Sample Client Initiatives...
Performance Improvement Case Studies
At Cambridge Consulting, our professionals have been engaged with
helping client organizations successfully implement performance improvement
initiatives since 1983. While many clients are reluctant to take the time
to assess actual benefits associated with a performance development initiative,
those that do can enjoy dual benefits. First, they can clearly see the ROI
associated with their efforts. Second, they tend to get greater management
support for subsequent efforts.
Below are a few examples of initiatives where our support was instrumental in
assisting client organizations in achieving performance improvement that adds to
the bottom line.
An 18-month consulting engagement where we worked with
senior management down to shop floor personnel to improve manufacturing
performance for a major U.S. automotive manufacturer facility in
Michigan. As a significant part of this initiative, we used the elements
of our workshops entitled A Systems Approach to Project Management and Managing
Problems and Decisions.
a measured improvement effort using these new techniques in the new component
manufacturing facility, they experienced a 30% increase in productivity along
with a 50% reduction in overtime.
A global advertising agency was looking for ways to substantially
increase their profit margins and client satisfaction in the face of less
retainer work, increasingly more complex digital projects, and clients looking
to stretch their advertising investment.
Through the targeted and measured use of Cambridge Consulting project management
techniques on major accounts, they increased margin performance by an average of
15%. The ultimate return on their performance development investment was 6 to 1
(i.e., $6 dollars for every dollar invested).
A major Global Professional Services Firm did a
detailed needs analysis and found that there was a need for fundamental
project management skills throughout the organization. They had worked
for over a year with different approaches, but found that they lacked the
flexibility to be effective in a diverse professional services organization of
After an extended evaluation period, they contracted with
Cambridge Consulting to certify 17 facilitators who in turn have trained about
500 employees per year since 1999.
part of this initiative, they gathered field test data where they asked
participants what they used, how, and what kinds of results they achieved.
the first year, they calculated that the entire program had paid for itself in
project savings and cost avoidance. In addition, people tended to feel
far more confident about achieving results the first time out.
A Global Financial Services/Investment Firm
initiative was conceived after an internal survey revealed that client focus
was a top priority for employee development within the firm's Investment
Management group. A secondary need was to improve team effectiveness in
The decision was made to design an initiative with much
greater reach and impact than an isolated event (i.e., a training
class). Experience had demonstrated that post-training fade out is a
predictable and rapid phenomenon. The goal was to initiate a continuous
improvement process designed to enhance both client service and teamwork over
the long term. The phrase "The race for excellence has no
finishers but many winners" was used to drive home the point that
this initiative represents an ongoing focus on improving client service in a
way that will provide a competitive advantage.
Cambridge Consulting was selected from a group of
prospective vendor/partners to support the client on this initiative because
of their use of a systematic approach to service improvement and team
development. The initiative was completed in two phases:
Phase One: To ensure a common frame of
reference on the competencies required to provide excellent service, and to
begin identifying and removing systemic barriers to service excellence.
- One-day workshop for all targeted employees
- Strategy sessions to address systemic issues, projects
and quick hits to resolve systemic barriers to service excellence
- Initial survey of internal clients
Phase Two: To document and share best practices
around client service, and to provide employees with the opportunity to
identify personal plans for improving the level of service provided to
internal and external clients.
- Custom developed one-day advanced session for all
- Follow-up survey
- Draft copy of "Guide to Service Excellence"
which included best practices for successful relationship management
Q2 1999, all quick hits and projects were completed on time and within
targeted employees completed Phase One workshop
version of "Guide to Service Excellence" (i.e., documented best
survey in U.S. showed that 83% of client respondents observed some or
great improvement in the level of service received from participating employees
A major U.S. Airline had a
need to quickly get their people up to speed on a problem solving
methodology. They decided that the most cost effective option was to
have their professionals certified to deliver a workshop in-house. They
chose Cambridge Consulting over Kepner Tregoe because, after reviewing
both programs and approaches, they concluded that the Cambridge offering was
The Cambridge process, approach
and materials were more flexible, intuitive and easier to use. This
was important in an environment where nothing gets used unless it's easy,
fast and highly applicable.
Cambridge was extremely easy to
work with. They had been using the Cambridge Consulting project
management workshop, and the level of service provided was excellent.
The cost of both conducting the
training and facilitator certification was more attractive with the
Cambridge Consulting option.
client was able to quickly get their facilitators certified and key people
trained in a cost effective manner.
A Global High Technology
Manufacturing and Professional Services Organization was experiencing
costly warranty problems due to the inability of field technicians to quickly
and correctly diagnose the cause of customer problems with their
products. We helped them to deploy a customized problem solving process
for their field service technicians.
of the problem solving techniques enabled the client to significantly reduce
warranty and repair costs associated with misdiagnosed problems. We also
helped them to identify and remove key systemic barriers to skill application.
Cambridge Consulting collaborated with a major U.S. consumer products manufacturer on a
project to develop and implement a Quality
Improvement initiative designed to improve quality and profitability while
reducing costs. As part of this effort, Cambridge worked with the client to develop
and implement key components of the initiative including:
- A Quality
Improvement Process that formed the nucleus of the initiative. It
Processes for setting goals and analyzing barriers to
Tools for analyzing problems and verifying root cause
Processes for developing, evaluating and selecting
Techniques for ensuring support for recommended
solutions within the organization
Tools for planning and implementing the appropriate
Approaches for measuring and monitoring the results
- A Strategic
Quality Leadership Process for use by management to ensure the
appropriate level of involvement and support at the middle and senior
- A Quality
Awareness Program to ensure that all employees knew what was
happening, why, and what their role would be.
training, certification and consulting support for all of the above.
Hundreds of project teams at over 40 locations throughout the U.S.
85% of projects were non-capital. In those projects, an average of less
than $5K per project was spent on hardware and equipment.
Over 80% of projects hit budget and schedule targets
Average cycle time per project reduced from 180 to 86 days
Average project result: $143,000 in revenue improvement or real cost