Steve Cattron has been a leader in the business world, largely in the energy sector, for three and a half decades. He has successfully guided a number of large businesses under his stewardship during that time, learning how to manage the bottom line and navigate bureaucracy in a heavily regulated, highly competitive industry.
Steve served in the past as President and COO of Missouri Gas Energy, a natural gas distribution company, and has served on the Board of Directors of another large gas company. For a period of time he was the Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Communication for Kansas City Power & Light Co. His resume is impressive and vast, with a litany of experience when it comes to building and growing companies.
For the past 12 years, Steve has been handling duties as the Managing Director of his company, Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA), which specializes in helping organizations maximize cash efficiency and cost management. He brought his skills and years of experience from the energy sector to ERA, where he provides customers with invaluable savings plans and negotiations services related to his area of expertise.
ERA is not limited to saving large companies money on energy costs, however, and they are more than just a consulting firm. ERA is a hands-on cost management consultation and strategy implementation firm with many experts from many industries, all as skilled and experienced as Steve himself.
Steve holds a B.B.A. in Accounting, which he received from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and an M.B.A. from Rockhurst University.
LXCouncil: Can you explain a little bit about how your company (ERA) helps lower costs for other companies such as manufacturers, banks, and medical facilities?
Steve: Well, we’re not just a consulting firm. We actually execute and lower costs for companies. If you think of a company like Accenture, those companies come in and just report what they have found, like this: “Here’s what we think you should do…” Well, we do that and then we execute – we’re hands on, we implement best practices. In fact, we only get paid when our clients see real cost savings, when they see the fruits of our labor.
LXCouncil: Understanding that you cut suppliers costs for your clients – how does that work, exactly?
Steve: What we do in its simplest form is provide knowledge and expertise from years of experience in many supply side industries. That is, we have many experienced guys with grey hair in our boardroom, and the grey hair is earned.
Look at it this way: The goal of our clients – the goal of any company – is to sell their product or service for as high a price as they can. They have expert insight on their business, on their product or service. They are focused on perfecting that product or service and maximizing revenues. But there’s more to a bottom line than just generating great revenues. We have expertise and insight in industries that supply our clients, so we can leverage cost structures, negotiate better deals for them, and we know where to look to reduce costs.
LXCouncil: Name an experience involving a peer group you have been in – any experience – that has helped you as a leader in your business?
Steve: LXC specifically has helped me a good deal. My peer group has been very thoughtful and insightful with detailed, excellent marketing advice that has helped me grow my business. For us, we call on CEO’s, CFO’s, decision makers, and ownership. My peer group – in fact, all LXC peer groups – are made up of such leaders, so they tell me what they are looking for, what catches their attention. It has greatly helped me understand my market and better market the business.
LXCouncil: Has this experience helped you grow as a leader? Has it helped your company grow?
Steve: Yes to both. It has made me think outside of the box in regards to marketing. Also, I am learning the value of listening to others, of reflection on what I hear from others who know what they are talking about. Listening, learning and reflection are an important part of growth, and all of that is a part of the LXC process. With so many experienced executives available as a strong resource in my group, you have to take advantage of it.
LXCouncil: What does ERA do that is unique, that makes you stand out from the market?
Steve: The fact that we’re hands on, the depth of our knowledge, the quality of our organization, what you see is what you get – all of that separates us from the competition. With our company, you get seasoned consultants that represent your organization. We don’t just advise you, we execute the plans to maximize savings. There are no junior partners or college grads in our organization. Every member of our staff possesses a bare minimum of 20 years of experience in their specific industry. The breadth of the industries that we have expertise on, too, from chemicals to telecoms to IT companies to energy and office supplies, we can help. I spent most of my career in energy, testifying before federal regulation committees in regards to the energy industry as an expert in the field, and now I bring that knowledge to my customers. That is a tremendous benefit for them, and we offer the same expertise in over 30 industries.