John S. Benjamin, Founder and Consortium Leader
“When tumultuous times call, get back to basics.”—This is the success mantra that helped legendary basketball coach John Wooden lead his team, the Bruins of UCLA, to 10 victories in 12 years in the NCAA, making history.
But how does this relate to the entrepreneurial realm? Just like Wooden, it is imperative for business executives to go back and re-examine the basics of their business in order to maintain a growth trajectory and brew a winning formula. The founder and consortium leader of Business Engineering Consortium, John S. Benjamin, shares a similar ideology. “If the fundamentals are wrong, you’re never going to be successful,” he says. This is especially true in today’s tumultuous economy, where business owners need a jolt—a solid business strategy that will help enhance organizational performance and create a positive culture.
However, just knowing such basics is not enough; executives must possess a certain level of business acumen to make sound judgments that drive results. “This is where we come in,” asserts Benjamin. “Whether you are a small startup with 10 people or a multinational business with thousands of employees, we will help you take your existing business to the next level.” To achieve this feat, Business Engineering Consortium works with organizations as an extended partner, assessing and reviewing their business model and developing customized bullet-proof plans for long-term growth and success.
A Holistic Approach to Becoming Lean and Nimble
Since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for organizations to employ, executives must take proper steps in designing, implementing, and executing a business strategy that is unique to their firm. To that end, with every engagement, Business Engineering Consortium takes a holistic approach, wherein the team comes in, assesses the client’s current business model, and reviews their organizational plans. They conduct an in-depth assessment of each part of the client’s business. Following this, the Business Engineering Consortium team holds a discussion with the client’s management to understand their needs and requirements, creates a gap analysis highlighting the steps to reach the goal, and then develops an elaborate and effective strategy that best fits the client’s needs. The gap analysis can take many forms; the most comprehensive one is a two-day on-site evaluation. The analysis includes one-on-one interviews with a representative of the company, process flow observation, review of the marketing and sales plan, analysis of sales progress, and examination of their current financials, income statement, and balance sheet. “We identify the nuances and let them know where to focus their resources to get the biggest, fastest return on investment. Our assessments can be as in-depth as needed or limited to a single department; it depends on what our clients demand,” adds Benjamin.
What’s more? The firm also provides training resources that businesses need in order to reach their organizational goals. Business Engineering Consortium offers coaching programs to help individuals grow into their strengths and leverage their talents while minimizing the negative aspects of their personality. The training covers a wide range of topics including but not limited to leadership, finance, management, process improvement, business writing, marketing, sales, and customer services.
Business Engineering Consortium works with organizations as an extended partner, assessing and reviewing their business model and developing customized bullet-proof plans for long-term growth and success
The firm also has a strong emphasis on 5S and lean concepts. “We have collectively saved organizations tens of millions of dollars, and the savings continue to grow. In fact, our unique approach to ISO-9000 is based on the solid fundamentals of lean and Six Sigma,” informs Benjamin. Business Engineering Consortium starts with a current state analysis of the company and works with the clients to create the future. They combine process mapping with value stream mapping to give clients the best decision-making tools. The firm offers training on all key elements of process and quality documentation. Additionally, they also take on the documentation of an organization’s quality system and offer contracted services in any area that the client wants.
Business Engineering Consortium seeks to optimize the entire organization; they work with clients more as coaches as opposed to consultants. “We help keep their business functioning, guide them to think through decisions to make the best judgment for their business, and equip them with the right tools to be their own internal consultant,” affirms Benjamin.
How It All Began
Business Engineering Consortium’s inception dates back to 2006 when Benjamin—who was then working in GE as the global project manager for gas serving control systems—realized there were many small business owners in the manufacturing landscape that failed to succeed because they didn’t understand the basics. Passionate to help such individuals realize their dream, Benjamin initially worked solo then later expanded the depth of services offered to businesses by joining hands with his best friend, Steven Arquiette, a Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force (Ret.). Thus, the Business Engineering Consortium was cemented as a firm dedicated to creating success through enhanced process management. The duo started with selected project work, and then slowly leveraging their lean experience, expanded the firm’s capabilities and services to include quality and contracted services, training modalities, and standard training programs.
Talking about their background and how it plays a significant role in the company’s success, Benjamin explains, “I began my career as a U.S. Navy submariner and then moved into the world of business, solving all kinds of problems at power plants around the world.” As a project manager, Benjamin has completed complex, high-profile projects such as the first turbine control upgrade for a nuclear power plant and a three-station LPG pipeline in Mexico. As a successful marketer and product developer, he has brought many new products to market in record time and exceeded profit projections. Presently, serving as an executive of Business Engineering Consortium, he is dedicated to sharing all that he has learned with others worldwide. Arquiette, on the other hand, has immense operational experience in lean and Six Sigma principles, compliance and risk management, and governance activities, and brings a tremendous amount of discipline into leading teams to success.
Today, Arquiette heads Business Engineering Consortium’s leadership and change management area and is responsible for providing clients with first-hand experience in leading and driving process improvements and motivating teams in various situations. Utilizing their strong business acumen and broad experience, the duo is on a mission to empower organizations in their business journey. “Great businesses are built on great people, and we help grow great people,” remarks Benjamin.
Unparalleled Expertise at Hand
Today, businesses spanning multiple industries realize significant benefits from the collaboration with Business Engineering Consortium. One instance that highlights this value proposition is the firm’s success story with a client that required help with their cost analysis. After the first meeting with the client, the Business Engineering Consortium team realized two things: the client lacked a project management culture and had no clear idea of their spending. The cost that came up was several times higher than their assumption. Business Engineering Consortium helped the client not only identify the reasons as to why their project overran in the first place but also managed to recover almost half of the cost overruns. The team also guided the client in coming up with fool-proof strategies and plans to avoid any similar unprecedented situation in the future.
“Our mission is to empower business to go from surviving to thriving”
Recalling a recent client engagement that stands out, Benjamin shares, “Last year, we did a ten-year forecast for a company. We held discussions with the team and gave them several insights into what they needed to do in order to be prepared for the next 10 years.” One of the things that Business Engineering Consortium suggested was the need for more of the client’s employees to telecommute, and the client immediately implemented the new strategy. Consequently, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their business was less than other organizations because they were already prepared with remote work settings. “One of the significant things we’ve always stressed on with our clients is ‘plan for the future but start executing it today.’ And since this client followed through with it, they were at ease. It was a win-win situation,” affirms Benjamin.
A Future Rooted in Success
Successes like these are what propel Business Engineering Consortium forward. For the road ahead, the firm has several plans. On one side, the firm is investing more in telecommunications to leverage the video technologies available today and provide its clients with the necessary training online. On the other, Business Engineering Consortium is planning on integrating augmented reality into troubleshooting processes and systems. Organizations will now be able to avoid unwanted service calls because a service rep can look at the system virtually—in real time—identify the problem and suggest the necessary adjustments that need to be made. Alongside, through its holistic services, the firm will continue to enable clients to make organizational investments with the highest returns. “Our mission is to empower business to go from surviving to thriving. There could be a number of things that hold back and prevent an organization from achieving that. We are here to help ensure that doesn’t happen. Our philosophy is: you can be world-class; you can make good money, but you don’t have to spend big to do so. You just have to spend it properly,” concludes Benjamin.