By Joel Stinnett  Reporter, Nashville Business Journal

One of Williamson County’s largest employers has launched a new division.

LBMC has created a Growth and Innovation practice, CEO Jeff Drummonds said, to provide growth strategy and innovation consulting services to middle market companies.

The new practice is being led by Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management Adjunct Professor Todd McCullough, who has worked as a strategy consultant for companies such as Subway, Ford Motor Company and Nashville-based HCA Healthcare Inc.

LBMC is Middle Tennessee’s second-largest accounting firm, according to Nashville Business Journal research, and employs 525 people in Williamson County. LBMC also offers financial, human resources, technology information security, and wealth advisory services.

Drummonds said LMBC is launching the practice now because it’s the right time for companies to be seeking out new perspectives in planning a strategy for their future. The pandemic has altered the growth landscape for several industries, he said, and companies need help adjusting.

“Many things in business, many things in the marketplace have probably accelerated five to 10 years over the past 18 months,” Drummonds said. “I think there are very few businesses out there right now that don’t have a necessity to re-examine some of their core business tenants, because some things that we thought were true regarding our business we have found out is not the case. And I don’t think we’re alone in that.”

LBMC looks to check three boxes before launching any new service, Drummonds said, and the Growth and Innovation practice was no different.

First, is this service something the market and LBMC clients need? Again, Drummonds said the pandemic has demonstrated the need for all businesses to be innovative and capitalize quickly on opportunities in order to succeed in an uncertain business climate.

Second, can LBMC deliver the service and deliver it extremely well? McCullough has a history of working with LBMC, Drummonds said, and has helped the firm develop some of its own strategies. From that experience and McCullough’s expertise, Drummonds said he’s confident LBMC will be able to provide growth and innovation services as well or better than any other firm.

Finally, will LBMC clients will buy the service? That box has yet to be checked, Drummonds said, but based on the early reception he thinks businesses will turn into buyers.

He said the service is industry agnostic but will target middle market private equity backed firms, which typically end up being in health care, manufacturing and distribution and technology. A little more than 60 days into the new practice, LBMC has a “handful of engagements” in process, Drummonds said.

“The last 16 months have shown us the need to be innovative, the need to re-examine how we do business,” Drummonds said. “Now, more than ever, we believe middle market clients want and need planning for their business from a little bit different perspective. That’s around growth, around how to innovate and how to extend current product lines.”