Thoughts on Cogent/Carroll Burnette
I was stand off-ish towards Cogent’s continued check-ins at first. I hate being sold anything. At the same time, I was floundering, trying to determine how long we had until we were just going to end the insanity of trying to run this business.
After agreeing to have Merlin come in and help us identify the countless issues I was already aware of, and some of the serious ones I hadn’t considered, we (Pam and I) agreed to a new project to help with Organization Structure, Cleaning up the financials so that we can access and use accurate data to make business decisions, and leadership help.
My primary focus for the last 5 weeks has been on setting up and implementing procedures and processes to streamline our operations and to provide vital data on a daily basis to gain a pulse on the business. Carroll Burnette played the pivotal role in teaching me how to do most of these things. He is a great fit for me (and the team) because he is such a good teacher. I think he understands the importance of leading a horse to water, and teaching a man to fish.
I don’t think this project would have succeeded in the ways that it has if he hadn’t been willing to teach me. His focus on my personal leadership qualities was essential. His knowledge of business as a whole, and specifically the nuts and bolts of efficient operations and accountability/leadership were essential to the success of the project.
His time spent on clearly communicating serious opportunities in the business work flow, cash flow, and operational structure were pivotal to the success of the project.
My over-all experience has been extremely positive with Cogent Analytics and with Carroll Burnette. My biggest take a-ways are three fold: 1) Before allowing Cogent in to help, I personally came to a realization that I couldn’t change the issues I had identified without help from someone who could quickly assess and offer real solutions. Those solutions were offered and are still being offered as we wrap up the initial project. 2) Before allowing Cogent in to help, I realized a lack of leadership, and leadership qualities that need to be continually fed and exercised. Carroll and his team were able to assist with pushing me to just do some of the things I was afraid to do. And I have a greater confidence in my ability to lead these people after having seen Carroll do so and felt Carroll push me through a few difficult limits I had placed in my own way. 3) The ability for us to gather, sort, and retain valuable information on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis will be instrumental in reaching the goals we’ve set out to attain; profitability, efficiency, cost effective management of the business.
I’m excited for the future. If I could afford to move Carroll Burnette to Nashville and pay him a decent salary, I would! I’m grateful for Rob Braiman and for Bill Shapcott for continuing to pursue a relationship with Yard Dog Fence with the intention of seeing us succeed. I’m grateful for Merlin VanGerpen the human calculator for helping Pam (and myself) see the need for just getting some help. I’m mostly grateful for Carroll Burnette (for doing his job) but also for just seeming to really care about me and my family (and in turn this company). There is no doubt in my mind that having Cogent in to assist in navigating us through some deep water is going to turn out to be the best investment I have made in this company to date.
– Justin Worley
President, Yard Dog Fence