50% Sales Increase in One Year with Lean Transformation
“The CONNSTEP team has been great to work with. In addition to being extremely flexible, they took the time to get to know us, our business, and our market which allowed them make the connection between our needs and goals with the continuous improvement and growth theories, principles, and knowledge they provide.”
– Tom Kordik, Operations Manager, Logosportswear.com
Founded in 1995, LogoSportswear.com is the Internet’s first and premier supplier of custom caps, shirts, team uniforms, work wear, and more. Located in Wallingford, Connecticut, this 92-employee apparel company has in-house graphics, embroidery, digital printing and screen-printing capabilities which enables them to offer custom products without minimum order quantity or set-up requirements.
As a simple Google search of ‘custom apparel’ illustrates, the competitive landscape for online retailers of custom imprinted apparel is vast and continues to grow. Standing out from the pack and delivering on their differentiating features in a timely manner was a tall order for LogoSportswear.com as their bi-annual strategic plans called for continued growth with the goal of maintaining a spot on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America list.
Beginning in 2011, the then 56-employee company sought out CONNSTEP, Connecticut’s NIST/MEP affiliate, to help them create capacity and achieve its strategic growth goals. After meeting with CONNSTEP’s Business Growth Advisors, LogoSportswear.com decided to strategically embark on a long-term Lean transformation that involved all aspects of the organization.
CONNSTEP’s Enterprise Wide Lean transformation started with a broad study of the company’s operations and business strategy, as well as the culture of the organization. After the initial analysis and subsequent development of the rollout plan, the foundation for the transformation started with CONNSTEP’s Continuous Improvement Champion Certification program where two Logosportswear.com Lean champions were developed. In addition to course project work, the champions were tasked with training all staff members on the fundamentals of LogoSportswear.com’s Lean enterprise.
As the continuous improvement education and culture change was in process, LogoSportswear.com leveraged their new knowledge base and CONNSTEP’s Business Growth Consultants for multiple improvement projects and quality initiatives. These activities not only provided the sought after production capacity, they resulted in a significant reduction in lead time. From order processing to shipping and delivery, the two day lead time reduction now makes it easier for the company to meet customer demand and follow through on their biggest differentiating factor – no minimum quantity on any order. Now armed with a Lean process and the ability to adequately scale staffing levels in alignment with demand, LogoSportswear.com enjoyed a record setting sales year in 2012 and is confident that 2013 will continue the upward trend.
With capacity constraints no longer an issue, LogoSportswear.com is now meeting, and often exceeding, industry-best lead times enabling them to grow their customer base, increase sales, and expand into new markets. They are now able to focus on internally-developed, new-to-market initiatives such as their rewards program and custom ‘share and sell’ service that allows customers to open a free online store for their group, team, or school.
- Added 36 new jobs
- 50% increase in new sales in 1 year
- Significant reduction in lead time
- Plan to reinvest 78% more into technology and equipment
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“The Business Growth Program is working well for us. We enhanced our website following the meetings to improve our SEO and become more visible to search engines. The segment on negotiating … promoted changes in our thinking and improved how we interact with customers. The mentoring between sessions was helpful in boosting our progress.”