ABOUT HUDSON BUSINESS ANALYTICS
Hudson Business Analytics is a boutique management consulting firm specializing in Business Analytics and Continuous Improvement. Our business analytics work is dedicated to solving our clients’ data and analytics-related challenges, ultimately helping them transform their companies into data-driven, analytics-based organizations.
Our continuous improvement work is focused on improving our clients’ business processes. We also place prime importance on the sustainment of improvements going forward.
The ultimate objective is increasing our clients’ value by improving their ability to make better decisions on both tactical and strategic issues, and by helping them adopt optimized, best-practices business processes that deliver the highest-impact, lowest-cost solutions.
John is a leader in the transformation of business environments to data driven, analytics-based organizations. He has been at the forefront of the continuous improvement movement and has pioneered new techniques and methodologies in the areas of manufacturing and business process improvement. His background has included senior positions in Finance/Accounting, Business Analytics, Manufacturing and Service Operations, and Operations Policy and Procedures.
Diana is a highly skilled analyst and solution developer. Her education, training and background are in mathematics, computer science, and business. She has extensive experience in developing analytics-based solutions at both the executive and operations levels. She has held staff and management positions in Business Analytics and Statistics, Accounting Systems Design, and IT/Programming.
DOES HUDSON HAVE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR?
Your Requirements in a Consulting Partner
- A deep understanding of business operations, business people, and operating environments.
- The ability to connect a company’s operational performance to its financial results.
- An analytical approach to operations and financial evaluations and decisions.
- Ability to thoroughly review business operations for improvement opportunities.
- Years of hands-on experience performing and managing business operations.
- Years of experience in controllerships and other roles with financial reporting responsibilities.
- A leader in the use of business analytics to better understand and improve businesses.
- A leader in the use of value stream reviews and continuous improvement methodologies.
ORIGIN OF THE HUDSON PHILOSOPHY
The Hudson philosophy began with a series of observations about businesses and the way they are run. It has been informed heavily over time by our observations about human nature, the way people operate when confronted with change, the dynamic of the individual versus the group, the role that opinions play versus facts, gut feels versus verified information, and so on.
The formation of our operating philosophy took place in some early experiences with continuous improvement methodologies. In our participation in Lean Sigma projects, Kaizens, and other group efforts related to business processes, we were constantly amazed at the difference in perceptions about how things were being done within organizations. Specifically, we were amazed at the difference between the way management thought things were done, and the way they were really done at the operations level.
It struck us as that plain common sense said it would be highly unlikely for an organization to hit its strategic goals when there was such misalignment between the folks making the plan, and the folks carrying it out. We even saw that folks had developed a way of talking about things, a very non-specific way of talking, that seemed particularly designed to make sure that nobody asked too many questions, or delved too deeply into the weeds. Operations were said to be ‘on-track’, processes were ‘in place’, risks were ‘being managed’; yet, at the end of the game, goals were being missed. The missed goals could always be explained by stories about reasons that all made some kind of sense, yet somehow were never voiced along the way.
As our participation in value-streams led to leadership roles in those exercises, we developed ever more powerful methods of asking questions that led to breakthroughs and opportunities for real improvement. This approach was working, but it was labor intensive. More than that, sustaining the improvements that were made was always a challenge. The reports on the sustainment effort often went the way the initial reports to management went. It was always agreed that sustainment was important, and it was always reported that the new processes were in place and working well. However, too often, after a few months, things started reverting back to the ways they were done prior to the improvement effort, or they morphed into some new thing that was not part of the plan.
As our responsibilities for improving operations and business processes grew, it also started to become obvious that the organizations were not using their data correctly. And this was causing some major problems.
PROCESSES AND DATA
As we dug into why some of the processes were not working right, we found that the data entered in the systems was often wrong, or outdated, or misunderstood. People entered and read data like automatons, without much actual thought as to what they were doing. As long as information showed up on a screen, it was accepted as gospel and used. So, there was that.
To make matters worse, we saw that the bad data was supporting the miscommunication and misalignment between the operations and management levels. Everybody had a report showing their version of the truth. It was impossible that they could all be right. Yet, as long as folks had their numbers in black-and-white, they felt as though they alone owned the truth.
We realized that, not only were these faulty numbers fostering an environment with alternate realities on an everyday basis, but they would also make any tracking of the sustainment part of our continuous improvement projects subject to the same kind of selective truth-telling. So, no matter what kind of great work was done on process improvements, there was a good chance they would all go up in smoke due to faulty reporting of activities and results.
A NEW KIND OF MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The upshot of it all was the development of a new kind of management system that fused the best elements of the continuous improvement world with a concentrated effort to do the data part right by bringing on board the best business intelligence and analytics tools available.
The vision for this new system is a closed-loop of activities that starts with a new way of examining current business processes; not just by spending time with the operations folks, but also through a deep analysis of the data related to their business processes. Sometimes, our clients’ data needs to be cleaned up before any truly meaningful analysis can be done. In any event, once the examination is done, process improvements are put in place, again supported by a business analytics element that increases the chances of success.
Finally, a reporting regime is built around the improvements so that senior leadership as well as operations-level managers can ensure that things are on track, and that they are all reading from the same sheet of music when it comes to the metrics and other reporting tools that are set up to monitor progress and sustainment.
The result is an organization that operates in constant search mode for opportunities to do things better. The organization’s operating environment is continuously monitored by a customized group of business intelligence and analytics tools designed to provide early warnings when things seem to be going off track. Performance from one end of the organization to the other is measured and reported on, at summary levels, and at detailed levels, in a consistent way through all levels of the organization. And, when things have gone off track, as they inevitably do, a system is in place and ready to put them back on track and monitor them appropriately.
To discuss how we can begin working together on your next project, contact our managing partner, John Bohrman, today at: