Specialty RetailerDistribution Center Optimizes Seasonal Workforce

specialty retailer2

Client is one of North America’s largest specialty retailers of men’s apparel.

Client is consistently listed as one of the top places to work. They value their workforce and desire to give them the skills and tools needed to perform their jobs.

However, there was overall business stagnation. Client recognized that one of the contributing factors was continually increasing costs. Due to the seasonal nature of the business, costs related to the temporary labor force, overtime hours, and inventory needed to be controlled. DB&A reviewed both the Retail and E-commerce warehouses.

While senior management desired cultural change, they struggling to make progress and tolerating the deficiencies of frontline supervisors forcing them to manage one level down.

As a result, DB&A had to work simultaneously with both senior managers and frontline supervisors in order to achieve the necessary improvements as well as introduce new management tools for driving performance.

DB&A capitalized on the “people-valued” culture by adding structure and a uniform process across all areas and levels of management, primarily identifying and correcting issues through one-one-one coaching of frontline supervisors including:

  • Created customized tools that focused on the five management system elements of Forecasting, Planning, Assigning/Following-up, Reporting, and Evaluating
  • Provided managerial workshop training that tied the desired management behaviors to the tools developed
  • Flattened the management structure for greater transparency between various levels of the organization
  • Developed a procedures manual for perpetuity  Improved communication and eliminated the silo effect

Through the appropriate use of the tools, supervisors are now able to properly plan for predictability by evaluating planned volumes and the number of hours required to complete work. These actions result in better business decisions overall. Operational results include:

 Increased average units per week by 15%

 Decreased average hours per week by 17%

 Improved manager to employee ratio to 8-10 employees per supervisor and 2-3 supervisors per manager

Through coaching and training, DB&A increased the capacity to manage beyond the project.

DB&A facilitated an overall culture shift that has the ability to support continual and long-lasting performance improvements.

DB&A’s superior effort led to repeat business in two additional facilities.

Financial Results

Finished with:

169%

of the annualized savings

“We are looking at merchandise that is needed at the stores more carefully. Before DB&A, everything was processed, and it created a lot of unnecessary overtime.”

“The project helped provide better structure to the overall business.”