The following are examples of results that Consultants in our network have achieved with a few of their clients. While they developed and facilitated the process, these results were designed and generated by the employees of their respective organizations; therefore the commitment was very high, the gains were maintained, and the satisfaction levels grew significantly.
The client serves nearly 200 associations and publishers, whose industries have both been hit by the economic downturn. Membership retention has become a critical issue for the both industries resulting in a rigorous service standard … zero tolerance for losing clients to poor customer service.
A Trusted Advisors’ Consultant was engaged to design, implement, and track a customer loyalty process focused on three measurable goals: no client losses from poor customer service, one to two new sales opportunities within each existing account, and reduced operating expenses by 10%. Staff worked in cross-discipline teams to share progress, review objectives, and establish new goals around strengthening external and internal client relationships.
- No significant client has left as a result of poor customer service.
- Process improvements resulting from weekly team discussions resulted in immediate savings in five figures with projected annual savings for the New Year well into six figures.
- Voluntary turnover has decreased 65% over the previous year.
Family owned, niche construction firm, $3 million in sales
The construction firm was founded in the 1950’s and the owner is passing the business down to his son. The business is currently stuck in a rut and is being operated with a 1950’s mentality. There is no structure, strategy, process, or direction for growth. They also lack the marketing expertise that will allow them to expand into newer markets. Management’s objective is to create a new road map for the company and a strategy that will ensure this small organization becomes recognized as a national player in the field. The management team specifically wants to narrow market focus and expand market share while increasing revenue from 3 million to 10 million in five years. As they create this new strategy, they want to develop a strong company culture with non-negotiable values
A six month customized strategic planning process with a strong dose of leadership was facilitated with the management team including the founder and his son. During the first engagement a detailed strategic as well as a marketing plan were developed.
The first engagement led to a second six month engagement where the focus was on improving the client’s marketing and sales efforts. A customized sales process was developed for this phase.
- Developed a crystal clear vision and strategy with specific mapping of action steps over a two year period.
- Doubled revenue in the first 18 months to $6 million.
- Narrowed market focus to niche markets and expanded market share by 25%.
- Completely repositioned, renamed, and rebranded the company and launched a national marketing campaign.
- Company moved to a larger office space.
- Realignment of staff.
- Enhanced communication.
- Developed an in-house sales support and tracking process. Within the first 6 months increased their sales presentation and calls by at least 20%.
Family owned, product manufacturer with global distribution, $100 million in revenue
The client is experiencing explosive growth worldwide and they are not prepared for it. The current infrastructure is weak with little to no process or structure. There is limited leadership experience at the supervisory and management levels. Employees are experiencing a lot of conflict and disconnects, old-timers stuck in the old culture and new hires are ready to be part of something big.
The Trusted Advisors’ Consultant created and facilitated a highly customized group leadership process for both the managers and supervisors to prepare them to be future leaders within the organization while igniting passion and motivation among the ranks. Management also invested in individual coaching for all participants and 50% of the participants decided to work with their coach long term.
- 75% expected growth in revenue.
- 25% increase in product manufacturing.
- Increased profit margins.
- Silos have crumbled and cross-departmental communication is now the norm.
- Management is talking to engineering and to customers when developing new product which allows them to get product out quicker with less re-work.
- Trust is growing among individuals, teams, and departments opening up more communication and camaraderie.
This individual by his own admission was disorganized, took on too much work outside of his comfort zone, lost opportunities due to the mountains of paperwork he amassed, never delegated, had a deteriorating relationship with his assistant, and was in the bottom 25 of the national ranking of sales results for his organization. His objective was to achieve a professional level of organization and be in the top five ranking of sales results.
A combination approach to personal leadership, sales improvement, personal strategic planning, and time management was facilitated via a one-on-one coaching process.
- He is now more organized.
- Has an improved relationship with his assistant through better communication.
- He is confident in his delegation skills.
- Has more time to focus on big-ticket clients.
- He was recognized as the #4 producer in his office and quickly achieved recognition as the #2 producer.
- He is also in the top 10 national ranking in sales for his entire organization.
Niche division of an international freight/trucking company, $275 million in revenue, publicly held.
CEO has identified three senior level managers for future executive leadership positions and made the commitment to provide the resources necessary to help them acquire the skills to advance.
Using appropriate diagnostics, a customized one-on-one coaching process was created for each of the three individuals directly addressing their strengths and needed areas of improvement. Subject areas included concepts of leadership, executive leadership, strategic planning, and business development.
- Each of the individuals made tremendous strides in both personal and professional development.
- Each has been promoted into an executive leadership position within the company
- Recovered all of their losses from economic downturn and are on track to meet financial goals.
- Employee specifics,
- Employee #1 is running an entire business unit within division. CEO is blown away at how she has been able to double revenue within 8 months.
- Employee #2 wrote her own personal and professional strategic plan and proposed to the CEO the role she wanted to play and shared the ROI. Doubled revenue and had a huge impact on customer retention and growth.
- Employee #3 was a 25-year employee feeling stuck in his position. The process got him unstuck, and he now runs largest department within division.
Home Health Care and Medical Supplies Provider in business since 1997, 200 employees servicing clients in two states.
The owner wanted to develop an executive team to lead collaboratively in order to strategically grow the business, which would enable the owner to transition into a less active leadership role and into more of an advisor/mentor role. During the course of the program, state regulators unexpectedly reduced their Medicaid reimbursement by 10%. This change meant that the company profits and margins were immediately reduced by 10%. As a result of this change, the company leaders needed to quickly develop new growth strategies while engaging their people in the processes to make it happen.
The Consultant worked with the four-person executive team to develop the necessary leadership skills to set the new strategic goal, the action plan to accomplish it, and to lead execution of the plan to grow their third largest market segment by 50%. One member of the executive team took overall accountability for the goal and each of the other team members took primary ownership of one or more of the key deliverables. Individual coaching helped the leaders fine tune their action plans and develop appropriate behavior changes, while the group sessions helped them stay aligned.
- Within one month, the client met the goal of growing the third largest customer segment by 50%. Since the goal was achieved so quickly, they universally agreed to double the goal to increase 100% by year-end.
- The owner has developed a new growth strategy in medical supply sales and has engaged the affiliate to develop 17 additional team members to increase customer loyalty, referrals, and pull-through medical supply sales.
$20 million in sales, 150 non-union employees
A capital investment was made in five new machines and the goal was to increase output on those machines taking them to a three shift, six day schedule, and machine set up lead times on the new equipment was a significant issue. Management committed to fix the challenge of eroding lead times caused by lengthy machine set up times.
A cycle time reduction process was facilitated over four days with an eight-person team. The team did a minute by minute break down of the machine set up for their computer numerically controlled machines. The team used a number of other quality tools to evaluate the process and was able to create a low cost solution that reduced the machine set up time from 2 hours and 45 minutes to 21 minutes. The team is reviewing the set up time of 70 additional machines.
In addition to reducing the set up time to 21 minutes, the client also accomplished the following results:
- Improved policies and procedures.
- Reduced cost by 20%.
- Reduced lead time by 10%.
One of the nation’s fastest growing contract manufacturers of pharmaceutical creams, ointments, and toothpastes.
Due to the untimely and unexpected death of the father, his son stepped into his new role as President and CEO of this company, at just 26 years old. He inherited a prosperous business, and for the first year was afraid to touch a thing. His father’s focus on cost control and his authoritarian leadership style had been just what the company needed to climb out of bankruptcy. Sales were at a plateau, and they were bouncing from one market to another.
Implemented strategic planning process to transform the organization and position the company for breakthrough financial results. They developed strategic objectives for the next five years that included doubling revenues and quintupling profits. After completion of the five year forecast, the Consultant then helped the client develop a detailed 12 month business plan. In addition, the Consultant worked with the client to bring new talent onto the senior team and provide coaching as the business evolved.
- The business planning process has made a significant impact by bringing new discipline to decision-making. They now review new projects against other priorities in their plan, which allows staff to maintain focus.
- Managers also have a clearer understanding of the projects their colleagues are pursuing and why, since they were involved in establishing shared business priorities, which has eliminated silo-thinking and dissolved interdepartmental tensions, as well as improved customer service.
- Their focus is now on the company’s resources and major contracts that are aligned with their core competencies.
- The organization is currently making significant investments in equipment, laboratories, regulatory systems, and other aspects of its operations that enable growth and profitability.
- Two long-time employees were coached to develop the precise skills the team needed to succeed.
- In response to a $2 million downturn in sales during the past year, the organization rose to the challenge and exhibited a laser-like focus on cost control. As a result, the company doubled its profits during one of the worst economic downturns in history.
Freelance public relations consultant for just over nine months
Owner started as a freelance consultant, and her client roster had quickly outgrown her initial infrastructure. The owner had a larger challenge on the home front – a newborn infant. With now three children and a business that was quickly encroaching on her personal time, it was time to take a hard look at the future. The owner was seeking assistance with:
- Deciding on a course of action for the future growth or stabilization of her consulting business.
- Establishing an appropriate business structure.
- Addressing throughput and capacity issues.
- Taking advantage of new business opportunities.
- Leveling the playing field with large PR agencies.
- Increasing revenue and profit to support business and personal goals.
- Managing time to allow more time with family.
The Consultant met with the owner to examine her options, set future goals, assess current resources and infrastructure, and achieve those goals through a detailed plan of action that would allow her to become a business owner and not a freelancer.
- The owner quickly began to see positive impact of the planning phase.
- She felt confident in her decision making skills and forged ahead to implementation.
- Became known in business community as “agency,” not “freelancer.”
- Increased opportunities to work with larger clients.
- On track to meet and even exceed, revenue goals.
75% of clients now billed at new hourly rate.
- Part-time employee and additional freelancers brought on board.
- Upgrades to office and equipment are in progress.
Aftermarket auto retailer, four locations
Out of the four retail locations only one was profitable. One was on the brink of closure, and the other two were just maintaining. The owner’s business and personal debt were increasing while the business was losing inventory, losing employees, and unable to pay vendors. The owner admitted that decisions about hiring, firing, process upgrades, and employee compensation were rash with little thought to results or consequences.
A Trusted Advisors’ Consultant skilled in business consulting created and facilitated a strategic planning process for the owner and management team. The team along with our business consultant worked together to create a business plan, identify critical goals, and create manageable action steps for those goals which could be reviewed on a monthly dashboard. The client examined their core values, and translated those into a vision that was communicated to all employees generating excitement among the entire team.
- A new strategic direction and actionable plan was created.
- Buy-in from entire management team was achieved.
- Decided to keep all locations open, and lagging store was profitable within two months.
- Overhaul of accounting practices, finances, staff, inventory, and mix of business.
- A process was designed and company-wide to track returns.
- Created a consistent interview process and job descriptions.