All posts by ProAction

Tim Van Mieghem Podcast Speaker: Part 2 – The Value of Business Intelligence: Understanding and Measuring Operational Issues

The second part of Tim Van Mieghem’s interview with Jack and his team at Nestell Associates’ podcast, focuses on helping companies actually leverage their ERP systems.  In this episode, we talk about measuring operational issues!

Listen to: Episode 14, Part 2 here.

Timely and accurate visibility to operational data is a significant competitive differentiator. This episode discusses how to turn data into insight that is actionable. We discuss many people, process, and technological influences that help ensure organizational business intelligence availability and alignment.

 ProAction helps companies identify improvement opportunities through data-based evidence, which fosters organizational support for change.  We also explore the challenge of strategic decision making with Tim.

If you missed Part 1, you can listen here.

Nestell Associates Podcast Homepage:

Tim Van Mieghem Podcast Speaker: The ERP Organization Change Journal, Episode 13 – The Value of Business Intelligence Part 1

We all know too many horror stories of ERP systems gone wrong.  More rampant, however, are ERP systems that simply provide a fraction of their potential value.  They way the company uses the system, it does the basics.  But the company has essentially found a way to convert gold into iron…  Jack and his team present ideas to actually get the value your ERP systems can provide.  Continue reading Tim Van Mieghem Podcast Speaker: The ERP Organization Change Journal, Episode 13 – The Value of Business Intelligence Part 1

Quality Problems, Late Deliveries, Lost Customers

Portfolio companies often run into complex situations that drain resources and stifle performance.  In this case, a packaging company saw scrap levels quadruple, late deliveries skyrocket and good customers leave.  The management team was doing the best they could, but had limited bandwidth and experience with similar situations.  The sponsor could not afford the current level of performance, and the costs and risks of replacing the management team were high.  ProAction became, on a variable cost basis, their operating partner.


  • $250k negative monthly variances ($1.7m per year in total)
  • 5 GM’s in 5 years
  • Customer Attrition

Actions Taken:

  • 2-day operational assessment found root causes and were immediately transitioned into execution
  • Implemented a tiered management system
  • Conducted quick change over improvements
  • Managed COVID situation

Activities as the interim GM:

  • Started a daily operator autonomous maintenance process for Presses and Converting
  • Started a weekly maintenance PM process for both Press and Converting
  • Implemented a tool crib min/max for critical replacement tooling parts in Converting
  • Set up a converting staging area for all machine lines
  • Started problem solving tools with supervisors and leads in both Print and Converting
  • Relaunched the Safety Committee
    • Added First Responders on each shift
    • Action plans developed for each area from opportunities and tracked weekly on the Tier Board

After operational stabilization was achieved, we began implementing tools and training internal leaders to maintain the new level of performance.


  • Output improved between 50% and 70% depending on the line
  • Reduced scrap and rework levels by 50% in 8 weeks, demonstrating a 90% decline in 12 weeks
  • Hit customer service target levels and eliminated the backlog

About The ProAction Group

ProAction is an operational consulting firm that works with Private Equity to do three things:

  1. Help you win good deals (and avoid bad ones!) through our pre-close Operational Diligence.
  2. Help your management teams as they transition from an entrepreneurial approach to a scalable, process driven leadership path.
  3. Help you maximize the value of your portfolio companies through the implementation of operational excellence.

We focus on three sectors: consumer products, manufacturing and distribution. We have experts in Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Sales and Operations Planning, Inventory Strategy, Sourcing, Logistics and Human Capital Development. We were founded in 1995 and are headquartered in Chicago.

For Further Information:
Timothy Van Mieghem
The ProAction Group, LLC
Tel: (312) 371-8323

The Competition is Fierce. Change the Rules. ™

The ProAction Group Celebrates 25 Years!

This Saturday will mark the 25th anniversary of registering ProAction as a new business with the state of Illinois.  Through the years there have been many challenges and changes. We’ve made it thru the dot com bubble, the Great Recession and now the COVID pandemic. But in weathering these storms and overcoming the obstacles they presented, our faith became more resolute, our vision became clearer, and our company became stronger. Continue reading The ProAction Group Celebrates 25 Years!

Re-Casting Inventory and Your Storage Needs – Virtual Webinar

Join our Virtual Webinar: Re-Casting Inventory and Your Storage Needs

Friday June 26, 2020, 10:00 – 11:00am Central

Register Here

Facilitators: Tim Van Mieghem (The ProAction Group) & Mike Magliano (Cushman Wakefield)

Topics covered:

  • The tools available to re-cast the inventory requirements given demand patterns, capacities, and lead times.
  • How to rebalance your existing storage space (internal and external) with your “new” inventory requirements.
  • Winning support from your leadership team to take action.

Supply Chain Leaders should NOT miss this call if:

  • Questioning inventory levels.
  • Concerned about unutilized space or inventory in the wrong location.
  • Experiencing poor order fill rates or growing inventory levels.

Registration is free and required.  Call details will be sent via email.

Opportunities in Crisis: Implementing and Measuring Supplier Changes

In our previous posts, we focused on how to objectively identify underperforming suppliers and constructively negotiate needed changes in supplier relationships. However, reaching an agreement on changes and actually seeing them adhered to are two different things. While we are generally trusting of supplier partners, in cases like these it is essential to “trust but verify” that the new elements are being implemented by both companies and accomplishing the desired results. Here again, data is power.
Continue reading Opportunities in Crisis: Implementing and Measuring Supplier Changes

Opportunities in Crisis: Negotiating with Underperforming Suppliers

In the first of our posts on crisis-related supply chain opportunities, we examined the benefits of addressing underperforming suppliers and how organizations can approach the process. In essence, that first step is about identifying perceived supplier issues and then resolving to act. Once that decision is made, the word “perceived” should be eliminated and the groundwork for negotiating can begin.

Continue reading Opportunities in Crisis: Negotiating with Underperforming Suppliers

Opportunities in Crisis: Identifying Underperforming Suppliers

The life-changing effects of our new viral enemy compel us to contemplate what it all means, both personally and in our roles as business leaders. Personally, it has reminded many of how vulnerable we truly are, bringing about lifestyle adjustments to better manage health and wellness risks moving forward. For business leaders, many have been consumed by short-term negative impacts. Leaders should, however, also view this as an ideal time to look for long-term opportunities that will improve the health and wellness of their business.

Continue reading Opportunities in Crisis: Identifying Underperforming Suppliers

Coronavirus is Disrupting the Supply Chain.  Here’s What Companies Can Do About It

Martin Staples, a member of The ProAction Group team, is a senior operations leader and change facilitator with over 27 years of global business experience. He recently sat for an interview with NPR Milwaukee producer Audrey Nowakowski to discuss how coronavirus is disrupting the supply chain and what companies can do about this.  In this article, Martin shares: 

Continue reading Coronavirus is Disrupting the Supply Chain.  Here’s What Companies Can Do About It