A round-table entrepreneur summit in Indianapolis offered Jack Mensch, President and CEO of Quantumlytix an opportunity to demonstrate insights into a true entrepreneur’s mindset when the facilitator asked what issues are impeding business owners from being successful. While, most of the talking came from the small business non-profit groups who attended to lobby for more funding, one of them voiced “if only the healthcare costs were lower, I would be able to start a business.” That is when Jack asked him “Have you ever started a business?” The answer was “No”. Jack went on to explain to make the leap of faith to become an entrepreneur “You don’t think about health benefits you focus on building the best service, developing your product, and closing deals. You have to be fearless and not worry about security when you start a business,” he stated. “When I was in the Army, I heard a speech by a famous general who paraphrased General Patton “There is no security, only opportunity” I take that thinking into business.”
When Jack started the company in 2010, they were on the tail end of the last recession and many family and friends told him it was irresponsible leaving a role as a senior executive and partner in a firm. “I visited my alma matter the University of North Carolina (UNC) – Chapel Hill to meet with one of my former professors and he asked, “What is plan B”. I responded, “Plan A is plan B!” “You’re going to encounter obstacles and setbacks, non-stop, and when it looks like you are going to fail, that’s when you push harder—dip your shoulder down, grit your teeth and things come together,” explains Jack. The first company Quantumlytix worked with was a Gas Turbine Engine company in Russia and the second a Medical Durables company in China via private equity companies in Singapore and Hong Kong. “I did not worry about getting paid, I did not worry about security, I wanted our company to solve tough problems and build a reputation of getting results,” he says. “Hence, to be a true entrepreneur you have to be fearless and focus on the outcome.”
Jack’s grandad was a US Marine, father of 5, Wharton School Graduate and owned a newspaper distribution business. He told me “no matter what you do, do it to the best of your ability. If you are going to do something be the best you can possibly be.” Jack took this advice to heart as he entered college becoming the Distinguished Leadership Award recipient for his Army ROTC class at Duke University while graduating with honors from UNC. He says he focused on mastery of skills and technical expertise as he started his career as a Medical Logistics Officer in the US Army in fast paced forward deployed units in Europe and the Balkans, then as a Logistic Master Black Beltat GE, and with each and every tough assignment during his early career. “In high school in the’80’s my guidance counselor asked me what I wanted to be, and I said an entrepreneur and she asked, “what is that?” When I was a Captain and put my papers in to get out of the Army, my battalion commander asked why would you leave the Army you have a promising career, what do you plan to do, I said “I am an entrepreneur and I will start a business, and in fact like the idea of running several businesses.” With Quantumlytix I got the opportunity to pull it all together to build a logistics technology integration company.”
Transforming with Times
Jack is a guitarist and is a fan of Neil Young as a singer song writer. Paraphrasing—when Neil was asked in an interview why he changed bands so often he said, “the music was changing and I followed the music rather than stay with a band.” Similarly, when Quantumlytix started they focused on turning around distressed companies. Gradually they began to focus on engineering disciplines that accompanied turn arounds like designing factories, warehouses, and supply chain processes. Then developed technical expertise in systems integration to untangle complex processes and unlock unconstraint’s caused by poorly implemented systems. “We brought on a technical team to support our executives and we began to build a team of exceptionally skilled professionals that would fit our culture,” says Jack. “We started providing technology integrations solutions sort of an alchemy of operations expertise with industrial engineering and software development capabilities to create unique solutions to make our clients more competitive.”
Quantumlytix then began to provide full material handling equipment and enterprise software as well as the radio frequency equipment to be able to build their clients unique competitive capabilities. For example, their Smart Warehousing capabilities now include full rack supported buildings, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS), conveyors and automation, robotics, mobile RF devices, Mobile Device Manage (MDM) deployment, enterprise RFID tracking, and ERP sales and implementation. “I see the music continually changing and have been focused on pivoting our business constantly to change ahead of the needs of industry.”
On the operations services side of Quantumlytix we are a phone call away from a senior executive or a private equity group when a company or production facility becomes distressed. In some cases, the problem may be a flagship plant, or a major system was not implemented effectively, or the entire company may be losing money out of control. This is the “black ops” side of Quantumlytix’s business similar to rapid deployment operations in the military where they drop in a technically skilled leadership team to conduct an analysis to determine the causes of under performance and then quickly implement changes in management structure, layouts, and systems to stabilize the business. “Depending on the situation and circumstances we either support the leadership team in driving the changes or provide leadership to direct and lead through the changes,” adds Jack.
With the Client Hand-in-hand
As an integrator with a business mindset, Quantumlytix starts with understanding the vision of the key stakeholders, then performs a detailed current state requirements analysis to identify the gaps, risk and waste. They deploy resources to follow their reverse engineered systems methodology, gather production data, direct observation and detailed process information and work up to establishing the business case to support the vision. “The problem with all major ERP implementations is generally two-fold. Firstly, companies start with the software “solution” and not with the problems; secondly, at the process level project leaders start with the software capabilities and fit the process to what the software does,” adds Jack. “How we got into enterprise digitization is intervening after the implementation when the company is hemorrhaging because the business is constrained by the software. Our approach in this case is surgical to re-engineer the system and tweak the process to stop the bleeding. Our team strives to break a complex problem into component pieces in sort of an Occam’s Razor applied thinking to solve the problems at their core – this is the applied meaning of our company’s name Quantumlytix (solving problems at their core).”
On the supply chain service side of Quantumlytix, they have a longstanding relationship with the University of Vermont Health Network (UVHN), now one of the largest health systems in New England. In 2014 Quantumlytix was contacted by their Chief Supply Chain Officer, Charlie Miceli, to conduct a proactive analysis of Fletcher Allen Health Care (the original main campus hospital) to determine the “Achilles heels,” base line capacity and improvement potential of the Supply Chain and Finance operations. The impetus was rural hospitals in this region were becoming increasingly vulnerable due to the erosion of jobs and an aging population in outlying communities in Upstate New York and Vermont – combined with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement cuts. Essentially their strategy was to lifeline these other hospital facilities by providing shared network level support for administrative functions such as medical supply distribution, accounts payable, accounts receivable, contracting, central sterile, courier services and durable medical equipment, information technology, etc.
“Our mission was to reveal how to optimize these administrative functions,” explains Jack. “Upon completion of the analysis phase of each area, we provided detailed data and information on the gaps identified, recommendations on how to close them, project plans, and a financial business case.” Quantumlytix focused on enterprise digitization of the UVHNs key process such as procurement, materials management, AP/AR to replace repeatable manual processes with systems processes such as EDI, corporate credit cards, and materials replenishment; and optimizing capacity of departments reducing the frequency of activities and the duration. Under Charlie and his leadership team, the UVHN supply chain organization has achieved great results in the effort to improve access to care and lower the cost-to-serve by digitizing materials management to improve fulfilment and cash flow, increasing EDI transactions from 35% to 65%, reducing the number of Purchase Order transactions, providing network medical supply distribution, and acquiring durable medical goods company to improve access to home health care equipment.
“We have supported the implementation of some of the original findings such as redesigning medical supply distribution and selection of a prime vendor and optimization of access to care and cost-to-serve of durable medical goods services such as prosthetics and orthotics, complex rehab, and home medical equipment,” adds Jack.
“I view the current global economic state as a target rich environment. “For the future, we are focused on our three services: Material Handling Solutions, Digitized Enterprise (process automation and systems integration), and supply chain implementation services.” As we grow, we are building our team with the finest expert operations leaders, engineers, and application developers,” adds Jack. To accelerate their growth, Quantumlytix is actively vetting acquisitions to scale their business and add more capabilities.