Work

Clients. Typical Projects. Case Studies

Who do I do this for?


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.

What can I do for you?


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.

Case Studies


Here are some actual examples of recent projects

  • The Company:

    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.

    Background:

    With ambitious plans to grow the company, the CEO recognized that the increased volume would put a strain on internal business processes. Despite considerable improvements in manufacturing, supporting processes were already showing signs of distress.

    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

    Challenges:

    • A reliance on email for triggering next actions
    • Poor hand-offs causing downstream problems
    • Undocumented process activities making the company vulnerable to the departure of key individuals.
    • A lengthy design process that left the company uncompetitive in the sales process
    • A lack of any process documentation resulting in reduced accountability

    What I Did:

    • Identified and targeted a key process
    • Extracted the process and associated documentation from the users
    • Converted the data into usable process diagrams within a graphics application.
    • Loaded the diagrams and associated documentation into the application.
    • Trained users in accessing the documentation via the application.
    • Guided the process users in solving major hand-off and prioritizing problems in the process

    The Results:

    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.

    What happened next:

    Process documentation was the first phase of this engagement. Work continues on process improvement.

  • The Company:

    Gabriella White, LLC, parent company to luxury outdoor furniture line Summer Classics and indoor, high style furniture brand Gabby.

    Background:

    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

    Challenges:

    • Existing documentation was scattered, incomplete and at too high a level
    • Uneven process education across company
    • Limited cooperation between departments to solve process issues
    • Firefighting absorbed a great deal of management time

    What I Did:

    • Targeted key process of Order to Cash
    • Split process into sections
    • Recruited a team for each section
    • Gave basic process training to each team
    • Extracted the process and associated documentation
    • Built process maps and published them in a web-based application
    • Trained users in accessing the documentation via the application
    • Identified quick wins and ensured they were implemented

    The Results:

    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.

    What happened next:

    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.

  • The Company:

    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.

    Background:

    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

    Challenges:

    • Key revenue generating process had never been defined.
    • No process documentation to train new hires.
    • Processes did not scale with volume.
    • Confusion of roles at senior level.
    • A lack of software tools to manage transactions in the process.

    What I Did:

    • Held a Fast Track Process Improvement workshop with the entire team:
    • Defined the existing revenue generating process sales-to-cash
    • Collected (Checklists, Forms, Policies, etc.)
    • Documented it in the form of a process diagram
    • Reviewed the process, step by step, identifying bottlenecks and other issues
    • Led the team through a simple problem-solving process
    • Identified the right software tools for managing processes and projects

    The Results:

    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.