Michael possesses the two key ingredients to deliver process improvement– his natural desire for continuous improvement and his formal Lean Six Sigma training which enable him to remove bottle necks, hidden costs and the non-value-adding stages within your processes, making your business more efficient and profitable .
His experience at the highest level has helped him to gain a profound understanding of the way in which the daily pressures of running a business can, at times lead to damaging process short cuts and the acceptance of a confusing and hard to explain strategy. Lots of people including Directors and Managers, are often so daunted by the thought of strategy that they ignore it or they approached it as a one off task and are surprised when they end up with little more than a list of tactical actions.
Business strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does involve some tough decisions about the future shape of a business and in particular, answering the key questions of what business you want to be in, how you’re going to achieve your goals and what impact it will have on your people, product and process.
Michael’s skill lies in helping you to answer these questions, by engaging with you and your key people, often through his dynamic facilitation of the Meta Process which captures with clarity their thoughts and ideas, which he helps them to prioritise and develop; in turn gaining consensus, agreement and ultimately ownership of the defined strategy, which can even be detailed on a single page Orbit Plan, by the people who have to make it happen.
His 30 years commercial experience with blue chip companies have been marked by some notable achievements that demonstrate the sort of insightful thinking, problem-solving and can-do spirit that you’d expect from a Management Consultant, who really can help you and your people transform your company’s fortunes.
The following brief snapshots of the positive influence Michael can bring to bear can be divided into three key areas: the way in which Michael’s leadership skills can galvanise the performance of PEOPLE; the fresh thinking that can help to sell more PRODUCT; and, finally, how looking at PROCESS from a different perspective can introduce efficiencies that can have an immediate and lasting impact upon a company’s bottom line.
Sales Growth Process
This Testing Provider had appointed and parted with 5 Sales Directors in under 10 years. As a result, customer relationships lapsed, sales declined, prices fell, staff retreated to their desks, new opportunities rarely realised, and potential customers rarely converted into new customers. In short, the business lacked an effective sales process and the necessary culture for sales growth.
The challenge Michael faced was not so much the introduction of a new sales process but more to do with winning the hearts and minds of the experienced sales team that had seen a number of “bosses” come and go – the latter demanding far more of his time than the former.
He spent the required time in sales team meetings, and with each sales person individually, sitting alongside them at their desks, in the car on the way to sales calls and in their on-site sales presentations. Conversations with the incumbent Sales Director and MD were open, frank and always with an eye to the future, and a nod to the lessons of the past. It was important that any proposed process changes were adopted by the team rather than imposed on the team and that industry, sector and segment nuisances were considered, tweaked and tailored into the new step by step sales process.
The business now has a documented sales process, along with defined expectations and a benchmark for performance to support their sales recruitment, development, appraisals, and ongoing training. As with all sales processes, the real value is only realised when the individual engages with the process and makes it personal, if it wasn’t so you could get away with employing robots.
Multiple Retail Supplier
Faced with fines from a major retailer for late deliveries and part orders, along with increased admin costs from the related invoice issues, this company was in danger of losing business it had taken 3 years to secure.
It was vital to identify the causes of the problems and agree a solution that would be quickly and successfully implemented.
Accordingly, Michael circulated a brief situation analysis along with an invitation to a round table meeting the very next day for representatives from every touch point of the customer journey. Together the team examined this journey in detail, avoiding blame and encouraging collective ownership, also identifying a number of small but significant issues and more alarmingly some KPIs that worked against each other.
As a result, actions were agreed and implemented, some within a matter of hours.These corrective action plans were communicated to the customer and reported on, initially daily then weekly, until normal service was resumed. It might have taken a little longer for the Accounts Departments to match up and sign off the tangle of historical invoices, but at least there were no further problems.
Next Day Delivery Business
A components business supplying thousands of skus to trade customers, remote sites and end users wanted to create a service differentiator in their industry by offering a later cut off time for same day dispatch than any of their competitors, without increasing their headcount.
Michael first set out to understand current performance and practice and then compare it to best in class. Then, having clarified the company’s performance levels, Michael took responsibility for making recommendations on improving process flows, changing working hours, working habits and ultimately introducing a paperless process.
As a result, the company’s order cut of time was extended by an hour, the item preparation per head was increased by 240% and on time delivery at the new time averaged an industry leading 96% .
“I know I need help, I just don’t know where to start” said the MD of a family business, that manufactured commodity products in the consumer goods sector.
Resisting the temptation to apply previously successful templates to the apparent problems, Michael spent the opening sessions with the MD on understanding the detail of the business: its people, products, processes, markets, customers etc; in order to then be able to facilitate the MD to take the required business decisions and equip him with the tools to implement the action plan via his key people.
Michael introduced a strategic process that was most appropriate to the MD’s style and personality, incorporating lots of discussion, followed by review, research, illustrative exercises, thought topics, between-session tasks and crunching the important numbers. He led the MD through an initial four half day sessions, not only in discovering where to start but also how he could make a start.
Together they identified the unique selling points of the business that went beyond the sectors me-too quality, service, and made in Britain. They agreed values that would become the DNA of the business’ future communications, both internal and external. They introduced new management planning and control tools, and secured the board’s sign off on the annual numbers within a detailed and deliverable 3 year strategic plan.
The start of the plan coincided with an International trade fair at which they achieved a 300% sales increase on the previous year, resurrected interest among lapsed customers, and filled the diary with future appointments – results that built the confidence not only of the MD but also of his stakeholders and staff.
Some of the areas of expertise Michael can bring to your business:
Customer Segmentation and Engagement
Strategic Business Development
Identifying Your Core Values
Knowing Your Customer Proposition
The Customer Journey
Integration and Harmonisation
Value Added Key Performance Indicators
Continuous Improvement and Process Waste Elimination