Categories:Case Studies, Compliance Management, Food & Beverage, Operational Excellence, Strategic Planning
With five brands operating under the parent company, this coffee chain has grown to be one of the largest in the US. Yet with tremendous growth comes opportunity for tremendous stress, especially for the Operational Strategy and Execution group. AchieveIt was able to transform the group’s outlook in less than three months.
Number of Employees
< 3 Months
BUILDING A STRATEGY SYSTEM THAT SCALES
The Operational Strategy and Execution group is an internal operations engine, working with every department, from Customer Relations, Facilities and Gross Margin Management to Operational Engineering, Excellence, Logistics and Communications. Reporting to the Chief Operations Officer, the team drives initiatives that impact retail locations (both corporate and franchise) across all brands in the company’s portfolio.
While the department has existed at the coffee chain’s headquarters for more than 10 years, its size and reach has expanded considerably in the past two years. Today, every program or initiative that impacts field operations must first pass through the Operations Strategy and Execution group. This process has allowed them to successfully reduce field turnover and improve execution of corporate, operational and strategic initiatives. With growth, success and increased visibility, the team faced a new set of challenges.
“Along with growth comes a compounding workload, and the need to maximize efficiency becomes paramount. You can’t do what you did 10 years ago, because the project load is 10 times higher than it used to be,” explained Adam, senior director of operational strategy and execution.
EXPONENTIAL GROWTH BRINGS NEW CHALLENGES
Because the company is growing multiple brands, it faces a significant volume of both large and small initiatives. In the beginning, the team tracked projects in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. It worked really well, until the list of projects for each individual grew. “It was just so cumbersome to manage,” said Adam.
Adam’s team was charged with substantial growth across operations, which required increased visibility across a plethora of initiatives. Adam’s team was already a high-performing team, now tasked with taking on even more. They couldn’t afford to let anything slip through the cracks, yet current processes were making it nearly impossible to keep a handle on their workload.
Adam needed a simple way to get an overview of the status of each high-level initiative, deadlines, milestones and dates, as well as each team member’s workload. He also realized that kicking growth into high gear required a higher level of visibility that PowerPoint and Excel weren’t able to provide.
Imagine – our operations engineer would update the project tracker with the full design details for one location. That’s a full page for one location - and then there’s 30 more coming down the pipe. And he has to find a vacuum cleaner that we can use in every retail location nationwide. We’ve got all these big and little things, and it’s important work. Our teams out in the field rely on us to provide what they need to be successful and take care of our guests.
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONAL STRATEGY & EXECUTION
“It’s hard to focus on forward-looking growth strategies when you’re wasting time wading through project updates in your inbox. Our processes just weren’t scalable – and it was impacting the scalability of our organization as a whole. I realized we were just wasting time. We needed to free up our employees to focus on higher-level work, which meant freeing them from the hours they spent tracking their work in Excel or PowerPoint. It was a time suck – we were spending too much time collecting and analyzing data, time that could be better spent executing.”
His team needed to be able to report on every initiative, from big to small, without taking significant time away from execution, and without sending an avalanche of emails. Data had to be available in a standardized format, eliminating the need for Adam to spend more time manipulating it into a usable format.
HUNTING FOR A ONE-STOP SHOP
Adam began his search for a solution that could provide more than just a calendar or project management capabilities. “I wanted a one-stop shop for visibility and insights. I wanted to be able to get immediate clarity as to the status of our operational and strategic initiatives, to track execution against tight deadlines, to access not only key metrics, but also the context that goes along with them. I wanted to streamline the data collection and reporting process.”
After reading several positive reviews of AchieveIt, Adam reached out for a product demonstration. During the first demo, he was impressed by the simple, intuitive user interface.
As he continued to explore other vendors after the demo, he was able to narrow it down to the top two or three, then he called in the end users – his team. “They liked it quite a bit, and that’s when we made the decision to go forward. AchieveIt gave us exactly what we needed. It’s simple to use, and provides the context, clarity and level of insights I was looking for.”
It’s designed to help focus on the goals of this type of department. It’s simple to use and saves time. Competitors had so many different directions you could go in – I just don’t believe we need to do all that. It would actually lose us time, which we don’t have to lose.
Adam was also able to achieve his goal of freeing up his team. “We’ve been able to cut our time spent tracking down to a quarter of what it used to be, which has freed up a lot of time across the team. And, I’m not left trying to put everything in a standardized format – AchieveIt takes care of that.” Rather than working in Excel, PowerPoint, calendars, and email to track programs and initiatives, everything is in AchieveIt. Rather than team members spending four hours each week tracking their progress, they each now only spend one. Saving three hours per week, per person across 10 team members – that ends up saving 1500 hours a year just in tracking.
- 4,500 Employees
- 5 brands use AchieveIt
- More than 400 stores in the US
- International presence in 10 countries
Read How This Coffee Giant Accelerates Growth
Read how this fast growing company coffee giant
increased visibility into the status of its operations,
executed faster with better informed decisions and
increased the speed and accuracy of reporting.