BUSINESS CONSULTING GROUP, LLC
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INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT - Illustrative Accomplishments

IS Organization and Systems Effectiveness Review

Managed an information system effectiveness review for a $120 million oil and gas producing company to improve the automated delivery of financial and administrative management information. Engagement included analyzing application system architecture, development methods and information systems organization structure; preparing a cause and effect presentation; and developing recommendations. Result: Improvements included an expanded use of relational data base technology, CASE tools, and organizational changes.

IS Process Improvement

Pioneered the assignment of non-development team members to team-lead responsibilities for newly developed functional software components. Each lead monitored progress and ensured his/her functional team members produced their components. A lead on one or more teams could be a member on one or more others. Result: Non-technical team members participated earlier in the development process which made the functionality more intuitive to non-technical users and allowed non-technical tasks such as developing test plans, training courses and authoring on-line help to start sooner, realizing a 20% schedule savings.

IS Cost Effectiveness Review

Managed an assessment of information systems cost effectiveness for a $100 million telecommunications company. Engagement included matching revenue to expenses by line of business, determining user satisfaction and developing recommendations. Result: Suggestions included establishing user based steering committee, developing a help function, acquiring more "user-friendly" query tools and ensuring software was updated to the most current release.

Strategic Planning Process Improvement

Created a new planning approach for a four plant, nuclear power business unit of a $7 billion utility. Every business function had a collection of informally developed process aids and needed formalized, NRC-compliant automated support. The new planning approach grouped the needed functionality into mini-applications that were assembled into broader “releases”. This approach allowed each project to be smaller with lower risk, faster implementation cycles that allowed each business unit to get and absorb some of its needed functionality quickly. Result: The new approach reduced maintenance cost, training, development time and increased quality, modularity, team communication, collaboration and business benefits. The plan was actively used to implement systems at four nuclear plants successfully and achieved Nuclear Regulatory Commission compliance.

Systems and IS Strategy Effectiveness Review

Managed technical aspects of an information system effectiveness and strategic planning review for a top ten electric utility. Engagement included a detail assessment of management practices, operational efficiencies and planning procedures for data processing and telecommunications. Key areas reviewed included DB2, end user computing, hardware capacity, microcomputer strategy, data administration, charge-back and organization structure. Result: Included a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve information delivery services to the company.

Disaster Recovery Planning

Managed the preparation of disaster recovery plans, procedures and tests for various clients including utility, manufacturing, retailing, distributing, agricultural, real estate and service companies. Engagements included probability of failure analysis, cost of recovery, cost of downtime, alternative analysis and recommendations for improvements. Result: Provided cost effective, practical set of recommendations to reduce probability of occurrence and/or mitigate effects.

Cost Reduction, Process Improvement and Organization Transformation

Minimized budget and staff growth for a global software and services business during rapid growth. Analyzed workflow, researched “best practices” and reengineered the processes to focus on value-added activities. Changed product development from on-demand, incremental releases to three planned releases per year. Reengineered the product support question and issue resolution process from a first-come, first-served model to a level of problem severity gets the more experienced analyst model. Instituted cross-training/job rotation within development and support. Staff grew 20% in two years, active customers grew 600%, from a base in the U.S. to Europe, South America, Australia and Africa. Estimated user counts grew over 1300%. Result: While the service rating remained an “A”, cost per customer dropped from $47,000 to $13,500 and cost per user plummeted from $4,700 to $460.

IS Effectiveness and Data Security Reviews

Managed computer installation effectiveness and data security reviews for several Fortune 500 data processing centers. Engagements included analysis of computer resource management statistics, departmental staffing, software development and risk assessment. Result: Recommendations to improve effectiveness and enhance security.

Crisis Management, Turnaround, Process Improvement, Systems Development

Led 12-plus person team that assessed and solved the root cause of problems critically impacting a new order entry, shipping and accounts receivable system for an $80 million annual revenue company. Problems included erroneous and missed shipments, incorrect invoices, lost customers, decreased cash flow, increased working capital loans and potential business failure. Manual workarounds were improvised to stabilize operations and repair cash flow. Replacement applications were developed and implemented quickly and successfully. Result: Revitalized, perhaps even saved, the company by enabling it to regain cash flow, repay and stop working capital loans, recover customers and return to profitability.

Post Acquisition – Process Improvement, Organization, and Change Management

Developed process improvements, organization structures, system architectures and implementation plans for a large subsidiary of a $7 billion financial services company. Led team of executives and staff to determine “best practice,” “best personnel”, “best systems”; defined new process, organization and systems structures for the combined business. Result: Protected $10.9 million specialized revenue stream. Improved process efficiency and a 108-person staff reduction saved $11.4 million annual recurring costs.

Interim Management, Process Improvement, Operations Redesign and Systems Implementation

As acting back-office and IS manager, facilitated operational turnaround of the back office of a large west coast Florida commercial property management company. Project included removing a processing bottleneck; redesigning workflow, job descriptions and organization structure; re-implementing accounting applications; rescheduled closing cycles and computer operations; realigned responsibilities and retrained existing staff. Result: Processing which could not finish overnight was completed by 3:00AM, closing cycles were reduced from twenty to seven days, past-due rents reduced 90%, overtime dropped to almost zero and department morale improved.

Post Acquisition – Process and Organizational Improvement

After the acquisition of a large retirement community, the acquiring company wished to reduce costs and achieve available economies of scale. While teamed with the Palmeri Group, we re-engineered most operations. This required a detailed workflow and value-added analysis. Processes, jobs and the organization were redesigned. New computer systems were selected and implemented to provide adequate and timely cost reporting. The remaining staff was trained to perform their new jobs with the new system. Result: The 20% annual cost reduction translated to an almost one-to-one improvement in the bottom line.

Project Management, Process Reengineering, Application Evaluation, Change Management

Led the management team of a national surgical product manufacturer during its selection and implementation of an integrated order entry, manufacturing and financial system. Re-engineered almost every existing business process in support of the new ERP system. Result: Improved productivity and interdepartmental communication by removing non-value-added, difficult, error-prone manual processes, thereby decreasing order fulfillment time, raw materials inventory and financial closing cycle days.

Software CEO - Systems Development, Implementation and Support

Established and led a 30-plus person worldwide business unit that designed, developed and supported large scale project management software for a top-five global consulting company. Support included authoring documentation, developing and delivering education, creating marketing materials and establishing a 12 hours by 5 days worldwide telephone and e-mail customer support center. Combined central staff installation and training with “train the installer/trainer” representatives to fill worldwide demand. Collaborated with corporate attorneys on development of a standard license agreement. Used external and internal marketing, industry influencers and “word of mouth” success stories to generate demand. Result: Product was developed, implemented and supported successfully at over 500 sites in 20 countries which enabled over 5000 worldwide users to increase productivity and quality of implementation projects with annual worth over $500 million.

Project Management and Product Development

Established and led 34-plus person team on “crash” product development project. This team building challenge included finding, acquiring, training and managing a broad mix of personnel, from senior subject matter experts to new graduates of an entry-level education program. Result: The team successfully designed, constructed, tested and delivered the product in four months.

Internet Planning, Website Requirements and Website Architecture

Led management team of a $200 million metal fabricator and distributor in defining internet requirements. Then, developed systems architecture for the website. Project included interviewing and facilitating meetings with executives and department managers; gaining consensus on the website’s scope, functions and look-and-feel; defining the technical infrastructure for the site; designing the data base model; and selecting the development platform. Result: Completed deliverable included a working evolutionary prototype of website aw well as, documentation for all design decisions, website data model and technology architecture. Using the evolutionary prototype approach allowed the website to be created several days after the project’s initiation and evolved throughout the project. This approach ensured a clear visualization and understanding by all stakeholders throughout the development of the site.

Acquisition

Performed an acquisition target review for the largest financial applications software vendor of the second largest manufacturing software vendor. The project included a “due diligence” review of the target’s software; development of a replacement cost valuation review; design and development plan for combined product line; and, newly envisioned organization structure and evaluations of both staffs. Result: Negotiations proceeded based on a recommended purchase price $26 million lower than the original asking price.

Disaster Prevention

Conducted a project review and delivered a negative “go-live” opinion on a complete applications system replacement to the executive and audit committees of a $200 million building supply retailer. Reviewed implementation plans and project documentation. Interviewed project leadership, project team members and key stakeholders. Prepared a risk analysis that indicated, if the planned cutover didn’t work, the company had a high probability of going out of business due to lost revenue and permanently lost customers. Presented the negative conclusion, explained the logic, offered alternatives and received concurrence from the executives. Result: Company postponed the “go live” date until additional testing could be performed and the system was re-engineered to be implemented in phases versus a “big bang”. Three months later the phased implementation began and, three months after that, the system was fully implemented. There were no business disruptions.

Technology Enabler Identification and Systems Development

Led team that envisioned and developed the first interactive trial transcript and litigation support systems for the Federal Trade Commission by re-engineering the company’s existing product and process support tools. Result: Transformed a $14 million company selling a general database management system to one that specializes in the textual and document management systems.

IS Strategy and Capacity Planning

Managed several capacity planning and system architecture engagements for several Fortune 500 manufacturing and retail clients. Engagements included business systems planning, resource estimating, distributed processing strategies, use of data base management systems and hardware sizing. Result: Systems plans that included computer hardware sizing to improve the accuracy and narrow hardware cost estimates. Automated capacity planning models were developed and turned over to the customers for continued use.

Fraud Audit - Construction

Performed the information technology side of a fraud audit for the president of a construction company who suspected his controller of embezzlement. Worked with the auditors and detective agency to gather evidence of wrongdoing. Tasks included understanding accounting processes, assessing segregation of duties and reviewing the propriety of program code. Result: Fraud was process vs. computer based and sufficient evidence was found for arrest. Operational preventative improvement recommendations were delivered and implemented.

Requirements Definition, Hardware/Software Evaluation and Systems Integration

Led five-person team in the specification, selection and implementation of a developer's cost accounting application system for an international developer in support of its large, mixed-use, Planned Urban Development (PUD) in Southwest Florida. Responsibilities included project management and progress reporting; requirements definition and hardware/software evaluation; process, job and organization design; training; testing and implementation. Result: System successfully selected and implemented. The system and organization successfully processed the transactions for the five-year life of the development.

System Development and Implementation

Managed custom design and implementation of an order entry, route accounting, shipping, settlement and management information system using a relational data base management system. Engagement included direct interface to hand-held point of sale NORAND billing devices and integration with packaged application software for accounts receivable. Result: System was designed, developed, tested and implemented in 3 months by a nine-person project team.

Systems Design

Managed the design of a nation wide bottler management system for a Fortune 20 beverage company. Business functions included in the design were route sales, distribution, inventory, marketing, promotions, accounting, performance reporting, and management reporting. Technically, the system was designed to run within a distributed relational database environment. The design team included four client analysts. Result: Customer accepted design and, as testament to its quality, rehired to continue as design consultant to develop a similar architecture for the international division where multiple languages, currency and accounting rules were key considerations to package selection and systems design.

Application Implementation - Real Estate Development Cost Accounting

Assisted developer in implementing a real estate development cost accounting system for a multi-year, mixed-use development. Tasks included chart of accounts design to ensure costs were tracked at the individual retail space level of detail, including leasehold improvements; thereby enabling P&Ls by space (store or tenant). Instructed accounting personnel on the systems use and management on the available reporting capabilities. Result: The system was implemented in one month, in time for the start of construction, and kept processing for the duration of the initial three-year build out.

Project Management and Systems Development

Led two multi-national project teams for the United Nations successfully overcoming the cultural differences and competitive natures of team members who are their country’s “best and brightest”. Result: Two high performance teams which developed and implemented a new treasury management system and a financial and ownership information database of the 1000 largest global corporations.

Construction Management System Effectiveness Review

Reviewed the adequacy of a construction management information system to be able to process all labor, material and out-of-pocket expense transactions and complete critical path method (CPM) scheduling of a large coal-fired electric power plant. The application system had integrated the scheduling and accounting functions that allowed for easy projections of labor, material, costs and time to complete. The hardware capacity and software capabilities were tested. The vendor's service capability was also assessed. Result: The system passed the reviews and performed well during the four-year construction period.

Software Company Acquisition – Due Diligence

Conducted a “due diligence” on a software company in preparation of its acquisition. Evaluated executive management, staff, intellectual property, products and services, infrastructure, customer support functions and market position. Effort produced a negative opinion on the acquisition. Result: The client decided against the acquisition. The target company failed within the year.

Acquisition

Managed acquisition analysis of a complete financial software product line from one multi-billion dollar company to another. Responsibilities included defining, coordinating and analyzing business economics, product convergence, sales and marketing strategies and the detailed business arrangements. Result: Customer made an offer at the recommended price.

Post Acquisition - Consolidation and Relocation

Assisted a large Fortune 500 Financial Services company evaluate the economies of scale of combining Waltham, Mass and New York City based data centers into each other's space or finding a third party location to hold both. The project included modeling site expansion costs, site relocation costs, one-time costs (e.g. moving expenses, lease buy-outs, etc.), ongoing operating cost increases/reductions (e.g. lower per square foot rent, higher delivery charges, etc.), key employee relocation costs, employee commuting allowances, etc. In addition, the applications and architectures of each company were reviewed for synergies. Result: The majority of the systems running at the Waltham data center could be migrated to those running in NYC, thereby allowing the phase out of the Waltham data center and an annual cost savings of $ 1.9 million.


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