What is this thing called 9Stucks?
9Stucks is a dynamic business diagnostic tool. It identifies nine distinct yet interrelated business challenges that cause a company to underperform.

Part 2: An Eyeful and an Earful

What I saw, what I heard…

The first post (‘A Fresh Pair of Eyes’) in The 9Stucks Boot Camp Series ended with me getting the approval for a large scale integrated consulting assignment at StorageCo.  This is the second post in the series. It will cover what I started to see and hear once the project started.

Walt Disney once said: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

So, that was what I did – I began doing. Digging in at PaperCo meant that I was a sponge:

  • met with many people in all functions of the company
  • gathered all kinds of paper and reports
  • absorbed data, crunched numbers, then got more data
  • soaked up the atmosphere around the plants
  • watched the products being made
  • took notes and documented what I heard

Remember, I heard these themes from Pete (the CEO) and his brother Jack in my ‘pre-proposal’ meetings:

  1. “we have a cost problem
  2. we need an objective outsider to do an in-depth look at the business
  3. the company had limited growth and marginal profits over many years
  4. most of the personal assets of the aging family owners were tied up in the business

What I found after digging in

What is this thing called 9Stucks?
9Stucks is a dynamic business diagnostic tool. It identifies nine distinct yet interrelated business challenges that cause a company to underperform.

Part 1: A Fresh Pair of Eyes

This is the first installment in the 9Stucks Boot Camp, a series of five blog posts that illustrate the diagnosis, treatment, and cure of a significantly stuck company.  This series is a stuck story from start to finish.

A consulting  engagement at this “StorageCo” company is where the ‘stuck’ concept was hatched over 20 years ago.

The five posts in this Series are:

  1. A Fresh Pair of Eyes: How the project started
  2. An Eyeful and an Earful: What I found after digging in
  3. Logjam and the 80/20 Rule: Discussion of StorageCo’s business model
  4. Go with the Flow(charting): The major business process issues
  5. Coach or Food Fight Referee: The Fixes

StorageCo wasn’t a troubled company, it was a stuck company. The company’s management team didn’t know they were stuck, and neither did I. When I began this project, the 9Stucks concept was not even a thought.  This project was how I started my own boot camp years ago.

You have used or seen this company’s products

StorageCo was a proud, 100-year old, third generation, family-owned business owned by a brother and a sister. They manufactured disposable storage products that are used and consumed by millions of Americans every year.

The siblings had been disappointed with the company’s overall performance for some time.  They finally decided it was time to bring in an independent outsider… a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to do an objective review of the business and help them craft a performance improvement plan.

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