Senior Manager, Director, Vice President of Operations
The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is a global market research firm providing consumer behavior and point-of-sale information and expertise across numerous industries. As a Vice President within Operations I was responsible for the management of the data collection, data confidentiality, and reporting activities carried out by a staff of 60 employees across eight domestic and international locations. I provided leadership, technical direction, and budget oversight to the operational staff that supported five primary Business Units accountable for more than 40% of company revenue. By working as a change agent I led the transformation of the back-room Operations department into a value-added service and consulting group. Through this transformation we were able to measurably lower costs while increasing output, reducing speed to market, and improving employee morale. This was accomplished through a series of initiatives designed to streamline our fulfillment practice, prioritize business initiatives across diverse needs, lower risk profiles on key production events, educate stakeholders, and align our structure to better serve business objectives.
Analyzed Operational structure as part of a full system re-engineering project. Led review of current structural tension points and evaluated options against revised business requirements and new system capabilities. Proposed and led full department restructuring and process modifications. Results:
o Structure successfully revised and implemented on 90-day horizon to minimize risk to production activities.
o Significant reduction in cross-functional tension points within the department - measured through interviews vs. formal metrics.
o Realized 20% increase in budgeted project revenue within one year and 10% cost savings through process changes.
o Tool and reports were piloted and shared across the full Operations and IT department.
o Analysis and communication of cost drivers helped improve transparency to business partners resulting in 20% improvement in department scores.
o Remained under budget ($3,000,000) while achieving fiscal departmental objectives for four consecutive years.
o 25% savings in outsourcing costs by revised approach within six months.
o Streamlined management reporting and oversight improved key manager morale. o Time to market on production activities reduced from 25 to 16 days within one year.
o Implemented data processing and reporting system on schedule and under budget with no significant internal or external client disruptions.
o Benefits of revised reporting system led to product improvements resulting in 25% increase in price to broad client base.
Inherited the lowest performing Operations Unit struggling with declining team morale, poor quality output, disjointed process flows, and frustrated business leadership. Initiated immediate changes in requirements gathering, prioritized quality validations, modified change request queues, and partnered with stakeholders to set clear accountability and timelines for improvement. Results:
o Quality metrics transformed from worst operating unit to best in company in one year.
o Increased product enhancement fulfillment by 50% with no cost implication within six months.
o 80% decrease in change requests based upon original requirements within three months.
o Implemented training and development for staff that improved morale by 25% in one year.
o Received highest support department score from business unit metrics in year two.