Our Products and Services in Action
In this case, we were able to help a company with an operational problem which had materially hurt their bottom line.
A Southwest U.S. freight (trucking) company
The company, which had existed for 18 years, had for several years been trying to reduce the $500,000 in annual spoiled-freight claims they had paid. Nothing they’d tried had reduced this annual cost, to their intense frustration.
After one day of consulting, reduced annual claims amount immediately by 40% ($200,000 per year). The technique used had no costs beyond consulting fees, was able to be implemented immediately, and had enthusiastic acceptance by affected staff because it made their jobs easier.
How we achieved results
After understanding the problem via discussions with client general management and claims staff and by observing relevant staff (dispatchers) at work, realized their problem was analogous to that in hospital intensive care units, with overly interrupt-driven staff and critical need to communicates and execute consistently. After acceptance of the idea by general and operations management, adapted the technique used successfully in ICUs to dispatching staff and monitored acceptance, compliance, and (immediate and positive) effect on future claims.
Sales ROI Enhancer
In this case, we were able to help a company with a sales problem which had materially hurt their revenues by making it effectively impossible to sell to the 20% of their qualified prospects who requested an ROI calculation before agreeing to buy.
A small software company working in the SAP after-market space
If a prospect requested an ROI for their expected benefits, they were unable to produce one which was both compelling and credible.
After three days of consulting, client’s annual sales jumped 40% from its last-three-years amount ($5,000,000) to $7,000,000. The technique used had no costs beyond consulting fees, was able to be implemented immediately, and had enthusiastic acceptance by affected sales management and staff because it made both their jobs easier.
How we achieved results
After understanding the problem via (a) discussions with client general management and sales management and staff; and (b) by spending a day at a local reference (i.e., very happy) customer of theirs and interviewing management and staff from the C-suite to individual operational staff:
- Realized that most (approximately 80%) of described benefits their customers achieved were intangible (e.g., lower-stress employees and staff) vs. tangible (e.g., lower operational costs, reduced training times, etc.). And, the combined benefits seemed compelling (typically being 7x to 10x benefits annually).
- Devised a spreadsheet which would, given entry by sales staff of product cost and various parameters regarding how prospect would use their product and then calculating dollar benefit by factoring in dollar amounts for each “benefit event”, would express an ROI.
- Worked with sales management to teach sales staff to include prospect senior management (typically the COO) in ROI process by asking prospect to vet the base dollar amount per “benefit event” (some of which had high emotional context, such as angry calls from their own customers). This vetting process had the effect of making prospect senior management complicit in ROI calculation and thus both compelling and credible.
Really Hard Problems Consulting
In this case, we were able to help an NGO with a problem gaining traction in offering to help in a country which had just suffered a civil war.
A well-respected international NGO, which is one of the world’s best at rehabilitating and reinstating into society former child soldiers (i.e., after civil wars during which children were kidnapped or otherwise recruited to fight).
The NGO wished to use its proven skills to help the client country in several ways, including helping reinstate 19,000 former child soldiers who were living in a camp awaiting rehabilitation. However, all attempts to offer the rehabilitative services were being subtly rebuffed; they could not get traction and couldn’t understand why.
After three days of consulting at no cost beyond consulting fees, we were able to explain why they were not getting traction, and their alternatives for dealing with their situation. Choosing the best of those alternatives, they saved months of unnecessary effort and expense.
How we achieved results
After understanding the problem via internet research, documentation review, and interviews with both their own project staff and in-country United Nations staff, we were able to explain why they were being covertly blocked by one of the country’s political parties (in this case, the party formed by the former rebels in the civil war who had recruited the child soldiers in the first place).