Some Assembly Required by Don Buckingham

BuckinghamFirst, a short note from Brian Maskell:   

I am pleased to welcome our second ‘guest blogger’ Don Buckingham Sr. of Perio Inc.[i]

Don writes:

During the economic downturn of 2008, I was working as EVP for a national consumer package good marketing / distribution company.  Our CEO’s strategic plan called for the vertical integration of 60% of manufacturing and assumption of “end-to-end” supply chain operations over the next two years.  Fortunately, the company was financially positioned for “counter-cycle” expansion into the contracting business cycle and thus we were able to acquire new capital assets at bargain prices.

While construction was underway, I prepared to lead the implementation of this $7 million project by attending The Ohio State University – Fisher College of Business’ lean six sigma certification program, graduating with a Master in Business Operations Excellence degree.  Using this performance system methodology, we planned our green field start-up and successfully launched in 2009 using the Toyota Production System as our platform.

Training our procurement, production and distribution staff was pretty straight forward during 2010, as there were abundant materials to draw from to instruct for lean speed and six sigma quality best practices.  But there was not much available to guide us for the integral approach to management implementation we needed – until we discovered BMA Inc. We found just the tools we needed for a total management solution.

Following the guidelines in Practical Lean Accounting[ii], I first educated myself and began training our executive team on how to measure and manage our new operating subsidiary in complete alignment with our lean production system.  Using these principles, we were quickly able to make the horizontal connections within financial, operational, and management accounting for an integrated approach to “managing by the numbers.”

But best of all, we also deployed The Lean Business Management System (LBMS)[iii] which was, for us, a vertical alignment tool.   Using the guidelines from this most helpful text (and a bit of supplement from business school), we developed the following approach to our strategic operations deployment:

Our executive group spent 2011 (one year – no kidding!) reading, discussing, and applying each section of LBMS.  They fully considered how the company could improve by following the book’s guidance.  We found that these principles greatly facilitated our 1) collaborative decision making; and 2) the communication process from “top to bottom” and “across departmental functions.”  My favorite success story was our 2012 application of LBMS section D1: Planning and Budgeting, in particular the Sales, Operations and Financial Planning (SOFP) process.
Implementing just this one idea allowed us to pull over $1 million of raw material and finished goods safety/buffer stock inventory out of play without increasing supply risk!

I continue to use BMA Inc. publications every day for business management system planning and deployment.   I am now consulting in both service and production environments.  Outcomes wherever “constancy of purpose” is consistently applied include increased customer value, profit growth, and freed cash flow.

But even more, these tools help create a true learning culture of engaged professionals who find greater fulfillment from their management contribution at every level of the organization.


Don Buckingham Sr.  Don has most recently contributed to the success of a consumer package goods industry leader – Perio, Inc. where he served as Executive Vice President. Don led their efforts to integrate operations, enterprise business services and management systems, using Lean Six Sigma methodology.

Don holds two master’s degrees– one from The Ohio State University – Fisher College of Business (MBOE), and the other from Grace Theological Seminary (M.Div. cum laude) 

Don is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and an active member of both the Institute of Management Accounting (IMA) and Institute for Supply Management (ISM).  Don is the founder of Alante Management Alliance LLC, an operations excellence consultancy located in Columbus, OH. [i]

[i] You can find Don on LinkedIn at 

[ii] Brian H Maskell, Bruce Baggaley, & Larry Grasso, Practical Lean Accounting. A Proven System for Measuring, and Managing the Lean Enterprise, 2nd Edition.  Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012.  Available at, the publisher, and Amazon.

[iii] Brian Maskell et al., The Lean Business Management System. Lean Accounting: Principles and Practices Toolkit.  1st Edition.  Cherry Hill, NJ: BMA Press 2007.  Available at and Amazon.