Executive Blog

Excess Freight
Situation Our MetaExpert, Ron, had a client who was a $15 billion global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells, and distributes its product and related technology around the world. The client had a major issue with unexpected air freight costs into several of its offshore plants. They brought Ron on board to analyze the situation and recommend and implement solutions. He felt the air freight was symptomatic of the actual root cause and suggested utilizing a seven-step problem-solving process to get to the root cause.  Ron’s goals for this client were to: Get to Root Cause investigation and action.Implementation of Key Performance Indicators so that he could measure improvement.Improve forecast calculating and provide for the maintenance of systems.Improve inventory accuracy and material flow processes.Improve supplier communication and relationship management internally within the organization.Achieve budgeted expense control through process control. Actions To get to the root cause, Ron dove into the…
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Major Retailer
Situation MetaExpert Daniel served as Project Manager to a well-known clothing manufacturer and retailer with over 1,1000 stores located on 3 continents. Daniel’s proven expertise was key to substantial cost savings and process improvements. Actions A key part of Daniel’s role in overhauling this Major Retailer’s logistics process was to provide the initial kick off strategy guidance to Executive Management. Thanks to his track record of operational excellence, Daniel’s first step was to conduct due diligence with internal and external resources to capture the “AS IS” state of logistics operations. He then created a Work Breakdown Structure for the Project Plan to realize the “TO BE” state.  Once Daniel had determined the end-goal for this Major Retailer’s logistics, he: Developed, monitored, and controlled the Project Plan Conducted a weekly status update meeting with the Executive Management team Created and administered RFI. Created RFP, disseminated, crafted scorecard, and scored RFP responses…
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MetaExpert Holly Helps a Call Center Go Lean for Big Savings
Our MetaExpert, Holly, gets it done! See how she used her expertise in lean methodology and value stream analysis to bring big savings to a call center. Situation A call center was nearing the end of their State contract, with only 1 year remaining. The scope of the contract represented 20% of health insurance members. Actions MetaExpert Holly implemented a Value Stream Analysis to identify areas of waste within the call center that were a detriment to customer satisfaction, costing the organization money, and slowing down their processes. Holly’s analysis revealed that:  85% FCR resulted in activities having to be routed to multiple areas within the organization.  1/6 of these activities aged longer than 30 days resulting in significant member dissatisfaction.  Several projects were underway within claims escalations, but none would solve the root cause.  Waste in the process included up to 35% misrouting, and 25% first pass yield costing…
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Winning the War for Talent by Training from Within
The war for talent is all too real. Everyone is talking about the difficulty in filling positions that didn’t even exist a few years ago. There has been much finger pointing, such as the inability of the American Educational system to anticipate and train for needed jobs. Moreover, there are many complaints about the lack of critical thinking skills in most University graduates. But most companies don’t have the time to just finger-point when they need to make things happen and not just complain. “Recycling our experienced “top talent” seems to be an important intuitive step” New technologies come, morph, and disappear; and finding specific expertise for a particular solution can be difficult given the fact that “top talent” presupposes an existing level of expertise as well as a hands-on experience for that “right person” to plug into the new system. Supply and demand for “plug-in experts” drive up the…
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Contract Strategic Plans
Situation A global provider of Aerospace products headquartered in Chicago, IL, needed help developing a furniture Contract Strategic Plan (CSP) as the company approached the expiration of their current contracts. The company was concerned with the following: Fixation with going offshore to take advantage of perceived pricing advantages. Multiple suppliers spread across enterprise. Design & install costs vary by supplier. No formal governance process and lack of budgeting tools. Actions To help the company address their concerns, MetaExpert Tino led a cross-functional team to develop a CSP that included Defining Contract Objectives and goals, building a service delivery model, creating requirements aligned with objectives, defining the procurement strategy, and outlining the RFP structure. Tino helped the team define the evaluation criteria which included: Establishing furniture goals and objectives including best overall value, forward-thinking compliant system, and highly-effective integrated program for end users. Conducting extensive market research to alleviate concerns regarding…
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The Situation John, a MetaExpert was hired by the U.S. Air Force to help tackle the lack of concrete processes for conducting medical physicals which were causing inconsistent patient care. Prior to John’s arrival, the Air Force was providing inconsistent patient care resulting in long wait times for patients to be seen by providers. In addition, key information was being missed during appointments which caused the need for additional appointments. Outcome John led the Air Force project team through mapping their current “AS IS” processes in several functional areas and developed standardized processes where none existed. He implemented the Lean methodology to reduce excess waste in the existing processes. John made recommendations for future projects and the team was able to see immediate results with some of the “quick wins” John implemented. John’s expertise in Lean, Six Sigma, leadership, process mapping (Visio), waste reduction, and ability to implement quick wins…
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Six Sigma
MetaExpert, John, leveraged his expertise and experience with Lean, Six Sigma, process mapping, waste reduction, and quick wins to overhaul poor performance and low customer service rates in a large company in the warehouse and logistics space. He tackled slow processing times, low throughput, inventory inaccuracies, and customer order discrepancies. Outcomes John implemented automation best practices, increased volume, and decreased costs across the board. He redesigned a more efficient floor layout, implemented conveyor systems which eliminated linear foot movement and increased throughput time, and maximized automated pick systems. He employed barcode technology, thermo labels, and integrated systems which maximized efficiencies across the warehouse. In addition, he eliminated batch methodology which enabled the company to complete orders in real time. Not only did John transform these functions leading to a cost savings between $40-$60 million, his expert actions improved quality and accuracy to the customer, bumping customer satisfaction to nearly 99%.…
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Organizational Behavior
I recently saw a TED talk where a well-known organizational behavior expert pushed my button. As a management consultant, his presentation made a lot of sense…not only for business but also for our complex, modern times. Yves Morieux rightly pointed out (in my opinion) that we are all drowning in complexity. His main contention is that we spend way too much time doing, undoing, redoing in isolation. Even with the marvelous new technologies, we seem to be less productive and much more unhappy with our jobs. Basically, our organizational behavior is broken. Morieux felt the reason why so many workers are becoming disengaged is their frustration with burdens of complexity and the lack of job satisfaction due mainly to the need for a new way of structuring how we do business.   Traditional management theory expounds that companies need structures that clearly define the departmentalization of processes with specific job…
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Industry 4.0 Technology
In a recent survey, 76% of manufacturers said they would increase their investment and use of smart devices or embedded intelligent into the manufacturing processes within the next few years. In the same survey, 66% of the manufacturing CEOs expect to increase profitability through the use of new technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) within the next five years. According to these results, Industry 4.0 is being adopted far and wide. So, what do they know that you don’t? Advances in Technology are happening at a rapid pace, and it takes special attention to not only understand how new technology functions but also how it can actually help. Indeed, is it hype or help? From a CEO’s point of view, how new technology works is secondary to how adoption could impact the company and its bottom-line. What to consider before adopting Industry 4.0 Most investigations have shown there are…
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Becoming a Lean Office
How a marketing Kaizen can help revitalize sales All companies depend on sales. But, as with all things dynamic, sales can run in cycles. In fact, while there may be certain macroeconomic issues that impact sales cycles, many slumps in sales change as a result of the inner workings of a company. In fact, what may have worked before may no longer be effective. Indeed, this was the case with a Health and Welfare Benefits vendor. Rather than just accept a “normal” cyclical downturn in sales, the CEO decided to take a closer look. After hearing some grumbling coming out of the sales department, he decided to investigate. He wasn’t sure what the problems were, and he had hoped his Sales Manager would have let him know in their regular meetings. The CEO decided to have an outside expert come in and perform a review of the company rather than…
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