Given the number of CPOs who have retired or moved onto new ventures and posts in the past few years, it's surprising that more do not start consultancies or advisory firms that leverage their experience and connections (including both customer and supply market connections). But John Campi, former CPO from Home Depot and Chrysler, is doing just this. He recently launched Genesis Management, a firm that will focus on delivering "supply chain, total cost optimization and enterprise management consultancy services". According to the press release announcing the new venture, "Genesis Management was conceived to deliver hands-on, executive level experience to solve complex supply chain, operational and financial issues, many of which are global in scope." No doubt John will pull on his global experience from Home Depot given the global ambitions of that firm. But what else can we expect from the new venture?
Joining John will be two senior executives with what appear to be significant financial and operations expertise. Given this background, it would appear so far that the company structure looks more like a turnaround firm with senior partners and practitioners actively engaged in advisory consulting versus a leveraged consulting pyramid with a more tiered management structure and approach. If this is the case -- and I hope to confirm this with John shortly -- I suspect Genesis' services will play well to how the market is currently adapting to consuming higher-end consulting services (versus just strategic sourcing).
In these transformational, executive coaching and high value commodity strategy (e.g., $50+ million transactions, make vs. buy, etc.) types of programs -- not to mention interim executive management roles -- the turnaround firms are increasingly realizing success over leveraged pyramids. As firms like McKinsey find themselves (at least in certain cases) having to reduce blended rates and/or move to contingency arrangements to stay busy in the operations world, many turnaround shops who also happen to have consulting practices in the operations and supply chain areas continue to grow and thrive. I suspect this is because companies are increasingly seeking expert council and the ability to implement operational strategies from outside parties rather than simply signing up to larger theoretical and strategic assignments (which may or may not have a strong chance of success).
Regardless, I wish John luck. Starting a services business is never easy and many executives are wooed back into the management world through attractive offers they can't refuse within a 12-24 month period. Still, I suspect knowing John's gregariousness, his penchant for strong opinions and his willingness to speak out, this is one firm that could not only thrive financially, but could help bring a much needed operational advisory voice to global firms seeking a new level of input, provided he and his partners choose to stay the course.