Outdoor Research (OR) is an American outdoor apparel and gear company located in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded in 1981 by “physicist turned outdoor adventurer” Ron Gregg, who led the brand until his death in 2003. In 2007, Dan Nordstrom retired from the family department store business and was looking for a new venture that was aligned with his passion for the outdoors. He purchased OR that year and grew the business 6 fold over the subsequent five years.
Dan and his team had an aggressive five-year plan to grow the business and compete at the next level. They knew that the systems, models and processes they had in place would need to change to support the intended growth.
Kennedy Scope of Work
We were brought in to assess their readiness to compete at the next level and to identify barrier to success. We completed a readiness assessment to identify a set of projects to streamline/reengineer and improve processes and supporting systems and to implement new systems as needed. We worked with all areas of the company including Finance, Sales, Customer Service, Warehouse, Product Development, Supply Chain Management and IT.
We then worked with OR management over the next year plus to lead and deliver a set of projects to remove barriers, implement new technologies, reorganize work groups and streamline processes. Examples of initiatives included:
- Reengineer the order to cash process, improving time to fulfillment by 20-30% and dramatically reducing lost orders.
- Led a team to redesign the Warehouse and automate and streamline input and output processes.
- Reengineer the Product idea to delivery process to reduce time to market and address bottlenecks.
- Implement Salesforce.com and reengineer sales processes and reporting.
- Reengineer the IT department.
- Setup cross department process improvement teams.