20 Business Excellence Awards 2021
The Silicon Review
“By listening to our client’s needs and creating customized solutions, we create real value for our clients, helping them recognize an ongoing return on their investments.”
MLC & Associates, is an award-winning, world-class management consulting firm, which gives clients a fresh perspective on the consulting relationship. The company has proven thought-leaders in all areas of consulting practice that predominantly focuses on ROI based client outcomes. It is helping companies in every industry with business continuity, corporate performance management, program and project management, ERP Implementation and organizational development. MLC & Associates is located in Irvine, CA.
Prashant Kumar (President and CEO) of MLC & Associates, Spoke Exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is the Excerpt
Q. Brief us about the origin and evolution of your company.
Established by Mary Carrido in 1987, MLC recognized the need for a boutique-style approach based on providing client value through a combination of experience and innovation. At the time, the financial industry, in particular, had a need to develop Business Continuity Programs as well as a requirement for other consulting services, so that was the first vertical that MLC focused on. In later years (the mid-’90s), MLC recognized a tremendous void in manufacturing and distribution for the services that MLC provided and actively shifted its attention to that vertical.
Q. When it comes to emotional branding, MLC & Associates sounds highly promising. As a journalist, I find it quite striking. My question to you is, how did you come up with the brand name, and what does it depict?
MLC is the Founder’s initials., and the original tag line was, ‘We listen’. While we still believe that is a key aspect to the success of our engagements, the tagline was later changed during a branding strategy session to “Empowering Performance”. MLC’s professional consulting services have a reputation for following a programmatic approach that incorporates Six Sigma and Lean techniques to thoroughly research and document the current state, identifying the issues, and then developing practical and actionable solutions that bring about real improvement. In terms of emotional branding, we desire to build a relationship, establish trust upfront, assess and identify what pain points an organization is experiencing, what their expectations, goals, and capabilities are for their company. MLC has grown primarily through word-of-mouth for its growing client base, which spans multiple industries, including technology, real estate, manufacturing and distribution, transportation, finance, healthcare, food and beverage, and the public sector. With each successful engagement, MLC expands its reputation as a reliable, innovative, insightful, and trusted partner, which is the foundation of its success.
Q. What are your focus areas? Please share an overview.
Although our Management Consulting Services cover a broad spectrum, we naturally operate utilizing a combination of services when we are on a project. Projects encompass people, processes, technology, and facilities. With that said, Business Continuity, Project and Program Management, ERP Implementation, Organizational Development, and Process Improvements have kept us occupied with what is now termed “Essential Industries”. We believe all organizations are essential. However, we have noticed manufacturers and distributors are incorporating technologies that increase quality, improve efficiency, strengthen production processes, and reduce costs. We have been deeply involved with ERP Implementations, working along-side the software SME’s, developing SOPs, Quick Guides, working with the Executives, and training their warehouse staff on the Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) that have been implemented. MLC takes a hands-on approach in the warehouse, assessing the risks and areas that require improvement. MLC works with the executive team and all departments from Operations, Logistics, Sales, Customer Service, Procurement, and Security to ensure the project is successful.
Q. How have your clients responded to your offerings so far?
Our clients appreciate and see the value of our offerings. For example, when a large distribution company was having issues related to their Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Chain Orders, and expansion of several new facilities in different states, different state laws, software inventory issues, etc. These difficulties resulted in low fill rates and customer dissatisfaction. There was also a high turnover in operations, resulting in an inexperienced labor force. Moreover, the lack of effective communication broadly affected them greatly. The company was on the verge of potentially losing its biggest clients. We were able to help them with specific outcomes after implementation in a period of nine weeks, which included the following: delivered high fill rates, satisfied customers significantly, reduced errors, more streamlined communication throughout the company to combat a number of issues quickly and efficiently. Overall, there was a unified company awareness of roles and responsibilities, resulting in confident employees, restored trust in the distribution company with their customers, resulting in increased sales and profitability.
Q. Can you recall any moment when you had to rewrite your offerings to meet a client’s needs?
Since we are not a cookie-cutter business, nor are our clients’ organizations. We custom tailor our services on every engagement to meet the client’s needs precisely. We haven’t had to rewrite our offerings so much, but rather we are very fortunate to have earned more of our customer’s business on other engagements, and that gives us a great deal of satisfaction and strengthens our relationships and our brand. By listening to their needs and creating customized solutions, MLC creates real value for its clients, helping them recognize an ongoing return on their investments.
Q. What are the factors that contribute to your success?
Maintaining vision, execution of the goals that are set, effective leadership, and communication. Most importantly, our success could not be accomplished without a collaborative and highly engaged team aligned with our mission to care about our client’s success.
Q. Will your company be expanding, bringing on any new services that we should be aware of?
MLC has been experiencing growth internally as an organization, especially during the Pandemic. MLC promises to continue to grow and expand its global reach by providing professional consulting services and software/database development expertise in areas such as Business Continuity Planning, Corporate Performance Management, Program and Project Management, ERP and WMS Implementation, Organizational Development, 360° Feedback Personnel Reviews, Coaching, and Mentoring, and Training.
The Visionary Leader at the Helm of MLC & Associates, Inc.
Prashant Kumar is the President and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of MLC & Associates. He is a certified Six Sigma Blackbelt. Mr. Kumar is skilled in Crisis Management, Business Continuity, Human Performance Technology, Corporate Performance Management (CPM), data analysis, project management, process improvement, survey development and analysis, and Appreciative Inquiry interview techniques. As part of each project, Mr. Kumar leverages his Six Sigma / LEAN methodology expertise to provide added value and assist organizations in improving their internal efficiencies. In addition, he utilizes Balanced Scorecard methodologies to help identify metrics and KPIs to ensure that outcomes are clearly defined and measurable. Finally, Mr. Kumar utilizes his project management skills to ensure that outcomes are effectively achieved for clients.
Prior to joining MLC, Mr. Kumar worked for several internationally recognized consulting firms based in Bangalore, India, and Philadelphia. Mr. Kumar developed expertise in SAP consulting, IBM Cognos development, and Business Intelligence at these firms. This experience is supplemented by advanced knowledge in Enterprise Planning, Project Management, Strategic Planning, and Information Technology, which were attained by working on projects that span across industries, including real estate development, healthcare, financial, and consumer products.
Mr. Kumar holds an MBA in International Business and a Master of Science in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Anna University in Chennai, India.