Market penetration of Operational Excellence consultants (or Business Excellence) in the huge SMB/SME sector of the economy is less than about 1 percent. It’s time to change that.

If you are an experienced management consultant, read on to see how you can benefit from our new low cost implementation approach and online support platform. You could become an authorized external ‘Pacemaker’ consultant enabling multiple local SMB implementations in your country.

We need to change the way we implement operational excellence in Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). SMBs are NOT just small versions of big businesses. They require a simpler, faster and lower cost way of implementing excellence.

The standard big business approach of engaging a team of consultants to facilitate comprehensive implementation is not financially feasible for most SMBs. Largely as a result, approx. 99% of SMBs are missing out on the benefits of full operational excellence. This represents a severe opportunity cost for any national economy.

Proven Net Benefits facilitated by Operational Excellence consultants

We know that when implemented well, the benefits of implementing business excellence are immense. Documented case studies since the 1950s confirm that net benefits over 5 years add up to at least 22.5% of this year’s Sales. Even in Year 1, ‘quick win’ improvements generate net benefits greater than 1.5% of Sales.

One would think that these massive net benefits would be a major incentive for any SMB to get started.

Widespread CEO Resistance to date

However, in spite of these proven net benefits, SMB CEOs frequently cite several reasons for why they are NOT currently pursuing excellence in a holistic, structured manner…

  1. “I don’t really understand what would be involved”
  2. “I thought it was more for big companies (like GE, IBM or Toyota)”
  3. “We can’t afford the substantial consulting assistance required”
  4. “We don’t have sufficient staff resources (e.g. IT; HR) to help drive the implementation”

The Solution to achieving Business / Operational Excellence

So, what can be done to overcome these perceived major ‘barriers to entry’ for SMBs?

Answer: Develop and market an entirely new way of implementing full business excellence that redresses all the above significant barriers perceived by the CEOs.

Challenging Performance Brief

To be successful, that new way must satisfy all the following stringent performance criteria…

  1. Be consistent with the proven international frameworks and criteria for operational excellence
  2. NOT involve prohibitive amounts of external consulting assistance
  3. NOT need a comprehensive up-front assessment of the business before real implementation starts
  4. Be well understood and led from the top
  5. Use simple, common language that everyone can understand
  6. Generate quick wins
  7. Do the right things right and in the right sequence
  8. Provide detailed step-by-step instructions for the entire journey
  9. Integrate every aspect of the implementation as it proceeds
  10. Involve all employees
  11. Ensure accountability for individual and collective critical actions
  12. Visually track the resultant business impacts every month via the right strategic KPIs plus operational KPIs
  13. Quantify the net benefits of completed improvement projects
  14. Be applicable to any SMB in any industry
  15. Be accessible via the Internet at low cost

The good news

Such a simple, integrated and carefully sequenced approach designed exclusively for SMBs is now available. It has been developed by Dr Mark Rehn based on 37 years of management consulting assistance provided to over 1,000 clients implementing various aspects of operational excellence. During that time, he also led the management consultancy (Aptech Australia) commissioned by the Australian Federal Government to develop nation-wide consulting methodologies for both World Competitive Manufacturing and Total Quality Management.

Implementation Alternatives for the SMB and Operational Excellence

The SMB may choose to undertake the implementation in full DIY mode (i.e. with zero external consultant input and with an internal employee taking on the part-time role of Pacemaker). This alternative works fine if the nominated internal Pacemaker has sound workshop facilitation and team building skills.


If there is no suitable internal candidate, the SMB may prefer to engage an external authorized ‘Pacemaker’ consultant (you?) to keep things on track. The external Pacemaker will be an experienced consultant who becomes fully familiar with the methodology and Portal toolset. Most CEOs prefer to pay for this alternative because they rarely have a suitable internal Pacemaker candidate.

Pacemaker Role in Operational Excellence

The role of the Pacemaker (internal or external) is analogous to the role of a medical pacemaker in that the rhythm at the heart of the SMB’s implementation must be maintained – particularly during the first 2 years.

The My Business Excellence® Portal has been designed to guide the SMB through implementation of operational excellence in a simple linear sequence. Working closely with the organisation’s CEO, the appointed internal or external Pacemaker facilitates the overall process.

The Pacemaker helps the CEO populate the Portal and keep the implementation program on track. By following the detailed instructions within the Portal, the Pacemaker also facilitates the prescribed set of Critical Events during the first 2 years.

Each external Pacemaker engagement with an SMB Client is for a fixed total of only 46.5 days over the first 2 years of implementation. Each authorized external Pacemaker can handle up to 8 Clients concurrently.

Online training in this new approach is provided ‘up front’ via the Portal for each internal or external Pacemaker.

Comprehensive online instructions for every implementation step are provided for both the Pacemaker and the participating SMB.

For 2 years, the Pacemaker works directly with the CEO, line Managers and key staff. Progress is reviewed every month via the advanced graphics capabilities of the Portal. The cumulative Net benefits of completed improvement projects are also quantified and monitored. By the end of Year 2, the SMB will be self sufficient in the application of operational excellence techniques.

The Portal annual subscription for an external Pacemaker is only AUD$800. The annual subscription for any SMB Client is specified on the Home page of the website and is a function of the SMB’s current annual Sales revenue.

Click here to request a free demonstration of the Portal in action for an SMB. It will show you what implementation steps are involved for the SMB and also for you as a potential authorised external Pacemaker.

For a full explanation of this new approach, the online Portal offering and the external Pacemaker consulting opportunity,  download your copy of the free eBook.