Each year CRT helps dozens of San Diego businesses to grow by providing free advice and resources they never had access to before. Here’s the story of one client who took advantage of all CRT had to offer:
CRT CLIENT: Kirei
WHERE TO FIND THEM: www.kireiusa.com
WHAT THEY DO: Kirei manufactures and/or distributes innovative, functional, earth-friendly and visually interesting design materials to interior designers, architects and end users across North America. The company represents products that are responsibly sourced, including tiles made from reclaimed coconut shells, sustainably harvested Kirei Board and Bamboo panels, or their own branded EchoPanel® acoustic material, which is 60% made from recycled plastic bottles from landfills and is recyclable at the end of life.
OBJECTIVES: This was the second time CRT worked with Kirei, with the first taking place as the economy dipped into the Great Recession of 2008. At the time we walked the company through staff cuts and overhead reductions in a successful effort to ride out the storm.
Now in a stronger position and comfortable with the CRT model, company president John Stein returned in mid-2017 to ask our counselors for guidance in taking the company to the next level.
CHALLENGES: During the CRT/Kirei collaboration, Kirei’s sales manager left the company. This put owner John Stein into crisis mode as he was forced to assume all sales responsibilities while searching for a replacement.
John turned this into an opportunity, visiting his largest sales representatives, firing or replacing many of them. He formalized his expectations in writing and began holding regular meetings with these representatives to review their respective performances.
CRT RECOMMENDATIONS: CRT provided two mentors for six months of one-on-one discussions, culminating in a presentation before the full board of 45 current and retired CEOs in a wide range of industries and corporate disciplines. These suggestions were made to John and his team:
- Determine whether Kirei is a design firm, marketer, or sales company, then execute accordingly
- Focus more exclusively in specific industries
- Bring in a seasoned Marketing Manager with a broader view
- Utilize existing sales representatives for potential sales and product concepts
- Find more ways to differentiate Kirei in the marketplace
- Join additional professional networking groups
RESULTS: CRT’s mentors reviewed and discussed all day-to-day operations, organizational charts, tasks for potential delegation, etc. We helped Kirei’s management prioritize information flows and focus on performance of each aspect of his business. This, in turn, improved information flow, giving John a greater comfort level both internally and while working to improve outside sales representation.
Furthermore, CRT worked closely with John to develop a 3-year strategic plan, ensuring it was documented and reviewed with his entire staff. He is now updating and expanding it on a regular basis, recognizing that such a plan is of little use if applying its lessons is not a regular part of management’s approach.
CEO JOHN STEIN SAYS: “I would recommend Chairmen’s RoundTable to anyone who owns a business. The price is right, the advice is great, and they are people who care.”