“Barry is a pleasure to work with. He cares about what you want to accomplish. He does not come with his agenda; he is there to assist the CEO in achieving theirs with the aid of the "tools" he comes with. His approach to staff is wonderful.”
—John Cogley, Owner
Daniel Smith Artist Materials
Seattle, WA

Case Study Company B: Daniel Smith

Company Profile

Company B, an artist material supplier and manufacturer, has built its reputation on thinking like an artist, and not just thinking for the artist. It is this philosophy that keeps them innovative, customer focused, an internationally recognized name in the art community and the art supply company of choice for artists around the world. In 1976, while working as a commercial printer, the business founder realized that commercial printing inks were insufficient for the needs of the print artist. Scraping enough money together to purchase an old roll mill, the founder began manufacturing a more specialized ink with the lightfastness and working characteristics artists desired. Over the years, as the company's partnership with artists grew, so grew the business. Today, Company B is a leading designer and manufacturer of thousands of art products, including paints, brushes, substrates and unique items found nowhere else. Their commitment to partnering with artists continues, as does their desire to never stop thinking like one.

Annual Revenues: Available upon request
Employees: Available upon request
Locations: Available upon request


The CEO, an 18 year associate of the founder of Company B, purchased the business in 2006. Shortly after acquiring the business the CEO/Owner felt that he needed to make sure his executive team understood his business goals and that they were focused on delivering the objectives that he had set for the business. The CEO/owner came to CEO Services for help in developing a strategic plan, implementing that plan and coaching his executive team on how to deliver the goals of the strategic plan.


Barry MacKechnie, founder of CEO Services, initiated his proven methodology and process for helping CEOs and business owners to get their business rallied around a strategy for delivering strong growth and higher profits. MacKechnie met with the CEO/owner and reviewed the objectives of Company B for 2007. With that information in hand a MacKechnie created a one-page strategic plan that provided the CEO with a clear and concise roadmap as to what he wanted to achieve in 2007 and where he wanted to take the company in the next 5 years.

From the one-page strategic plan 5 key initiatives (objectives) were identified that needed to be completed throughout the 2007 year. MacKechnie then met with the executive team along with the CEO and reviewed the strategy and initiatives process. Each member of the executive team was then given the assignment of identifying what their teams needed to accomplish in 2007 to deliver the goals that the CEO had set for the company. They were also tasked with identifying how they would measure progress toward their goals and how they would measure the final achievement of their goals. The rule adhered to was a simple one: if it can't be measured it cannot be a goal.

MacKechnie coached several of the executive team members while they were setting the initiatives for their team. Benchmarks (dates to achieve goals and objectives), metrics and measurements were set for each of the objectives. Each member of the executive team met with the CEO and reviewed their initiatives during 1:1 meetings. Those objectives were then expanded into several smaller objectives that the executive team then assigned to various members of their operating teams following the same process that they had just completed in establishing their own goals. The executive team leaders then repeated the same initiative process with their individual team members. The end result was that every employee in the Company B organization had clearly defined objectives that they needed to accomplish in 2007.

Client Comments

How did Barry MacKechnie help you in your role?

Barry added structure and process where none existed. He further assisted me in going over the key roles that I had and reviewed what would make those roles even more successful. My meetings with key staff members became outcome based rather then "meet and greet". Success in motivating, coaching and final outcome where enhanced exponentially with Barry's method.

How did Barry MacKechnie help your company?

There is now a better cohesion among myself and my key staff and in fact all of my employees. Barry's system has what he calls "partners" and these "partners" whoever they may be - and it change from key outcome to key outcome - directly influences the success of your initiative. This system really employees collaboration. Key outcomes now are less overwhelming for the staff because they know others are involved at key junctures to the success of their initiatives. This was not an easy accomplishment as most of my key staff would rather do things themselves but this had limited our ability to accomplish multiple initiatives and to accomplish them well.

Did the process and methodology utilized by Barry MacKechnie provide you with a useful way to develop and improve your company's operations?

Absolutely! The system that Barry assists a company with goes from the top - CEO - to the bottom - all employees. This becomes a unifying process where everyone is involved in the success of the company. Everyone knows their piece of the puzzle and more importantly how those pieces tie into their direct reports initiative. Each piece can be measured not only at the individual level but also at the team level. This method allows the whole company to move as a unit with common focus.

How would you describe working with Barry MacKechnie?

Barry is a pleasure to work with. He cares about what you want to accomplish. He does not come with his agenda, he is there to assist the CEO in achieving theirs with the aid of the "tools" he comes with. His approach to staff is wonderful. He is supportive of the staff while allows moving the needs of the business forward. He has a unique way of working with the CEO and understanding things through his eyes and translating that to the rest of the company so that the initiatives achieve the CEO stated objectives. It is a wonderful process and Barry is simply a wonderful teacher and person.

Any comments that you would like to make about the services provided?

Barry's system has brought continuity to our business. There is now focus where there was process. The objectives are now shared among individual of departments and among managers. We now move together where before it was one hundred people moving at different speeds along different paths. Stress is reduced in what can be achieved and focused on what will be achieved. This process has each of my staff begin the day with "what is my objective" versus what am I going to do today. That difference is unbelievable as to what it brings to our company and its current and future success.