Independent Expert Leads OEM Transformation for Agriculture Machinery Manufacturer

About the Client 

Pushing the Boundaries on Farming  

Keeping businesses moving is what this agriculture machinery manufacturer is all about. It works hard to understand how it can push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of farming by innovating its products better to meet the needs of today’s modern farm — making them more productive and profitable. 

The Situation

Reaching the Next Frontier in All Things Farming 

Maintaining one’s market position requires constantly evaluating where you are and where you want to be based on market conditions, demographic changes, and desired business outcomes. After undergoing a strategic evaluation, this manufacturer realized that it would need to change how it does business to keep up with the pace of change. 

Together with key business stakeholders, the organization developed a portfolio of strategic initiatives it would need to execute throughout the years to attain the desired future state. One of those initiatives was understanding how it could improve its distribution network and become a more customer-centric organization while also expanding its reach and boosting performance. 

Because its distribution network consisted of several parent dealers and locations, it was vital to understand how to integrate them into one system. Doing so would give the business more insights into optimizing performance in the long run and ensure a more efficient and seamless delivery of its products to its end customers. 

Given the complexity of the initiative, the manufacturer knew it needed someone with deep expertise to get the project done. The ideal person for this role would need to be someone with extensive project and program management experience and well-versed in data analytics and extracting data from said insights to drive results. 

To make sure the OEM transformation initiative was set up for success, it was also important for the selected subject matter expert to have prior management consulting experience. While prior exposure to the industry wasn’t required, having that industry know-how would make it easier for incoming candidates to do the work correctly. 

The Solution

Finding an Interim Senior Program Manager within 48 hours

Upon conducting market research for an on-demand talent solution, the manufacturer learned about Graphite. After exploring how Graphite worked, its proprietary vetting process, and the depth of its expert network, the manufacturer decided to engage an Account Executive (AE) to get a closer look.

In the first meeting with the AE, the manufacturer learned more about the platform, how to communicate with experts via Graphite's video conferencing and messaging tools, and how to pay and track hours, all within the platform. Pleased with the level of service and the prospect of finding an expert that fit its criteria within 48 hours, the manufacturer set up a second meeting to discuss the project's specifics. 

After scheduling the second meeting, the AE and the manufacturer worked together to define the scope of work. It was essential for this OEM distribution transformation that the selected expert have heavy project and program management experience in programs with multiple projects and workstreams. Their soft skills would also need to be top-tier as they were expected to lead and execute the projects while in constant communication with stakeholders.

With the scope of work on hand, the AE created a curated list of candidates that best fit the manufacturer's criteria. Of the 15 identified candidates, the AE presented the top four. 

Carefully reviewing each expert via Graphite's video conference room, the manufacturer selected a strategy engagement manager with Lean Six Sigma and Agile Scrum Master certifications, among others. 

The selected candidate had great experience leading program management efforts for several global initiatives at Fortune 500 companies like Schneider Electric, Cisco, Estée Lauder, and Harley-Davidson. 

The Results

An OEM Built to Handle Tomorrow's Challenges Today  

Before starting the project, the AE coordinated a meeting between the Graphite customer success team and the manufacturer. Together they defined the success measurements, communication frequency, onboarding materials, and how the engagement would proceed.

Before digging into the specifics, the expert first met with various stakeholders to understand the current state of the distribution network. The expert also conducted financial and data analysis to ensure they had a firm grasp of the current business situation. 

After getting through the discovery phase and identifying all the roadblocks, the expert set out to scope out all the project details by developing the strategy, defining the success criteria, creating a tracker, and identifying ways to move beyond the roadblocks. 

With the steps outlined, the expert presented the findings and roadmap to stakeholders. Upon approval, the expert moved forward with executing the plan and held weekly meetings with key team members to update them on the project's progress. 

The manufacturer was excited at the immediate value the expert provided to help bring its vision to life. More importantly, it was happy with the level of service received from Graphite and is now looking forward to leveraging independent subject matter expertise to reach additional goals in the future.