Businessman wants to make area 'cool again'

 

 

Chad Walters wants to do his part to make the Augusta area “cool again.”

Walters, the owner of Lean Blitz Consulting, chose to return to Augusta a little more than a year ago after a stint as the performance optimization engineer at Dannon Co. in rural Ohio. He previously worked at Thomson Plastics in Thomson as their Lean coordinator.

“I missed the South like crazy,” said Walters, originally from South Bend, Ind. “Down here, sunny days are the norm and not the anomaly.”

As the professional development chairman of the Young Professionals of Augusta, Walters has a chance to make an impact.

“I want to get all the local young professionals groups communicating,” he said. “I want to help improve social and professional opportunities down here. I want to make (the area) cool again.”

That is a big reason he founded Lean Blitz. Walters gives his expertise to local businesses and organizations in the use of Lean and Six Sigma principles to help them become more efficient.

“All business activity consists of a series of processes,” he said. “There are ways to serve customers better by streamlining operations and making those processes faster and better, which can help save time and money.”

Though he obtained a degree in chemical engineering from Tri-State University in Angola, Ind., in 2002 and worked in the automotive industry as an engineer in Detroit, Walters had a strong interest in business and marketing. He started a Web site for album and concert reviews.

“I thought Detroit would be a good place to do that but quickly realized that the market was oversaturated,” he said.

He enrolled at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana Uni­versity where he received his master’s of business administration in 2006. He was also selected to be part of a three-person consulting team for the Atlanta Braves to help solve a big problem.

“Despite the on-field success the team had in the late 1990s with their string of division championships, attendance was not where the team expected it to be after a few years playing at Turner Field,” he said.

He showed them how to use a sales approach targeted at specific Atlanta industries and the benefits of reducing ticket package size options, which he projected would result in a 12 percent revenue boost.

Walters interned for the South Bend Silver Hawks minor league baseball team and worked as a systems consultant for the Elmore Sports Group, which owned six minor league baseball teams at the time.

“We found that though they were under the same ownership group, they had six different business management systems and had no standardization,” he said. “We streamlined their management systems so all six were operating the same way.”

Shortly after his consulting assignment was completed, he joined Eaton Corp.’s Global Leadership Develop­ment Program and accepted stints in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Columbia.

He currently lives in North Augusta with Rooster, his bulldog. He continues to assist organizations such as ADP and the Salvation Army Fam­ily Stores, along with numerous sports organizations.

“My mission is to help local small business operations to be strong and serve their customers better, and not get swallowed up by large big-box businesses or see their work sent overseas,” he said.

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