Adam Torres and Alec Hudnut discuss helping businesses grow.
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Vici Partners is a management consulting firm composed of seasoned experts dedicated to helping businesses improve execution and grow earnings. In this episode, Adam Torres and Alec Hudnut, Managing Partner at Vici Partners, explore the Vici Partners story and how it’s helping companies thrive.
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About Vici Partners
Vici Partners is a firm of experienced professionals focused on helping clients improve execution and dramatically grow earnings. We do this through a proven process to reduce costs and grow revenues – typically delivering 300 to 1000+ basis-point increases in operating margins.
They have successfully worked across a wide range of industries, geographies and market capitalizations. Previously struggling clients have successfully transformed their companies. High performing clients have used Vici projects to channel resources into profitable growth and stronger market leadership.
Unlike most consulting firms, they have no junior consultants and align the goals and rewards directly with those of our clients. Vici Partners clients learn by doing and adopt (and adapt) their process as a core strategy in their on-going operations. The aim is to teach clients everything they know, not to sell additional engagements.
The professionals bring a breadth of backgrounds spanning financial services, technology, healthcare, education, government and management consulting. All of them share a common interest – to see their clients quickly and dramatically improve their performance & morale and build a long-term culture of responsible execution and continuous improvement.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest on the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on VR Guest to apply. All right, today I have Alec Hena on the line, and he is managing partner over at VG Partners.
Alec, welcome to the. Thank you, Adam. Happy to be on. All right, Alex. So excited to get into VG Partners and really how you’re helping businesses improve execution and really grow their earnings. But before we get into the main event, I’d like to start this episode the way that we start them all with our mission matters minute.
So, Alec, we at Mission Matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives and experts. That’s our mission. Alec, what mission matters to you? So at our firm, Vici Partners we focus on giving voice to the organization and getting into the front lines of a company and mid-level and lower level management of a company.
And, and listen. and giving voice to those ideas or initiatives that could improve profitability at the company, whether that’s growing revenue or making processes more efficient, et cetera. And what we have found over the years is that the answer to improve profitability almost always lies inside of the company already.
And so our mission is to listen. And dig that out, and then help the person who has the idea of the initiative put it in a, in, in, in a business case or a way of talking about it that executives can understand it, make a decision on it and implement it. So our mission is giving voice to organizations.
Oh, that’s great. Love bringing mission-based individuals and organizations on the line to share, you know, why they do what they do, how they do it, and really what we can all learn from it. So we all benefit and grow together. That’s the whole point of mission matters for us all to grow together. So I mean, just to get us kicked off here, Alec, I mean like how did you get interested in, in kind of going down this path where you’re helping businesses and business owners?
well, two of my friends about a decade ago invited me to join them at Vici Partners. And so that’s how I got into Vici Partners. But before that, I had been I had run a large division of a bank and I had been the CEO of three different software companies and worked at McKinsey and Goldman Sachs before that went to Harvard Business School.
So I had a. A strong business background, and what I really loved about Vici was this concept that the answer lies within. You know, that if you want to improve profitability , the people in the company have probably been rolling around in hundreds of ideas. Mm-hmm. that if properly understood could be implemented to, to drive a material improvement to earnings.
You know, a lot of times CEOs think that they just need to be told the answer by a smart outside consultant. We just believe the opposite. We believe. a lot of the changes that should be made in a company in terms of treating customers better or you know, being more efficient in how technology is delivered inside of the company, or how customer care works servicing the clients.
All, all the answers around efficiency and revenue growth already lie inside of the company. and the issue is there are thousands of them. So what are the few hundred that you’re gonna focus on and actually implement? So that’s what we do at VG Partners. We look, listen, and feel, and with our clients build business cases around the 10 or 20% of all the ideas that we’ve heard that actually should be implemented and can improve, you know, improve profitability in the short.
what are the type of of companies that you tend to work with or, or you find, get the most value out of working with you and your team? I mean, whether it’s, you know, industry size or like, like whatever metrics you’re looking at. So we work across all industries. Our smallest clients are about 200 million in revenue, and those tend to be portfolio companies of larger PE firms.
And then we work all the way up to Fortune 100 companies, you know, 50 billion plus. And it’s amazing that no matter how big or small the company is, that the process works in the same way which is there, there are always opportunities to listen better to your frontline employees and to your customers and to your supplier.
And, and to run the business better. My, my favorite story of how that can make a a dramatic near term difference is in a very large insurance company. I was doing a brainstorming session in the mail room. Mm-hmm. with a bunch of guys in the mail room, and one of them said, you know, we seem to be sending out a lot more mail than we used.
I said, well, how much mail are you sending out? And he said, I don’t know. They’re like 30 mail centers across the company. I said, okay, well let’s figure out how much you’re currently sending out. So it took us about a month to go and figure that out. And it turned out that in modern times with electronic media, this firm was spending a quarter billion dollars a year sending out paper.
Oh, alerting customers to which doctors were no longer on the list details of their insurance plan, sending out big fat books with all of the different doctors you could use in your geographic area. And you know, it just wasn’t necessary. So what we did is we focused on the pieces of that that were easiest to change right at the beginning.
And that piece was, Nine and a half million were sending themselves own offer. Mm-hmm. And you would, that would be the change, not in this case, general account budget or email. FedEx and contractor contractors as soon as they finished a project and he was always within budgets and nobody asked him any questions.
And similarly wow, the, the head of HR. Sent all new program HR programs, like, here’s a new benefit for eyeglasses that you hadn’t heard about. She sent it all out in FedEx and glossy materials to people’s homes. So they would read it so they they would perceive the benefit. Yeah. And getting those two senior executives who had the budget, who were within budget to change their ways was not easy.
And we worked closely with that guy in the mail room to convince the general counsel that if he had a better. of all the contractors, he could try first via email and then follow up via phone before spending 12 bucks on the FedEx. And similarly with
Let’s do it online. Let’s do it interactive. Let’s show the benefit of this new program and allow the employee to sign up in real time for the program. and once she saw that she got much higher enrollment through using the online she stopped FedExing. So it’s just an example of what we do, right? The idea lived inside of the company, but it was hard to quantify initially and then hard to get the powerful people in the company to change their mind.
Mm-hmm. . And so at Vici Partners, we are the story listeners and then the story creator. Understanding all along the way that most ideas that are inside of companies that have not gotten done, have not gotten done. Cuz they’re powerful blockers. Hmm. And our job is to understand how to unblock those pieces so that earnings can grow.
Wow. What a great story. And I know as some people are listening to this, like I hope, and I always, when I listen to stories like this, I know the first thing I’m thinking about is like I, how, you know, how it applies to me or how it applies to mission matters, our company that I think of, other companies that it applies to and your ex.
What I like about your example is it’s so clear and it just lets us know that, in my opinion, lets us know that there’s always, even when we already. Something figured out. Like there’s always there’s, there’s usually some value into going back and seeing if things can be done a different way, a better way.
And I find like every time we’ve worked with consultants or some our outside help, like just in general, I find that having that outside that outside viewpoint as well. And that other, you know, that other Like it’s valuable because otherwise when you’re, when you’re inside the company, if all of your ideas are also coming from inside as well in terms of implementation and what should be prioritized.
Like, sometimes things get mixed. Like for example, in your example, like in the mail room exam, first off, you get your hands dirty. You told me you’re in the mail room. Brainstorming. So I like that part about you already , so you’re absolutely, you’re in the trenches with your people. But then that could’ve like had, you know, VT partners not, not been, you know, working in that particular situation.
That could have just been another thing that was on a list to one day look at. But instead it wasn’t, it was implemented over time. I know that didn’t happen overnight, by the way. And now there’s that lasting value and for the company and also for in the case of the end consumer or, and like benefactor in this case, in your example, you know, the people that we’re doing in enrollment, the company won on, on.
The the individual that was in charge of enrollment for any whatever particular benefit that was also had a win cuz they saw an an, an increase. And then you had a win too. So, I mean, just a lot of win-win scenarios I’m hearing here. Absolutely. And the most important win is the guy in the mail room who now, when, when he’s at corporate headquarters and he rides up in the elevator and he sees the cfo.
The CFO knows who he is. Hey, you saved with 9 million bucks. You got any other good ideas? , right. So it’s, you know, we, we, we go to work in part for the, for the money cuz we have to mm-hmm. live of course. And support our families and ourselves, but we also go for the meaning and by giving voice to people in the organization and helping them along the way to get the idea or initiative actually decided on.
And I. . Mm. They now feel like they have meaning they made a difference in the company. And, you know, did the guy in the mail room ever think he was gonna save the company 9 million bucks a year? No, but he did. And he feels better about coming to work every day because of that. And that is very satisfying.
That’s what we get excited about. You know, we’re, we’re, we love to, to, to give voice to the organization and to show the. Economic benefit of, of doing so to, to the executives and to the shareholders. Mm-hmm. , it’s great. It’s a great story, Alec. Well, I have to say it has been, you know, great having you on the show today.
I’m just, I’m just curious as we’re going to, for context, for everybody that’s listening to this we’re recording this in March, 2023. So I mean, what’s next, Alec? What’s next for you? What’s next for Vici partner? So we’re always looking for good clients. You know, typically between 200 million in revenue and multiple tens of billions.
Our particular profile are companies that need to focus on profitability and typically we are in improving our clients’ profitability by 25% within two years. Our model is somewhat unique in that we put our money where our mouth. and most of our fee is paid when the cash is actually delivered from the initiatives.
Mm-hmm. . And that, that differentiates us from a lot of the you know, famous brand name consulting firms who, who in general don’t do that. And, you know, if people are interested in learning more, they can either email me at a hudnut that’s a H U D N U, At vici partners.com, VCI partners with an ask.com, or they can go to our website ww dot vici partners.com and and, and, and take a look.
But we’re, we’re always looking for new clients that we can serve so that we can have more great stories to tell about, about how empowering the frontline workers to be involved in the business is the, is the long-term key to profit. That’s wonderful and we’ll, and we’ll put that information in the show notes so that our audience can just click on the link and really head right on over it and check you out and, and follow the journey.
And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or listening to or engaging with the platform, All about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs and executives, and having them share their mission the reason they’re mi behind their mission, and really what we can all learn from that so that we all grow together.
If that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or fun or engaging or exciting to you, we, we, we welcome you hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line, and we don’t want you to miss a thing. And Alec really appreciate you making some time for us today.
Thanks again for coming on the. Adam. Appreciate it. Enjoyed it. Have a great.