Crow Hill Associates does consulting work in two main areas—Operations and Information Technology. We specialize in the Publishing Industry, but on the operational side most technology and methodology translates easily to other businesses—shipping books from a warehouse is not much different from shipping cans of soup, and reporting on sales of books is virtually the same process as reporting sales of any other item or service.
Our real strengths are customer service, warehousing (including outsourcing) and order fulfillment, programming, and project management of anything from software installations to setting up a shared service center. Creating a suite of Management Reports is one of our strong points. These reports can monitor SOX or SLA compliance, supply information to field sales forces (who bought what), automate expense reporting; or be more typical reports such as sales by item type, by customer type, etc.
Technology has gotten very complicated, and as complexity increases, so do high profile mistakes. Being in technology, I always feel a trace of “there but for the grace of God go I” when a major blunder hits the news media. Not that I’ve ‘gone there’, but I understand how it happens. What would you, as an IT manager, say to your boss and coworkers if you had worked at Knight Capital, and thanks to a one line coding error your programming department was personally responsible for losing $440,000,000 in 45 minutes?
Once upon a time, in a galaxy not that far away, publishing was a staid, gentlemanly business. TV networks ruled the media world and the flagship of a company called TIME Inc. was TIME Magazine. Waldenbooks and Barnes and Noble were the archenemies of the independent booksellers, as they battled it out for supremacy. Amazon was a tiny, insignificant start-up. That world has disappeared into the past, vanishing just as thoroughly as the Roman Empire, and it’s not coming back.