June 13, 2010
When Aron Services Ltd. started seeing 40% annual growth, the company wasn't content to sit on its laurels. Instead, this successful Grande Prairie, Alberta-based firm seized the opportunity to improve how it did business and further tap into a healthy economy.
"We were doing well but we also wanted the reassurance that we were doing the best we could as managers," says Ron Ward, CEO of the 15-year-old company, which provides construction services largely to the oil and gas sector. Aron Services Ltd. had also been undergoing significant change in its efforts to diversify in other industry sectors such as utilities, wood products, pulp and paper, forestry, power generation and mining.
"It was good timing for us to get outside advice," says Ward. The BDC Consulting Group stepped in to help the company take a close look at its management processes in all facets of its business from marketing to accounts receivables to billing.
"We had already done some financing with the bank, so this was also a chance to take advantage of BDC's full services," he adds.
The six-month long process started with in-depth, one-on-one interviews with managers to assess their strengths and weaknesses and address key areas such as management morale and skills. "A third-party view was vital here. It was essential to have a sounding board. I was pleased to know that we had no skeletons in our closet," he adds. Using industry best practices as a gauge, the BDC Consulting Group was able to grade the company on its performance in areas such as business development and loss control, and provide a comprehensive report. "Ultimately, their direct feedback helped us rate our priorities and see exactly what we needed to tweak first," he explains.
An important outcome for Aron Services Ltd. was then being able to assign people who were responsible for improving specific areas of the business. "That was crucial here. It was not enough to just talk about it. We had to have an action plan that would make it happen." Today, the company is busy implementing systematic procedures and policies which will help them drive growth down the road. "Overall, it was an excellent exercise for us. The BDC Consulting Group taught us a lot. They showed substance and depth, and we were able to benefit from their experience. I would recommend this to any entrepreneur," he concludes.