I must be getting old, I mean experienced. I used to start this section with my education background (business degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison) and my work history (a Milwaukee bank – call center and marketing experience, and Midwest Express Airlines – all kinds of stuff, great company, lot’s of fun) prior to starting my own business. But I am now to the level of experience that it makes sense to talk about the intangibles that I bring to your project.
Midwest Express Airlines – I took the sales department from monthly paper reports (1400 pages!) to laptops with a custom sales reporting interface which included data from 4 different areas of the airline. Monthly data updates were e-mailed to each rep through an automated process. I also taught them how to decile their customer base for improved sales effectiveness. Ask me about this effective tool!
Prior to leaving Midwest Express I had worked directly for the executive vice president of sales and marketing, was one of the founding members of the E-Business group, lead the team that redesigned their website in 2000, and worked on projects with most of Midwest’s departments.
I left Midwest Express to strike out on my own. It was very hard to leave such a great group of people. I had already developed a small group of clients doing side work and they vowed to throw some more business my way to help me get started. It was early 2001 and it was as good a time as any to start my own business.
It is closing in on four years since I left the corporate world and I really enjoy what I do. I enjoy meeting new people and new challenges and have continued to grow my skills in various areas with each new project. All of my business so far has been word of mouth so I must be doing a few things right. If you have any questions about my background or would like references, please call. I look forward to talking with you.
I have over 15 years of experience with database applications, as well as other skills that make me a much more strategic consultant than someone with skills limited to just the database arena.
- Direct Mail: At Security Bank I ran the home equity direct mail program which was a sophisticated database system sending out between four and five million pieces of mail per year. I worked closely with our advertising agency on creating pieces for testing to boost response rates. This is where I was introduced to direct marketing and testing.
- Automating Manual Processes: At Midwest Express, I took a paper based (1400 pages a month!) sales report and turned it into an interactive electronic reporting system. This allowed sales representatives and managers to have multiple views of the underlying data for better decision making. I also initiated the use of customer segmentation, which dictated how much money was spent selling to various travel agencies as well as what service levels were provided.
- Training: Taught the Midwest Express sales representatives how to use computers (laptops). Some of these people had no computer skills at all. By the end of training, everyone was effectively using Microsoft Office programs for their required weekly tasks. Having an effective trainer available, even part time, can provide immediate return on software products you already have by allowing users to get comfortable using them.
- Documenting Processes: Rewrote the training manual and revised the training process for Security Bank’s Home Equity Loan call center. Documenting processes can produce huge gains in productivity, especially in the case of personnel turnover. This allows a company to plug a new person into a position and get them productive in a short timeframe. Having well defined business processes is also one of the distinguishing factors between good and great businesses.
- Customer Relationship Management: Started the preliminary work around Midwest Express’s CRM project. I understand what information is important to capture and use when it comes to improving the very important relationship you have with your customers.
- Strategic Planning: Lead the strategic planning stage of Midwest Express’s website redesign. I was also conducting preliminary work around customer relationship management which involved looking into technology available, customer relationship systems on the market, and most importantly, determining what information Midwest Express already had and what additional data would need to be collected to accomplish the objectives and strategies for the airline.
- Database Design: For the past three and a half years I have been developing custom database applications for my clients. I ask a lot of questions in order to define a project, and then invariably have input for improvements and the strategic use of the system. This creates good custom systems that are used and provide good return on the dollar.