Business Consulting Case Study
Providing guidance and support through every life cycle of the business.
Smith Schafer Approach
Since day one, Smith Schafer has been assisting Nexstar as it has developed into what it is today – a thriving member-owned for-profit business development and training organization for privately-owned plumbing, heating, and electrical contractors. Smith Schafer has worked with Nexstar through amazing growth, and now, as the long-time CEO looks to retire and a new President comes on board, we can see the start of a new era.
In the beginning – November 1992 – when there were no accountants on staff, Smith Schafer acted as the in-house accounting staff, doing everything from monthly financial statements and invoicing to taxes. Smith Schafer also helped Nexstar establish processes to keep its financial house in order.
When it was time to hire a CFO, Smith Schafer wrote the ad and screened the applicants to ensure the person hired had all the qualifications needed to be successful in the position. As Nexstar grew out of its space, Smith Schafer helped find possible locations and decide whether it was better to lease or buy. With each decision, Smith Schafer was there to add guidance and support. “They always know the answer. They have a stick-to-it-ness. They find answers for us – they explore it and report back, which is a plus,” said Greg Niemi, former President and CEO.
Because Nexstar management respected the work Smith Schafer did and their knowledge in the industry, they asked them to do training with members. Smith Schafer has taught numerous classes at annual conferences and also at “boot camp” sessions. They have been there to watch the membership grow to almost 400 member companies strong today and also be of service to those members when needed.
As Nexstar continued to grow, there were other areas Smith Schafer helped with, including technology consulting. Smith Schafer also created a breakeven analysis tool and “profit pricer” tool built into Excel to help members control overhead and price labor effectively. Smith Schafer has consulted on the Nexstar business plan to prepare for continued growth in the future.
Tony Flaminio, former Vice President of Finance, asserts, “Smith Schafer brings stability, foundation and an invaluable historical perspective. They have been with Nexstar since day one. They know our business.”
As Nexstar moves into the next phase of its business cycle, Smith Schafer is equipped to help the company prepare for its business’s continued growth and success.
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