Finding operational success beyond the chaos.

What happens when a company is growing faster than it can keep up with?


Laitek Inc., an Illinois-based company that provides migration and related services for medical diagnostic imaging, recently experienced what most companies strive for: unheralded growth and expansion.

But Chief Client Officer Doug Fiester said the record sales over the past few years created a lot of pressure on Laitek’s project management office.


“We started seeing the stress spots in our organization,” Feister said. “Things weren’t smooth…balls were getting dropped.”


With offices in London and Romania in addition to its headquarters just outside Chicago, Feister’s part is to carry out the company’s vision across marketing, sales, the project management office and also support services.


“My role on a daily basis is making sure that I create and help the team achieve the vision across all of our client facing departments,” Feister said in a recent interview.

Founded in 1980 by medical physicist Fred M. Behlen, Ph.D, a leading specialist in imaging informatics, Laitek has spent the last 18 years working with hospital imaging centers and their business partners to focus on their clinical imaging needs.


“We specialize and have some unique abilities in the marketplace to help our customers,” Fiester shared. “We’ve managed to create a little niche in the marketplace and continue to grow that line of our business.”


But with growth comes growing pains, which led Fiester to seek an objective third-party perspective on exactly where the balls were getting dropped and to identify the areas that were primed for improvement.


“Any company big or small could take advantage of an assessment such as what we did,” Fiester said. “Whether its operations or whether it’s some other division of the organization, there are always processes. Sometimes we get so busy we can’t stop and take a look.”

Enter Boost Midwest’s AIM Workshop developed by President Marie Stacks and her team.


“Our goal is to take the guesswork out of change management,” Stacks said, using the AIM Workshop method of Analyze, Innovate and Manage.


This turned out to be key for Laitek Inc.


“With Boost Midwest coming in, we were able to dive deeper into the process,” Fiester said. “Their first goal was to understand our business and what we are trying to achieve.”


The AIM Workshop focuses not on day-to-day operations but on the bigger picture. Starting with data gleaned from team member responses to a survey that touches on all processes and methodology, Boost Midwest follows up with one-on-one interviews. And that follow up showed Fiester some surprising results.


“The findings on survey would say one thing: Our communication is great,” Fiester shared.

“When you did the interviews, we found out it wasn’t so great as the surveys listed.”


The AIM Workshop process discovered that it wasn’t the quantity of communication throughout Laitek but the quality of communication and how it occurred. One issue the process highlighted was that there were too many ways for people to communicate.


“There’s too many channels, that was one of the surprising things that came out of the workshop,” Fiester said. “Learning to communicate appropriately was another big area.”


That meant a stop to the automatic but inefficient forwarding of emails to share information that quickly grow pages long. A second change was to limit which communication methods were used, because text, emails, voicemail and Microsoft Teams were all in play at Laitek.


Now standardization is being introduced throughout the three offices of Laitek Inc. and not just in how the company handles internal communication.


Fiester said he would check that his teams were “all doing things the same way, but when you pull back the covers, you find out we’re not.”


He knew Laitek wasn’t unique in this, because when any organization grows, processes diverge and workarounds are adopted. The AIM Workshop has the ability to highlight where those gaps and workarounds exist.


“A glaring result was the lack of standardization,” Fiester said. Laitek now is working on standardizing its tools, now that it can see their deficiencies and duplications.


“That is one of our big efforts today,” Fiester said. “Learning how to create better tools or go to a third party tool to manage the projects a little better.”


Boost Midwest followed the survey and in-person interviews with a collaborative workshop with Laitek’s teams to review and assess the results. Then it delivered a detailed, cumulative report with assessment scores to give Laitek a baseline to measure against as new processes evolve.


“It was enjoyable working with the [Boost Midwest] team: their demeanor, professionalism and true help in helping us identify some of our gaps,” Fiester said.


And the Laitek executive shared some advice for companies facing similar challenges who take the big step to assess their organization’s performance:

  • Go into it with idea of honesty and making your team feel honest.

  • Be willing to accept and hear what’s not working.

  • Don’t go into justification mode.

  • If there’s an issue, let’s deal with it today open and honestly.

  • Be willing to accept the bad news. Without accepting that, you’ll never be able to move forward.

“It’s not a threat, it’s there to help you grow,” he concluded. “And that’s the purpose of an exercise like this.”




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Ready to learn more about how Boost Midwest can help you optimize your project management and operations? Schedule your free consultation call with us today using our Quick Schedule Link here.



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