Al Enzweiler’s Accumulated Lessons Learned

Al Enzweiler

Al Enzweiler has accumulated lessons learned as;

  • One of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects from 1986 to 2024
  • Senior manager for Information Science Inc. an IT supplier of Human Capital Management Systems from 1981 to 1986
  • One of Deloitte’s Senior System Architects from 1975 to 1981
  • One member of Holiday Inns’ Architecture Team from 1974 to 1975
  • Controller of Innkeeper’s Supply, an enterprise owned by Holiday Inns from 1971 to 1974
  • United States Marine 1970 to 1971
  • Data Processing Specialists for National Bank & Trust 1967 to 1970

In 2024 as one of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects he can offer sage advice on how managers on clients’ organization charts are;

  • Continually improving at setting and hitting metric targets to consistently make their contributions to hitting top line targets using Targets Systems
  • Controlling discretionary SG&A expenses using a system of internal controls
  • Publishing preliminary financial statements one day after closing using ERP Systems as an integral part of State-of-the-Art Financial Systems
  • Explaining an earnings targets miss was caused by external head winds which could not be accurately forecasted, and which could not be managed using; Targets Systems, systems of internal controls, ERP Systems, and State-of-the-Art Financial Systems.

Over a very long duration Continual Improvement phase of Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology.

Lessons Learned Accumulated As One of  Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects

Examples of 10 lessons learned accumulated by Al Enzweiler as one of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects.

1. Launch an improved digital marketing campaign

In 2024 Al Enzweiler published EnzweilerATeam.com to replace Enzweiler.com.

2. Launch a digital marketing campaign

By the early 2000s marketing Targets Systems on Enzweiler.com was putting a sufficient number of opportunities in the pipeline to complete Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology, that Al Enzweiler decided he could stop flying around the United States and Canada conducting the seminar Benchmarking World Class Systems.

3. Get an MBA education collaborating as one member of an Architecture Team

After coining the term “Targets System” Al Enzweiler discovered collaborating as one member of an Architecture Team to manage to consistently make contributions to hitting top line targets on Income Statements using Targets Systems, is the equivalent of collaborating to complete a case study used by business schools to educate MBAs.

One day in 1999 Al Enzweiler was pleasantly surprised to discover Harvard’s Business School had published a case study on how Cisco Systems had engaged a consulting firm to implement an ERP System. The case study documents lessons learned by a consulting firm completing one client’s engagement. The lessons learned could be used by one of the firm’s Senior Sytem Architects to complete an Initial Investigation by answering questions on how clients are realizing productivity gains using an ERP System as an integral part of State-of-the-Art Financial Systems.

Cisco Systems.: Implementing ERP Harvard Business School 9-699-022 September 24, 1999

4. Conduct Benchmarking World Class Systems seminars 

After coining the term “Targets System”, Al Enzweiler started conducting the seminar Benchmarking World Class Systems to market the current version of Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology.

5. Coin the term “Targets System”

During collaborations to complete an Architect phase,  Al Enzweiler had one of those “eureka” moments when Rick Savitz said,

We are setting metric targets for fulfilling customer demand with quality manufactured boots and for increasing customer demand, because metric targets which get set will get hit to hit top line targets on Income Statements.”

Next client’s engagement started with members of an Architecture Team collaborating with one of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects to architect Targets System(s).

Enzweiler does not publish client’s names, but Rick Savitz, CFO of Justin Boot Company agreed to have his interview published in an educational video. The educational video was published by the Computer Channel and featured Al Enzweiler marketing the 1998 version of Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology.

6. Continually improve Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology

As one of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects no longer responsible for managing and mentoring System Architects to become a Senior System Architect, Al Enzweiler discovered he could use the lessons learned completing the last client’s engagement to make improvements to Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology used by one of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects to start the next client’s engagement.

7. Grow Enzweiler Group to become Enzweiler

The 1.0 release of ERP Systems created more demand for completing Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology, than could be fulfilled by one of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects.  Al Enzweiler decided it was time to realize his vision of managing a big consulting firm. Using an angel investor’s capital, he started recruiting, managing, and mentoring System Architects in completing Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology.

Fortunately, it did take long to learn a lesson the hard way. A methodology which starts with one of the firm’s Senior System Architects collaborating to complete an Initial Investigation over a short duration and before consulting fees are incurred, is in a client’s best interest but is not a good methodology for growing a consulting firm.

Although he had failed to realize his vision Al Enzweiler was not discouraged. He had learned that he enjoyed collaborating with CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and managers on their organization charts as members of Architecture Teams more than he enjoyed managing and mentoring System Architects.

He changed the firm’s name from Enzweiler Group to Enzweiler, changed his vision from being a big consulting firm to being the #1 consulting firm doing business in the United States and Canada, and continued to be one of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects.

8.  Use ERP Systems as an integral part of State-of-the-Art Financial Systems

In the early 1990s a few IT suppliers raised the capital required to architect and develop ERP Systems. Architected and developed ERP Systems were sold to customers to hit fat margin top line targets on Income Statements. Customers configured, demonstrated, implemented, and used ERP Systems to maintain bill-of-materials databases, maintain other databases used by Supply Chain Systems and used as an integral part of a State-of-the-Art Financial System.

After the 1.0 release of ERP Systems in the United States and Canada, Al Enzweiler started offering sage advice, making recommendations, explaining and answer questions using facts which can be easily validated on how clients had configured, demonstrated, implemented, and were using an ERP System to maintain bill-of-materials databases, to maintain other databases used by Supply Chain Systems and as an integral part of a State-of-the-Art Financial System

9. Conduct Planning a State-of-the-Art Financial System seminars

When founded Enzweiler Group’s marketing campaign was Al Enzweiler publishing articles, speaking at conferences, and referrals from customers and clients who had used his services when he was one of Information Science’s senior managers and one of Touché Ross & Co.’s Senior System Architects.

Then one day Al Enzweiler read an ad in Inc. magazine soliciting proposals to conduct seminars for the Executive Education business units of universities’ business schools. He submitted a proposal to conduct a seminar titled, Planning a State-of-the-Art Financial System.

Boston University became the first university to sponsor the seminar. Within two years, more than twenty universities in the United States and Canada were marketing Al Enzweiler as a seminar leader responsible for collaborating with seminar participants to complete the seminar Planning a State-of-the-Art Financial System.

10. Found Enzweiler Group

Al Enzweiler founded Enzweiler Group in 1986 as a consulting firm with the integrity to propose starting client’s engagements with one of the firm’s Senior System Architects who could complete an Initial Investigation over a short duration and before consulting fees are incurred.

One of the firm’s Senior System Architects could use his accumulated lessons learned to offer sage on how clients were realizing productivity gains using a State-of-the-Art Financial System to publish financial statements required to pass an audit by a CPA firm.

When founded, Al Enzweiler’s vision was to grow Enzweiler Group to be a big consulting firm.  His strategy for growing Enzweiler Group to be a big consulting firm was Al Enzweiler will be one of Enzweiler’s Senior System Architects until opportunities in the pipeline to complete the current version of Enzweiler’s Architecture Team Methodology are greater than could be fulfilled by one of Enzweilers’ Senior System Architects.

Lessons Learned Accumulated Before Founding Enzweiler Group in 1986

Examples of 9 lessons learned accumulated by Al Enzweiler before founding Enzweiler Group in 1986.

1. Make contributions to hitting fat margin top line targets on an IT supplier’s Income Statement

When Al Enzweiler joined Information Science he had experience architecting and managing to develop Human Capital Management Systems but he did not have any experience selling a Human Capital Management System. Other members of Information Science’s senior management team had more than 20 years’ experience selling a Human Capital Management System. The advice they gave Al Enzweiler was to use demonstrations to sell a Human Capital Management System which had been architected and developed by an IT supplier to be configured, demonstrated, implemented, and used by customers.

The advice was spot on. When Al Enzweiler managed planners, analysts, tool specialists and configuration specialists to demonstrate to prospective customers;

Managers could set and manage to hit metric targets for managing human resources using databases maintained by using a Human Capital Management System.

Human Resource, Benefit Administration and Payroll business units could realize productivity gains by collaborating to use a Human Capital Management System.

Human Capital Management System could be used as an integral part of a State-of-the-Art Financial System

A prospective customer’s documented requirements could be satisfied.

Contracts got signed to sell a Human Capital Management System.

His margins were so fat selling a Human Capital Management System as a licensed software product, Al Enzweiler did not want to assign any of his planners, analysts, tool specialists, and configuration specialists to the thin margin implementation services business. To get a customer to sign a contract, Al Enzweiler agreed a short duration implementation requiring a small budget would start with user acceptance testing (UAT) of what was demonstrated.

2. Coin the term “State-of-the-Art Financial System”

During collaborations to complete an Initial Investigation, a CFO asked, “How will a State-of-the-Art Financial System to be architected by Touche Ross & Co. to be developed and implemented by our Data Processing (DP) business unit be an improvement over the current financial system?”

Al Enzweiler’s answer, “State-of-the-Art Financial System will be used to realize productivity gains updating a general ledger database used to publish financial statements. Classic financial system currently being used to publish financial statements does not have a general ledger database.”

When he was promoted to be a manager responsible for making his contributions to hitting top line targets on Touche Ross & Co.’s Income Statement, Al Enzweiler put this quote from Managing the System Development Process into every proposal he submitted to prospective clients.

“Initial investigations are usually short – taking perhaps a few days, or at most, a few weeks, to complete. The steering committee reviews the results and decides whether the project should proceed to the Feasibility Study. Members of the committee must have a broad understanding of the company to be able to weed out inappropriate requests at an early stage. Terminating a project at the initial investigation stage obviously minimizes the expenditure of corporate resources.”

Quote is on Page 51 of “Managing the System Development Process” published by Touché Ross & Co in 1980.

Touché Ross & Co. was one of the Big 8 firms. In 1989 Touché Ross & Co. merged with Deloitte Haskins & Sells to become Deloitte, one of the Big 4 firms.

3. Get an MBA education collaborating as one member of an Architecture Team

While collaborating as one member of Holiday Inn’s Architecture Team to architect a State-of-the-Art Financial System, Al Enzweiler received an MBA degree from the University of Memphis.

4. Architect a State-of-the-Art Financial System

Holidex was so successful, the new CFO decided Holiday Inns would staff an Architecture Team. Holiday Inn’s Architecture Team would be responsible for using BSP to architect a State-of-the-Art Financial System to be developed and implemented by the Data Processing business unit. An Arthur Andersen Senior System Architect was hired to manage Holiday Inn’s Architecture Team. Al Enzweiler was promoted to be a System Architect and one member Holiday Inns’ Architecture Team.

As one member of Holiday Inns’ Architecture Team Al Enzweiler was responsible for architecting a State-of-the-Art Financial System. The architected State-of-the-Art Financial System was developed, configured, implemented, and used by human resources staffing business units on the organization charts of the more than 30 enterprises owned by Holiday Inns to realize productivity gains;

Transacting their enterprise’s business with customers and suppliers in multiple currencies

Compensating their enterprise’s human resources who are employed and/or under contract

Complying with taxations and regulations in multiple countries

Updating general ledger databases

Publishing their enterprise’s financial statements required to comply with GAAP and SEC regulations

At headquarters in Memphis a financial business unit realized productivity gains consolidating general ledger databases using a Consolidation System architected by Holiday Inns’ Architecture Team. The Consolidation System was; developed, configured, demonstrated, implemented, and used to publish Holiday Inns’ consolidated financial statements required to pass an audit by Arthur Andersen.

Arthur Andersen was one member of Holiday Inns’s Architecture Team.

5. Digitally transform the hospitality industry

In the early 1970s Holiday Inns and IBM collaborated to use IBM’s Business System Planning (BSP) system development methodology to; architect, develop, configure, demonstrate, implement, and use Holidex.

Holidex was a leading-edge reservation system which digitally transformed the hospitality industry by maintaining a database of the number of rooms available to be reserved at Holiday Inns and maintaining a database of rooms sold by transacting business with Holiday Inns’ customers. The database of rooms sold to customers was analyzed by one of Holiday Inn’s analysts to discover data correlations. Discovered data correlations were used by one of Holiday Inn’s planners.

A planner used discovered data correlations to; architect, develop, use and continually improve customer demand forecasting models. Customer demand forecasting models were used to forecast future customer demand for rooms at Holiday Inns. The planner architected, developed, used and continually improve models to;

Raise the price of rooms, when forecasted customer demand was greater than the number of rooms available to be reserved

Reduce the price of rooms, when forecasted customer demand was less than the number of rooms available to be reserved

In the podcast Birthing Hampton Inns published by No Vacancy, Ray Schultz the IBM Account Manager who used BSP to develop Holidex recounts how Kemmons Wilson, the founder of Holiday Inns, told him – before Holidex he had to sell Holiday Inn franchises, after Holidex he took orders for franchises.

6. Consistently make contributions to hitting top line targets using a supply chain system

Al Enzweiler started his professional career as the Controller of InnKeepers’ Supply – Atlanta, an enterprise owned by Holiday Inns. After being blamed by the CEO for a large inventory write off, Al Enzweiler managed a project to implement the supply chain system which was being used by InnKeepers’ Supply – Memphis.

The supply chain system went live on time to be with budget being used by the manager responsible for managing InnKeepers’ Supply – Atlanta’s supply chain to start continually improving at setting and hitting metric targets for delivering quality products to customers on-time as promised.

7. On the Beach as a United States Marine

One of the amphibious tractors landed on the beach by Al Enzweiler, is now on the beach for a very long duration at USMC Reserve Center in Tampa Bay, Florida

During his senior year at Eastern Michigan University, Al Enzweiler received a low number in the first draft lottery. He decided the best was to start his “professional career” and to fulfill his obligation to serve his country was to join the Marine Corps reserve unit in his hometown of Tampa Bay, Florida.

Over 6 months, he graduated Parris Island a Marine and graduated Camp Pendleton a Marine responsible for landing amphibious tractors on the beach one weekend each month and two weeks each summer.

8. Get a BBA education

While working as a data processing specialist for National Bank & Trust, Al Enzweiler received a BBA degree from Eastern Michigan University.

9. Start accumulating lessons learned

Al Enzweiler started his career as a data processing specialist for National Bank & Trust Co., in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Credentials

One of Deloitte’s CPAs

When Al Enzweiler joined Touch Ross & Co. in 1975 as a System Architect in the consulting business unit, it was a requirement that one of the firm’s partners had to be a CPA. He passed the CPA exam in 1976 and become one of Touché Ross & Co.’s System Architects and CPAs.

During the years, Al Enzweiler was one of Touché Ross & Co.’s;

Managers he was responsible for completing Initial Investigations by answering questions on how clients are realizing productivity gains using State-of-the-Art Financial Systems to publish financial statements required to pass an audit by a CPA firm.

CPAs he was not responsible for managing audits to attest that clients’ financial statements compiled with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), IRS regulations, SEC regulations, IFRS regulations, and other regulations.

Touché Ross & Co. was one of the Big 8 firms. In 1989 Touché Ross & Co. merged with Deloitte Haskins & Sells to become Deloitte, one of the Big 4 firms.