Point B

Point B Company Profile

THE SCOOP 

Making a Point 

The consulting industry has a reputation for long hours, extensive travel and high employee burnout. Point B is doing its best to change that equation-according to the firm, its focus on achieving outcomes for clients and encouraging associates to be "as busy as you want to be" helps keep hours under control. And the firm's model of "local people serving local clients" keeps associates working near their homes and devoting their time to client outcomes. 

Point B completes over 800 engagements each year. Clients range from startups to Fortune 100 companies, and have included Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, PetSmart, Starbucks Coffee Company, Cigna, Providence Healthcare System, Expedia and Walgreen Co. The firm's work has spanned a number of industries, including healthcare, banking and financial services, government, telecommunications, software and technology, manufacturing, retail, and media and entertainment.

 

$200 went so much further in the 1990s

Point B was founded in early 1995 by Jim Hodge, Tim Jenkins and Darran Littlefield, three Seattle-area entrepreneurs and former Accenture managers. Beginning with an initial investment of $200 and one client at launch, their decision to establish the firm was built on a belief that most organizations were being underserved by traditional consulting firms. The biggest issues, as far as the founders saw it, were that traditional consulting firms often sent inexperienced work teams to clients, spent too much time drafting methodologies rather than effecting change, and were plagued by potential conflicts of interest and an inability to execute. 

Accordingly, Hodge, Jenkins and Littlefield started Point B with the aim of doing things differently. Among other things, the firm believes that "different " involves focusing specifically on execution and actually getting projects done; providing flexible access to leaders; eliminating "big firm " overhead; and avoiding alliances, reseller agreements or other pairings-up that could compromise the company's objectivity.

 

Going local

From 1995 until 2000, Point B established itself by focusing exclusively on its local Seattle market, but has since expanded nationally. Despite its expansion into new markets, however, the firm believes in staying local; when a client calls for help, the firm appoints a consultant who lives in or near the client's town. That management philosophy reaps two major benefits: First, consultants enjoy easier lifestyles and, second, because Point B consultants hardly ever travel, clients save money by not working with out-of-market experts. Geographically, Point B currently serves clients in the Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, Denver, Bay Area, Chicago and Southern California markets.

 

Jack of all trades

Point B's competitive advantage is not so much what it does, but how reaches its end goals. Self-described experts in the "practical art of getting things done, " the firm works with clients on issues such as integration following a merger or acquisition; process improvement; getting new systems up and running (or maximizing the use of existing systems); decision making; project launch or turnaround; getting quick wins; recruitment issues and more. It also works with clients in the areas of recruiting, business and technical analysis and business case development. 

Generally, Point B serves in a consultative role, but it is also frequently asked to fill an interim leadership position and help hire a replacement. Its consultants are selectively hired based on their prior experience; new hires typically carry between seven and 15 years of experience in the business, and come from settings that include successful startups, large corporations and leading professional service firms.

 

Swimming with the big fish

While Point B claims to differentiate itself from the bigger consulting shops through its unique and exclusive focus on bringing the experience and unbiased consulting to help their clients achieve their strategy, that doesn't stop it from butting heads with some of the titans in the field. The likes of Accenture and Deloitte offer similar consulting services as part of their menu of services, a fact that occasionally leads them into competition with Point B for contracts. The firm also faces competition from local or specific industry-focused consultancies, but claims to have to compete on less than 10 percent of its opportunities.

 

IN THE NEWS

May 2014

Top 25 Consultants

Ben Burke was named one of the top 25 consultants in the nation by Consulting magazine.

 

May 2014

Power of Employee Ownership

Founder Tim Jenkins talks about how an employee stock ownership plan can strengthen a company.

 

May 2014

Impacts of ICD-10

Point B healthcare experts talk specifics around the impacts of the shift around this key legislation date.

 

April 2014

Expansion Ahead

Point B is now employee-owned, and the company plans to use the proceeds from the transaction to expand and diversify, as reported in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

 

March 2014

Top "35 under 35 " Consultants in the Nation

Point B's Garrett Kephart named tops in the nation in Energy.

 

February 2014

Tops in Oregon

Point B was named the second best place to work in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine in its "100 Best Companies to Work For" competition. The annual awards are based on the results of surveys completed by over 240 companies and nearly 11,000 employees across the state.

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Point B


1420 Fifth Avenue
Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 517-5000
www.pointb.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • CEO: Mike Pongon
  • Co-founders: Tim Jenkins, Darran Littlefield, and Jim Hodge
  • 2014 Employees: 504

  • Employment Contact

    Visit Point B's careers page


  • Major Departments & Practices

    Business Technology

    Financial Services

    Healthcare

    Marketing and Product Management

    Mergers and Acquisitions

    Operations and Process Improvement

    Organizational Effectiveness

    Project Leadership Services

    Public and Social Sector

    Retail and Consumer Products

    Technology and Communications

Major Office Locations

  • Seattle (HQ)
    Bay Area
    Chicago
    Denver
    Phoenix
    Portland
    Southern California

Key Financials

  • 2014 Revenue: $120 million

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