December 5, 2022

Why PowerSource Solutions?

I was discussing relaunching the PowerSource website with my web marketing guru, and he told me to start with the reason for PowerSource. My primary reason for the website was to create a home for articles focused on business stories from my experience as well as a circle of incredibly talented professional friends. We will promote the articles and commentaries on LinkedIn and other social media channels to reach interested audiences.

I am keenly interested in studying organizations that are successful, compared to those who seem to be missing one or more critical components for success. My career seems to have a common pattern of joining firms with strategic and operational issues. In many cases, we transformed the organizations with a pattern of recurring actions and a heavy reliance on business process improvements, competitive benchmarking, harmonizing key systems, and exploiting best-of-breed technology solutions. We think the most important question that is not asked frequently enough before acting is: Why? And too many times, strategic decisions that commit precious resources are made on an executive “good idea” without the market research to support and test potentially better alternatives.

We also strongly believe that high morale is a necessary condition for sustained success. Achieving high morale is complicated and complex. It requires a culture of transparency, honesty, ethical and moral behavior, and consistency. High morale mandates that the best practitioners must reside in the leadership – talking and walking with equal commitment.

So, why PowerSource? We enjoy working with clients to assist them in achieving leadership positions in their strategic niches. Our business allows us to put into practice the best practices and time-proven approaches with clients we enjoy. Our website provides both a blueprint as well as continuing case studies and thought articles for those organizations beyond the reach of our direct resources.

PowerSource advises C-level clients and Board directors in solving problems and strengthening the effectiveness of core business processes. We bring hard-won acumen and commitment to teamwork and bottom-line restructuring developed in a variety of US and international settings. We’ve successfully restructured operating units both large and small in a variety of industries and geographies through aggressive cost controls, hands-on cash flow management techniques, and the formation of restructured business plans. These efforts enabled firms to move forwards based on their sustainable resources with reduced external funding requirements.

Over the years, we’ve brought different subject matter experts to support specific engagements. At times, we’ve provided outsource executives to fill positions that were either new or unexpectedly vacant.

A few success stories that capture elements of the PowerSource playbook:

  • We’ve worked in transforming a digital publishing firm with 80% if the employee base in India, a multi-state construction firm, and a leading nonprofit endeavoring to address the needs of 85 million Americans impacted by food allergies.
  • As CFO for IBM Australia, Bart worked with the leadership team to create a new business strategy with necessary changes to the management, measurement, and compensation systems. As a result, IBM Australia:
    • Doubled profit margins. 
    • Improved cash flow by reducing A/R days-sales-outstanding by 50%, 
    • Enabled repayment of $200 million debt, and he
    • Led acquisition of professional services firm in New Zealand.
  • As CFO for an IBM Semiconductor Business Unit, Bart worked with the team to transform the uncompetitive cost structure to a strategic component of IBM’s hardware success.
    • 30% reduction of indirect workforce with no reduction in process effectiveness,
    • Business processes were evaluated by IBM audit at the highest standards, and organization was recognized for the achievement,
    • All of this was accomplished against a backdrop of revenue growth, accelerated technology development and introduction to manufacturing with a 10K+ people organization.
  • As CFO for a troubled wireless telecom public company, Bart had the following impact:
    • Motient ($100M revenue), formerly American Mobile Satellite Corp. Provided B2B wireless network services using geostationary satellites and terrestrial network.
    • Reduced public debt by $500M while transforming company from a perennial negative cash flow entity with a $1B cumulative Net Loss to sustained positive cashflow.
    • Acquired controlling interest in XM Satellite Radio prior to launch of service, attracting subsequent investors including General Motors, DirectTV, Honda, and several financial sponsors.
    • Promoted to EVP, CFO and Board member. Spun out two new satellite subsidiaries:
      Lightsquared (formerly MSV) and Terrestar.
  • As CFO for a leading nonprofit addressing the needs of 85M Americans effected by food allergies, Bart had the following impact:
    • FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of the 85M individuals impacted by food allergy in the USA, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments and diagnostics.
    • Teamed with CEO to restructure FARE including 30% reduction in staff to reorient organization for a larger commitment to research.
    • Moved IT systems from server-based to cloud services, with an unintended consequence of FARE moving to 100% remote operations in March 2020 without interruption, continuing to the present.
    • Directly managed the areas responsible for: launched a learning management system with over 40,000 users in the first 12-months of operation, built a College & University database with over 1,000 institutions for teens and parents looking for food allergy friendly higher education destinations,
    • Conducted over 20 market research studies highlighting the impact of anxiety in the daily lives of parent and teens,
    • Launched a mobile app to bring FARE-content into the hands of the 32M individuals with food allergies and the additional 53M individuals living with them.
    • Continuous ‘clean’ external auditor assessments and timely external filings

Over the next few weeks, we will have more to say on the reemergence of PowerSource Solutions, and our thoughts on topics we think are relevant to leaders of for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

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