Profiles of Consulting Engagement Experience
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Not-for-Profit • Private Sector

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Private Sector

Profiles of Consulting Engagement Experience: Manufacturing and Distribution


Assessment of Computer System to Support Future Growth
Implementation of Job Costing Software Package

This medium-sized company designs and creates custom visual branding and communication elements (e.g., signs, interior and exterior displays, menu boards) for clients primarily in the retail and restaurant industries. Management wanted to determine if the company’s ERP application system (Sage System’s MAS-90) would continue to support their planned future business expansion. B. Greenfield & Associates conducted an independent analysis to understand the company’s operational needs, then evaluated systems strengths and shortcomings within this context.

Key missing capabilities identified were accurate job/project costing, and the lack of timely data for managing projects. B. Greenfield & Associates worked with client personnel and software vendor representatives to identify the most suitable job costing package, and then took the lead in implementing the system and training users. An important aspect of this initiative was moving the company toward more real-time data capture, and using the system’s report generator to develop the necessary management reports.

Another management concern was that the company’s production supervisors had come up through the ranks, and were not well versed in operations planning and management concepts. To address this situation, B. Greenfield & Associates developed and presented training programs on subjects such as materials planning, process improvement, and just-in-time/lean production.


Computer System Selection & Implementation
Ongoing Systems Support

The client, a medium-sized company manufacturing and distributing garden tools, wanted to upgrade its computer system with a network-based integrated manufacturing resources requirements (MRP-II) system. The consulting engagement included support in system requirements definition, request for proposals (RFP) preparation, vendor response review, vendor selection, data file design and construction, policy/procedure development, and user training (both manufacturing concepts and software usage).

The software package selected was ROI System’s Manage-2000. Since the initial implementation, B. Greenfield & Associates has provided ongoing support to system users and administrators. This includes user training, database management, designing and developing custom screens and reports, creating operating procedures, researching and resolving problems, testing and implementing new system capabilities, and serving as the project manager for
software upgrades.

There have been several special projects as well, involving systems and operations improvement in Production, Purchasing, Engineering, Customer Service, Distribution, and Accounting. As the company acquired new business units, B. Greenfield & Associates had a major role in integrating their operations into the Manage-2000 system, which comprised developing file structures, loading data tables, writing procedures, and training users. The common thread throughout these initiatives was helping the client to most effectively use the system to run the various aspects of the business.


Warehousing/Distribution System Requirements Definition
A footwear retailer, Shonac (stores are known as Designer Shoe Warehouse) needed to upgrade its warehousing and distribution systems. This assignment was to identify and document the system requirements, to use in soliciting requests for proposals. A key emphasis was clearly explaining and documenting several processes that were unique to the company, to allow the appropriate consideration in vendor responses.


Industrial Engineering Analysis of New Production Line
The company was building a production line for a new type of product. B. Greenfield & Associates conducted a high-level assessment of the line from an industrial engineering viewpoint. This groundwork identified significant shortcomings and opportunities for labor cost avoidance. The benefits were sufficient to justify assigning corporate industrial engineering staff to the project.


Human Resource Management
This client designs and produces costumes used primarily for mascots (corporate, collegiate, and professional sports) and corporate promotions (e.g., children’s books characters). They also provide related services such as cleaning/repair, coordination/scheduling, as well as operating rental stores. The engagement was to define the requirements for a Production Manager position, to provide a basis for hiring and evaluation. Overall duties and responsibilities, reporting relationships, and performance expectations were considered. In addition, related organizational/operational issues were raised and addressed as part of the project.


Warehouse Management System Evaluation
This plumbing supply wholesaler was interested in acquiring and implementing a computer-based warehouse management system incorporating barcode scanning. The assignment was to evaluate the current warehouse environment and support systems, investigate the features and functions of the automated system being considered, identify the potential benefits, and determine the requirements and challenges (both operational and technological) for successful implementation and use. As an added benefit to the client, a number of potential operational improvements were identified and presented.


Company-wide Productivity Improvement
The relationship with this Cincinnati manufacturer of conveyor systems began as a traditional productivity improvement project in manufacturing – production scheduling and shop floor control. Productivity gains were about 20 percent throughout the plant. The improvement initiative was subsequently extended to the Engineering and Estimating departments, including an enhanced project management system. The final phase was developing a restructuring concept for Engineering, and guiding the client through implementation.


Work Measurement/Control System
Located in Cincinnati, Tex-Style manufactures window and shower curtains for retail sale. Production workers are on a piecework incentive system, with underlying standards that were outdated. The project was to update the stan-dards, using the MOST (Maynard Operations Sequence Technique) predetermined time work measurement system. The methodology and results were reviewed and approved by an industrial engineering consultant retained by the workers’ labor union. Work methods improvements were also identified and implemented.

Profiles of Consulting Engagement Experience: Service, Retail, and Healthcare


Process Documentation and Reengineering
Management Reporting and Control Systems
The initial purpose of this engagement was to develop procedural documentation for the Processing Department of this mortgage loan broker. When it became evident that there were opportunities for improvement, B. Greenfield & Associates worked with the CEO and his staff to analyze all of the business functions related to loan processing. Several reengineering initiatives resulted, significantly reducing the time required to handle a loan (in terms of both the time to complete specific activities and the elapsed time between initial customer contact and closing the loan).

In addition, a new management reporting and control system was designed and implemented, using Excel spreadsheets. This significantly reduced the effort required to manage and track customer leads and loans in progress. Key performance metrics were identified and built into the system as well, providing more effective loan officer performance measurement and management.


Organization/Operations Restructuring Cash Management
Nursing Home Business Operations Improvement
This nursing home chain operator had severe and sudden cash flow problems. B. Green field & Associates helped prepare a package to secure a bank loan. As part of the recovery plan, the corporate organization was restructured, eliminating a layer of management, and business processes were evaluated and revamped to reduce costs.

Subsequently, B. Greenfield & Associates was engaged to address a variety of issues related to business process operations improvement, at both the home office and the nursing homes, and continues to provide this type of support to the CEO.


Customer Support Call Center Process Improvement
This company provides information technology and business solutions to the healthcare and human services industries. The purpose of the engagement was to identify opportunities to improve the administrative process of resolving customer support calls. Key recommendations included aligning support resources more directly with the needs of the customer base (with cross-functional teams, each group serving specific customers with similar support requirements), developing standardized online problem reporting, and creating guidelines for staff to prioritize their work.


Systems Analysis and Design
This client provides business forms and associated computer-based management systems, primarily for auto dealerships. B. Greenfield & Associates served as a subcontractor to the company’s IT Department, undertaking a variety of projects focusing on specific business processes or problem areas. The range of assignments encompassed both internal systems and customer applications.


Corporate Overhead Management
A comprehensive corporate overhead management initiative, this engagement involved a large staff of consultants operating at all management levels throughout the company. Resulting bottom-line savings estimated at $25 million. Dramatic improvements were planned and implemented, including organization restructuring and right-sizing, asset utilization, workflow streamlining, and computer systems enhancements.


White Collar JIT
Streamlining paperflow was the primary objective in this assignment. Just-In-Time (JIT) techniques were applied to the work in two functional areas of the Accounting Department, analyzing the operations as a “paper factory.” Results included 50-75 percent reduction in throughput time, and elimination of processing backlogs. Staffing was adjusted to correspond with the workload, with remaining personnel redeployed in other areas. Job satisfaction increased for both management and staff.


Information Systems/Operational Planning
A close-out retailer experiencing rapid growth, Consolidated’s management wanted to confirm that the company’s information systems would adequately support their expansion plans. The ensuing consulting assignment was an information requirements analysis including wholesale, retail, and product distribution operations. Detailed specifications for selecting new systems – and enhancing existing systems – were developed as the main project deliverable.


Store Manager Compensation System
With new stores opening regularly, Donatos wanted to establish a more formal system for compensating store managers. The resulting salary program incorporated a bonus component tied to controllable store performance measures. This was a highly collaborative project, with the managers having significant input in how the program was structured.


Operational Assessment & Planning
This company, a franchiser in the health and fitness industry, had been growing so dramatically that the foundational systems for managing the enterprise had not kept pace. The founder and President wanted a comprehensive assess-ment of corporate and field operations, to determine what would be needed to enable continued future expansion and success. Recommendations encompassed organization structure, operations, and information systems (including store operating and performance reporting systems).


Administrative Operations Management
Administrative operations was the chief target for this family-owned manufacturing company. The organization was realigned for more effective spans of control and supervision. Key operational process flows were streamlined, reducing paper handling and making better use of the computer system. In addition, employee training was enhanced and expanded, reducing the

* Bruce Greenfield participated in this project as an employee of Coopers & Lybrand or KMG Main Hurdman