I was asked by Mike Beadle to write a letter covering my opinion of the service provided by the Project Directors for my company, BT Services. Overall, I was very satisfied with the engagement and I believe that we are in a much better place today than we were prior to Cogent being on site. My only real concern moving forward has to do with the on-going allocation and use of tools to assist in in continue to put a lot of the practices we have discussed in place. Due to the type of engagement we had and the needs which were required to address in that time, we ended up spending a significant amount of time focusing on reorganization, company structure, job roles descriptions, and other various organization needs. This was absolutely essential for our success moving forward, but did limit the amount of time we had digging into the numbers. On top of that, I was required to miss 1 ½ weeks of our time with Mike for a conference.
Over the course of my time with Mike, I have received several tools to assist in various aspects of our company. Those include a labor burden calculation tool, adjustments to our current estimating spreadsheet to add break even and true profit on all bids, evaluation templates, a cash flow-analysis tool, and several other forms. Many of the tools are new to me and I have not had a great deal of time to get to know them, but we are spending a large amount of time in our final week discussing them further. Most of them will take getting used to, but I see the value in all of them so far.
As we have progressed through the engagement, our staff has been involved a great deal. There have been times that participation levels (or “buy-in”} has dropped or caused some heart burn, but I can honestly say that we are all moving in the same direction today. We still have a long way to go on breaking old habits and changing some individual mindsets, but I think we have the core team in place and everyone is buying in currently.
This process has been absolutely essential for me in changing my perspective on the company and on the direction we are going. For the most part, these issues were known and the overall vision was established, but the main impediment for the change was simply not knowing how to get there. Having the 3rd party perspective and leadership in those areas has been the most valuable thing that I have gotten out of all of this. I have received great feedback, support, and accountability in turning my vision into reality. As stated above, we have a long way to go, but for the first time in a very long time, I can say that I see us on a positive track.
I am absolutely committed to continuing this process as we move forward. We have made such a huge investment (financial , time, effort, etc.) into making this happen that not continuing would be a complete waste. I think the hardest part will be the weeks immediately following Mike’s departure as we transition into life without having him on site every day. I definitely understand that this is a long-term project and just because the engagement is over doesn’t mean that the overall project is. I’ m looking forward to staying in touch with Mike moving forward with our progress and to discuss further issues as they arise. It will also be nice to have him come back periodically to work in house for a week to ensure we are still on track.
Overall, this has been a great experience and I look forward to seeing the progress we can continue to make in the future.
Vice President, BT Services