First Post, Welcome

You’ve found the blog for Firebrick Advisory, a business process improvement consulting firm.  For this first post, I’d like to introduce us and highlight some points that make us unique.

We believe that every organization, large or small, is capable of achieving operational efficiency.  However, the path to achieving it is a very difficult journey: day-to-day operations provide a plethora of challenges, marketplace shifts impact customer demands and supplier capacity, regulations impose additional costs and constraints; the list is endless.  Who has the time to think about, let alone begin working toward, operational efficiency?

Consider this: professional athletes work with coaches (sometimes multiple coaches) to hone strengths, learn from feedback, and improve on weaknesses.   When competition day arrives, the weather may be sunny or rainy, the risk of injury from overexertion is greater, officials may not always rule in the athlete’s favor, but a good coach will have prepared the athlete to be able to face whatever obstacles may arise.   Organizations can benefit from coaches to provide external insights, best practices, and techniques to improve strengths and close gaps in weaknesses.  External forces will always exist that will require an organization to change, but an optimally running organization is better equipped to take on those challenges and is more flexible to respond to catastrophic occurrences.

Firebrick Advisory brings three aspects to an organization that is facing operational challenges.

  • Analytics (stemming from Big Data, Statistical Analysis, Engineering) – Being able to define, capture, and collect data throughout the organization to discover insights on existing business processes and decisions-making heuristics.  Data and factual evidence is the foundation on which the organization can learn to become operationally efficient.
  • Practical approach to Theory vs Practice (stemming from Theory of Constraints, Lean, Six Sigma, Economics) – Understanding the difference between what is realistic and what is ideal as far as capability and appetite for an organization to achieve operational efficiency.  Capturing real results quickly is the best way to validate any undertaking.
  • Partnering for success (relating to “skin in the game”, performance based results, building lasting sustainable relationships) – Developing in-house systemic capabilities such that operational efficiency is not lost when the project is complete.  Fitness coaches teach clients how to live a healthy lifestyle as a way to keep off the fat, we work with organizations to become and remain efficient.

So that’s us in a nutshell.