Retail Operations in Southeast U.S. Seeks New Vision and Business Model
Three years ago, a new management team purchased a regional furniture and design center operating in the Southeast. Due to the deadline on the purchase, the team had no time to plan or organize the structure of the business. Although sales continued to grow during the downturn in the economy, they found the operations of the business were becoming chaotic with increased production. Leadership knew they were losing money on inefficient delivery and while trying to make changes they experienced a downturn in employee morale. Quality customer service and delivering on promises was at risk. In talking with MLC, the client saw a strong need to step back and look objectively at the whole organization. The client asked MLC to help them develop a new corporate Vision and then a plan to realign resources to implement the Vision.
MLC first went through a thorough discovery process, interviewing the leadership team and analyzing the history of the business to gain an understanding of where the company had come from. The Client then participated in a “Clarity Workshop” where MLC facilitated the process of understanding what the vision of the understanding what the vision of the business was – to be the premiere leader in the design and furniture business in the southeast. In addition, MLC led the team through a systematic facilitation to understand “the current state” of the company, uncover hidden issues and develop a comprehensive picture of how the company was currently operating. From there, each corporate discipline was analyzed to understand the “gap” between the current state of the business area and how it should be operating under the new Vision. Operations (Manufacturing), Management, Finance, Marketing, Leadership, Sales, Sustainability, and Innovation areas/ department were studied and analyzed from various perspectives. Opportunities such as new showrooms and new product lines were reviewed as well as threats such as new competitors coming into the area were studied.
As a result, a full scale Strategic Plan was developed along with an Implementation Dashboard. A new Organization Strategy was developed to fill gaps in management areas.
A Chief Operating Officer role was developed to oversee operations. New communication plans were developed for the Leadership Team. New administrative systems were developed to increase work-flow efficiencies and reduce expenses. A Sales Training program was formalized to develop employees in all aspects of selling their services and products. Technology was introduced to leverage Sales, Finance and Inventory processes.
The Executive team participated in the development and review of a detailed full scale Dashboard to implement the strategy. Champions were assigned to each “task”, deliverables, and due dates were developed. Accountability meetings with MLC were set up to ensure communication on implementation would continue. Communications and operations have improved, the leadership team is stronger and feels like they have direction, employee morale has increased and the business is continuing to grow – but now in a systematic and efficient business model – toward its new Vision.