Posts by Cara Chatellier

How MetaExpert Marc Helped to Upgrade Production
Situation MetaExperts Marc was brought in to help a company experiencing a rapid growth rate. The company went from $7 million in annual sales to $120+ million and desperately required new production facilities, financial, and staffing needs.  Actions Marc leads the charge with the creation and implementation of a new business plan, budgets, staffing and launch execution plan to accommodate growth rate. A total budget plan was created for a greenfield (Mexico, San Luis Potosí) and brownfield (Auburn Hill, Mi) project of around $30 million.  Results The greenfield in Mexico was completed on time and achieved budget targets of $9 million. Startup staffing and training was executed and launched on time. Equipment build dates and needs were met and the first parts were shipped to customers 9 months after the project kick-off. Brownfield in Auburn Hills involved moving over 40 pieces of equipment within a very tight time frame of…
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MetaExpert Jeffrey Retrains Employees to Enhance EBITDA
Situation MetaExpert Jeffery was brought on board to help a company suffering from a consistently high cost of operations, a severe lack of efficiencies and to help the company achieve a reduction of overall billings in accessories. He determined that frontline challenges were present in the following areas: Human capital. Operational deficiencies. Working consistently across the network at each business unit.  Suffering bottom-line results and an overall reduction of EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization). Actions Jeffrey studied and recognized deficiencies in the company’s overall policies. He determined that the best way forward was to rewrite the policies and train from the bottom up. He then measured the results and recommended increased accountability among employees. Jeffery’s overhaul of the company’s policies and training program improved the human capital issues the company was facing. He also measured key performance indicators (KPI) and established new KPI to focus on stronger…
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MetaExpert Scott Assembles SME Super Team to Restore Pharmaceutical Shortage
Situation The sterile injectable manufacturing site of a multi-national pharmaceutical company experienced a sudden and unexpected increase in units with visible crystals. Despite the drug being on the FDA drug shortage list, manufacturing was temporarily halted. Sufficient determination of the root cause of the crystallization with proposed countermeasures was required to restart manufacturing. The company brought skilled MetaExpert Scott in to lead the charge.  Actions Sterile injectable crystallization is a niche technology that requires extensive expertise. MetaExpert Scott assembled a cross-functional Black Belt team which included operators, technicians, process engineers, and chemists. In close collaboration with his team of functional subject matter experts (SMEs), Scott developed and deployed a strategy to return the product to production and removal from the FDA drug shortage list. This was accomplished by: Investigating and responding to the manufacturing deviation  Identifying the root cause(s) of crystallization Evaluating the feasibility of product reformulation Under Scott’s leadership,…
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Situation A billion-dollar healthcare transportation company was seeking to improve its bottom line. They were looking for a MetaExpert to help them implement cost savings initiatives and also spearhead the centralization of real estate procurement. The MetaExpert charged with the task would be faced with working in a dynamic environment as a private equity firm supervised the initiative while management and strategic focus continued to change.  In order to be successful, the company knew they would need the help of an expert. One of our MetaExperts, Andy, answered the call. With his background in Real Estate, Procurement, Change Management, Human Resources, Standard Work Documentation, and WorkFlow Layout, Andy proved to be an invaluable asset to the healthcare transportation company.  Actions MetaExpert Andy guided the healthcare transportation organization to meet the challenge and make its real estate a corporate asset rather than a liability.  Andy led a collaborative team that included…
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Supply Chain Shipping MetaExperts
This post offers Part 2 of a two-part series about some anecdotal scenarios where some of the main principles of supply chain management are demonstrated. While real-life can be much more complicated than these anecdotal stories, the lessons are clear. Lesson 6: Bottlenecks exist, and they may cause supply chain issues through no fault of your own. In Part One, we discussed how clearing customs issues could create problems that can have solutions to avoiding bottlenecks at the border. But sometimes uncontrollable events can create a damaging bottleneck. Shipping requires various forms of transportation such as by sea, air, rail, and truck. Each of these forms regularly has accidents and breakdowns that-at the wrong time-can do some serious damage to the last mile effort. The supply manager can’t foresee any such events, but the time is approaching when new big data programs will help prognosticate accident probabilities, but before that…
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Meeting Supply Chain Mistakes MetaExperts
We all learn from our mistakes. But it’s always better to learn from the mistakes of others. The following short supply chain stories each have something to help the Supply Chain Manager. Lesson 1: Priorities differ – a disaster for one business can be a success for another. One of the most pressing decisions supply chain managers face daily is how much inventory to order? It’s a “goldilocks” sort of target: Not too much….but not too little…but just right. In other words, managers try to avoid spending too much without creating a shortage of inventory in case things get tight. Most companies have different priorities at different times. Take, for example, the time a famous hotel brand created a champagne disaster during new year celebrations. Likewise, when a restaurant runs out of the main ingredients that constitute its flagship offering. Customers either “go with the flow” or go…to competitors.   …
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New Year New Business Changes
Things are definitely different and big changes are in the air. But do not despair We are about to close the book on 2019 and open up on 2020. Somehow, the symmetry of the number gives it a special feel. Indeed, all of us are quite aware that these are “special” times and just about anything seems possible; both good and bad. But life goes on and our species continues to be challenged by our own complexities. The following is a list of what a recent survey elicited from a random group of business leaders on what was felt to be the main concerns in order of priority.   Political changes   2020 promises to be an exciting year in global politics, from the impact of Brexit to the United States presidential potential impeachment and election in November. An uncertain political climate can often impact business, as it can lead…
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Monti Packs a Big Punch with Protein Bar Packaging Overhaul
Situation A manufacturer for protein bar packaging recently moved relocated from a 50,000 square foot operation facility to a new 350,000-square-foot operation facility. This resulted in an assembly line production change where stand-up assembly packaging lines were converted to brand new automated packaging lines. In addition, there was a folding carton redesign where the Straight Tuck End folding cartons were replaced by new Top Kliklok folding cartons. The manufacturer also transitioned to and needed to integrate a new international packaging equipment supplier. Finally, the company needed a new documentation system for more accurate data collection and organization from start to finish.  The manufacturing company hired MetaExpert Kier-Monti, a packaging engineering expert with ample experience to design, measure, analyze, improve, and control the entire packaging process from location A to location B.  Actions Over the course of an 18-month contract, Kier-Monti took the following actions and strategies to evaluate and retool…
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Cross-Functional Disconnect and Order-to-Delivery
Situation MetaExpert Kellen was brought on board to lead a study that focused on lean policy deployment and order-to-delivery (OTD) improvement. According to MetaExpert Kellen, current state analysis determined that there was:  no visual management no leader standard work no cross-functional communication or collaboration no daily metrics tracked or reviewed no daily structured problem solving no cross-functional training or knowledge understanding across departments or production floor processing capabilities In addition, product sales had increased by 35% with no capacity planning or production availability preparation.  Actions MetaExpert Kellen leveraged his expertise in process improvement strategies to get the company back on track. He was able to: achieve lean policy deployment implementation,  complete and develop cross-functional training  Develop and utilize plant capacity model to align sales team with operations available capacity and capabilities develop and improve router instructions for the scheduler to properly utilize plant equipment capabilities and capacity Results/ROI MetaExpert Kellen’s…
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Given the Washington Circus and the global confusion, it’s safe to say that macro risk is on the rise. From Artificial Intelligence to Global Warming, there are few who doubt that civilizations around the world may be rushing toward an inflection point in history. Hopefully, it won’t be a zero-sum situation. But, one never knows. As individuals, as well as corporations and institutions, we all need to be thinking about risk mitigation So, what should CEOs be doing to help mitigate the growing uncertainties of our time? Identify the “Killer Risks” While there is a universe of risks out there, it is important to prioritize those with the greatest impact. There are specific industry risks as well as “macro” risks (War, economic depression, Hyperinflation, global health epidemics, and all the other dystopic events). While industry risks are a normal part of doing business, myopia can be dangerous. While most of…
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