Consultant Profile
James Ayers

Jim Ayers’ consulting experience has been directed at strategic planning, product development and operations improvement in multiple industries. These include electronics, defense, aerospace, chemicals, consumer and industrial manufacturing, healthcare, financial institutions, and professional services. His clients face industry change driven by changing technology, global competition, deregulation, or new economics. Examples of client programs include the following:

  • Over two year period, orchestrated an evaluation of Bombardier Transportation, headquartered in Germany, current situation and developed a redesign of its organization, measures, and processes. The Bombardier business unit supplied aftermarket repair parts through multiple channels to the client’s large, international client base. Has performed periodic follow-up to evaluate progress and make adjustments.
  • Led an entertainment industry team to prepare a stage and gate environment for releasing new products. The methods involved several different disciplines and reduced lead-time by 40%.
  • Worked with chemical industry client team to develop a production plan for a gas separation technology and preparation of a multi-year commercialization plan for the technology.
  • Conducted surveys of both customers and suppliers regarding client fulfillment processes, and opportunities for product improvement.
  • Assessed a product development group of 400 engineers in an aerospace development environment for opportunities to reduce cycle times and increase output. The project produced a $9 million first year savings from a client investment of less than $1 million for consulting services.
  • Assisted an entrepreneur with a patented material handling device to find funding for product introduction.
  • Facilitated a client team for an electronics manufacturer with short product life cycles in reducing its bill of material (BOM) cost. Prepared diverse strategies including negotiations, sourcing, and supply chain improvement. The project resulted in a 23% BOM cost reduction in the first full year of implementation.
  • Redesigned the Advance Quality Planning process for DaimlerChrysler. This process includes early interventions with suppliers associated with product launches and weight/cost modifications to parts. These interventions were meant to eliminate defects in assembly plants.
  • Assisted two Fortune 500 companies seeking to develop a new shipping and logistics industry service based on a new technology. Services included design of the manufacturing structure and establishing the financial feasibility of the business.
  • Developed a marketing strategy for a supplier to electronics industry for variety of products. Used client strategy team to develop product-by-product strategies.
  • Restructured the material purchasing and distribution network for a California-based telecommunications organization.
  • Consulting to a Mexican automotive supplier seeking to expand its value-added in products delivered to customers’ assembly plants in North America.
  • Redesigned production scheduling for copier company’s printed circuit plant. Addressed batch sizing, WIP buffer inventory, cells, packaging, and labor productivity.
  • Assisted national laboratories in commercialization of solar cell technology including production, marketing, and distribution analysis support.
  • Assisted national laboratories in commercialization of solar cell technology including production, marketing, and distribution analysis support.
  • Prepared facilities and information system plan for a maker of pacemakers and defibrillators. The project included the design of methods and procedures through the entire production cycle and supporting requirements for systems.
  • Facilitated a team to reduce the lead-time for its product manufacturing. Reduced lead-time by 50% through lean manufacturing. The program was associated with a company-wide total quality training program.
  • Worked with team of client physicians to develop peer review methodology. Implemented methodology on trial basis.
  • Managed company-wide total quality management initiative involving multiple client teams, classroom training in TQM tools, and on-the-job implementation of cellular manufacturing.
  • Assisted a pharmaceutical company in evaluating its needs for capital budgeting information systems.

These examples required ongoing consultant interaction with client teams at all levels of the organization. This insured acceptance of the recommendations and subsequent implementation.

Through his career, Jim has contributed frequently through professional societies, published articles and books, client education, and speaking to diverse industry groups. He authored Improving Your Competitive Position published by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and The Handbook of Supply Chain Management published by St. Lucie Press and APICS. The latter is a bestseller and is in its second edition. His book, Supply Chain Project Management: a Structured Collaborative and Measurable Approach provides templates for managing supply chain projects from strategy to implementation. It incorporates lessons learned in new product introductions and best practices from the Project Management Institute, maintained in PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). A second edition is due in 2009.

He has also published the following articles which are available at

  • Apply Management Tools to Development Activities (Chemical Engineering Progress)
  • 4 Steps to Managing Complex Development Programs (Chemical Engineering Progress)
  • What Smokestack Industries Can Tell Us About Reengineering (Information Strategy: the Executive’s Journal)
  • Business Tools for Technology Transfer (Hydrocarbon Processing)

Related seminars include Business Took Kit for the R&D Manager, a half-day workshop, sponsored by the International Quality and Productivity Center and presented at two conferences, “Reengineering R&D Processes in the Chemical Industry” and “Management Strategies for Product Development.”

Jim has contributed to a series of seminars on lean manufacturing and lean supply chains sponsored by the Manufacturing Management & Technology Institute (MMTI). He addressed the Korean Management Association in Seoul on the topic of supply chain management, including lean supply chains. Jim has supported UCLA Extension by providing a four-day course on Supply Chain Management in China. The course, which covers product life cycle issues, is part of an Executive MBA program at the South China University of Technology (SCUT) in Guangzhou in Guangdong Province.

Jim holds a BS from the US Naval Academy with distinction and MBA and MS Industrial Engineering degrees from Stanford. He served in the Navy aboard nuclear submarines after completing a rigorous technical training program. He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and member of the Institute of Management Consultants, pledged to uphold the IMC Code of Ethics. Prior to joining CGR Management Consultants, he held practice leadership roles at Coopers & Lybrand, Theodore Barry & Associates, and Ingersoll Engineers. At Theodore Barry & Associates, he was recognized for outstanding consulting performance.

Organization memberships include the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and the Project Management Institute (PMI). Jim has supported the Supply-Chain Council in the development of its Supply-Chain Reference Model (SCOR). Jim’s team was specifically tasked with incorporating collaboration into SCOR.