When her employer was considering a significant downsizing, Megan Burns decided to pursue her dream of running a management consulting firm.
She certainly had the necessary credentials, background and industrial experience: Burns had a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, an MBA, and more than a dozen years in technical and management-level positions with several manufacturing firms.
But Burns lacked a clear idea of how to convert those skills into starting, operating and growing an entrepreneurial business. Based on a friend’s recommendation, she contacted SCORE, and was connected with two mentors who had extensive consulting experience in similar industries.
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Since launching in 2006, Operations Strategy Consulting has grown and expanded, project by project. Word of her successful projects, with documented savings, profitability and improved operations, spread resulting in business growth into a larger regional firm. Operations Strategy has grown from just Megan delivering all the work, to a team of three, and client size has increased to include mid-size manufacturers.
The company now offers not only services in lean manufacturing, but has expanded to include Six Sigma, quality methodologies, supply chain management and ISO and TS compliance training and consulting. Based on the company’s success, Megan has been featured as a speaker at industry conferences, and has had articles published in regional and national publications.
Megan was selected as an instructor in the Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Department of Management, and has previously been a guest lecturer for Penn State University, Duquesne University, and Westmoreland Community College.
Mentors Harry Albert and Bill McGarrity helped Megan understand the tools and framework she needed to start and grow a successful firm. Their experience and understanding of both the manufacturing and consulting industries equipped Megan with the knowledge and confidence to actually launch her firm.
Before meeting with her mentors, they recommended Burns attend a workshop so she could understand the basics and be ready to talk about specifics when she sat down with her mentors.
When Burns finally met with Harry Albert and Bill McGarrity, they went through the details of whom Operations Strategy Consulting would target, the services it would offer, and even how to structure its contracts. Initially, Burns met with her mentors once a week until she launched her firm in August 2006, and then met with them once a month.