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"Quality means doing things right even when no one is looking."

~Henry Ford~

Founder of Ford Motor Company

How We Proceed...

Our integrated approach creates value for our clients while minimizing risk:

It is important for us to understand our client's business issues before we proceed; we achieve this by taking an integrated approach.  Our approach quickly baselines the current state of performance and sets the course for future action while providing flexibility through all phases of the engagement from initial assessment to design and implementation.  This allows us to examine progress and reassess direction during an engagement while minimizing risk.  After each phase, our clients evaluate the benefit received and determine if it is appropriate to move to the next phase.

+ One Day Walk-Through

After an initial discussion with our clients about "how can we help", we typically spend a day at the client site investigating the perceived problem(s). We do not charge for this brief assessment, since our goal is to add value upfront by identifying opportunities for improvement. At the end of the day we present our findings. If appropriate, we will include a comparison of the operation to our World-Class Performance Metrics TM. If we can agree that there are significant opportunities for improvement, we will propose on an operational assessment.

 

+ Assessment

An assessment begins by gaining a clear understanding of the business strategy and goals in order to determine key problem areas.  A joint BLMC-Client assessment team works across functions to map the core business processes end-to-end, from the first contact with the customer through service delivery and customer feedback, using our unique analysis methodology. We then analyze this information to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the business, determine future direction, and establish the economics for change. 

The assessment provides a clear understanding of the As-Is state of the business with mid-level details on both process and information systems.  This baseline leads to the development of a desired To-Be state that is economically justifiable and generates significant value for our clients.  The assessment phase typically lasts between two to six weeks.

 

+ Design

After the assessment is complete, and there is agreement from management on a course of action, the joint BLMC-Client team creates a detailed To-Be design.  We begin with further detailing the As-Is state using our unique RBWA (Routing by Walking Around) methodology.  This detailed analysis of the As-Is processes and IT systems leads to identification of value add and non value add process segments. The team then works to eliminate or minimize the non value-add process steps and simplify those that are value-add. 

The result of this effort is a detailed To-Be process with associated resource requirements and organizational structure.   Simultaneously, the process analysis and To-Be design drive the requirements for any supporting IT systems.  A gap analysis between the current systems capabilities and the To-Be business requirements provides the basis for redesigning the existing IT systems in support of the redesigned process.  This information is used to create a capacity modeling tool that simulates the future state of the business and forms the basis for the economic justification of change.  This is typically a one to four month effort.

At the end of the Design Phase the client team presents the To-Be process, systems design, economics and implementation plan to the Steering Committee and senior management.  If the cost benefit ratio of implementing the new design meets or exceeds our 10:1 criteria the team requests approval to move into implementation.

 

+ Implementation

Our implementation planning begins during the initial assessment, where we gather information on the barriers to change.  Understanding the change management issues early in the engagement allows us to develop the process by which change will occur. We work with management to communicate the need for this change. Since implementation involves everyone, from administration or shop floor through middle and senior management, we provide the training and communication across the organization to generate “buy-in”.

“Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability.”  Larry Bossidy, former Chairman of Honeywell, Inc.

We begin the implementation by creating detailed project plans, (tasks, timing, resources, cost, responsibility, etc.), that set the baseline for execution.  The project plans are followed systematically, managed daily, and reviewed with the Steering Committee weekly.  When there is a potential for “critical path” delays, management is informed immediately, so that steps can be taken to get the project back on track.

After the To-Be processes and systems are implemented, our consultants continue to work with the client team to ensure that the agreed upon performance targets are met.  Toward the end of the implementation, we transition the client teams into Continuous Improvement or Kaizen teams to ensure that there are mechanisms in place to drive improvement.

 

+ Six Month Follow-Up

As part of every engagement, we conduct a six month follow-up assessment to evaluate the success of the implementation and the new business environment.  We apply the same tools used in the assessment phase of the engagement, and compare the results against the documented performance at the end of the implementation phase.  We expect improvement in all critical performance measures and that Continuous Improvement or Kaizen teams are active and working on improvement activities across the business.

At the end of the Six Month Follow-up, we provide a report card that shows areas that require management attention and a roadmap for additional improvement.

 

 

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