College of Business - Real Life. Real Business.

Real Life. Real Business

April 2009

Chuck WilliamsDear Alumni and Friends,

Some problems are good and bad. One of our good problems is that our real life, real business experiential approach to business education is unique, value-added, and attracts talented students and interested employers. But that good problem is also bad because not enough people know what we do. Well, that's beginning to change and we're planning to change that even more.

First, in terms of beginning to change, I'd like to point you to an article entitled, New and Improved: B-School Curriculum, which was published in BizEd magazine in its January/February issue.

BizEd is published by AACSB International, which is the premier accrediting agency for business schools worldwide. (Yes, we're AACSB accredited.) One of the pull-out statements in the article says "Three schools radically revamp their programs to stay relevant in the complex and quick-moving world of business." Those three business schools are Butler, Columbia and Villanova - not bad company if you can keep it! Please take a look. We do more than hold our own with these prestigious schools of business.

Second, in terms of our plans to increase awareness about our real life, real business approach, we have established a Strategic Marketing Advisory Board, which is a group of marketing professionals who we approached to help us create an ambitious branding initiative in the college. We had our first meeting in March. I will keep you posted as we begin the rollout of our real life, real business brand over the coming year.

Though it seems a small step - there are many more to come - one of the first is to change our name from the College of Business Administration to the College of Business. So why turn the CBA into the CoB? In the 1980s and 1990s, many schools and colleges of business administration became schools and colleges of business to reflect (1) that in addition to "administration" or management degrees, they also offered degrees in accounting, finance, marketing, etc., and (2) that they were no longer schools and colleges "of business and public administration." So for those reasons, we are now the Butler College of Business.

Butler Business Accelerator

One of our biggest points of pride and differentiation is the Butler Business Accelerator, which is an in-house, consulting firm designed to serve mid-market companies in Central Indiana. Supported by a $22 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, the Accelerator was created as an extension of the CoB's real life, real business mission. The objectives of the Accelerator are to transform business education at Butler, advance Indiana's economy and assist in reducing the state's brain drain.

We have an impressive group of consultants and business professionals working for the Accelerator. They not only work as full-time consultants, they are also involved in the classroom. The Accelerator is led by Larry O'Connor, Executive Director, and Brian Landis, Managing Director. Larry is the former president and CEO of Bank One Indiana and the former interim director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Brian Landis has over 28 years of experience in industry and consulting and is a former partner with Accenture.

The Accelerator works with privately-owned, Central Indiana companies that have been in business for at least five years, have $5 million to $50 million in annual sales, and are profitable and poised for growth. The Accelerator offers fee-based consulting services and utilizes proven methodologies to create measurable results in the areas of business strategy, operational discipline, organizational development, marketing strategy and sales, and CFO services.

The Accelerator is different from other consulting firms in that it can either help a client through a focused engagement, or partner with an organization to implement a four-step approach that evaluates the entire business and ensures client success. The four-step process begins with a strategic analysis of the company, evaluates growth planning, implements the suggestions, and continually partners with clients to periodically assess and adjust the strategy. A $1 million investment fund is available to enable selected clients to obtain the funding needed to implement growth strategies.

Client Success

The Accelerator has been remarkably successful in helping its clients prosper and grow. To date, 37 client projects have been completed with 19 companies. Current and past clients include Gilchrist & Soames, SaniServ, Cannon IV, Royal Food Products, Grueninger Travel, TF Publishing, Langham, Wellspring Pharmacy, Shrewsberry, SePRO, Estes Design and Manufacturing, Cornerstone Flooring, LE and Horner. Click here to watch testimonial videos featuring Saniserv and Langham.

What kind of results can clients expect working with the Accelerator?

  • One company experienced a 35% increase in sales, resulting in a four-fold increase in free cash flow within one year of working with the Accelerator to develop its marketing strategy.
  • Another company's first quarter sales increased by 25% after the Accelerator assisted management in constructing an annual, growth-focused profit plan that better utilized the company's resources.
  • A third client experienced an annual treasury savings of $35,000 based on the Accelerator's analysis and recommendations.
    Over $1 million in inventory reduction opportunities were revealed to a fourth client.

To learn more about the Butler Business Accelerator (including how our consultants may be able to help your own company grow), visit our website. The Accelerator has been featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Indianapolis Star and on Inside Indiana Business. Click here to watch the videos and read related articles.

If you would like to know more about what the Accelerator can do for your company, please email me. I welcome your comments and suggestions. In next month's letter, I'll share how the Accelerator is helping us transform the way business education is delivered at Butler's College of Business.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Chuck Williams, Dean
College of Business

P.S. If you're interested in finding ways to get involved with the College of Business, please download the document, How to Partner and Get Involved, and review the 20 options available to individuals and their organizations. Specific contact information is available for each option.