E17 Thor Thomsen and Jim Watkinson from THORFeed and Jeanne Barry from RGP
In this episode of Project Management Office Hours, Joe Pusz, PMO Joe has a great discussion with special guests Thor Thomsen and Jim Watkinson from THORFeed and Jeanne Barry from RGP.
We don’t often think about Project Management within the Farming industry. However, in this episode we get insights from Thor and Jim about the benefits, challenges, and growth opportunities farmers are experiencing through use of project management principles. Jeanne shares her experiences within traditional project management and compares those to the stories shared by Thor and Jim.
Requirements gathering, planning, monitoring and execution are discussed, but when working with farmers who haven’t been exposed to project management principles unique challenges are identified. This is a fantastic episode to understand the wide reach and benefits project management provides to business across all industries.
Tune in for upcoming shows with Project Management leaders discussing a wide range of current topics and events! Our next show will be November 1st.
THOR Feed’s purpose is to simplify and transform. We help organizations improve operations and reduce costs. Our current focus market is farming and we have established the THOR Feed solution as the leading farm inventory solution provider starting with farm feed inventory. Cattle and dairy farms single largest expense is feed. This expense is approximately 50% of operating cost. Unfortunately, feed loss (called ‘feed shrink’) occurs from feed planting to storage to feeding The University of Wisconsin, Kansas and other leading universities show an average 18%. Lowering shrink a few percentage points can reduce costs on improving farm profitability. THOR Feed provides the farmer with the following key operating metrics using smart devices on Windows, iOS and Android platforms:
- Accurate inventory for all feed.
- Near real time inventory status.
- Precise feed utilization rates
- Projected depletion dates for each feed and feed class.
- Dynamic reporting
The THOR Feed solution provides benefits to farms in the following areas:
- Reduced ‘backup’ feed is purchased, due to improved feed accuracy
- Wise purchase based upon true need(s).
- Improved negotiating power (lower costs) due to a longer lead times on future depletion dates
- Less time to gather and report information (improved people productivity) with smart devices
- Lower interest rates on feed loans from lending institutions due to detailed monthly reports
- Reduced feed shrink due to improved planning with THOR Feed team regarding harvest, storage and herd feeding processes
Thor Thomsen grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, served in the United States Marine Corps’ special operations unit, married and entered the family entrepreneurial occupation.
Thor’s first business, Risk Management Planning, LLC, involved responding to hazardous chemical accidents around the globe using a unique subscription and consulting model. The service grew predominantly from companies and involved emergency management, first responders, schools, hospitals and even major sporting venues. Risk Management Planning expanded into another product line and simplified emergency response between first responders and various venues.
Stepping away from the family and businesses, Thor worked for Versar Inc. and eventually Thomsen Security. Services included security and safety in the water and food industry. The major program was establishing and building the United States DoD Food defense program which entailed securing the food supply chain from Field-to- Fork® around the globe. Thor conducted over 2,729 risk and vulnerability assessments, hundreds of reports and consulted with military and civilian food supply chain entities.
Thor established ThroughPoint Solutions which developed an assessment and reporting tool for the United Stated DoD and has been most recently adapted as a farm inventory solution, utilized by over 13 farms with over 32,000 head of cattle and in excess over $80 million dollars in feed inventory.
Jim Watkinson is a widely-traveled IT and project management mentor with experience in large (IBM, Unisys, Ports America) and several start-up tech companies, as well as non-tech companies seeking tech improvement. A key strength is introducing new IT functionality to industries (such as: ATMs to banks, Point-of-Sale to retail, satellite networking to energy companies, remote office communication to insurance, scheduling systems in supply chain & logistics.)
Much of Jim’s work involved process improvement in the above-mentioned industries. As a PMP and ACP, Jim enjoys thoroughly evaluating an ongoing organization, then (if needed) developing and presenting a plan to improve operations. Once, given the approval, Jim would lead the desired changes in a project management capacity.
Jim’s main purpose is to help individuals and organizations reach their top level of potential. As a team player, working along-side teams, Jim will coach, critique, appraise and recommend. Once a team finds a pace and rhythm toward reaching their potential, he moves on to the next adventure needing IT technology.
RGP (NASDAQ: RECN), Resources Global Professionals is a multinational professional services firm that helps business leaders execute internal initiatives. Partnering with business leaders, RGP drives internal change across all parts of a global enterprise – accounting, finance, risk management and internal audit, corporate advisory, strategic communications and restructuring, information management, human capital, supply chain management, healthcare solutions, and legal and regulatory services.
Jeanne Barry is a seasoned Project Manager with 20+ years experience in the IT field with PMP, CSM, and MBA credentials. She has worked mainly on multi-million dollar infrastructure and information security projects and programs with a smattering of Development/SCRUM PM projects under her belt. She’s also worked as a Business Analyst and QA Test Lead, giving her a well rounded background in the IT field.
Before joining RGP (a former division of Deloitte and Touche) in 2017 as an IT Project Management consultant, she worked in the banking industry for 18 years, mainly on Information Security projects. She’s currently one of the PM’s managing projects in a PCI Program for a large client in Scottsdale who is in the process of obtaining their much coveted PCI AOC (Payment Card Industry Attestation of Compliance). Her PMO background is vast; fortuitously helping with the creation of PMOs in highly successful organizations, namely KeyBank and Data Management, Inc.
In her spare time, Jeanne is a semi-professional singer (she used to perform in a popular pop/rock covers band in town called Superhero), as well as a volunteer at Feed My Starving Children in Mesa (one of her most favorite charitable organizations). She loves to travel locally – especially to San Diego and Sedona). She attends holistic events around town and enjoys working on her new house she just purchased in May. As a Reiki Master, she also offers energy work clearings and healings to balance and harmonize herself and those around her.
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Joe Pusz started THE PMO SQUAD to bring real world PMO Leadership experience to the consulting space and to advocate for Project Management through his blog PMOJOE.com. The old saying is “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Following this mindset Joe left Corporate America in 2013 to start THE PMO SQUAD and work with fellow Natural Born Project Managers to advance Project Management Best Practices.
THE PMO SQUAD focuses exclusively on PMO and Project Management consulting. Corporate America is full of Accidental Project Managers running projects who haven’t been trained to be PMs. To help solve this problem THE PMO SQUAD is on the Leading Edge with PMO As a Service. PMO As a Service allows our clients to focus on their respective core competencies while THE PMO SQUAD delivers Project Management expertise. Contact Joe at 678-591-7868. Follow The PMO Squad on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.