Process Improvement Experience

For one of the worlds largest insurance brokers, in preparation of a formal Data Stewardship program, Mr. Hochron laid the groundwork for business project that focused on: (a) prospect/client identification, as a function of the companyís corporate family tree, (b) identification of client eligibility for new new revenue, and (c) association of the sales/service colleague to the identified client.  The scope of this effort was initially the US, but was architected to support global variances.  Prior to this effort, local offices would define (and invest time defending) what they felt was a new client, new (vs expanded revenue) and who was eligible to see that clients reports.  With the advent of this project, the rules were unambiguously defined and will be codified such that reliable controls are in place.  A big part of this project were the organizational changes necessary to not only make this happen, but to strategically transform the company from being internally focused (on profit center P&L) to be externally focused (based on client opportunities globally). This project followed the Six Sigma methodology for reengineering.

For an international retailer/manufacturer, Mr. Hochron led the requirements gathering and tool selection phase for a Financial Planning and Analysis system for the companies CFO.  At issue were the high number of manual spreadsheets that are used in their planning, budgeting, and month-end closing processes. At a high-level their primary business goals were reporting consistency, controlled entry, the ability to restate/recast history (in order to compare to the prior year), and flexibility in formatting.  The project had four components (a) creation of business and technical requirements, (b) management of the vendor selection and RFI process (which included demonstration data and a succinct demo script), (c) assessment of source data (for business intelligence readiness), and (d) creation of an implementation plan for phase I development.

For a (start-up) dot-com provider of health, nutrition, and fitness programs, Mr. Hochron led the creation of an eVisioning workshop that led to the creation of a corporate mobilization plan; this activity was central to the firmís ability to secure outside funding. Outputs from the workshop included a balanced scorecard (which amongst things defined the value proposition to the customer), a high-level architectural roadmap (which included a conceptual view of all required systems for the customerís supply chain), a mobilization plan (which consisted of five parallel tracks of activities), and a high-level cost estimate. Funding was secured within six weeks of this effort.

For a global industry leader and manufacturer and distributor of sports entertainment services, Mr. Hochron co-led in the total transformation of their domestic retail operations. Mr. Hochronís activities included (a) design of required end-to-end control processes from operations through financial accounting, (b) assessment of current point-of-sale technology and future technology direction, (c) facilitation of user requirements workshops, (d) development of a migration plan from existing systems, processes, and procedures to the target environment, (e) mobilization of the development team and assistance with detailed systems design in support of user requirements, (f) defined the information architecture (e.g., reporting hierarchy) that will be used to manage their business, and (g) co-led overall implementation program management.

For a book publishing division of a leading entertainment company, Mr. Hochron led the collection of business requirements and product selection for an accounting/supply chain package. Worked directly for the CFO with a core team that consisted of the Controller and divisional directors. The approach take was to focus on unique and essential business requirements and then to map them to vendor functionality. Over a dozen vendors were considered; demonstrations were only conducted for a short list of two vendors. The goal of the project was to determine if the division should comply with it parents direction for shared services or to choose a more specific path. The recommendation to comply with their parents shared services direction was well received by all.

For a retail bank, Mr. Hochron assisted in reengineering (BPR) its customer service area. Over the past five years, the bank had developed a strong local presence in the convenience market. Fast growth, however, brought internal inefficiencies and poor quality in customer service. Mr. Hochronís work included (a) analyzing leverage points, (b) facilitating idea generation sessions, (c) quantifying impact (cost, savings, and revenue generation) of the new ideas, and (d) development of project plans for implementation. The BPR produced over thirty projects including quick hitters capable of generating an additional $3.8M annually for the next two-four years. The project team was composed of five full-time client members, more than 75 part-time client staff, and three Renaissance consultants.

For a retail bank, Mr. Hochron assisted with the implementation of 7 of the initial 18 projects (a) provide required ATM functionality, (b) enhance ATM infrastructure, (c) enhance phone center/IVR - short term, (d) enhance TeleServices functionality, (e) create single customer identifier, (f) develop project measurement/continuous improvement tools, and (g) create support help-line. All of these projects were heavily dependent on systems. One of the projects, create single customer identifier, involved defining an information architecture that would enable a single customer access number (e.g., ATM card) to link to all client accounts. In addition, Mr. Hochron supported the teller improvement projects by providing multidimensional analysis of branch performance improvement data.

For a money center bank, Mr. Hochron assisted in reengineering its Corporate Process Improvement (CPI) group. CPI was a newly formed group who had selected the Renaissance methodology as their standard for achieving process improvement, throughout the bank. Renaissance assisted CPI to apply our methodology in order to reengineer itself. Mr. Hochronís involvement was to help mobilize the project by stewarding project plans and by facilitating key meetings to ensure progress. Additionally, he was charged with leading one of the projects whose focus was to enhance the infrastructure for CPI. The infrastructure project included streamlining administrative support, facilitating technical (e.g., PC, LAN, voice mail, etc.) training, and ensuring proper utilization of collaborative software (e.g., shared drives, Notes, the Intranet, etc.).

For an international telecommunications company, Mr. Hochron assisted them in assessing the applicability of creating an outsourcing unit for phone centers. The study evaluated outsourcing market segments, existing and potential competition, procedural and technical requirements, implementation alternatives, and costs/benefits. Mr. Hochronís specific focus was on evaluating technical requirements for call logging (e.g., talk time, hold time and number of hand-offs), access to client data (e.g., inventory, customer, and fulfillment), collection of customer profile information (e.g., purpose of call and resolution), implementation of electronic hand-offs, and creation of flexible reporting capability (e.g., quality performance, forecasts). Also, Mr. Hochron worked on researching costs and created a model for projecting expected benefits.

For an international trust bank, Mr. Hochron was part of a business process reengineering team for Trade Settlements and Corporate Actions. Worked with the client to define (a) beginning-to-end process teams with full and localized responsibility for transaction accuracy, (b) use of advanced technologies (e.g., image-enabled workflow, fax servers) to reduce cycle times and increase accuracy, and (c) improved process measurement and control. The revised business processes are expected to significantly reduce trade processing errors, receivables, and penalty interest, as well as reduce headcount and operating overhead. Also assisting the client in developing user-led system testing teams and in creating a disaster recovery plan for trade processing.

For an international trust bank, Mr. Hochron co-designed and developed an interim performance reporting system. Data is both downloaded from a Focus database on the mainframe and desklog entered by Operations team members. The data reported on measures the performance improvement objectives defined by the BPR. The system was developed in Microsoft Access and runs on a Novell LAN. A combination of volume and productivity reports are produced both in a tabular and graphical format. This interim system was in production for about a year; until the next generation client/server and workflow systems were deployed.