In last week’s SI academy session, we were fortunate to have an Iowa alum speak with us about his career. Loren Trimble spent 5 years on a farm before going to Iowa to get his bachelor’s degree in Accounting. He then went to work with Arthur Andersen upon graduation and joined Huron Consulting from 2002 – 2008. At that time, he founded AArete, a consulting group focused on cost reduction. You might ask how that is different from other consulting groups. AArete, unlike others, focuses on cost reduction without cutting staff while maintaining current vendors. AArete is still a smaller group and must win its business. But AArete brings many years of experience as the majority of those at AArete are former Arthur Andersen or Huron employees. Additionally, AArete uses proven methodologies as well as advanced data analytics to get a competitive edge. Confidence is high, and a promise is made to clients—you will save at least twice as much as it costs you to implement changes. If you don’t save twice as much, AArete will make up the difference.
Trimble has instilled some sustainable business practices into AArete. There were some other points of interests I took away his presentation. Continuing with customer focus, if any points of debate cannot be settled, AArete will concede to the client (though this situation rarely occurs); this is unusual for a consulting group. Another interesting practice is that AArete is very carbon conscious and tracks its carbon footprint and then purchases carbon offsets at the end of the year to remain carbon neutral.
Near the end of his presentation, Mr. Trimble made a quote that I personally found of great interest. It is as follows: “Innovation is where preparation meets opportunity.” I cannot help but think of how it relates to Voltaire’s quote “chance favors the prepared mind.”