Gregor Harman: Business and savoir vivre

In old fashioned soccer terminology, he’d probably be the libero, or the sweeper, in Porsche Consulting’s U.S. team, says Gregor Harman, winking. Because often, when there’s a particularly challenging project or topic, Harman is asked to take it on. “I think I’m versatile and able to adapt to the needs of the client or team.” He’s also able, rather effortlessly, to combine no nonsense business with the art of living, or, as they say in his native French: savoir vivre.

The 33-year old Parisian was part of the small team of six consultants who came to Atlanta in October 2011 to open Porsche Consulting’s U.S. subsidiary. He had already spent eight years in Germany, earned a degree in mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, worked as an assembly-planning engineer at Porsche AG, Porsche Cars’ mother company in Stuttgart, and at Porsche Consulting’s German headquarters.

Harman’s thorough knowledge of the Porsche culture, his experience with key industries like aerospace, automotive and rail, as well as his affable social skills make him a valuable employee for Porsche Consulting. After all, he says, “we’re a people business, and in order to best support the client as they implement the changes we’re jointly elaborating, we first need to build a relationship to act as one team.”

Take, for example, a recent project for a U.S. airplane supplier which had difficulties with on-time production and delivery at its plant in France. “This specific facility had a considerable backlog, and the plant manager had received a number of complaints,” Harman remembers. A few months after the project had ended, the backlog was gone, and the plant received a performance award from Airbus, which is considered a premier recognition for a supplier in the airline industry.

Harman, who enjoys skiing and traveling with his wife, has no plans to head back to Europe anytime soon. Professionally, he thinks that Porsche Consulting has a huge opportunity for growth in the North American market. Right now, he says, “we are still rather small, but we’re somewhat considered the ‘cool kids in town’ with state-of-the-art offices adjacent to the world’s busiest airport.” He adds that “this is the time for Porsche Consulting to find its place among the top consultancies in the U.S. And I want to help make that happen.”