top of page

Case Studies

technical training.jpeg
Growing Talent to Meet Operational Demands

A durable goods manufacturer identified a necessity to enhance the skills and proficiency of its maintenance technicians to improve operational efficiencies. The Maintenance Technician Training Program was conceptualized to provide comprehensive training, assess the existing skill sets, and bridge the knowledge gap among the maintenance technicians.


The program's primary objective was to elevate the technical competency of maintenance technicians, reduce machine downtime, and improve overall productivity. By aligning with Tooling U and local educational institutions, the program aimed to provide a structured learning pathway, combining theoretical knowledge with practical hands-on experience.


Needs Assessment: An initial assessment was conducted to identify core training areas, and a cross-functional team was established to review and design the curriculum.

  • Curriculum Design: The curriculum was meticulously designed in collaboration with an online training platform and local technical colleges, comprising foundational skills, specialized courses, machining, assembly processes, and maintenance-related courses.

  • Practical assessments were incorporated to ensure a hands-on understanding of the learned concepts.

  • Implementation: A phased rollout of the program commenced, starting with baseline testing to gauge the existing knowledge level of the technicians.

  • Online courses were delivered through Tooling U, supplemented by practical assessments at Ivy Tech.

  • Evaluation and Feedback: Continuous assessment through online and practical examinations helped in evaluating the effectiveness of the training.


The program significantly impacted various facets of operations:

  • It increased machine run-time rates by enhancing the technical prowess of the technicians, leading to fewer machine crashes.

  • The scrap and rework rates were reduced, leading to better utilization of resources and materials.

  • Employee retention improved due to enhanced skill sets and job satisfaction.


  • Utilizing the Jack Phillips ROI Methodology, tangible benefits were observed:

  • The hard dollar turnover cost was reduced to $2,915.63 per associate.

  • Enhanced workforce productivity and throughput were noticeable, marking a positive return on investment.


  • The ability to recruit quality employees improved.

  • Reduced cost to deliver training.

  • Increased problem-solving capabilities among technicians.

  • Decreased tooling and operational costs.

  • Fostered a culture of learning and innovation.


The Maintenance Technician Training Program was a well-orchestrated initiative that significantly contributed to elevating the operational efficiency of the manufacturing floor. By investing in the skill development of maintenance technicians, the program achieved its immediate objective of reducing machine downtime and laid a solid foundation for fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation. The success of this program demonstrates the profound impact of well-structured training programs on organizational productivity and employee satisfaction.

Instituting Career Path Programs to Drive Employee Engagement and Operational Success

A manufacturing organization recognized for its commitment to quality and employee growth embarked on a mission to formalize a career path that nurtures talent from the ground up. The Career Path Program initiative was conceptualized to propel individual careers and cultivate a culture of excellence that resonates through every product that comes off the assembly line.


The Career Path Program was designed to be a structured progression. The adaptive learning methodology was used to ensure the continuous development of employees, reinforcing a culture of excellence and teamwork.


The Career Path Program is modeled after the Dreyfus Method (Novice to Expert), where each pay band is delineated through a series of skill assessments and knowledge testing that enables the employee to navigate through each level constituting a different level of knowledge and skill. The structured pathway begins with a new hire and progresses through multiple levels, each level representing a higher degree of expertise and responsibility.


The Career Path Program has revolutionized how the organization invests in its human capital. The structured progression and continuous learning ethos have not only reduced the learning curve for new hires but also significantly enhanced the technical proficiency and morale among the employees. The badge system instills a sense of achievement and motivation, driving employees to constantly evolve, which has reflected positively on productivity and output quality.


Increased core training hours by 279%, reduced turnover and absenteeism of critical manufacturing roles across the organization, and improved productivity and throughput


The Career Path Program created a conducive environment for individual growth and significantly contributed towards upholding the high standards of quality and excellence the organization requires.

career path.jpeg
The Value of  Training in Global ERP Implementations

The success of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementations is deeply intertwined with comprehensive and effective training programs. However, training is often underestimated and under-budgeted in ERP projects, leading to a gap in end-user understanding and adoption of the new systems. The lack of quality end-user training is a significant challenge that hampers the success and ROI of ERP implementations.


The primary goal was to develop and execute a robust training strategy that ensures a smooth transition and adoption of the organization's new SAP/ASTEA system. This strategy aimed to mitigate the risk of low user adoption, technical errors, and process violations that could arise due to inadequate training.


  • Training Strategy Development: A comprehensive training strategy was formulated, focusing on imparting the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) required for effective operation within the new ERP environment.

  • A "Four Tier" strategic approach was initially proposed to provide end-users with a structured, engaging, and innovative training experience.

  • Adaptation to Changes: The original plan had to be modified to a more compressed training approach due to unforeseen internal and external project alterations.

  • Despite challenges such as design alterations, delayed go-live dates, and resource constraints, the training plan was continuously adapted to meet the core training needs.

  • Execution: Utilized various training modalities, including webinars, video recordings, and on-demand learning platforms to accommodate different learning preferences and operational constraints.

  • Engaged with system experts, business process owners, and technical teams to ensure accurate content creation and process mapping.

  • Evaluation: Continuous evaluation of the training modules was planned to ensure effectiveness and relevance.


  • Increased Awareness and Preparedness: The training program was designed to elevate the level of awareness and understanding among the end-users regarding the new ERP systems and processes.

  • Risk Mitigation: Identified and addressed the risks associated with suspending training efforts, mitigating potential negative impacts on system stability, data validity, and user adoption.

  • Cost Avoidance: By emphasizing the importance of training as an investment rather than an expense, the project aimed at reducing the long-term costs associated with poor user adoption, errors, and employee turnover.


  • Improved User Adoption: Successful training initiatives lead to better user adoption, reducing the likelihood of technical errors and process violations, thus enhancing the overall ROI of the ERP implementation.

  • Cost Savings: Avoiding the fiscal impacts of poor training, such as rework, data clean up, and employee turnover, contributes to significant cost savings over time.

  • Enhanced Productivity:

  • Well-trained employees will likely leverage the ERP system more efficiently, improving productivity and achieving business objectives.


The case underscores the pivotal role of training in the success of ERP implementations. Despite challenges, adapting the training strategy to meet the core training needs and ensuring its effective execution is crucial for achieving the desired ROI and ensuring the long-term success of the ERP system within the organization. This case serves as a testament to the importance of viewing training as a vital investment, the returns of which are manifold and long-reaching in ensuring the success and sustainability of ERP systems.


The Partner Readiness Process, commissioned by Katz, Sapper, and Miller, is a comprehensive initiative to nurture the firm's vibrant culture of mentorship, teamwork, and generosity. The firm's ethos of fostering growth among its associates is underlined by a structured pathway to achieving a partner role, a crucial transition that significantly influences the organizational fabric and sets the tempo for enduring success.


The primary objective of this process is to meticulously evaluate an associate's leadership style, motivations, core behaviors, and overall readiness for promotion to a partner role. Through a blend of assessments, the process unveils pivotal developmental areas that associates need to hone to step into a partner role seamlessly.


The methodology pivoted around a multi-pronged approach:

  • Trait and Behavioral Analysis: Extensive literature reviews around trait theories to understand personal qualities distinguishing leaders from non-leaders and behavioral theories to understand teachable leadership behaviors.

  • Multi-Tool Assessment: Employed five assessments to form a holistic overview of each candidate's leadership style, behaviors, and motivation.

  • Reiss Motivation Profile®: Evaluates an individual's desire for 16 distinctive characteristics aligning with the leadership traits that Katz, Sapper, and Miller identified.

  • 360 Feedback (Pre & Post): Collects performance feedback from multiple raters to gauge an associate's effectiveness as an employee, coworker, or peer.

  • Semi-Structured Interviews: Engages potential prospects for development in the partner pathway program to collect personal perceptions of leadership.

  • Multi-Rater Leadership Assessment: A 7-point Likert-style survey to collect feedback on fundamental leadership skills.

 Data Analysis:

  • Employed Thematic Content Analysis to analyze transcribed data from semi-structured interviews.

  • Utilized Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS), Atlas Ti 7.0, for coding and theme identification.

  • Triangulation: Cross-validated data from multiple sources to capture different dimensions of leadership traits and behaviors among associates.


The Partner Readiness Process heralded a structured, data-driven approach to identifying and nurturing potential leaders within Katz, Sapper, and Miller. By unearthing a clear picture of each associate's leadership capabilities and areas for development, the process has positioned the firm on a trajectory of informed decision-making concerning partner promotions. This, in turn, augments the firm's capacity to maintain its cherished organizational culture while gearing up for future success.


The tangible return on investment manifests in the enhanced quality of leadership within the firm, leading to better team dynamics, increased productivity, and a positive impact on the firm's bottom line. The nuanced understanding of associates' leadership traits and behaviors also streamlines the partner promotion process, optimizing resource allocation in leadership development programs.


The Partner Readiness Process at Katz, Sapper & Miller exemplifies a well-orchestrated approach to leadership assessment and development. The process nurtures potential leaders by dovetailing rigorous assessment with a keen understanding of the firm's values and future aspirations. It fortifies the organizational culture that underpins Katz, Sapper, and Miller's enduring success. Through this initiative, the firm is well-poised to navigate the dynamics of leadership transitions while fostering a nurturing environment for its associates.

bottom of page