HIll Named CEO of The Bell Group

October 4, 2004

HIll Named CEO of The Bell Group

Hugh, Eddie and Alan Bell, owners of The Bell Group, named Andrea M. Hill CEO of the Albuquerque, NM, corporation, which includes Rio Grande, Neutec/USA, WestCast and Sonic Mill subsidiaries. "Andrea has demonstrated a commitment to the success of our unique corporate culture and remarkable skill as a leader and thinker," says Hugh Bell. "Giving Andrea the official title of CEO simply acknowledges to the rest of our stakeholders what those of us within The Bell Group have known for a long time: Andrea's demonstrated ability to successfully nurture and lead this company into the future," says Alan Bell.

The company says Hill has been instrumental in implementing management approaches and systems essential for the corporation's growth. Hill joined the company in 1996 as a consultant charged with renovating a newly purchased facility and consolidating six different business units into a single operating unit. After successfully executing those responsibilities in just 126 days, she was invited to join the board of directors and take responsibility for strategic planning and development. She began by creating a compensation plan that aligned all teams and individuals within a strategic measurement system she also implemented. In 1997, she took on additional responsibility for sales, marketing and information systems, consolidating multiple Bell Group brands into a strategic brand presentation that ultimately resulted in an increase of 92% in customer numbers.

In 1998, Hill introduced manufacturing efficiencies through use of Lean Manufacturing systems and other techniques, then worked four years on a fully integrated ERP computer system introduced in 2002. The ERP system streamlined and automated distribution operations, improved supply chain performance by 29% and enabled The Bell Group to provide significantly higher quality customer service than had previously been possible, says the company.

Finally, Hill introduced an advanced form of participative management, using an flat organizational structure that groups employees into highly interactive work teams. "The skills necessary to be a successful leader in participative management are more refined you have to know how to be an effective manager, and you have to be fully vested in teaching those skills to others," says Hill.

HIll says her work in the future will include continued improvements in manufacturing, more innovative one-to-one marketing and an increasingly streamlined suppply chain. "There are hundreds of ways to create more value for our stakeholders. The work of the future is selecting the best ones and executing them well," says Hill.

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