Case Studies

Family Owned Service Business - Construction

The Challenge:

A 35 plus year old family owned Electrical Contracting business was struggling through an ownership transition from father to son. Father was exerting his independent authority, whichundermined his son's management decisions creating conflict within the organization. Revenues had increased in the prior 3 years, while bottom line results remained flat. Hired by the owner's son, we focused on the development of a strategy for the business and a development plan that would enable him to assert his management and leadership presence.

Solution Milestones:

  • Worked with the owner's son to address the issues between he and his father that were affecting his ability to emerge from the shadow of the owner's son to being recognized as president and decision maker.
  • An organizational assessment was completed, resulting in a short term strategy to streamline organizational and process improvement issues.
  • Identified day to day workflow and inventory control issues to reduce costs and improve inefficiencies. Assisted in the introduction of an electronic inventory system that streamlined the operation and significantly reduced inventory costs and lost time.
  • Trained technical and support personnel in Customer Loyalty Process techniques focused on engaging effectively with customers by establishing connections that build confidence and trust.
  • Investments in branding were made to enhance the company's professional image and visible presence within the community.
  • Management Development Process conducted to facilitate succession and work/personal balance for owner.


  • At the end of the first year, bottom line performance exceeded expectations.
  • Achieved double digit growth in their custom audio electronics system installation service business.
  • Business growth enabled the acquisition of a complimentary High Voltage business enabling the company to complete more broadly in their market space.
  • Performance has improved year over for the past three years. Despite downturn in the economy and construction industry, company continues to maintain a stable workforce and overall financial health of the business.
  • The President/Owner of the business was recognized by the Academic Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE) as their
    2008 Cornerstone Entrepreneur of the Year.

Norm guided me through a process of reorganizing my department in a way that engaged and energized the whole team. In many ways, I attribute much of my success as a manager to the lesssons that I learned from him. I learned through the insight he shared and coaching that he was truly interested in my success. His honest, tell it like it is approach, combined with his ability to impart his considerable knowledge using clear messages, was helpful in revealing my current (and hidden) strengths, and also come to grips with areas that need improvement.

A. Waples,
Consulting Manager

Executive Coaching & Consulting - Boston, MA

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