Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 8

Inefficiency and Waste present
Opportunities for Operational Excellence.
Porsche Consulting, Inc.:
German-Made,
American-Focused
W
hen Dr. Norman Firchau,
President and CEO of Porsche
Consulting, Inc., thinks about the
United States economy, he sees room
for improvement. U.S. companies
can benefit from the lessons Porsche
AG learned and from the methods
and tools Porsche has successfully
used on its journey toward opera-
tional excellence.
“Despite its iconic status and history
of performance, Porsche was on the
brink of bankruptcy in the early
1990s,” says Firchau. “Sales were
down and production costs were up.
The crisis demanded a revolutionary
shift in both mentality and action.”
With the help of consultants from
Japan, the company was able to cut
costs while improving quality and
throughput time. In addition, it saw
an opportunity to hone its own
processes and help companies in
other industries make similar
improvements. And so Porsche
Consulting was born.
On the eve of Porsche Consulting’s
20th anniversary, Porsche Consulting,
Inc. – the U.S. arm headquartered in
Atlanta, established in October 2011
– is guiding clients from various
industries to operational excellence
using a combination of pragmatic
process improvements and strategic
management concepts. The tools and
methods were first tested and proven
within Porsche before being shared
with other corporations.
“We are proud to bring the same
concepts to our U.S. customers –
we even allow our clients an inside
view of Porsche’s factory operations
in Germany. And more than once,
these visits have concluded with
clients telling us, ‘please turn
us into the Porsche of our industry,’”
says Firchau.
Rolling up Sleeves
and getting to Work
Porsche Consulting uses a practical
approach with its clients. First is
a short, focused analysis which
identifies a problem area and the
factors which sustain it. The Porsche
Consulting team then creates a
lighthouse project to address the
problem area. The objective is
immediate improvement. Completion
of the lighthouse project creates a
case study to serve as a model and
inspire employees.
German American Trade Sep/Oct 2013
8
C O V E R S T O R Y
“We don’t simply
give our clients a list of
tasks, we teach them to
identify problems and
then act decisively
and deliberately.”
Dr. Norman Firchau
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