A Day in the Life of Erika
Erika is a Management Consultant at Trenegy, currently working on a process improvement project for a service-based company in Houston, Texas.
I arrive at the client’s site, make a cup of coffee, and exchange good morning’s with our team as we all get things out and ready for the day. Every morning I am reminded of how thankful I am to work with a group of people that can make hard work a whole lot of fun! Our team then meets together to review where we left off the previous afternoon, and what our key goals are for the day; including meetings that are scheduled, deliverables set to be presented and information that must be gathered. It’s always reassuring to start out the day with a clear goal and vision!
I finalize the list of interview questions I have compiled to ask our clients’ various branch managers in interviews later that day. I review the list of questions with a teammate and send emails to the individual branch managers reminding them of their scheduled meeting times. Interviewing a handful of key employees throughout the company helps us to get a clearer picture of the company’s processes and areas of improvement.
Meet with our team and the client’s AR/Collections Manager to dig into their financial reports; noting patterns and trends over time and across branches. Together, we brainstorm possible reasons behind these patterns and begin suggesting ways to maximize their strengths and eliminate inefficiencies throughout the organization.
Head to the break room to grab a handful of pretzels, fill up my water bottle, and hear various movie, podcast, and/or documentary recommendations and reviews from my coworkers along the way.
Stop by the desk of the Field Ticketing System Specialist and ask a few questions regarding the logistics of the system and what he believes to be the necessary changes to be made to increase their order to cash process.
Interview the LaPorte Branch Manager regarding branch-wide policies and practices and the financial reports specific to her branch. Hear her feedback, thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Answer questions she has for me.
Interview the Deer Park Branch Manager. This interview is conducted similarly to the previous interview because I want to make sure that I ask questions that will allow me to see where their answers align or are inconsistent. Additionally, I take time to hear her ideas and answer her questions and concerns.
Condense and organize information gathered from the interviews into an Issues Log to track issues that have been discovered through the interviews and conversations with various employees throughout the morning.
By the time 11:30 rolls around, it’s time to seize the much-anticipated break for lunch. After a brief whiteboard brainstorming session, we typically decide upon a great restaurant choice and head out to eat as a team. Today we chose Chipotle because it’s a frequent go-to and always a crowd pleaser!
After the yummy lunch, we head back to the client’s headquarters and get rolling again. We spend the hour after lunch recapping the morning and sharing updates from the various tasks we spent the morning working on. This is a great time because it allows us to reconvene and get on the same page, and share information and findings throughout the team so we all have access to every piece of the puzzle. During this time, we also reviewed the deliverables we were set to present at the Steering Committee Meeting later in the afternoon. We got all eyes on them, and made edits and corrections as needed to make sure we were all ready to go!
I work with my team to determine what remaining employees we need to interview. I then send out emails and work with client employees to schedule interview times in the upcoming week. Then I start writing outlines of interview questions for these interviews.
Our team meets in the main conference room along with the Client’s Steering Committee consisting of the CFO, CEO, AR/Collections Manager, and the Corporate Controller. We present to them the Process Improvement Vision and the Gaps & Resolution Plan that we have compiled with information collected from the interviews, financial reports, and prior Steering Committee Meetings.
Revisit the breakroom for an afternoon coffee, possibly a couple peanut M&M’s, and thoughts and conversation surrounding the meeting and next steps to take in light of feedback from the client.
Meet back up with the team to delegate responsibilities of the next steps. I am placed in charge of starting on the Charters and Initiatives, which is important because it assigns ownership of each of the suggested solutions to key employees that can then carry it on beyond our time on the project.
I format and outline the Charters and Initiatives and have them ready to present rough drafts to our team in the morning. I also check emails and lock down meeting/interview times with the remaining employees and respond to any unanswered emails in my inbox. Finally, I pack up, say goodbye to the team, and head home for the evening!