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16.Oct, 2016 0

A Great Client And Friend Passes

Duane Powell, President of Powell Fabrication and Manufacturing, died this month at the age of 68 of lung cancer. He never smoked. Powell Fab called me back in 2000 and asked me if I could help. I suggested we spend a day together to find out more about their challenges and agreed to write a proposal if it made sense. At the time, Powell Fab had about 45 employees. It was headquartered in a town of about 5,000 people: St. Louis, Michigan. St. Louis was the antithesis of Silicon Valley. I had to adapt my way of working with clients…

27.Sep, 2015 0

Lead Post-Merger Integration of 3 Companies Into 1

Industry: Semiconductor Capital Equipment Role: Project Manager Number of people working on Assignment: 30 people in Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing, Order Services, Production Control, Field Service Operations, Facilities, Materials, I.T. and Finance Duration of Engagement: 2.5 months Problem Presented: COO contacted our firm to lead the integration of 3 companies into 1. We were given a clean sheet of paper to develop and immediately begin implementing the initial phase of integrating the companies. Assessment and Steps: Goal was to develop a task list for each area that (a) captured only those tasks essential creating a seamless transition to a single operating…

27.Sep, 2015 0

Requirements Analysis to Correct Operational Problems with Configurable Products

Industry: Semiconductor Capital Equipment Role: Project Manager Number of people working on Assignment: 20 people in Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing, Order Services, Production Control and Finance Duration of Engagement: 2 months Problem Presented: Our firm was referred to client as being an “expert” who could help them implement a configurator application—a tool to select features and options associated with a broad and diverse set of product lines for a semiconductor capital equipment manufacturer. Assessment and Steps: Prospective client asked our firm principal to assess an “off-the-shelf” configurator application that the company had purchased, by attending a 2-day seminar on this product….

27.Sep, 2015 0

Reduce Time Required To Validate A Customer’s Order Requirements by 80%

Industry: Semiconductor Role: Project Manager Number of people working on the assignment: 3 Duration of the engagement: 5 months Problems Presented: Client requested that we investigate the use of imaging technology to help him reduce his order acceptance cycle time from 5 days to 1. Upon meeting with his department manager, it became apparent that imaging technology would not help him resolve the cycle time issue. Assessment and Steps: Conducted a Needs Assessment to understand what areas were adversely impacting the client’s cycle time. We learned that expert knowledge needed to validate a customer’s order requirements was dispersed throughout this…

27.Sep, 2015 0

Define the User Interface for a Rule-Based Software Application to Properly Configure and Validate a Customer’s Orders

Industry: Semiconductor Role: Business and Technical Expert Assigned to End-User Number of people working on Assignment: 2 – client staff; 3 IT staff; 7 Accenture consulting personnel (project managers and programmers) Duration of the engagement: 7 months Problem Presented: Information Technology and outsource I.T. consulting staff were not appropriately identifying and addressing the end-users’ business and technical requirements for a new “Configurator” application. Our client needed help in defining the business and technical requirements for a sophisticated “configurator” application used to define a customer’s requirements for custom semiconductors as well as assistance dealing with programming personnel. Assessment and Steps: Helped…

27.Sep, 2015 0

Define Business Processes for Migration to New Configurator Application

Industry: Semiconductor Role: Project Leader Number of people working on Assignment: 6 client personnel Duration of Engagement: 2 months Problem Presented: Client had to convert data from an existing computer application to a new computer application for approximately 1,000 custom semiconductors. This conversion effort would take place over a period of several months and involve a great deal of complexity in terms of queuing special requests, identifying problems resulting in things being put on hold while being transferred to be worked in separate work queues, etc. Our firm had to be able to monitor the status and progress of a…

27.Sep, 2015 0

Create Operations Infrastructure for a High-Tech Start-Up Company

Industry: Large Format Color Printer Role: Project Manager Number of people working on Assignment: 1 consultant/programmer, 9 client personnel Duration of Engagement: 4 months Problem Presented: Client needed assistance defining an operational infrastructure necessary to transition the company from being a start-up “product development” company to a complete sales, manufacturing, service and distribution company. Assessment and Steps: • Created a set of Document Control procedures covering part numbering, change control, control of purchased components • Defined user interface for an On-Line Document Control System • Converted existing departmental part numbering systems into a unified corporate system • Released design using…

27.Sep, 2015 0

Integrate ERP with Business Process

Leverage ERP Investment, Improve Operational Efficiency, Reduce Inventory and Cycle Times Industry: Engineer-to-Order Capital Equipment Manufacturer Role: Project Manager Number of people working on Assignment: 6 people Duration of Engagement: 9 months Problem Presented: Prospect contacted our firm about the need to define a “part numbering system” for a 35- year old company. Just before the initial client meeting, we learned that there were also significant issues with respect to inventory control. During the initial client meeting, the CEO identified his concern that the company had not benefited from its investment in ERP and that the use of the ERP…