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Hacking Leadership
A blog by Proudfoot CEO Pamel Hackett

Vision into Verbs

Sep 18, 2019 | Pamela Hackett

It's a concept we talk about a lot with our clients, particularly when they're looking for real aspiration to be turned into real results. We help leaders and their teams see how they need to Turn Vision into Verbs and engage, enable and energize people to make change a reality. Thanks Pamela Hackett for the #HeadsUp! Life is short - fill it with action!


One Foot in the Future

Sep 18, 2019 | Pamela Hackett

When Wrestling Chaos is a given and #HeadsUp leadership a necessity, it's the new norm to have one foot in the present and one foot in the future. Balancing today's needs with tomorrow's developing business. That's where disruption starts. The intersection of the two.


Spend Money Consciously

Sep 18, 2019 | Pamela Hackett

With recessionary rhetoric in full swing, disruption at everyone’s heels and risk management in many conversations, operational improvement is top of mind. How we as leaders implement a mindset of what Pamela Hackett calls “conscious improvement” is the humanisation of managing costs.


Business FIT for People

Sep 18, 2019 | Pamela Hackett

Recessionary talk is out there but it won't be your dad's recession. This time around, cost reduction won't cut it. As our CEO puts it: Conscious cost leadership needs to be part of your DNA but more importantly, engaged people, energized to help your company thrive, enabling your business to succeed will be the competitive advantage. It always has been.


Energizing Teams = Energizing Customers

Sep 18, 2019 | Pamela Hackett

Smart AND Healthy: The balance between the SMART side of your business - your technology, your systems, your processes, your KPIs and business model, and the HEALTHY side of your organization.

How you engage, enable and energize your people, is the competitive battlefield of today. No matter how smart your company, your organization's health will determine it's success. What if you could achieve both smart and healthy? We know you can. The Future of Business is (Still) People.

The Proudfoot Blog

Transforming How You Transform

Here are three tips to tackle..

23rd September 2019


Bring grassroots change through strong governance by introducing living, breathing, real- time, transformation laboratories (t-Labs), led by your people, where their work gets done. Experimenting, prototyping, measuring and marketing results in real-time sprints, with real- time results that evidence and demonstrate real change.

While popular management speaks of bureaucratically perceived centralized TransformationOffices filled with tick-the box schedules and activity over outcomes, successfultransformations are viewed as operational laboratories populated with teams working in your business. They spark innovative ideas and practices where it counts and implement them in real-time, where they work.


Elon Musk didn’t say ‘humans are underrated’ for nothing. He said it because he knows technology can only get you so far. Going the distance is powered by your people. Leadership and technology are key but the killer app is how you enable your people for grassroots transformation. Transformation starts with aspiration and the journey to make it happen is your people. It’s no longer just about participation, it’s about crowdsourcing. You want people to bring their world of ideas to your work. When you do that you can ask the question ‘how do we get a better outcome?’ not just “how do we make this work better?” From Process Improvement to Hacking Your Business


When hackers strike they go around the traditional ways of working to make change happen. You don’t get large scale transformation through process improvement, you get it by Aerial Development. Process mapping might achieve a better way of working today, but Aerial Mapping your end to end, side to side, bottom up and top down view of work, lets you see between the cracks and over the walls to how everything is connected. That gets real change. Ban process mapping from your vocabulary and replace it with Aerial Development; onlythen can you look through a different lens to get different results; reinvent and reimaginehow work gets done, to enable a new level of results. Hack your business.


Trade tariffs: How can heavy equipment manufacturers offset rising steel costs?

Sep 20, 2019 | Dennis Santare

Trade tariffs are especially problematic for heavy equipment manufacturers, as many rely heavily on cross-border supply chains. The tariffs could represent an increase in costs of production by 6% for agriculture and construction equipment and 7% for mining equipment, according to an IHS Markit/AEM report.

Many equipment manufacturers are not able to pass the rising cost of steel to their customers. But the costs have to be offset somehow, leading many manufacturers to look for fresh approaches to eliminate longstanding supply chain inefficiencies and increase productivity.

What if you could minimize the impact of tariffs and turn your supply chain into a competitive advantage?

Proudfoot's Supply Chain Rapid Assessment gives you a more granular view of costs and opportunities, pinpointing where your supply chain is letting you down. This helps you achieve a new level of precision in your budgeting process and lays a foundation for sustainable improvement in performance.

We then accelerate improvement by implementing world-class systems and tools to increase your supply chain visibility and controls. Even more importantly, we address the human factors that lie at the heart of your operational challenges to improve productivity and reduce costs throughout the business. By engaging your people and establishing a new behavior model you can enable them to make the right decisions and deliver better results at a lower cost. With this approach we recently helped a leading Tier-1 auto supplier increase labor productivity by over 20% and reduce their supply chain overhead cost by over 30%.

Request a Supply Chain Rapid Assessment Contact Proudfoot’s Managing Director of Industrials, Dennis Santare, to initiate a 360-degree assessment and quickly identify your biggest opportunities to improve supply chain performance through a sequence of focused actions:

• Leverage advanced supply chain modeling for a more granular view of costs, opportunities, and trade offs
• Create a behavior model that allows material planners to make more cost-efficient decisions in real-time
• Develop a predictive contingency model to simplify complex supply chain and operational decisions
• Get a road map to navigate evolving economic factors, offset rising costs, and outpace less agile competitors
• Minimize and mitigate the financial impact of tariffs, trade deals, and recession


Organizational redesign: Why cut back when you can lean forward?

Sep 20, 2019 | Dennis Santare

Many SG&A improvement initiatives and cost-reduction measures look like a success on paper when in fact tremendous value was left on the table. For some, it was because the strategy lacked a sufficiently granular evaluation of opportunities and trade-offs. This alone is enough to undermine the benefit of hitting a savings target while sacrificing far more than necessary in the process.

But another opportunity often missed is when the strategy doesn’t take into account the value of the interrelationships between people and processes, and the potential of these interrelationships to generate future value within the new organizational design.

Proudfoot’s Organizational Design Assessment helps our clients go beyond mere “belt-tightening” or “doing more with less” to achieve substantial savings while laying the best foundation for future success and growth. Because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, we don’t look at cost reduction as a subtractive process but rather as a creative process in which you are in effect building a new company. With this approach, we’ve helped our clients get far more from their organizational redesign, leading to impressive results.

Results from Proudfoot:

Organizational Redesigns:
45% improved productivity
40% reduced cost of processing
23% increased overall efficiency
25% improved customer service
50% reduced process cycle time
Dramatically reduced SG&A expenses

Request an Organizational Design Assessment Contact Proudfoot to initiate a two-week Organizational Design Assessment. We will identify your best opportunities to right-size your business and capture significant savings without sacrificing more value than necessary, and improve performance through a sequence of focused actions:

• Examine existing processes and where they add value and re-engineering inefficient procedures
• Identify root causes of performance gaps and creating corrective action plans
• Increase visibility of key performance indicators, cost drivers and process bottlenecks
• Assess bureaucratic layers, behavioral factors, and skill and knowledge gaps
• Shift transactional and unnecessary work to more value-added work
• Ensure the right employees are in the right place within the organization to drive future growth.


Beyond low-hanging fruit: How to reach the next level of productivity

Sep 12, 2019 | Dennis Santare

Most manufacturers⁠—even successful ones⁠—aren’t seeing anywhere near the levels of productivity that their operations are capable of. It’s not for lack of trying; when embarking on a continuous improvement journey to drive excellence in productivity, manufacturers often experience steady progress in the beginning but eventually run into a wall. After all the quick wins have been exhausted, it can become increasingly difficult to capture substantial productivity gains as the project progresses.

How do you go beyond low-hanging fruit to reach that next level of productivity?

The results from implementing a continuous improvement program can diminish over time for a number of reasons.

Issues like these lead many companies to spend a lot of money on continuous improvement without realizing they are going in circles.

Proudfoot’s Continuous Improvement Assessment helps our clients add the missing piece to their continuous improvement program and take the next step toward reaching the true potential of their operations. We provide you and your teams with the capability to identify the root cause of productivity challenges and implement the right course of action so you can stop chasing symptoms and attack problems at the source.

Most importantly, Proudfoot gives you visibility of the human factors that impact productivity. We engage your people to transform behaviors and achieve sustainable improvements in results.

Request a Continuous Improvement Assessment Contact Proudfoot’s Managing Director of Industrials, Dennis Santare, to initiate a three-week 360-degree assessment and elevate your continuous improvement program to world-class standards. Shift from underperformance to operational excellence through a sequence of focused actions:

• Establish a structured process to consistently identify the root cause of issues and the right course of action
• Enhance data capture and analysis systems to ensure process intervention is truly driving improvement
• Put effective control plans in place so workers know how to react to issues to ensure results are maintained
• Gain visibility of human factors impacting productivity and a management framework to drive improvement
• Engage your people to transform behaviors and drive sustainable productivity increases of 20% or more.


How much is S&OP misalignment costing your business?

Sep 06, 2019 | Dennis Santare

More than ever, businesses today operate through a complex, interconnected system of handoffs. Often what looks like underperformance in one department is in fact a symptom of underlying misalignment between several business units, each acting on competing priorities.


Solving the people challenge of engineering productivity

Sep 05, 2019 | Tony Zuanich

It is critical to keep up with your competition’s ability to bring new and innovative products to market, yet many companies suffer from excessively long and costly engineering cycles. Most engineering programs aren’t reaching the levels of productivity possible due to a range of issues.

How do you enable your engineers to deliver better results at a lower cost?

The first step is to initiate an Engineering Productivity Opportunity Assessment. This two-week analysis shows you your engineering program from all perspectives, giving you a granular view of inefficiencies across all facets. It charts a course to unlock your engineering team's true potential by addressing your pain points at the root of the problem.

Sometimes challenges can stem from engineers spending too much time on admin work or getting involved in unnecessary meetings, but in most cases underperformance is due to the compounded impact of many interrelated problems which requires a holistic solution.

Request an Engineering Productivity Opportunity Assessment Contact Executive Vice President, Tony Zuanich to initiate a two-week analysis and identify your best opportunities to improve engineering performance through a sequence of focused actions:

• Gain a more granular view of engineering inefficiencies, opportunities, and TonyZuanich4trade-offs and chart a course to reduce costs by 30% or more
• Free capacity through the strategic reduction of rework, firefighting and admin activities
• Define project priorities to ensure focus, reduce interruptions, and ensure every commitment can be met in time and on budget
• Install top down/bottom up planning to ensure transparency on milestones and deliverables
• Establish KPIs for plan attainment, capacity, quality and cost


Struggling to find rail talent in a tough labor market? Get productive first.

15th August 2019 | Joe Rattanakhom & Dennis Santare

Across the rail industry, shortages in skilled labor and gaps in knowledge management are beginning to affect operations, meaning organizations across the sector are left to navigate structural challenges with respect to safety, operations, morale, and profits.

How can you combat these industry-wide trends, improve throughput, and build a culture of efficiency and continuous improvement without adding any resources? It all starts with your people, the front-line workers, supervisors, and folks on the ground where the work gets done.


How a major food producer transformed a struggling plant and boosted worker morale

Jul 02, 2019 | Dennis Santare

When a major food producer acquired a new production facility to keep up with growing demand, the plant faced challenges in nearly every phase of operations. Throughput and quality were suffering, costs were increasing, and the work force was frustrated. With the help of Proudfoot, they rapidly transformed their wall-to-wall operations and engaged the enthusiasm of their people.


Tough time finding aerospace technicians? Get more productive first

Jul 01, 2019 | Dennis Santare & Mike Howard

Over the last decade, the aviation industry has experienced unprecedented growth, leading to major shifts and changes in the way the market has functioned and will function going forward. Since the end of the downturn almost a decade ago, Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs), a common measure of airline performance, has averaged year-on-year growth of over 6% (source: IATA).

This growth has been a boon for airlines and is indicative of the overall strength of the global economy. However, with growth comes challenges. One of the most pressing of these challenges for airlines, and adjacent maintenance organizations, is the ongoing struggle to meet labor requirements.


Minimizing the Impact of Trade Tariffs on Your Supply Chain

May 20, 2019 | Phil Alessi

Every day there is more news about international trade. It can be quite a challenge to make the best decisions for your supply chain without knowing how the environment may change. Not only do you have to consider the potential impact on costs, but also the effects on the performance of your global supply chain. Are you losing sleep over how tariffs might throw a wrench into your cross-border operations? Let’s explore what the impact could be and examine some possible solutions.


6 Considerations for Safer Operations

Apr 24, 2019 | Natural Resources

When companies prioritize safe, healthy operations, they enable their people to bring their best to work.


Accelerating Growth Video Series: Successful Contractor Management

Mar 21, 2019 | Natural Resources

Last year, Proudfoot worked with five of the top mining construction companies worldwide. Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, share insight into the processes that lead to successful contractor management – from contract to performance measurement systems to project completion -- on large-scale, complex projects in this brief informative video.


Accelerating Growth Video Series: Length of Engagement

Mar 18, 2019 | Natural Resources

What if you could make significant headway on your most pressing goals, delivering tomorrow’s results, today? With Proudfoot, you can.

Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, discuss the benefits and flexibility of both short- and long-term engagements, including a project that started as a 6-month engagement and expanded to a 2-year engagement, ultimately bringing in over $184 million in annualized benefits for the client. At Proudfoot, we take pride in providing measurable financial benefits to our clients.

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Accelerating Growth Video Series: Working With Mining Companies

Mar 14, 2019 | Natural Resources

Proudfoot has a long history of working with top global mining companies on some of the most interesting and challenging developments in the world.

We’ve learned a few things in our 73 years of putting our boots on the ground, including how to quickly and thoroughly assess complex operations and provide specific, measurable, actionable solutions. Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, discuss our work in this brief engaging video.


Accelerating Growth Video Series: Safe Operations

Mar 11, 2019 | Natural Resources

What if you could develop an ambitious new project safely, on time and on budget? With Proudfoot, you can. Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, discuss the three key priorities that create an aligned, sustainable, safe operations environment.


Accelerating Growth Video Series: Risk, Safety & Productivity

Mar 07, 2019 | Natural Resources

Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, discuss keeping risk out of projects by having a plan, and working the plan. When safety improves, productivity improves as well. Find out more in this brief, informative video.


Accelerating Growth Video Series: Boots On the Ground

Mar 06, 2019 | Natural Resources

Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, discuss Proudfoot’s unique “boots on the ground” approach, which allows us to become intimately familiar with our clients’ operations at every level, from the C-suite to the front lines, and how that approach equips us to better serve our clients. Learn more in this brief informative video:


Accelerating Growth Video Series: Integrated Planning Process

Mar 05, 2019 | Natural Resources

Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, discuss how Proudfoot applies over seven decades of expertise to create innovative, effective solutions for our clients. How did the manufacturing sector inspire a custom product for a mining client? Learn more in this brief informative video:


Accelerating Growth Video Series: Social License & Sustainability

Mar 01, 2019 | Natural Resources

Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, discuss social license to operate and sustainability in this brief informative video. Are you prepared for the future of mining?


Accelerating Growth Video Series: Large Scale Capital Projects

Feb 22, 2019 | Natural Resources

Jon Wylie, President of Global Natural Resources at Proudfoot, and Paul Batten, Vice President of Operations, discuss how to effectively and safely accelerate growth in large scale capital projects. Do you have organization-wide alignment? Are your people leading at all levels? Is your leadership approach instructive? Learn how to effectively accelerate growth in these informative videos.


Active Management, Business Intelligence & the Importance of Front Line Managers

Jan 22, 2019 | Dennis Santare

As businesses get smarter and operations more efficient, we’ve seen many companies install a wide variety of business intelligence (BI) tools, all meant to improve systemwide performance management.

It's a great trend, and at many of our clients, these tools and techniques are yielding great results. But as teams adjust to these smarter ways of working, senior management often becomes over-reliant on their tools, leading to a self-perpetuating system that works only for the sake of providing insights to senior managers. Insight is important, of course, but helping the people who turn the wrenches achieve their targeted results is always the ultimate goal.


Interview With Jonathan Robinson, New VP Ops for MRO Americas

Jan 08, 2019 | Dennis Santare

Dennis Santare: Good evening everyone, I'm here with Jonathan Robinson, Proudfoot's new V.P. of Operations for MRO. He Joins us with an extensive background in aerospace and defense and in MRO consulting.

I wanted to get to Jonathan's thoughts about joining the firm and some of the trends he's seeing out there in the market and what he thinks he could bring to bear for us. We're extremely excited to have him! We've chased him for a long time, and we're beyond excited that he accepted his offer to join us in this MRO journey. Without further ado, Mr. Jonathan Robertson -- hi Jonathan, how are you?


Interview With St. John Cameron, MD Asia, Regarding Aerospace MRO

Dec 05, 2018 | Dennis Santare

Dennis Santare (MD, MRO Americas): Hello everyone. I’m talking with St. John Cameron, our MD from Asia who recently, with his team, completed a project for a major aircraft aerospace MRO in Asia. We learned a lot, the client gained a lot, and we wanted to take some time to share that with you. Welcome St John, it's great to have you.

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Winning a new client by freeing up 250 man days of hangar capacity?

Nov 29, 2018 | Crispin White

We enabled a leading aircraft maintenance company to take on 10 percent more work with no extra resources. And no safety or quality compromises.


Interview With Mike Howard, New EVP of MRO Americas

Nov 19, 2018 | Dennis Santare

Dennis Santare (MD, US MRO): This is an interview with Michael Howard who is joining Proudfoot as an executive vice president in the MRO practice. Mike, welcome to the firm!


Improving Your Digital Transformation Success Rate

Nov 16, 2018 | John Harms

McKinsey’s 2018 article, “Unlocking Success in Digital Transformations” paints a bleak picture for the success of digital transformation. They indicated that, while more traditional transformations have shown a success rate of less than 30%, digital transformations also appear to be difficult. Only 23% of respondents indicated that their organization’s digital transformation has successfully improved performance. And only 16% of these same respondents indicated these changes were also sustainable.


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Managers

Oct 09, 2018 | Tim Gaffron

I know what you are thinking, that title reminds you of Steven Covey’s Book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," and yes, that is the inspiration for my thoughts on successful managers.


Thinking Outside the Box with MRO Methodologies

Sep 25, 2018 | Dennis Santare

As the 6-month mark approaches for my time leading the MRO Americas practice at Proudfoot, I wanted to follow up on my previous post outlining some of the key takeaways I’ve gotten from moving out of the aviation industry and back into the consulting world. As a former US Marine Aviator, and with 10 years’ experience at leading aviation MROs, seeing all of the advancements from other maintenance-heavy industries has given me new insights that I’ve been able to share with our Proudfoot clients.


Achieving Rapid Results in Digital Transformation

Sep 17, 2018 | John Harms

Digital Transformation is everywhere, splashed across websites and publications, in all industries around the world. This single term, however, has a vast range of meanings. There is no one size fits all approach to Digital Transformation. Each company starts from a different place. Each company has unique capabilities and challenges. Each senior executive must tailor the company’s approach to Digital Transformation to fit their own unique situation.


Turning MRO Into a Competitive Advantage

Aug 28, 2018 | Dennis Santare

April 15th, an inauspicious day for many, was a great one for me. After 10+ years in the US Marine Corps followed by eight years in the aviation MRO industry, I was given the opportunity to lead Proudfoot’s MRO Practice. I arrived viewing maintenance strategy from 30,000 feet and at 500 knots, and I was certain that I would be bringing “best practice” from the aircraft industry to spread across its “less developed” brethren.


Balanced and Aligned

Aug 20, 2018 | Nick Palmer

Market pressures, new opportunities and organizational drift have compelled you and your leadership team to transform the company. You have laid the groundwork – clarified strategy, identified differentiating capabilities and assessed gaps. Yet you know, both from studies and in your gut, that most transformation efforts fall far short of expectations. For most firms much of their investment in transformation proves wasted.


Triggering Transformation: Change by Choice

Jul 25, 2018 | Nick Palmer

In a business world beset by change and surprise, bedrock truths remain. When properly built and maintained, machines – including IT systems – do what they were designed to do. But those machines or systems only create value when interacting with people: specifically, your customers and your employees.


From Stars to Star Makers

Jun 05, 2018 | Joel Kadish

Are your front-line leaders enabled to excel in their expanding role? Supervisors and foremen – your front-line leaders – work day-to-day with their teams developing a detailed understanding of the workplace, its daily challenges, and its opportunities. They ensure teams meet targets and enable those teams to resolve challenges. They make decisions that affect the success of your business.


Tangible Returns: Can Your Consultant Do the Same?

Apr 19, 2018 | John Kovalchick

For over 70 years Proudfoot has delivered and tracked significant, real benefits for our clients. We thought all consultants did the same. We were wrong, and now we know why.


What's Your Company's Killer App?

Apr 10, 2018 | Pamela Hackett

What’s your killer app? HINT: It’s hiding in plain sight. It’s released through a different kind of innovation. And it’s not technology.


Leading from the Front

Mar 21, 2018 | John Harms

Contrary to popular myth, front-line managers want to effect change and want to commit to making it happen. Unfortunately, they feel helpless. Senior leaders risk losing their greatest advocates – the lynchpin players in transformation.


People at the Heart of Operational Excellence

Mar 08, 2018 | Andreas Paetz

In recent weeks, I have been involved with two customers regarding Operational Excellence at two different stages of their deployment. I was thrilled to see the ambition and vision these organizations demonstrated in order to pursue a plan to achieve.


C-Ingful: Real Transformation

Feb 09, 2018 | Nick Palmer

As a leader, you strive constantly to make your company more successful. You reply to emails at 4:30 AM before an early flight and check them again at midnight. Your taxi time is consumed with calls and problem solving, and those problems remain in mind while carving the Thanksgiving turkey.


Transformation: Driven by People

Feb 07, 2018 | Aleksander Szojer

All important decisions and actions we take are driven by emotions. There are countless examples that show that successful leadership is achieved by those who win the hearts of their people.


Five Critical Success Factors for an Effective Resource Sharing Architecture

Jan 25, 2018 | Tim Gaffron

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world economy grew 3.6% last year and is projected to grow 3.7% this year. This has caught a lot of companies off guard and they are struggling to meet demand. Many of our clients are asking us how they can increase throughput, OEE or improve labor productivity.