"It isn't that they can't see the solution, it's that they can't see the problem."
- G. K. Chesterton
SunBright Outdoor Furniture, a 300 people strong company with annual sales above 28 million dollars in 2003, was a one man show for about 20 years. Jim Cowart, founder and president, was responsible for its phenomenal growth and was an excellent problem solver. Since its inception there had been many sales and marketing problems which were tackled successfully by him. He was a workaholic and after twenty years of tirelessly working day and night he wanted to take a back seat and relax. Eva Rucker was hired to take over the day to day business and grow the brand from local to national.
Rucker was a credible business woman who went a big revamp in the company to make its presence felt at the national stage. New salespersons, support staff and new designers were hired to make products for big retail stores.
SunBright grew at a fast pace within a year of Rucker putting her plans into action. However the growth came at a price and problems started creeping into the firm from all areas. Soon after the company scaled up its operations, the big retail giants started complaining about delay in the orders. In fact they even returned a lot because of bad quality of products. If SunBright could not match the demands of these suppliers it had a good chance of losing the contract.
With help of an independent consultant, they figured out the problems at hand. The major issues identified were lack of communication between various teams, under-utilized resources and improper inventory management. Rucker agreed with the findings and wanted Jim's support to change the organization accordingly.
However the biggest challenge was to convince Jim who thought...