Our Approach

My goal is to share my knowledge and experience to help you improve your business.  There are three main areas of focus:

Execution: Helping you and your team get more done in less time.  Good execution means moving beyond just talking about goals to actually achieving them.

Lean, CI and process improvement: Teaching teams the basics of Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement.  Empowering them to make changes in their own area.  Note the real challenge here is often getting management to support them and then get out of their way.  They already know what to improve.

Preparing for transition: Let me help you improve your team’s execution and document your processes.   Having bought into a company as part of a transition plan, I have seen what works and what doesn’t.

My story

I founded Direct North Consulting to share the knowledge I’ve earned through my experiences managing and improving businesses with Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement.

It was not that long ago that I was working 80-hour weeks, sometimes surging to over 100 hours.  I was a partner and operations manager in my own manufacturing firm and I felt that long hours were the only way to stay on track.  The company was struggling on numerous fronts and it always seemed like I just needed to put in a little more time to get over the next hill and catch up.  I even went back to work the morning after our third child was born.  (My wife still hasn’t let me live that one down.)  That was the point where I realized something had to change.  At the same time, it was becoming clear that I would either be moving to the role of company president or selling my shares.  Regardless of the outcome, I would not be staying in my role and I needed to make sure my team would be able to succeed without me.

So, I set out to change the way my team worked and the way I worked.  Over the next year I put in place a system to align my team’s efforts with our company strategy, and empowered them to execute on their ideas.  In less than a year I was working 10 hours a week on operational issues (the fires) with 30 hours a week available to coach my team and focus on longer-range strategy.  At the end of it I sat back and kicked myself wondering why it had taken me seven years to get to that point.

That brings me back to Direct North.  I want to help you and your management team make that same leap with your business now, so you don’t have to wait as long as I did.

Calvin Austrom P. Eng. - Founder and President

Next Steps...

Contact me now to let me know what your biggest challenges are and find out how I can help you.