BUSINESS CONSULTING GROUP, LLC
Aligning Business Strategy, Brand Promise and Best Practice
performance improvement, inventory reductioncost reduction, revenue enhancementbusiness consultants, consultants, headcount reductionbusiness, management consultants, efficiency, continuous quality improvementTQM, Total Quality Management, Six Sigmaproblem solving, root cause analysis

OPERATIONS IMPROVEMENT - Illustrative Accomplishments

Crisis Management, Turnaround, Process Improvement, Systems Development

Led 12+-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. The problems resulted in 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, stop and repay working capital loans, recover customers and return to profitability.

Turnaround, Process Improvement

As new Treasurer, managed the financial turnaround of a large computer service bureau. Financial challenges were overcome by accelerating collections of receivables, negotiating extended payment terms for accounts payable and establishing a job cost accounting system to understand and manage the profitability of customer services contract. Result: Gained positive cash flow within two months and achieved profitability within six months.

Turnaround, Process Improvement and Operations Redesign

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 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.

Cost Reduction, Process Reengineering and Organization Consolidation

As interim CEO, led the acquisition and restructuring of a national interior décor and high-volume art manufacturer and distributor. Assignment included analyzing product and service profitability, identifying and eliminating obsolete inventory, rearranging the placement of raw materials and finished goods inventory within the warehouse and reengineering sales, manufacturing and fulfillment processes. The sales function was also enhanced by expanding the responsibilities of the account managers to include sales calls to non-clients; instituting procedures to manage the sales funnel and initiating sales to new industries. Result: Liquidated obsolete inventory, increased warehouse capacity by 20%, reduced warehouse and production staff by 40% using downsizing and replacing permanent, low-skilled employees with temporary labor, re-priced some service offerings producing a 20% lower breakeven point. In just eight weeks generated new proposals equal to 30% of annual product and services sales.

Process Reengineering, Application Evaluation, Implementation and Change Management

Led the management team of a national surgical product manufacturer during its 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.

Cost Reduction, 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.

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 after an acquisition. 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.

IS Cost Effectiveness Review

Managed an assessment of data processing cost effectiveness for a 100 million-dollar telecommunications company. Engagement included matching revenue to expenses by line of business, determination of user satisfaction with business information systems and developing recommendations to improve the cost effectiveness of data processing. 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.

Operations Turnaround

As CFO of a new international consumer electronics and accessories distribution corporation formed from the merger of a privately held computer accessories distributor and a privately held but related consumer electronics distributor, all sales, operations and accounting processes were rationalized and consolidated. This entailed reviewing and restructuring the merged organization by identifying key management roles, evaluating current position holders and determining who would fill them. Office space requirements were reassessed as well as logistic and administrative service providers. Result: Eight full-time positions were eliminated; monthly office rent was lowered by 60% and Internet and telephone expenses were pruned by 80%. In total, monthly recurring overhead was reduced by 66%. A bidding process for all overseas product shipping from our manufacturers was initiated and product shipping costs dropped by about 20%.

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.

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.

Disaster Prevention

Conducted a systems assessment 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 project plans, systems and program documentation, and interviewed key user stakeholders and IT personnel. Conducted independent systems test with help from internal audit. 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 advise, 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 the “big bang”. Three months later the phased implementation began and, three months after that, the system was fully implemented. There were no business disruptions.

Software Valuation and Organization Assessment

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

IS Organization and Systems Effectiveness Review

Managed an information system effectiveness review for a $120 million dollar 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.

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.

Organization Improvement, Cost Reduction and Transformation

Minimized budget and staff growth for a business unit of a global top-ten consulting firm while customer count grew quickly. Observed existing work flow, researched “best practices” and reengineered the processes to focus on value-added activities and allow servicing of more customers with the same staff level. While in two years the team grew from 10 to 12, active customer count grew from 18 in the U.S. to 104 in Europe, South America, Australia and Africa. Estimated user counts grew from 180 to about 2,600. The only way to achieve an “A” service rating was working smarter. 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. Result: While the service rating remained an “A”, cost per project dropped from $47,000 to $13,500 and cost per user plummeted from $4,700 to $460.

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.

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

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”. Projects developed and implemented a new treasury management system and a financial and ownership information database of the 1000 largest global corporations. Result: Two high performance teams built the systems in 3 months. The financial information database had one of the first interactive query systems that could be used, without training, by the delegates to query the database.

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 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.

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.

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.

IS Effectiveness and Data Security Reviews

Managed computer installation effectiveness and data security reviews for several large IBM mainframe 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.

Systems Development

Established and led 34-plus person team on “crash” software 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 our entry-level education program. Result: The team successfully delivered the project in four months.

Systems Development, Implementation and Support

Implemented new product worldwide for over 500 global corporations. 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 associated documentation, education and marketing materials and establishing a telephone and e-mail customer support. 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. Explained and championed product to internal and external prospects. Combined central staff installation and training with “train the installer/trainer” representatives to fill worldwide demand. Supervised establishment of a 12 hours by 5 days worldwide support center. 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 $200 million.

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.

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.


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