There is no such thing as a typical client. But there are some patterns.
Problems: Growth issues. Merger problems. Scaling issues. ERP selection or ERP fiascos. Stalled growth. Grown too fast. Did I mention growth?
Size: $10m to $250m. Or departments inside larger organizations.
Industry: Anything except hard-core manufacturing. Other people do lean and six sigma better than me. I specialize in office based processes. A very different art.
Target processes: Order-to-cash, engineering change management, lead generation, product development, medical billing, customer service.
Client: The CEO, CFO, or COO or C-Something. But I'll talk to anyone who is honest enough to admit they need process help.
I will tailor a project to your organization and the problem you want to solve. So, I don't have a one size fits all approach. But this will give you a sense of the range of work I do:
One Day Process Assessment: For all but the simplest projects and before I can be sure that I can help you (and what it will cost), I usually perform a one day process assessment. We define your goals. I take a fairly high-level look at the problems. I meet some of the process users, and then come up with a plan and an estimated cost.
Process Event: Good for small teams, one critical process and a burning need for results right now. Output: agreement, insight, improvement project ideas, actions, and responsibilities. Over and done and implemented in a few days.
Process Projects: These are tailored to the process problem you want to solve. Typically, they involve larger and multiple teams and more complex processes. They can range from four or five days to several weeks spread over months. These projects might be Rapid Process Discovery or Fast Track Process Improvement or some combination of both.
Here are some actual examples of recent projects
Interface Inc. is a world leader in force measurement instrumentation with clients in the Fortune 100 companies worldwide, including Boeing, Airbus, SpaceX, NASA, GM, Johnson & Johnson.
Every person in our company who has worked with Ian has expressed their appreciation with his ability to understand our company, his methodology for working through the procedures with us, and his ability to connect with our people. I especially like his combination of caring and his no holds barred directness. I would recommend Ian to any company seeking improvements in their processes and procedures.
Joel Strom - Chief Executive Officer
The effort of documenting the process running across the company began to break down long-established departmental boundaries. Just creating the documentation forced process issues into the open where they could be negotiated and solved. Combined with other actions, the lead-time for complex quotations was reduced by 60% to a competitive level once again. It continues to decrease as the process users have gained insight into each other's difficulties.
Process documentation was the first phase of this engagement. Work continues on process improvement.
Gabriella White, LLC, parent company to luxury outdoor furniture line Summer Classics and indoor, high style furniture brand Gabby.
The client was experiencing growth pains. With multiple brands and multiple channels, the business had become very complex to manage. The CEO realized that the problems stemmed from poor processes and hired me to document the existing processes.
Ian’s roll up your sleeves approach was exactly what our company needed to begin documenting and standardizing our core processes to streamline and reduce wasteful activities. He made a big difference by building out a sustainable platform that our employees can use long-term. Better yet, he taught our team about leadership and how “we should not blame the person…we should blame the process!”
JWilliam White | President GWC
The employees of the company now think in terms of process, analyze issues and expect processes to improve.
Within months previously unhappy customers were complimenting the company on the remarkable turnaround in performance. The middle management recognized that the President and Senior executives had responded to their concerns and had done something both concrete and successful to reduce the firefighting.
The idea of process documentation and the way it could solve everyday problems spread rapidly within the company. Eventually, I recommended that the CEO hire a permanent Process Engineer.
The Process Library remains in use. Work continues on process improvement.
Clum Creative is a Cleveland based media production company offering a full range of corporate media production services. Founded in 2011 by a young entrepreneur the company is growing rapidly, diversifying its product offering and extending its geographic reach through partnerships and acquisitions.
Explosive growth had given Clum Creative no opportunity to adapt its processes, properly train new hires or even decide on the best way of doing things. The CEO felt overwhelmed by his responsibilities and was looking to bring order to the chaos, allowing him to do what he did best, cultivate relationships and build sales.
I would recommend Ian James the process consultant because he's totally focused on helping your company improve and put in the right processes to help you grow.
He'll help you understand what process is (which, before I talked to him, only I thought I did). So he helped me understand from a theory standpoint what process is, but he also helped me and my entire team get practical and understand how to create and troubleshoot our processes so that we can continue to grow, to continue to hire people, to continue to get more sales.
He will really help you to grow your business and make sense of everything.
JWilliam White | President GWC
The CEO was surprised to discover how little some of the team members understood the most important process in the business. All kinds of issues and ideas to solve them came to light. The team was energized and went on to further growth and expansion. I held a follow-up session several months later and was impressed by how much the team had changed and evolved the process.