Willard (Bill) Bishop, after earning his Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University, began providing select consultative engagements for consumer packaged goods manufacturers. Bill quickly learned that his clients, and the market, could benefit from a broader solution set. As a result, Bill formed the Willard Bishop Consulting Economists in 1976. He immediately began searching for the brightest minds in the industry.
- In 1989, Paul Weitzel joined the firm, bringing new tools and techniques in advanced analytics and Activity-Based Cost modeling.
- In 1990, Jon Hauptman joined the firm to focus on execution and client deliverables as the company continued to expand its solution set for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in the grocery, mass/club, drug, convenience, and dollar store trade channels.
- In 2002, Jim Hertel joined the team, adding unprecedented strategy and insights to the consulting firm’s solution set. Jim also served as a catalyst for integrating shopper behaviors into the company’s service offerings.
- In 2006, Craig Rosenblum joined the firm to extend the company’s retail efforts and to expand corporate performance through business development and strategic alliances.
An Expanded Vision
In January of 2007, the active partners (Hauptman, Hertel, Rosenblum, and Weitzel) acquired the company from Bill Bishop. While Bill was no longer part of the organization, the decision to keep the name “Willard Bishop” was made to maintain the company’s leadership position and to leverage the brand identity that was nearly 40 years in the making.
Shortly after the change in ownership, the leadership team sought to extend its competitive advantage by increasing its focus on implementation. While most management consulting firms were extending their services into new practice areas, yet limiting their deliverables to recommendations, the Willard Bishop firm saw things differently. Instead of going into new practice areas like energy, transportation, banking, etc., Willard Bishop remained committed to being the experts in consumer packaged goods. So in place of new practice areas, Willard Bishop developed a growth strategy based on richer, more robust solutions, services, and applications within the consumer goods industry. This philosophy, which continues today, led to the expansion of retailer-specific services, change management, and of course, implementation. While the tool box is certainly larger today than in years past, the firm's focus on developing and implementing high-value, high-impact solutions remains.