Profile

Professional summary

Daniel Feiman, MBA, CMC®
Consultant, Trainer, Author, Reviewer

We transform ordinary organizations into extraordinary one by Turning Roadblocks into Roadmaps(SM). Our ideal engagement creates more measurable value for our client than our fee so they succeed while we end up being free.

Daniel Feiman is the Founder and Managing Director of Build It Backwards, a consulting & training firm based in Redondo Beach, CA. He consults in 4 areas: Strategy: Planning & Implementation; Leadership: Transformation & Sustainability; Finance: Modeling & Analysis; Process: Continuous Process Improvement & Certified Supplier Programs. Mr. Feiman is a nationally recognized leader in these areas.

Over the past 39 years he has worked with firms in many industries including: automo

Engagement overview

No 2 engagements are alike as they are dictated by the client, their circumstances & time commitment. We always start with an assessment to determine directions & depth. Our goal is to create more measurable, sustainable value for the client than our fees so we become an investment in their future rather than a cost of doing business.

Clients

• American Management Association (AMA)
• Apple
• Century Electronics
• Chubb
• Credit Suisse
• Delta Faucets
• Gentex

Case Studies

An aircraft parts distributor wanted to acquire a major asset but could not decide between two seemingly compelling alternatives. Time was short and they needed to make the RIGHT decision because of the potential long-term financial impact on the firm. The complexity of the situation was enhanced because the assets had different useful lifetimes... Read more

A mid-sized alternative lender had no strategic plan, no direction, no growth prospects, and its ability to even survive was in doubt. They had not followed their own client guidelines & had gotten themselves into trouble. .. Read more

On a monthly basis, a large local insurance brokerage firm tediously reconciled all payments and commissions that were owed to them and that they owed. Between the dozens of insurance companies they represented, the hundreds of independent agents that worked with them, and the thousands of clients they serviced, the brokerage was overwhelmed.



The Controller was spending most of his time creati... Read more

An investment banking firm was about to acquire two divisions of a publicly traded firm for $120,000,000. One week before the closing, the financial model they spent months building to justify the investment did not work. This meant they could not demonstrate to their two lenders that the deal would generate the cash and profits required to meet the payment schedule & repay the loans as planned.

... Read more

A mid-sized escrow company discovered an opportunity in the marketplace that would allow them to rapidly expand through acquisition. Although they had a strategy to do so it was not working. They simply did not know how to execute their strategy... Read more

A start up niche consumer products firm had a product line with excellent potential. The firm faced 2 major challenges; 1) they didn't know how to capitalize on all of the highly competitive distribution channels; 2). they had limited equity capital & it was not enough not survive a head on industry onslaught... Read more

Insights

How do you assess the optimum rate of business growth?

Assuming you have planned your growth based on where you want to take the firm & how you'll get there, a simple financial projection with a Growth Model is a good starting point. Begin with an "Internal" growth rate model (IGR); move to a "Sustainable" version (SGR) then roll the results into and EFN (External Funding Needed) model to calcula... Read more

This is not meant as criticism, just observation based on the limited information here: Point #1 is either your labor costs are too high (am indicator of relatively inefficient operations) or your sales are too low (an indicator of ineffective marketing, sales or service). Now that I have your attention:

Point #2 is you might save yourselves some time by choosing 1 or 2 of your main or most cri... Read more

This is so timely as a reporter just reached out to me for an interview on a similar situation. Debt vs. equity financing is always a challenging topic. There are 2 main reasons for this: 1) most firms really haven't calculated the relative cost of each (hint, equity ALWAYS cost more than debt; really!) and 2) they haven't analyzed their risk appetite.

Let's address risk first since it is such... Read more

Will your boss like completely changing the culture? This is critical. Unless the culture is changed nothing else will work.

Rewarding individuals who help navigate through monthly recurring crises is fine as long as they are given even more rewards for "preventing" them from occurring. this way they won't recur and the resources can be put into more productive pursuits.

Assuming the firm will... Read more

Driving performance by looking at revenue, operating profit and various cost elements is fine for a tactical, short-term, approach, but what are the long-term goals? What strategies are you using to achieve these? In other words, increasing revenue by discounting prices below your cost might help grow revenue. Operating profit is a good metric but in relationship to...?

When branch managers are f... Read more

The problem is not is the medium but the methodology. It is not the tools but the techniques. You need to approach this like any other "process improvement" initiative:

1) what is your end game or goal;
2) who is the "Process Champion" who will drive this regularly from the 30,000 foot level;
3) who is the "Process Owner" responsible for leading the team who will document all processes, procedure... Read more

Even during "good" times, you want to review your strategic plan annually. During these more challenging times you have even more reason to dig deeper. We facilitate this kind of discussion with our clients regularly.

Finding a new "core business", as you say, is a result of going back to basics & you want to Build it Backwards from your Vision. What is it that you (the firm) is/are passionate ab... Read more

Well it sounds like your asking a couple of questions here. You have existing experience owning & successfully running multiple businesses. Congratulations.

You are now starting up a new business that you have no experience in but you feel has great potential. You state that it "feels" like you need 1 kind of CEO to start & grow the business & another to take it to the next level. Absolutely. M... Read more

Let's start with the premise that continuous process improvement (CPI), to be sustainably successful, must be ingrained in the corporate culture. It is not a transaction. This means is must be linked to the corporate Vision (where we are going), Mission (how we are getting there) & Values (what we stand for) first. From these you can craft you SMARTER Goals, the relative metrics & tie everything t... Read more

This sounds like you have a co-dependent relationship with your existing supplier. This is always tricky with a sole-source. 1 false move by either party & it could spell disaster. So you're considering a 2nd vendor. Your questions 1 & 2 are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Step back & think "if you were starting over how would you arrange the relationship(s)?" This is an opportunity to deve... Read more

From the limited information you have given us it appears that your employees have no "buy-in" to the firm. Do you have, and share, your corporate "Vision"? Do employees have a reason to want to be a part of the Team? What is the reason they come to work everyday, other than the paycheck? What difference are they making in the world?

Until they understand, emotionally commit and concur with th... Read more

Publications

The Book on Improving Productivity by Fair Means or Foul In times of financial crisis, all businesses will be looking at people performance, but more importantly, they will need to explore how to improve productivity to optimize effectivene... Read more

Someone had to write it…and that’s why we did. THE Book on . . . Business from A to Z; The 260 Most Important Answers You Need to Know is the result of trying to constantly answer clients’ questions across a vast range of business top... Read more

For most entrepreneurs, starting their own business is a labor of love. The time, energy, and money they spend help bring their dream of being the boss to life. However, after pumping in personal assets and money from family and friends to ... Read more

Testimonials

I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the training. Mr. Feiman has vast knowledge, he was practical & understanding.

Kauka Havea, Finance Manager Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency

Great 3-day program. I would love to attend his next event. Mr. Feiman was exceptional in these five areas:o  Level of content knowledge shared.o  List of books and recommendations for further reading.o  Organization and preparation.o  Enthusiasm: he kept the participants engaged at all times.o  Ability to keep the group focused “No side Talk”

Mohammed . S. Haboudal, Procurement & Contract Dept. Mgr. Arabian Geophysical & Surveying Company

Daniel put in an immense effort and performed wonderfully. I received more than I expected from this course, mostly due to his instruction, challenging nature & kindness.

IT Business Office, Director Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC

Daniel took our Strategic Planning efforts to a new level. With Daniel's guidance, we established our metrics, identified our strengths, and set stretch goals while and still got the much needed 'buy-in' from key managers.

Larry McAdams, CEO Schrillo Company, Inc.

Thank you for the strategic planning program you provided for W Machine Works. Our team is very confident about the direction of the company after engaging your services. In addition to being informative, the entire session was entertaining and the time moved quickly. I look forward to working with you again in the future — I know W Machine Works is a better company as a result of our involvement with you.

Marzel Nechien, President W Machine Works

The 3 day Strategic Planning Workshop lead by Mr. Daniel Feiman was instrumental in developing and aligning our corporate vision and short, medium, and long term goals. Mr. Feiman's background and knowledge in the subject matter were exceptional and his guidance has been the springboard for our "business transformation" as we continue to manage our growth. It was a pleasure working with Mr. Feiman in support of this initiative.

Robert McCay, CEO GENTEX Respiratory Products