Operations and Process Optimization

It's in Our DNA

Our mission is to help our clients optimize their operations, from the factory floor to the entire supply chain.

As a spin-off from OptTek Systems, we are a more agile company with a leaner cost structure and a big footprint.  We bring a wealth of experience and technological know-how from multiple implementations in the supply chain, logistics, and manufacturing operations space. 

As BBA, we can now dedicate our focus to providing you with unparalleled consulting services coupled with state-of-the-art analytical and software solutions. Solving the most complex problems in production scheduling, supply chain planning, and business process optimization is in our DNA.

Operations Optimization Process

Where the Passion Comes From

Marco Better

Marco Better
Co-Founder and CEO

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As former VP of Analytics Services for OptTek Systems, Marco led the creation of the models at the core of OptPro.  Marco brings a wealth of leadership experience, consulting knowledge, and implementation know-how in the optimization of manufacturing processes and supply chains.

Marco holds a PhD in Operations Research and Decision Sciences from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, where he also obtained an MBA.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Penn State.

Marco has over 25 years of professional experience in the consulting, automobile manufacturing, banking, and telecommunications industries, both in the US and in Latin America.  He also teaches courses in International Business and Business Process Analytics at the Leeds School of Business.

Marco's passion lies in the application of optimization, simulation, and predictive analytics technology to solve complex problems in industry.

Dave Davino.jpg

David (Dave) Davino
Co-Founder and COO

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Dave is in charge of execution at BBA.  He is responsible for making sure the operation is running smoothly, including all business development and customer relations activities.

Dave is passionate about keeping customers happy, ensuring that our commitments are being met on time and under budget, and that we always exceed our customers' expectations.

Dave has over 30 years of experience helping clients diagnose and solve complex business problems across a wide array of high-tech verticals. Dave’s most recent position was VP – Client Relations for OptTek Systems, where, among other significant accomplishments, he was a key member of the team that conceptualized, developed, and launched OptPro. Dave has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Bucknell University as well as an MBA in Finance from Seton Hall University.

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Zach Allen
Product Manager

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Zach is in charge of all technical and software aspects of product development.  Zach's passion lies in object oriented software design, to engineer software that is efficient, extensible, and highly modular.

Zach has over 15 years of software engineering and computer science experience, both as practitioner and teacher.  As Senior Software Engineer at OptTek Systems, Zach led all technological development aspects of the OptPro solution, from design to implementation of the software.

Zach holds a Master of Science in Physics from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelor of Science and Masters degree in Computer Science.

 
 

How We Like to Engage with You

Operations Optimization Process

If you are here, it means that your operations are unique and complex enough that an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all solution is not appropriate to fix the types of business problems you are facing.  If that is the case, you have come to the right place!  We are glad you are here, and we would like to help you along your journey to optimize your business.  

What follows is a description of BBA's typical customer engagement model.  Please read it carefully, and click below to request an complimentary initial exploratory call with one of our experts.

The BBA Customer Engagement Model

The 4 Phases to Success

The following describes the way we like to engage with our customers.  Of course, not every client will desire, nor need, to pursue all 4 phases.  For some, the assessment will fit the need; for others, the pilot will be sufficient; and so on.  In addition, we want to emphasize that this 4-step process provides the client with total flexibility and budgetary control, as the conclusion of each step serves as a gate, or decision point, as to whether to progress to the next step.

Phase 1. Assess

Prerequisite:  Clear problem definition and agreement
Duration: 2 to 4 weeks (includes 2-day in-person workshop)
Deliverables:  
•    Detailed design of proposed solution
•    High level implementation plan
•    Preliminary cost estimate and business case for the proposed solution

Our typical customer engagement model begins with a low-cost assessment of the customer’s current processes, identification of areas for improvement, and preliminary quantification of the potential benefits BBA could help derive.

In the Assessment phase, we work closely with the customer to define the problem they face and agree on a set of criteria (indicators or metrics) that will be achieved with a successful solution.  Then, we develop a vision for what the solution should accomplish, and a plan to implement the solution.

The implementation plan will typically involve 3 phases:

  1. The Pilot phase, where, depending on the complexity of the operation, we either develop a prototype of the solution in a reduced scope, or we recommend the customer purchase an existing solution

  2. The Integration phase, where the prototype developed during the Pilot is further enhanced to fulfill any additional requirements identified during the Pilot, and then integrated into existing ERP/MES systems

  3. The Deployment phase, where the integrated solution is either deployed individually at other, similar customer facilities, or centralized and deployed on the cloud such that it is accessible from other facilities

 

The Assessment phase serves two main purposes:


First, we get to learn about your business and your manufacturing operations: What are the characteristics of that make your operation unique?  What are your business objectives?  What are the (physical and logical) constraints that must be accounted for in the solution?  This allows us to provide a realistic value proposition, set the correct success criteria, and set appropriate indicators to track performance.  


Second, it allows you – the customer and ultimate owner of the solution – to provide your perspective and input in the design, requirements, and functionality of the solution.
 
Phase 2. Pilot

Prerequisite:  Statement of Work (SOW) agreement for Pilot
Duration: 3 to 6 months
Deliverables:  
•    Prototype of proposed solution
•    Prioritized list of additional requirements and proposed enhancements
•    Temporary support agreement for prototype solution

 
Once we have completed the Assessment phase and the customer has approved the implementation plan, we will create a document that details the work that needs to be done to build a prototype of the solution and the related costs.  We call this a Statement of Work (SOW).  Although fixed-price SOWs are possible under certain circumstances, we prefer a Time and Materials (T&M) agreement for the Pilot phase, since requirements are likely to change, and the scope is likely to expand, during this phase.  A T&M approach allows us to accommodate changing requirements more easily as we develop the prototype.

The prototype is not intended to satisfy 100% of the business requirements identified during the assessment phase.  For instance, the prototype will most likely be a stand-alone solution that reads input data from flat files, runs the optimization, and writes the results to flat files or a database.  In other words, there is no systems integration and automation work done during the Pilot.  The focus is on developing the functionality necessary to solve the business problem.

Before the end of the Pilot, we will thoroughly test the prototype in the intended business setting to ensure that the customer will have a tool that they can use.

As mentioned before, requirements are likely to change during the Pilot phase, and it is not uncommon that new requirements will be identified that were not part of the original design.  Some of these may be addressed during the Pilot phase itself; however, we may decide to defer those requirements that involve significant enhancements to subsequent phases of the project.  Before the end of the Pilot, we will create a prioritized list of new outstanding requirements and related enhancements.

Once the Pilot phase is complete, we will sign an agreement with the customer to support the prototype and correct any issues identified while the complete solution is being developed.  As the customer uses the prototype, and users realize what it can do, it is common for new ideas to “spring” from users’ minds.  Again, we will work with the customer to evaluate these ideas for merit and add them to the priority list of outstanding requirements and enhancements.

In case the list involves significant effort, we may recommend a “Pilot 2.1” phase prior to the systems integration phase.  If so, the process would be similar to the original Pilot, with the additional scope of work, duration, and related cost all detailed in a new SOW agreement.

Phase 3. Integrate

Prerequisite:  Statement of Work (SOW) agreement for Integration
Duration: 3 to 6 months
Deliverables:  
•    Enhanced solution integrated with ERP/MES, automated data I/O
•    Updated business process document
•    Roadmap and cost estimate for deployment at additional sites or cloud deployment

 
Once the prototype has been fully developed and tested, we will begin the Integration phase by working closely with the customer to re-design the business processes that will be affected by the new solution.  Whether the solution is for optimal production scheduling, supply chain planning and logistics, or business process optimization, multiple business processes will likely have to be modified to accommodate its effective use.

Only then can we proceed with the design for the integrated solution: Where will the necessary input data reside? How often will the solution run?  What will trigger a new run of the solution?  How will input data be updated?  How frequently?  Who will be responsible for updating each aspect of the data?  Etc.  Once we have this information, we will document it in detail and provide the documentation to the customer.  This documentation will also provide a blueprint for the integration.

BBA does not provide software integration services.  We provide an API that makes it possible to integrate our solutions into any existing ERP/MES systems.  At the discretion of the customer, we can suggest and/or select an integrator; otherwise, the customer can contract one directly.

We will work with the integrator to ensure that the process goes smoothly and will thoroughly test the integrated solution alongside the customer to ensure that it works as intended.

Before the Integration phase is complete, we will work with the customer to put together a plan for deploying the tool at any additional sites with a similar process, if applicable.

Phase 4. Deploy (if applicable)
 
Prerequisite:  Statement of Work (SOW) agreement for Deployment
Duration: 2 to 4 weeks per additional site
Deliverables:  
•    Integrated solution deployed to additional sites, or in the cloud
•    Updated business process document
•    Solution licensing agreement

 
The Deployment phase consists of the implementation of the integrated solution at additional customer sites.  This is more common for optimal production scheduling solutions, where the customer may have several facilities producing similar products to satisfy customer demand across geographical areas.  However, it may also apply in supply chain and logistics.

During the Deployment phase, we will work with the customer to either deploy the solution to the individual sites, or to deploy it in a cloud environment such that it can be accessed by all relevant facilities in a centralized manner. 

Depending on the deployment model selected, we will generate an appropriate licensing agreement that will enable the customer to use the solution and obtain extended support and maintenance.