The Business Excellence Consortium (BEC), a business outreach arm of the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), has evolved into a one-stop resource for manufacturing, engineering, technology and related businesses in southeastern Wisconsin.
Founded in 2002, the BEC was started as a small outreach organization by the school, said Timothy Valley, MSOE’s vice president of enrollment management. Earlier this summer, the school named David Tietyen, a former teacher in its Rader School of Business, as its director.
The BEC now has six full-time employees, as well as 20 coaches, consultants and trainers. It also has about 150 businesses that are members.
"In 2002, when the BEC was launched, we weren’t sure where the university fit in (the business community)," he said. "Now we’ve seen some of the integration points. David’s been brought on to start bringing us in that direction – to be a one-stop shop."
The group provides businesses with executive leadership, operational, individual and networking support, Tietyen said, through one-on-one, group and public education programs.
"When you go into a company, in an ideal situation, you sit down with the company and ask them what their strategic plan is – how they’re measuring it and you try to identify what they need," he said. "We come in from a third-party perspective to help companies identify what they need to do to achieve growth."
Many of the BEC’s courses help companies improve their processes and output, through lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, 5S and other continuous improvement programs, Tietyen said. However, using its connection to MSOE, the group is developing new programs, focused on product innovation and leadership, which are expected to launch in the first quarter of 2009.
"We’ve got to focus on the executive level," Tietyen said. "The marketplace is screaming (for someone) to prepare those people. That’s the next step. We’re looking at… applied organizational leadership – how do you learn how to take an organization from A to B? Part of it will be public, but a lot of it will be internal programs (with client companies)."
Corporate membership in MSOE’s BEC is $3,000 per year and includes an initial company assessment, reduced rates for courses, as well as access to the group’s resources, special interest groups and company tours, Tietyen said. For more information, visit www.bec.msoe.edu.