The Value We Bring
The reporting, mapping, and overall process was absolutely perfect." - Delivery Services Manager, Abbott, Abbott Park, IL
What is Management Consulting?
A person or firm primarily retained to provide solutions to problems. The typical benefits of hiring a management consultant include the following:
- Independence—the management consultant brings an independent view of issues and should not be biased by company culture or politics.
- Skills—the management consultant brings knowledge, creative skills, experience, and industry insights gained through similar projects. These skills bridge the gap to arrive at a solution.
- Analysis—A management consultant is likely to bring analytical tools, methods, and best practices that might not otherwise be available to others in your company.
- Resource—the management consultant’s time and costs are a variable cost that can be managed by the client. Your company cannot possibly retain full-time people with all the necessary skills and expertise for all your special project needs.
These stories from our clients provide examples of the solutions we have generated for our clients.
Our Stories – Evidence of Measurable Results
Creating and Maintaining Stability
A Value Stream Manager (VP of Operations) came to us with a big problem. Her assembly department was experiencing a rash of part shortages, purchased parts and in-house parts. She was frustrated that the assembly department was rapidly running behind schedule and too much time was spent expediting the various missing parts and sorting out of specification parts.
The Value Stream Manager in concert with the department supervisor implemented leader standard work and daily accountability meetings to get the department back on track.
Within 3 days after implementation the missing parts were being delivered on time and the problem with defective components resolved. The assemblers concentrated on completing orders on a FIFO basis and were quickly on their way to meeting the current day’s schedule.
The Overbooked Reactor
The director of manufacturing of a major active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing company contacted us because the sales group had overbooked the capacity of one his major reactors by 34 days. The manufacturing plan including changeovers was 399 days. This plant operated 24/7. There wasn’t enough time to expand his capacity by installing additional equipment, which would take at least a year. He needed to improve his capacity on the reactor to meet the sales projections within the next 3 months. Not a pretty situation is it? The company went from a fire fighting mode to improving their changeover time between batches in the reactor from 11 days to 3 days, which was a 73% reduction, thereby increasing their capacity and enabling them to meet the oversold capacity within 2 months without any additional capital spending. The projected increase in revenue from this increase in capacity is $15 MM per year. Changeovers for many of the other products was reduced an average of 50%.
Increase Cannabis Capacity
The CFO of the number one producer of cannabis edibles in California called us with a manufacturing problem. He was concerned that with the growth of their business if the manufacturing plant had the capacity to keep up. A problem that will keep you up at night isn’t it. The client went to fear and trepidation about plant capacity to resting assured that with some modifications the plant had the capacity to handle 3 times the current sales volume. He is sleeping better now.
Implement Quality System & Improve Engineering Quality and Turnaround Time
The director of quality of a mid-market chemical firm serving the refining, oil and gas production and petrochemicals industries called us with a big problem. They needed to achieve ISO 9001 certification for its Gas Technology project engineering group within the next 12 months and improve their engineering process. He was frustrated at how long it was taking and how much it was costing. If this scenario continues the company would lose market share. Not a pretty picture is it? The client went from an undocumented quality system to a documented digitally linked quality system, implemented the quality system and passed the registration audit within 9 months, 3 months ahead of schedule. The engineering process was streamlined reducing turnaround time 20% at a cost reduction of $250,000/year.
Reduce End-to-End Processing Time
The director of operations of a major contract packager to the most recognizable brands in the world contacted us because he was receiving customer complaints on how long it was taking to fill an order. He needed to improve his turnaround time to improve the customer experience. Intent on reducing his end-to-end processing time. He thought back-office paperwork processing of the job folders was a real problem that could be better controlled. The client went from 17 hours of back-office processing time per job folder to 8 hours (they averaged 5 job folders/day), which increased order processing capacity by 47% without an increase in headcount and improved his overall end-to-end processing time.
Fixing a Failed ISO 9001 Audit
The president of a small machine tool shop called us about some non-conformances he had received from his ISO 9001 surveillance audit. He was very concerned and in jeopardy of losing his certification on the next audit. Not a very wholesome state of affairs is it? The client went from being out of conformance to fixing all the outstanding non-conformances and revised his quality management system to transition to the latest version of the standard by defining his critical processes and the interaction of those processes. We established a risk management protocol to address major business risks as well as major improvement opportunities to move the business forward. The company is now process focused and has identified opportunities and risks that are earmarked as continual improvement projects. Project action plans defining accountability and responsibility are in place and by the way he passed his next surveillance audit with no new non-conformances and high marks for how they addressed the old non-conformances.
The Case of the Bureaucratic QMS
The Quality Manager of a small display exhibit company called us about his concerns for his upcoming ISO 9001 audit and transition to the latest revision of the standard. He also had some issues with his internal audit team lacking the qualifications to conduct effective internal audits of the quality management system. Not a very pretty picture is it? We implemented some process improvement techniques to move the client went from an extremely bureaucratic and onerous quality management system to a streamlined system that was easy to implement and follow. We improved his internal audit capability by preparing 6 people to audit the system on a quarterly basis, shortly afterwards the client had an ISO 9001 continuous assessment audit with no findings and plenty of compliments.
Family Business Successor
The president of a family owned food equipment manufacturing company invited us to lunch to discuss his impending retirement and his business improvement/ succession planning goals prior to his retirement. He was unsure if the employed family members had the business acumen to succeed him and grow the business. We assessed the current state of their business processes, developed and implemented a plan to correct the deficiencies to move the company toward its succession goals. The company went from a culture of infighting and disrespect for each other to a cohesive team focused on achieving the business goals. The company is enjoying record sales and has named one of the employed family members as the new president.
Reducing Month End Close Turnaround Time
While working on a project to improve manufacturing downtime for a mid-market pharmaceutical packaging company, the Director of Finance came to us wanting to improve the financial closing process at the end of the month. She and the corporate big wigs was unhappy with the time to close the books at the end of the month. The director implemented some lean process improvement methods we recommended and saw 50% reduction in her days to close from a month-end close of 5 to 7 days to a closing turnaround time of 3.5 days and was able to reduce the number of current reports being generated by the department, while maintaining compliance to key business controls.
The Case of the Continuous Improvement(CI) Coordinator
The COO of a small manufacturer of electrical product equipment contacted us about his concerns regarding a production manager he had recently promoted to the position of continuous improvement coordinator. He wanted to enhance the employee knowledge, skills and abilities in continuous process improvement methods. The employee went from a basic knowledge of CI gleaned from his work with lean consultants hired by the COO in years past to become the CI expert on-site with a better understanding of Lean and Continuous Process Improvement tools. He has applied the newly learned concepts to developing a robust training within industry program, identifying capacity issues and a company-wide problem-solving process moving the company forward on its continuous improvement journey.
Improving Order Turnaround Time
The director of operations of a mid-market contract packager to the most recognizable brands in the world was receiving customer complaints on how long it was taking to fill an order. He needed to improve his turnaround time to improve the customer experience. The client focused on reducing the time to process the internal job folders. The time to process a job folder was reduced from 17 hours to 8 hours (they averaged 5 job folders/day), which increased order processing capacity by 47% without an increase in headcount and improved his overall end-to-end processing time.
The Broken Billing Process
The Executive Vice President of a Clinical Service firm contacted us for help in improving some of their administrative processes which had failed to keep up with extraordinary growth of the business. During our preliminary assessment we identified two critical processes needing fixing right away. One of these was the billing/invoicing process. The client agreed and set a timetable of 3 months to improve it. We established an in-house team to map the invoicing process which identified a plethora of non-value-added activities, workarounds, and errors. Investigating solutions for the workarounds and errors we found over $700,000 in unbilled services for the past 9 months. The client billed the customers for the services and collected over $500,000 within three weeks. We also improved cash flow by $4,000,000 by removing many of the non-value-added steps that slowed down the invoicing process. The client was so elated with our work that he extended the engagement for another 3 months to work on fixing another critical process.
Our blueprint for success…helping you do more with less to execute faster, affordably and flawlessly.
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