Success Stories

Steve15_reverseI have always thrived on solving challenging, multi-faceted problems. For the past thirty years I have delivered process-driven solutions to employers and clients in both the public and private sectors. With analytic, technical, and interpersonal tools, I have helped organizations identify and resolve complex business problems and achieve more productive decisions. I have facilitated functional groups as well as leadership teams through structured processes to achieve shared vision, devise strategic plans, and find tactical solutions.

Following are eight vignettes that illustrate my success in delivering process-driven solutions. These span my corporate, non-profit, and consulting careers.


A Shared Vision

In 2013 when disagreement between parents and administration threatened to escalate at a local school, I saw the need for intervention. I developed a concept and convinced the school district administration and school board to proceed with a group visioning activity. I spent the next two months developing and refining the visioning process, meeting frequently with stakeholders. I then facilitated two highly structured retreats to identify the common vision and shared goals. In addition to restoring trust and dialog between the stakeholder groups, the process drove changes that allowed the school and the district to resolve long-standing problems. Programs identified during the retreats are still in force today.

[Meeting Facilitation]

Calendar Crisis

Late in 2012, an executive at Gap, Inc., a global fashion retailer, approached me with an emergency. Because that fiscal year had 53 instead of 52 weeks, their sales analysis BI application (SQL Server under Essbase) would soon point to incorrect weeks for the year-over-year comparisons. The business had identified how the additional week was to function, but the behavior was complex. Time was short; we were only nine weeks from the end of the fiscal year. After performing the business analysis and designing a solution, I assembled a team to execute the rewrite. Together (and despite persistent hardware failures) we completed the re-work on time, preventing a gap in the client’s mission critical sales reporting.

[Business Analysis/Information Integration]

Fashion Fabric

In 2011, Gap, Inc. hired me through my employer to lead a project for the Global Supply Chain Decision Support team. The goal was to analyze the costing components of product development. Since the preponderance of the cost in a garment is fabric, fabric was the most prominent aspect of the project. I performed the initial business analysis and then selected a top-flight MicroStrategy consultant to partner with me. Over the subsequent two years, we employed an Agile approach to develop and deliver Supply Chain Reporting. I designed and implemented the ETL (Extraction, Transformation, and Load) processes that supplied data to the MicroStrategy environment. This included solutions for some of the more intricate business problems such as fabric blends and unit of measure conversions, as well as fixes for arcane inconsistencies in the source data. The solution transformed fabric usage and costing across all of the client’s brands.

[Business Analysis, Information Integration]

Global Roadmap

The channel sales and marketing team at Seagate, a global technology company, knew that they needed better business intelligence but could not agree on requirements or priorities. Working with stakeholders in the company’s Business Intelligence Center of Excellence, I designed a process for eliciting those requirements and obtaining consensus on the priorities. I then facilitated a regimen of interviews with team members around the world. Subsequently, I convened an in-person meeting of the Directors and Vice Presidents at the corporate headquarters, and led them through a process to establish the priorities for the program. The resulting road map not only achieved high alignment across the organization, but also drove successful development of key BI models for the client’s Channel Marketing Analytics Program over the subsequent two years.

[Meeting Facilitation, Business Analysis]

Crescendo!

Because of insufficient and untimely information, Virgin Entertainment Group was struggling to understand sales and labor dynamics across its twenty massive retail stores that, at the time, offered more than 400,000 SKUs. Virgin engaged my employer to help resolve this problem. My involvement with the client spanned several phases. Initially, I prepared and presented a briefing for the company’s department heads on the basics and benefits of Business Intelligence. I then facilitated a software selection process during which the client chose a BI platform. For the following two years, I led a team to develop a data warehouse that captured traffic, sales, and inventory data from the stores every fifteen minutes. Working directly with the CIO, I created analytic models that answered key questions for the store managers, transforming the business. In the first four months, the solution drove a $1.7 million sales increase with a $.5 million increase in profit.

[Meeting Facilitation, Business Analysis, Information Integration]

Grumpy

Disney Interactive’s financial data were maintained in four separate systems (two of them located overseas in legacy formats), making for a difficult and labor-intensive monthly accounting close. I saw that a single, integrated data mart optimized for the financial month end would be a major benefit to the business unit. Initially, I coded a proof of concept and sold the idea to the division leadership. Once the initiative was approved, I designed the database and ETL architecture, and then led a team to create an integrated financial data mart (with the Disney code name Grumpy). The solution reduced the close from ten business days to four, and virtually eliminated errors.

[Business Analysis, Information Integration]

Service Works

In the early 1990s I worked for Rain Bird International as a Quotation Specialist, creating pro forma invoices for turnkey irrigation projects in Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. This was a labor-intensive process of manually writing out many pages of pricing sheets by hand. After six months in the role, I approached the division Director with a concept and plan to automate the process. The Director put me in charge of the project, which we eventually named Service Works. After gaining support from the company IT department, I led the team through vendor selection, requirements elicitation, design, and implementation. The solution reduced the amount of time needed to quote a complete irrigation system from upwards of a week to less than a day. Pricing revisions could be made in a matter of moments rather than hours. This made the company highly competitive in the global marketplace.

[Meeting Facilitation, Business Analysis, Information Integration]

Mission Statement

Seattle City Light hired me to facilitate a four-hour meeting of janitorial supervisors for the purpose of developing a mission statement. This was in preparation for a larger initiative at the utility that would culminate in a weekend-long retreat for all the supervisors across the enterprise. The challenges were several. The mean education of the participants was approximately eleventh grade, only one of them understood initially what a mission statement was, and four hours was all that the company would allocate for the process. Working closely with the Director of Facilities, I crafted an agenda and then a process. By beginning with an examination of the value delivered by the group’s efforts, I was able to generate enthusiasm for the process, and successfully facilitated the supervisors to a mission statement, written in their own words, that was all but complete at the end of four hours. More important, I had achieved nearly 100% buy-on on the product by the end of the meeting.

[Meeting Facilitation]

Visioning_wide

 

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Steve@ParnassusAnalytics.com
360-406-4684