KEA Advisors provide businesses with detailed analysis of business operations, with thoughtful implementation of innovative strategies that leverage current teams and systems.
KEA creates and assists in the implementation of custom plans for companies and departments, providing assistance focused on transformation and profit for the business client.
KEA began working with Kansas SBDC, at the University of Kansas (KU), with the regional director Will Katz in June of 2011. They were working through a new marketing and sales plan. KEA worked with the SBDC through advising and training and successfully rolled out a new brand one year into their work with the SBDC.
Recently we had an opportunity to sit down and talk with the team about their experience.
Kansas SBDC: What specific challenge(s) prompted you to contact the Kansas SBDC?
KEA Advisors: Our first contact with the Kansas SBDC several years ago was focused on revenue growth and project management, as well as helping us define the leadership portion of our engagements. We have continued to work with the SBDC on building processes and procedures for our business and helping develop the structure of our business to maximize the valuation of our company. The focus has been to move our business from “entrepreneurial” to “professionally managed.”
Kansas SBDC: How did your Kansas SBDC advisor or advisor team help you overcome these challenges? What solutions did you and your advisor discover together?
KEA Advisors: The initial solutions were to attend a Profit Competencies workshop. We utilized that workshop to identify profit leaks and to start to move our company away from a lone wolf organization. We also identified cost and project management tools and marketing ideas to help the business grow. From there, we engaged with SBDC and the University of Kansas entrepreneurship class for a deep dive into our project management process. This provided us some process and project management ideas, as well as continued marketing ideas. The SBDC continued to work with us at company meetings as well as one-on-one to review financial performance and continual organizational development. Our last engagement with SBDC was to start to identify transition processes to continue the movement from entrepreneur leadership to professionally managed. This, along with transition to potential new ownership, will continue to be the basis of our relationship with SBDC.
Kansas SBDC: What specific results or outcomes have you experienced in your business since implementing these solutions? How have these results changed your business?
KEA Advisors: Improved project management and “line of sight” in terms of project status and profitability. We now develop logical and well thought out budgets for our projects and have established a pricing methodology to apply to this logic. We then are able to analyze our actual job profitability and performance.
This has helped us reduce our cost of sales as percentage of sales by two percentage points, as well as open additional capacity for our business. This equates to about $50,000+ per year. In addition, the continued defining of our organizational structure has helped us to improve the role definitions of our business. This has helped us to maintain growth in annual sales and operating profitability. Our sales have grown by 83% since 2011, and our operating income has increased by 230%+ since 2011. We have been able to improve our project quality while retaining a significant amount of our sales increase.
Kansas SBDC: When assisting you with your business, what did the Kansas SBDC do really well?
KEA Advisors: They listen very well to the concerns that we have and help us craft customized solutions unique to our firm. They have also been able to help us at various stages of our business growth and in various areas of our business.
More about KEA Advisors
Kansas SBDC Advisor
Will Katz, KU