I was on the front lines in the 80’s when the Japanese transplants began to seriously threaten the domestic car companies. We had to learn the hard way how to compete on quality and productivity. My interests today are in applying those (at the time) painful lessons to create value elsewhere. Here’s a little about Steve Beeler:
At MIT, I was taught how to gain understanding based on first principles. After 40+ years, my mechanical engineering degree remains my most valuable intellectual asset. An MBA from Indiana University provides complementary financial analysis skills. Over the years, I have maintained a Professional Engineer license.
After a long and (reasonably successful) career in automotive, I have been providing project management and operations engineering (quality/delivery/cost) services primarily to private equity owned middle market companies. I have acquired some great tools along the way. Theory of Constraints, Statistical Process Control, 8D Team Oriented Problem Solving, Quality Systems, and Discrete Event Simulation are the most significant.
Years ago, I discovered that I have a knack for managing large projects. How about registering 31 plants to ISO 9000 in only 21 months? We did not always know what we were doing, but we knew we were in a hurry.
Please don’t paint Steve Beeler with the “old economy” brush. I have worked with multiple early stage clean techs. For a bio fuels start up, I developed a manufacturing plan and a cost model to support a capital raise event. I wrote the business plan for a wind energy start up. For an early stage fuel cell manufacturer, I developed a throughput improvement road map.
The challenges of a special needs parent (my middle daughter has cerebral palsy) have made me a better person. My collaborative and “user friendly” leadership surfaces good ideas, pushes down responsibility, and grows strong teams.
I have many interests outside of work. I have been following the same baseball team for as long as I can remember…the St. Louis Cardinals. I have had a life-long interest in motorsports, first as a fan and now as a car builder and driver. More recently, I have taken up golf again. Golf clubs and balls are getting better faster than I am getting older!
The fractional leadership model has emerged in recent years to help companies meet critical objectives that would otherwise overextend management teams. Fractional leadership can fill the void created by significant growth or other business transitions: specific talent for a period of time or a fraction of the time. Fractional leadership is a cost-effective alternative for startups and early stage companies without the cash flow to support a full-time hire and for established companies with a specific task to complete.
The distinction between fractional leadership and consulting is subtle but important. Fractional implies part of larger whole. A fractional leader is collaborative and proactive, an essential part of your team. Not just an adviser, but a hands-on implementer. Part-time and/or on a limited time horizon but totally focused on your success.
The fractional leadership model can be applied across a broad spectrum of business challenges:
• Plant rearrangements / expansions
• New product launches
• Quality and productivity improvements
• Process design and implementation
• Software systems implementation
• Functional leadership (operations, manufacturing, engineering, finance, marketing, etc)
• Business plans
As you visit my Project Management and Operations Engineering pages, you will see that most if not all of my case studies incorporate aspects of fractional leadership. This is not by chance. Fractional leadership is effective…and my preferred relationship with clients.
Every organization, to some degree, is faced with skill set gaps and limited resources. Consider a fractional leadership relationship instead of a full-time hire. If I am not a match for your situation, someone in my network will have the right mix of tools and experience.
I have a daily rate which I will continue to discount for projects that I really want to do. Working on big challenges with interesting, energetic people makes me happy.
Do you have an operations problem or project management challenge? Click HERE to reach out. Let’s see if it is something that I can help with.
The COVID-19 business contraction was even more severe than the credit crunch ten plus years ago. For me, that meant a slow summer…not such a bad thing. My kids are through college and retirement is funded. But for those who are working hard to provide for their families, the ramifications of COVID-19 are unthinkable.
I have rolled up six of my blog posts into COVID-19 toolkit to help adapt your business to new business realities, whatever they may be. A new normal will be a moving target.
Pro bono, I am offering my time to those struggling operationally to get their businesses going again. Quality, delivery, and cost solutions. Business processes for a newly remote world. Project management. A fresh eyes look. There is no reason for me to be sitting at home while small businesses are going under and jobs are disappearing.
Click HERE to reach out. Stay safe!
“Steve Beeler is a gentleman balancing his sporting activities with a friendly approach towards family, friends, business contacts, and community. A great listener, Steve has a rare combination of solid business knowledge and a laser focus on effective solutions.”
Dante Marchiori, Senior Advisor and Consultant, Primorium (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
“Steve Beeler is one of the excellent leaders I have worked with in my career. He excels at building project teams of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. His door is always open.”
Vijay Parthasarathy, Director Analytics & Finance, Molina Healthcare (Chicago, Illinois)
“Steve Beeler is a great coach. As a journalist, I did a track test in his Formula Ford. From a starting point of zero experience behind the wheel of a racing car, Steve had me running the course with confidence in almost no time.”
Joe White, Automotive Journalist and Co-author, “Comeback: The Fall and Rise of the American Automobile Industry” (Plymouth, Michigan)