Case Study

Employing a Digital Strategy to Drive Portfolio Company Efficiency and Growth

March 16, 2022


A middle-market Private Equity Fund approached Cherry Bekaert’s Fractional CIO/COO team on how to enhance efficiency and drive value through digital and operational optimization at its newly acquired platform portfolio company, a $40 million revenue manufacturer of aviation system parts and U.S. Department of Defense contractor

Client Objectives

  • Drive operational efficiency into manufacturing and business processes
  • Develop data sources for the information needed to run the business more effectively
  • Grow organization capability for analysis, improvement, and collaboration
  • Improve Cyber Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance procedures, an evolving requirement for Defense Contractors, while reducing complexity
  • Implement systems and structures that scale efficiently as the business grows


  • Outdated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, minimally configured for accounting and procurement essentials and supplemented with manual processes
  • Minimal to no capability to efficiently measure:
    • Shop production (good parts, scrap)
    • Machine operations (throughput, downtime)
    • Summary of improvement or overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
  • Nascent CMMC processes; cyber controls largely manual and burdensome
  • Basic office network, no factory connectivity, and limited wireless coverage around the facility
  • Lean staff with multiple designations and responsibilities
  • Lack of advanced planning and scheduling tools; push production mindset driven by customer “hotlists”
  • Little history of operator involvement or understanding of improvement methods
  • Limited space under the current facility for repositioning machinery and process flows

Solution Discovery

  • Cherry Bekaert worked with company management to conduct a baseline operations assessment to identify targeted processes for improvement
  • Using a maturity model to demonstrate “current state” and “gap to future” state, Cherry Bekaert developed a “crawl, walk, run” deployment model that addressed changes in people, processes and technology
  • Company engaged Cherry Bekaert’s Fractional CIO/COO team to address the needs for continuous operational improvement and how technology would support their optimization


  • Identified data acquisition technology platforms for factory machine data, conducted a review, selected, and negotiated service contracts
  • Implemented new network and help desk support environment
  • Deployed machine data acquisition system; identified and configured operational dashboards
  • Completed CMMC assessment and identified improvements to better adhere to compliance requirements; scoped and produced RFP, bid, and selected third-party CMMC support providers
  • Migrated to Microsoft Office 365 GCC High designed for DoD government contractors; deployed virtual desktops to improve CMMC compliance footprint
  • Initiated operational engagement to analyze and improve key metrics
  • Managed delivery of projects and coordinated on-site resources; regularly reviewed progress with company management and collaborated on adjustments
  • Ongoing support provided as designated by management

Cherry Bekaert’s Digital Transformation team supports Private Equity Funds and their portfolio companies throughout the Aerospace, Defense, and Government Services Industry across the U.S. and abroad.

The Digital Difference

Cherry Bekaert Digital Advisory helps organizations ignite growth by quickly assessing, transforming, and sustaining business strategies based upon priorities, strategic plans, and budgets. Utilizing an agile and flexible approach, we help you to re-engineer your business operations and services offered, examining each area with a focus on people, process, technology, and culture.


A $40 million private equity-owned manufacturing company focused on machined parts of aerospace and military aviation systems



Aerospace & Defense, Aviation Manufacturing



Fractional CIO/COO, Post-Acquisition Integration, Digital Diligence and Cybersecurity


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