Operational & Strategic Advisory for Family-Owned Business

Strategic & Financial Advisory, Operational Improvements, Interim COO/CFO

Construction and environmental remediation

The Bottom Line:   

As advisor to a family office owning very successful and rapidly growing construction and environmental remediation companies, Stapleton Group identified and resolved management and operational issues hindering future growth. Key actions leading to the successful outcome included:

  • Establishing measurable accountability procedures that enhanced the team’s capacity to grow the company and compressed the billing cycle resulting in improved customer satisfaction, cash flow, and profitability;
  • Identifying redundancy within the executive team and underperforming personnel;
  • Creating a comprehensive list of issues facing the company and leading senior management through a rigorous prioritization process to drive consensus;
  • Implementing regular management and operating reports, chairing management meetings, and mentoring executive team;
  • Developing a responsibility matrix to facilitate middle management’s ability to make decisions and improving communications with respect to planning and results; and
  • Revising forecasting and budgeting procedures.

The Business Issue:

After undergoing two to three years of rapid growth, including the addition of multiple new business entities, a president had been hired to run the largest of the companies. However, the company’s principals did not clearly define the president’s and operating team’s responsibilities, resulting in bottlenecks and poor communication. The organization’s infrastructure and workflow issues persisted while the company continued its rapid growth, leading to inflated overhead, reduced margins, and dissatisfied customers. Ultimately the company’s structural instability threatened its ability to react to future and regular industry downturns.

Genesis of Stapleton’s Engagement:

The company’s shareholders had been trying to establish a family office operation for many years to oversee its investments, including multiple operating divisions. When the newly hired president struggled at excelling in his role, the shareholders realized they needed outside advice. Stapleton was referred to the principals by a professional advisor to the company familiar with our ability to quickly understand the root causes of symptoms and efficiently act to implement permanent solutions.

Obstacles and Stapleton’s Solutions:

  • The company’s shareholders recognized the operations were suffering from bottlenecks but had failed to implement remedies.
    • Stapleton spent 3-4 weeks assessing operations, identifying 50+ continuous improvement initiatives.
    • Stapleton developed a methodology to prioritize the initiatives then coordinated the executive team to vote and agree on the most important initiatives to tackle.
  • The management team was dysfunctional, lacked accountability, and was inexperienced at data tracking and analytics.
    • Stapleton strongly recommended initiating operational metrics meetings.
    • Stapleton coordinated identifying the most impactful initiatives and helped launch weekly meetings to tackle a) billing cycles, and b) Inventory control.
    • Stapleton developed and implemented sophisticated tracking spreadsheets to monitor performance and work order compliance of individual field personnel. The company initiated weekly field performance review meetings based on the data collected, quickly resulting in a turnaround of the work order completion process and sharply reducing the billing cycle. 
  • The company’s VP of Operations was not a good cultural fit and was underperforming.
    • Stapleton strongly recommended and convinced the company’s president to eliminate this role and restructure the org chart.
    • The change was adopted, leading to a flatter, more flexible organization.

Contact Mike Bergthold at (213) 404-0113 to learn more.

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