About Jim

Jim McCallum, from Glasgow, Scotland, graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Strathclyde University and started his career as a technical expert – Senior Scientific Officer – with the National Engineering Laboratory in Scotland, where he specialised in designing and developing innovative engineering solutions for clients, including -

- hydrostatic transmissions for vehicles
- high-pressure water jetting equipment for cutting applications, and
- various sensitive projects for the UK Ministry of Defence

Wanting to broaden his technical expertise into general management, Jim then joined PA Management Consultants.  It was said that one year’s experience with PA was the equivalent of five years’ experience in industry.  Jim stayed with PA for almost two years, during which he established a reputation for communicating at all levels from boardroom to shop floor and achieving innovative changes in business operations, mainly in the engineering sector.

Over the next ten years or so, he then joined a succession of US corporations in Scotland at Director or senior management level, including –

- Cincinnati, where he ran its European operations,
- Honeywell, where he ran the operations of its Micro Switch Division, and
- JLG Industries, where he set up and ran its European operations.

He then set up his own company to market the new US built Canica rock crusher into the UK and South Africa.  He sold this business four years later.

When Coopers & Lybrand, his financial advisors, then asked him to join them to help rescue failing businesses, he jumped at the chance, and was directly involved in rescuing businesses in the food, electronics and engineering sectors.  However UK law changed in 1985 and made it more difficult to perform this role, and he was then asked to head up the new Manufacturing and Operations Consulting Group in Scotland.

Consulting Activities

In the mid-1980s, UK industry faced fierce competition from the Far East.  Coopers therefore decided to help their large audit base of industrial clients become more competitive and brought an expert from the US to train some senior UK consultants on Lean principles, which were reputed to achieve significant improvements in business operations.  This coincided with Jim’s move to the M&O group, and he was chosen to learn and apply these new Lean principles because of his extensive business experience.

However, with his business rescue background, Jim wanted to apply these principles even more quickly, and so worked up a special fast-track Lean approach – SuperLean – that eventually evolved into his unique “Be the Best” approach to business transformation.

He started applying this approach in the electronics and engineering sectors in Scotland and had such great results in terms of turning these businesses around quickly that he went on to apply the same approach in the food, drink, clothing, textiles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals sectors, and into the service sector in insurance, banks, and postal operations in companies throughout the UK and internationally.

Jim has now directed and delivered successful business transformations around the world for nearly thirty years, first with Coopers & Lybrand, which became PwC Consulting, and ultimately became IBM Business Consulting Services.  In 2004 he set up his own business, Jim McCallum Consulting, working exclusively for selected clients and helping them to “Be the Best” throughout their global operations.

Among his greatest achievements as a consultant have been –
- Developing and perfecting his ‘vision-led’ consulting approach that delivers superior results more quickly than the more common ‘issues-led’ approach.
- Developing and applying his ‘input control’ technique to achieve right first time performance levels in any operational or administrative process.
- Developing the ‘unofficial influencers’ and ‘potential losers’ concepts that have transformed his implementation of change management.
- Developing and applying BtB costing concepts that have revolutionised the tracking and management of operational product costs and profitability.
- Developing and implementing Process Oriented Organisation concepts that have simplified and consolidated the benefits of operational transformation.

And with his clients –
- During the nineties helping a US based chemicals and pharmaceuticals corporation to achieve world class manufacturing across their global operations, the first time this had ever been done in a big pharma company.  They even paid for him to transform a key supplier in the SF Bay area.
- During the noughties helping a Swiss based pharma corporation achieve “Be the Best” standards of performance across their pharmaceutical, chemical and biotech manufacturing operations globally, resulting in them becoming the most productive and highly rated big pharma company.
- Transforming the operations of a Scottish pcb manufacturer so that it became the most productive and profitable in its sector in Europe.
- Improving the right first time measure on the production lines of a US based surface mount pcb manufacturer from 0% to over 90% that transformed the business, allowing it to double in size with the same staffing levels.
- Implementing a BtB Elite program in a Scottish based engineering company that made it the most successful company in Europe in its market sector.
- Reducing bottling line changeover times by over 75% in a major Scotch whisky company which transformed customer service with lower stock levels.
- After achieving a 2.5 times increase in productivity in a Scottish based double-glazed window manufacturer, being told by shop floor staff that their working life had become much simpler and easier than before.
- Introducing a new business measure in a Scottish based milk processor, which transformed it to become the dominant player in its marketplace.
- Transforming the operations of a Scottish based ladies wear manufacturer by reducing manufacturing lead times from 33 days to 3 days, so that it became the fast response supplier of choice to a major high street multiple.
- Rolling out a “Be the Best” program across multiple sites in Royal Mail to radically improve delivery performance with associated cost savings.
- Transforming the invoicing operations of a UK health insurance company which then used it as a competitive advantage to attract more customers.
- Creating and implementing a “Be the Best” program in a UK private hospital that increased productivity and profitability by a third.
- Re-engineering the operational processes of a UK benefits agency prior to their automation.

In 2012 Jim retired from active consulting.  However, after being badgered by clients for years about writing a book on his unique approach, he eventually set it out as a web-based self-learning training course to help people learn how to emulate his approach and become personally and professionally more successful.  This course can be checked out at www.jmcc-best.com.  He believes his course leaves a legacy for the future that others can follow and become the best in their business just like the hundreds of senior managers and members of the client teams that have worked with him, and who have given him so many “wow” moments.



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