients in this new paradigm. In fact, too often, they are merely slowing the blood loss and prolonging the demise of their clients’ businesses. The death of a business is inevitable when business owners and leaders are not prepared to take the risks necessary to change their mind-sets and the procedures they are accustomed to following. Past systems they have been adhering to may seem safe, but the truth is that they can be deadly.

There is one player in the South African context that is guiding their clients through these tumultuous times to help them future-proof their businesses: RAiN. This professional services firm adopts a collaborative mind-set to ensure their clients not simply survive but that they thrive.

The future-proof solution
The past 20 years have seen rapid technological growth, which has forced businesses to re-evaluate their strategies. In the QSR franchise context, disruptors like Uber Eats and Mr D are taking their slice of an ever growing the pie. As franchise owners lose out on alcohol sales and customer data; it is becoming self-evident that the staid approach, traditionally followed by companies, no longer addresses these ever-changing business needs.

In this increasingly complex environment, many businesses are faced with the same bleak outcome: loss of revenue and sometimes even a complete demise. However, the precise causes of this is specific to each business. RAiN recognises that each client’s path is unique, and as such, one-size-fits-all solutions do not work. The ultimate goal is always client growth, but the tailored process to achieve is dependant of the nuances of each business.

The approach that RAiN takes to fully understand a client’s needs is to partner closely with it, as opposed to selling standardised board-approved products that address the concerns and needs of some (but not all) businesses.
RAiN’s own business has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs with the development of b.rain, a business strategy division made up of financial consultants, IT professionals, analysts and industry experts. They are not auditors, because they are not solving the problems of auditing firms. Their focus is to create innovative, automated solutions that allow businesses to focus on their core offerings, while their accounting, tax, logistical and operational matters run smoothly in the background.

This diverse and experienced team works alongside clients to gain an in depth understanding of each client’s situation and specific needs. Nothing is assumed automatically. These insights form the basis of a bespoke solution tailored to those precise goals.

Even clients in the same industry are offered different solutions. b.rain understands that each business has distinct requirements and challenges, although they may appear to be similar on the surface, they often have different root causes. All of these aspects, factors and causes are examined in detail to form the basis of the solution.

The journey of partnership continues once the business challenges are solved, and b.rain’s end-to-end solutions guide clients on to even greater growth and success. b.rain have signed an MOU with FASA to develop the Franchisee Enhancement Module as an additional value add to members of the Association. This is another demonstration of b.rain’s insistence on future proofing businesses.

An agile mindset
The big 4 auditing firms set their courses based on decisions made at an executive level, drawing services and technologies from a prescribed and sometimes limited pool of suppliers. b.rain, however, is a David in a landscape dominated by Goliaths.

b.rain is proud of the fact that they are early adopters of new technologies. And, where appropriate for client needs, even blends them with offerings and services from different suppliers. b.rain is not locked into long contracts or forced to use the same technologies for each strategic solution. They are also not confined to using internal resources when more appropriate people and systems are available elsewhere.

RAiN’s Chairperson, Ian Pierce, likens his company’s approach to the Red Bull F1 car. “The McLaren team has no choice but to use a McLaren engine. Mercedes is limited to Mercedes technology. But the Red Bull team is able to source only the best components, regardless of who they are made by, to create the most efficient car,” he explains. It is this mindset which is allowing b.rain to make inroads in a space previously dominated by only a few big players.

When developing a solution for a client, b.rain considers only what is best for that particular client’s situation. They do not limit themselves to what is assumed to be standard practice. Instead, they source the right people and systems that will address the precise challenge in the best way possible.

This is evident in the system they developed for the Pick n Pay Education Foundation and Woolworths MySchool Programme. b.rain sought out the most appropriate technology, from as far afield as New Zealand and Canada, to create a complete school management system. Proving that such a disruptive approach does not have to be cutthroat and that they will go to the ends of the earth to find the best solution.

The value that b.rain’s clients receive from this approach is far greater than what they are accustomed to receiving from the large firms – even though those firms charge a premium based solely on their brand’s reputation.

After recently appointing their new CEO, one of their big retail clients requested b.rain to engage with him in the new year as the strategy for the group is rolled out.

Another of b.rain’s clients has referred the business solution to their brand base of about 2,000 operator owned stores and subsequently, contracted b.rain for project work they are collaborating on.

Comprehensive experience
RAiN has experience working with a wide range of clients, from high-profile corporations to start-ups, private firms, government bodies and parastatals. Their industry experience spans financial services, healthcare, transport, telecommunications, information technology and more. They are also retained by the Auditor-General for audit related assignments.

b.rain on the other hand, offers a complete range of services to clients, from consultancy, risk and ethics management, reporting, and business support. These are basic services that are backed into everything that the company does. What sets them apart is the innovative ways in which they are deployed, forming the foundation for use in visionary one-of-a-kind systems and strategies. The firm prides itself in not being one thing for all clients. Instead, they adapt to what each client requires: to be the one thing each client requires.

Commitment to excellence
The guiding vision of this boutique firm as they grow their clients’ businesses is their commitment to excellence, underpinned by innovation. The personal relationships they have with clients allows for greater accountability. It bears no resemblance to the faceless firms that apply changes across the board, sweeping all clients into new products and giving them no recourse to protest the upheaval this creates.

In an industry that is epitomised by men in grey suits, b.rain and its groundbreaking approach is bringing a refreshing – and much needed – change. They are the ideal partner for businesses that are ready to move away from what they have done in the past and step into a prosperous future. One in which they lead the way to prosperity instead of being lead, simply to keep up.

Contact details
For further enquiries you can contact Jackie Steinschaden at jacquelines@rain-ca.co.za