ARCH Group LLC – Expect Excellence


About Us

The professionals at the ARCH Group consist of mostly former, senior Epic employees that have been working with the software for many years. Industry experts. The average ARCH Group consultant has more than 10 years direct experience with Epic. We specialize in Tapestry implementations and optimizations. We have been involved with over 50 different Tapestry implementations over the past 20 years. When you work with the ARCH Group, expect excellence!

Our consultants possess extensive experience in all areas of the health care industry, including software analysts, project management, training, EDI, technical support and report writers. Our consultants have worked with some of the largest health plans in the country, like Kaiser Health Plan and Group Health Cooperative. In addition, we have worked with several hospital based organizations like Sutter Physician Services and MemorialCare Health System as well as delegated medical groups acting as payors such as HealthCare Partners. We have worked internationally as well with Sechaba Medical Solution in Johannesburg, South Africa.

What makes us stand out from the rest? Experience. Impressive success. A proven track record of client satisfaction. We pride ourselves on our projects coming in on time and within or even under budget. We will help your organization achieve their goals.

We are located in Middleton, Wisconsin in Epic’s back yard. We can see their wind mills from our offices. Our close proximity to Epic enables us to recruit the very best people in the marketplace to make sure our high standards are achieved.

Contact us to see how we can help you. We will diligently work to match the needs of your organization with the skill sets of our Consultants to find the right person(s) to work with your team.

The ARCH Group has the experience, industry knowledge and desire to help you improve your operations and address the ever evolving challenges in health care today.

About our CEO

Our Founder and CEO, Michael Heuer, has worked in health care for over 25 years and is considered a visionary in the use of technology within the complex and rapidly changing healthcare industry. Michael founded the ARCH Group in 2009. Prior to working with the ARCH Group, he was the Product Manager at Epic Systems Corporation in their Tapestry Health Plan and Web Services Divisions. During his 13 years at Epic, Michael had responsibility for all aspects of client satisfaction working with over 50 different large healthcare organizations in the United States and around the world. Under Michael’s leadership, Epic added more than 10 million members to their Health Plan Division and launched three new web portals: Member, Provider and Employer.

Earlier in his career at Epic, Michael was the Project Director on several enterprise-wide implementations with multi-million dollar budgets. He worked closely with CEOs, CIOs, CMOs, Medical Directors and other executives to ensure the projects were completed on-time, on-budget and with happy end users. Prior to working for Epic, Michael was a certified Optician for Wisconsin Vision, the largest optical company in the state of Wisconsin. He was promoted to Operations Manager where he was responsible for all sales, marketing, staffing and operations at three large vision clinics. During his time there, Michael negotiated the first managed care contract in the history of the company and was responsible for annual sales growth of 15% and a 20% profit margin increase.

What’s in a name?

This is what our CEO, Michael Heuer, wrote to all employees several years back. It's worth sharing.

Michael Heuer: I had a conversation recently with someone that has been working with me for many years now and they did not know the story of the name of our company: ARCH Group. That surprised me as I thought I had shared that information with everyone over the years but then realized there are probably several of you that might not know the history of the name. It’s important to me so I wanted to share it with you. Here is what I wrote several years ago when I started hiring folks to work at the ARCH Group:

It’s important to me that people know the origin of the name ARCH Group because it’s important for what I stand for. As consultants, we all have to earn a living based on our reputations. We don’t have Deloitte or Epic’s name to back us up and give us instant credibility. We have our name as our reputation. And now, you have the name and reputation of the ARCH Group too. That’s important. Perhaps it’s the most important part of my job. I’ve told each of you before it’s an honor to work with you and you working for the ARCH Group should mean something to each on of you. It’s important that you know it stands for something. It’s meaningful. I tell all current and future/prospective clients this story for that very reason. It’s a small elevator story into the type of individuals that you are getting when you work with this exclusive club called ARCH Group.

Let me take a step back. When I founded this company back in 2009, it was not called the ARCH Group. It was called Northern Lights Consulting. I picked that name and it wasn’t very good. I’m not the creative type and I should have known my limitations. I picked that name because the neighborhood that I live in is called Northern Lights Estates and I thought since I was working from home I’d call it Northern Lights Consulting. Seemed logical. Perhaps. Smart, not really. Regardless, I filed the paperwork with the State and it was official. That evening I shared that information with my family that Northern Lights Consulting was officially born.

You can imagine my family’s reaction when I told them the name. It’s not a good name. I was so proud to have started a company I missed the point of a good name. So I challenged them to come up with something better...clearly something better wasn’t coming from me. It took my wife, Shari, a total of about 3 minutes to come up with a better name. She suggested I name it after our family: my son Alexander Ronald Heuer (4 at the time) and daughter Ashley Carole Heuer (2 at the time). As a side note: our kids middle names are named after their Grandparent’s first name so there is important family significance to their middle names too. My father's name is Ronald so we named our son after him. My mother-in-law's name is Carole so we named our daughter after her. So, using the first letter in each of their names, we got the initials: A R H and A C H. If we repeat the A for their first names and H for their last names (since they are the same), you get ARCH. I liked the direction this was heading.

Then, the thought was ARCH Consulting but I really didn’t like that name. I think I’ve told many of you before that I did not have a particularly fond impression of consultants when I worked at Epic. That bad reputation was earned. There are a ton of bad consultants out there. In fact, the majority of the consultants out there are not worth what they charge. It’s not because they are bad people, but it’s more because they are in consulting for the wrong reasons. They just want to make money and they don’t care who pays them and what they are doing to get paid. They provide a service, but it’s not necessarily an extremely valuable service. Their clients have some money to spend so they do. It’s not mutually beneficial. Because I’ve seen that scenario repeat itself in healthcare, I was not anxious to jump aboard that train. I wanted to be different.

But how can you be different and separate yourself when, in reality, we were a consulting company. For me, the difference was the people. I was only going to work with exceptional people. I would not work with individuals of questionable ethics. I would not work with some people that I knew, and in many cases liked personally, but they were not capable of delivering exceptional results for the client. I learned a long, long time ago at Epic that the best advertising is word of mouth. Judy Faulkner built a multi-billion dollar company from scratch with a simple premise: build something excellent and do right by the client. Everything else will take care of itself. I have several examples of this. As my career at Epic expanded and I got more and more responsibility, I learned first hand that Judy was serious about this. I have many specific stories I could share with you, but the end result is always the same. Go above and beyond for the customer and it will ultimately benefit you both in the short term (with that client) but also in the long term with a great reference and the best word of mouth advertising out there. That is exactly the way I try to position the ARCH Group and it’s also the metric I use when problem solving. Because of that, ARCH Consulting did not work for me. I also thought that ARCH Team was tired and the word “team” is overused. In talking it over, it really was just a excellent group of people that were trying to do the right thing. Group of people. ARCH Group. Yes, I liked that. The ARCH Group was born.

So, about 5 hours after I officially filed the paperwork with the state to be Northern Lights Consulting, I decided to change our name to the ARCH Group.

Believe it or not, it’s very easy to create an official company with the State of Wisconsin. All you need is an internet connection and $100 (back in 2009 that was the cost – not sure if that’s changed over the years).

Believe it or not, it’s NOT very easy to change your official name. It’s expensive. It’s time consuming. It requires a trip down to the DFI building at the State Capital talking with government employees that are not very excited to hear you want to change your name. That is especially challenging when your first name hasn’t even made it through their system yet because I just did it online the day before. You can imagine the many pleasant conversations I had with multiple government employees that day. I would not recommend this for anyone.

But at the end of the day, it was very important to me to change the name. It was more than symbolic. It was, pardon the pun, an overarching philosophy. I am putting my kids name on my business. I would not do anything to disparage their names. The decisions I make about who I work with and how we treat each and every client will be done with care and careful consideration to make sure we are doing the right thing. We are going to do excellent work and we are going to do it the right way.

I realize the double meaning of ARCH. Most people assume I mean arch like a bridge to go from one time period to another with the use of consultants. I don’t mind that folks assume the wrong meaning. It gives me an excuse to share this story with them. It provides some insight into how I’m trying to be different in my own way. I can’t change all of the consultants out there, but I can be impactful to those that decide to work with me.

One final note about this. It’s ARCH Group and not Arch Group. The “ARCH” is capitalized. The ARCH represents my kids initials so it’s capitalized.

I’m telling you all of this because this is more than just a job for me. It’s family. Each of you is part of my family. It’s important to conduct myself ethically and remember why I’m doing this. It’s not to become the next Deloitte. There have been many, many opportunities over the years to make a quick buck but it would require working with individuals that are not consistent with the standard that you all represent. That is important to me. I hope it’s important to you too! I have respectfully declined those opportunities. Additionally, over the years, I’ve had various companies approach me to sell the ARCH Group to them. Some of the offers have been extremely lucrative. Some of the potential buyers have been very aggressive in their proposals (much to my surprise). You should all take that as a compliment because the reason organizations want to buy consulting companies is because of the reputation of their people. We don’t manufacture widgets. We provide a service. A valuable service and we are extremely good at it. Someone might say to “Expect Excellence.” It’s because of this excellence by each and every one of you that these offers do in fact come in. They are flattering no doubt. But I have politely declined each and every one of them. I have told them the same thing I’ll share with you right now: the ARCH Group is not for sale. I don’t view this as a typical business where you can make me an offer that is financially beneficial and I’ll jump on it. If that was the case, I would have sold this company probably 6 years ago. That is not who I am. That is not who I will become. I like working with each and every one of you. I don’t have to work with any of you. I choose to work with you because you are exceptional people each in your own way. You are talented, have a strong moral compass, and you help our clients do the right thing every day. I truly enjoy working with each and everyone of you. Thank you for your trust in me. I want to continue to earn it each and every day. I want to continue working with you for many, many years into the future.

I realize this is long but it’s important to me that you all know where I came from and why the name ARCH Group is so meaningful to me. You carry the benefit but also the responsibility of that reputation every day.

Thank you for making the ARCH Group what it is today and allowing our clients to Expect Excellence!