Leading Israeli Consulting with Tefen Group and the Israel Advanced Production Institute

 Mally Bitzur-Parnes  (photo credit: Inga Avshalom Shylian)
Mally Bitzur-Parnes
(photo credit: Inga Avshalom Shylian)

“One who doesn’t learn from a crisis is not wise,” says Mally Bitzur-Parnes, owner and CEO of Tefen Group and chair of the Israel Advanced Production Institute, which is owned by Tefen. In the past year and a half of the corona pandemic, Bitzur-Parnes, who works with hundreds of companies annually, has seen firsthand how successful companies and individuals have adapted to the challenges presented by the pandemic. 

The Tefen Group provides consulting and optimization services to a myriad of major companies in Israel in a diverse range of businesses, including aviation, healthcare, energy, high-tech, and many others. The Israel Advanced Production Institute, which is in Karmiel, works with smaller and medium-sized companies, as well as larger firms, to implement advanced manufacturing processes. It supports Industry 4.0, which combines physical production with digital technology, machine learning, and big data.

“Our main customers,” says Bitzur-Parnes, referring to Tefen, “are mostly large and mid-sized companies, and almost all of them did not suffer major damage during corona. On the other hand, we dealt with some smaller companies through the Advanced Production Institute, and some of them did not survive the crisis. In most cases, companies that weren’t doing well before the pandemic did not survive.”

Bitzur-Parnes adds that the corona crisis presented a host of challenges to Tefen and the Israel Advanced Production Institute. “In the beginning, we stopped our consulting activities completely,” she explains. Our first challenge was to come up with creative ways to accompany our clients, either remotely, or in some other way that did not present a risk.” Tefen needed to develop remote solutions to stay in touch and provide services to their clients. As head of the Israel Advanced Production Institute, Bitzur-Parnes had to ensure the continuity of its work promoting technology and innovation during corona, which was not an easy task. Ultimately, she reports, Tefen enjoyed a successful and profitable period. 

“Due to our strong partnerships with our companies, we doubled our activities in Israel during corona,” says Bitzur-Parnes. In addition, Tefen opened branch offices in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain to manage infrastructure projects. The Israel Advanced Production Institute performed 240 analyses over the past year and a half, says Bitzur-Parnes, far more than the previous period. 

Despite the ease and conveniences of remote meetings, Bitzur-Parnes says there is still no substitute for sitting opposite another human being. She does not negate technology, though, and says that the combination of a human being together with technology makes for a winning combination. “I always want to see a thinking person,” says Bitzur-Parnes. “I am happy to get information from data and technology, but I also need the human perspective of the analysis – to look in the eye of the person making the decision. In the final analysis, we need to see the person making the decision, and our workers as well.”

Bitzur-Parnes says that many lessons can be learned from the pandemic period regarding how companies treat their employees. “Frequently,” she says, “there is a boomerang effect when workers have left the company and want to return in times of crisis. We need to be open to receiving them back.” Bitzur-Parnes adds that employers need to exhibit trust in their workers and provide them with a sense of security.  

In the coming year, says Mally Bitzur-Parnes, Tefen hopes to continue the rapid growth that it experienced in the past year and a half and initiate additional projects, especially in the field of infrastructure, transportation and technology. She expects that the Advanced Production Institute will continue the Industry 4.0 Revolution and continue activities that promote integration between government offices and government companies to bring tangible results. Recently, Tefen joined with Scoriti, a company that measures customer and employee satisfaction online, prevents employee attrition, and increases company loyalty. 

Tefen today has 200 employees, with 150 in Israel and 50 based outside the country. Over the years, it has consulted and advised more than 10,000 companies and is marking its 40th anniversary this year. “We want to do work that brings many smiles and success,” says Bitzur-Parnes. 

This article is taken from The Jerusalem Post Annual Executive Magazine 2021-2022. To read the entire magazine, click here.

This article was written in cooperation with Tefen Group