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Launch of Fortus Consulting

Launch of Fortus Consulting, BC’s innovative new consulting firm specializing in service level enhancement through operational improvements.

Fortus Consulting Corporation, recently founded by BC’s own Mats Gerschman and Amanda Armstrong, is well on its way toward enhancing customer service levels and bottom lines of local organizations across multiple industry sectors.
March 19, 2012 (Vancouver, BC). Launch of Fortus Consulting, BC’s innovative new consulting firm specializing in service level enhancement through operational improvements.

Fortus President, Mats Gerschman, says, “We are the only Vancouver-based consulting firm that helps clients execute strategy to enhance their customer experience by combining our analytical expertise with experience managing large operations.” Vice-President and Co-Founder, Amanda Armstrong, adds, “We are different from other consulting firms for many reasons, mainly because we offer implementation support and coaching, which is uncommon in the consulting world. Our goal is not to go in, give them a big report and then leave. Our goal is to forge long-term partnerships.”

“Fortus exists,” says Gerschman, “because there is a pervasive need within companies to align operationa improvements with strategic goals and execute efficiently. Corporate strategies do not always trickle down to the operational level where they have the most impact. Time and again,” Gerschman says, “We have seen organizations with solid strategic plans – a considerable investment – that are now sitting on a shelf collecting dust, and thus are not worth the paper they are printed on. It is also not uncommon to see operational improvement efforts such as Lean and Six Sigma and other good programs that are misaligned with corporate goals. We, Amanda [Armstrong] and I, knew we had the means and resources to resolve these issues for organizations across multiple industry sectors and enhance the way they deliver their products and services to their customers. In short, we help our clients improve their operations so that it is easier for their staff to serve customers, and easier for their customers to do business with them.”

“Fortus is local,” says Armstrong, “so we understand the business climate in BC and Canada and what customers want. We focus on input from the clients' customers, the metrics used and the overall systems of operations management and tie into the organization’s overall objectives to assist in improving their execution and meeting their strategic goals. Most importantly, we don’t just come in, conduct an audit and write recommendations for our clients and then leave. We want to stick around and coach them through the implementation process to ensure they are getting full value and the full spectrum of benefits.”

While countless professionals assert their passion for a core aspect of business such as operations, very few can lay claim to teaching the subject at the Master’s degree level such as Mats Gerschman does. Blending his 30-plus years of senior line management experience, advanced knowledge of operations management and zeal for operational excellence with Armstrong’s decade of consulting experience, superb analytical skills and Master’s of Management and Operations Research degree, Fortus brings a powerful skill set to the table.

The duo met back in 2002 when Gerschman was the Managing Director of the Centre for Operations Excellence (COE) at UBC and Armstrong was an analyst and, later, a project leader for the COE while completing her Master’s degree. They had the opportunity to collaborate on a project and their styles meshed instantly. “Mats [Gerschman] and I share the same philosophies around client services,” Armstrong says. “We act with integrity, do the right thing by the client, are humble and respect the client’s needs and desires, and we put the client first. We earn our clients’ trust by listening carefully to what they are saying and then following through on our promises. Our reputation is our biggest asset in the consulting business.”

Formidable reputations indeed. Gerschman is well-known throughout BC from his years with such industry leaders as Glenayre, Ericsson and Vanderlande Industries, while many others knew him as the Assistant Dean and Managing Director at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. Gerschman established his leadership in operational expertise within the high tech sector, as well as throughout his decade of management consulting experience in transportation, manufacturing and healthcare, to name just a few of his past industry sector successes. His name is one that many leaders in various industry sectors recognize immediately.

Armstrong has spent the past six years as Senior Consultant, Business Transformation, for Vancity, and previously as a Senior Consultant with MNP. Equipped with strong quantitative analysis and change management capabilities, Armstrong specializes in helping Fortus clients enhance operational performance by providing insightful business advice gained through analysis. She is known for listening to client’s specific issues and applying an analytical approach to enhancing their operations. “We look with fresh eyes at the work our clients do every day to provide goods or services to their customers,” she says, “and find ways to make it work better.”

In the fall of 2011, Armstrong received a casual “keeping in touch” lunch invitation from Gerschman and by the end of an hour, the two had formed a business partnership. “The timing was right,” Gerschman says, “and the partnership is the right fit. We complement each other perfectly and share the same values, particularly when it comes to integrity.” Armstrong adds, “Mats has both the expertise and the network, and I have the analytical expertise, put them together and it’s an ideal combination.” The business community will no doubt be eager to tap the expertise of these two powerhouse professionals.

Fortus Consulting transforms strategies into customer satisfaction and profitability through operational improvements. We make it work better.

For more information, contact Mats Gerschman at (604) 828-4491 or Amanda Armstrong at (604) 240-4477.