Operations Talent: Insights from Peter

Businesses are using independent talent, on demand, to improve operations - whether that's by undertaking an end-to-end strategic transformation, or targeting fixes for specific links in an operational footprint, talent like Peter become integral to delivering success to portfolio companies. 

1. When you’re at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?
Interim COO, CSCO - taking on Operations and Supply Chain transformational projects or running the show short-term. Focused on Manufacturing and Distribution companies.

2. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer to the operating teams/portfolio company leadership? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?
An Interim or Fractional COO is a low-risk, no-commitment opportunity to solve immediate problems.  You will see an immediate ROI if:

a) you are passing on market opportunities because you just don't have the senior leadership bandwidth,

b) you have cost opportunities in operations, supply chain, pricing or logistics that you don't have time to execute, or

c) the company is running you instead of the other way around, and you need just enough structure and alignment to control the chaos without slowing you down.

3. Why do you think there is increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams?
PE firms don't have time to waste. And the speed of the company's transformation is limited by top leadership bandwidth. Interim executives supplement that bandwidth, make substantial improvements which increase the company's value, and ensure the improvements are sustainable by transitioning well to the existing team.

4. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.
I was hired by a logistics firm to identify opportunities to take a break-even operation to profitability.  They are now on track for a $1M net profit improvement over the previous year.  Key improvements included:

a) transitioned in a new warehouse manager and kept the boat afloat during the gap

b) used lean manufacturing to improve pick-and-pack operations costs by 18%

c) exited 20 unprofitable customers

d) improved invoicing processes to ensure customer billing of services provided

When the new warehouse manager was up-to-speed, I bowed out.  The client requested that I mentor their Operations Director and Finance Director as well as running their financial reviews based on improvements I had recommended.

5. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on an independent career as to how they can provide the best results for a client, while fulfilling their own career path?
Find that one thing you do better than anyone else and only accept assignments in that area. 100% of clients will be blown away by how quickly and thoroughly you helped them.


If you'd like to engage with someone like Peter, then post a project today, or contact us for more ideas on building global talent pools and future workforce planning.

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