James B. Ayers
BiographyJim’s technical expertise includes management audits, customer service improvement, organization restructuring, productivity improvement in administrative and technical work groups, lean implementation, quality improvement, information systems requirements definition, and applying a range of industrial engineering skills.
Jim has developed approaches to estimating work content in hard-to-measure work groups like technical, administrative, and field work groups. The work measurement is accompanied by easy-to-use tools that enable supervisors ensure customer service by adjusting staff levels in response to fluctuating volume.
Jim is the author of the Handbook of Supply Chain Management, 1st & 2nd Editions, published in 2000 and 2006 that is ranked “5 stars” on Amazon. The best seller documents best practices in five management tasks that comprise an SCM “body of knowledge.” These include best practices on process and organization design applicable to the County’s requested services.
Clients often tap Jim’s management training capabilities addressing the skill requirements and tools for productivity improvement. He provides a multi-day workshop course called Supply Chain Reengineering that has been certified compliant with the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge (PMBOK-Guide®). Summaries of books plus downloads for Jim’s articles are available at www.ayers-consulting.com.
Over a long consulting career, Jim served clients in a variety of environments seeking to improve productivity. These include construction, banking and financial companies, customer service, civil engineering, healthcare inpatient and outpatient functions, maintenance, insurance claims processing, information technology, purchasing, and systems development. Examples include the following:
• Analyzed Port of Long Beach (POLB) processes and systems including procurement of construction-related services. Prepared solicitations, including user-defined features and requirements, for software packages and coordinated Port staff evaluations of the alternatives. Other POLB assignments include assistance in preparing a Business Continuity Plan and intensive process analysis of the construction project life cycle and environmental planning services. Jim also facilitated the creation of a service request system for the Engineering Design Division.
• Project manager for CGR’s management performance audit of capital programs at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). The audit was authorized by the Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco.
• Prepared training course and delivered sessions to POLB business analysts in process and organization improvement. The course, Appendix B in this SOQ, includes best practices proposed in this document and describes how to organize to effectively employ new software applications. These applications include electronic employee time reporting, more granular cost tracking using the City’s financial system, project management, and electronic document management.
• Worked with various regions of the Kaiser-Permanente healthcare organization to provide management tools in the form of Provider Service Models for managing medical and support staff functions, improve tracking of workload, and upgrade operational processes and facilities. Regions supported included Southern California, Colorado, Ohio, and Hawaii.
• Supported the Department of Water & Power (LADWP) in developing requirements for its Customer Information System. Jim’s role addressed the needs of City programs that had exceptional (non-LADWP) billing requirements.
• Assisted Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) (Riverside CA) to analyze its warehouse and purchasing functions. The scope included planning warehouse layout and equipment, designing processes for procurement and material management using Council of Supply Chain Management (CSCMP) Process Standards, and recommending an implementation plan.
• Analyzed future operating requirements and made recommendations for the Orange County Water District’s Groundwater Replenishment (GWR) System, a 70 MGD “toilet to tap” facility. This included analysis of staff numbers, organization, and scheduling for operating the facility. Jim developed a roadmap for reviewing staff levels as the technology was implemented. The tool, Discovery-Driven Planning, is described as a methodology that could prove effective to meet County needs.
• Facilitated a review of Bombardier Transportation’s (the world’s largest manufacturer of rail vehicles of all types) supply chain and procurement organization. This led to a redesign of its structure, measures, and processes. The effort used the Supply-Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-model®), an international standard, as a template for self-assessment.
• Conducts workshops and courses internationally in Europe, Hong Kong, the Middle East, and Mainland China. The effort has included delivering an Executive MBA supply chain management course to Chinese executives under contract to UCLA Extension. Jim’s most recent book, Supply Chain Project Management, 2nd edition will be translated into Simplified Chinese in 2012.
• Managed a company-wide total quality management initiative involving multiple client teams, classroom training in TQM tools, and on-the-job implementation of cellular manufacturing organization.
In addition to his experience with CGR, Jim headed healthcare and manufacturing practices for Los Angeles – based Theodore Barry & Associates, and was a partner with the consulting division of Coopers & Lybrand, now PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He also was qualified as a nuclear power plant operator by the U.S. Navy and served as a communications and weapons officer aboard Atlantic Fleet submarines. Jim holds a BS (with distinction) from the U.S. Naval Academy and MS Industrial Engineering and MBA degrees from Stanford University. Jim’s industrial engineering degree includes a concentration in engineering economy, the financial analysis of capital investment decisions.
In addition to his publications, Jim contributed to a series of seminars on lean manufacturing and lean supply chains sponsored by the Manufacturing Management & Technology Institute (MMTI). He is a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), Project Management Institute, and the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) where he serves on its national certification committee.
MBA, Stanford University
MS, Industrial Engineering, Stanford University
BS, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis MD
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Supply Chain Management
Travel, golf, skiing, backpacking