To whom it may concern:
Why did we hire Cogent Analytics? We lacked insight into our daily business operations and key performance indicators. Decisions were being made off a feeling in the moment, things were being done a certain way because “that’s the way it’s always been done”. We’ve been in business 80+ years… things need to change every now and then! So, we knew a change was needed, but we also knew we couldn’t do it on our own. After the discovery process with Merlin, we made the decision to make the investment to bring Cogent. We would utilize Cogent as our change agents.
Our project directors, Christopher Harris and Peter Zurn, arrived on site after a holiday weekend armed with a plan to help take Lee-Smith to the next level – a functioning organizational chart was created, job descriptions were updated and created, KPIs were determined for positions and departments, dashboards were created for those KPIs, and mostly importantly, a BUDGET was created. When you type out the words above it doesn’t sound like much, but these guys poured themselves into our business for 15 straight weeks, a lot was accomplished. A lot of what was accomplished will allow the business to continue to thrive and grow into the coming years.
As a closing note, Cogent didn’t just help our business but they also helped me. Lee-Smith is our family’s business, it is in a male dominated industry and here I am as a female with big shoes to fill. The lyrics from Taylor Swift’s song “The Man” have played in my head regularly since 2019 when I stepped into a bigger leadership role. It was apparent from the beginning that to make any needed changes I had to be assertive and direct with employees, but I also had to walk the fine line that women in management face. Often many assertive female leaders are faulted for the very same traits that male leaders are applauded for. Chris and Peter provided the leadership training and created the tools to allow me insight into the business which in turn has given me the confidence and permission to stand firm in my decisions and take control in a room full of men.
Taylor Vinson Vice President, Lee-Smith, Inc & Idealease of Chattanooga