Argent Tape & Label (ATL) is a certified Women-Owned Small Business that manufacturers pressure-sensitive labels and tags used by customers in the industrial, automotive, pharmaceutical, and consumer industries.
Prior to playing The Great Game of Business® (GGOB), ATL was in serious financial trouble and was close to shutting its doors. Staff had been cut from 25 to just three full-time associates. The company needed a way to get everyone working together to save the business.
Share information, the good and the bad, with associates so that every individual has a clear understanding of how they impact the company and which line items represent their performance and contributions.
When CEO Lynn Perenic first took over the company in 2010, ATL was in debt, had no cash, and struggled to make payroll each time. It was very shortly after their GGOB implementation that these struggles eased, and the company started to have cash in the bank. Our monthly sales are now roughly what our annual sales were a decade ago. Playing Great Game ™ has changed how the associates at ATL think and act about their business: they are now empowered to think and act like owners. Associates are now engaged in understanding not only the bottom line—every associate owns a line on the income statement (P&L)—but also how each and every one of their actions affects fellow co-workers and their impact on the bottom line. “Great Game has been totally transformational for this company,” says Perenic. “Having now practiced the Game for nine years, played correctly, it impacts every aspect of the company. Developing a true team mentality has allowed us to transcend our competitors. Our team is all about winning and believe they play to win!”
“GGOB lets me know how the company is doing and were we stand competitively and financially also shows me how, if we all work together and do our part, what kind of profits we can gain from our own hard work.”
~ Michael Knotts, Pressman
Spotlight on the Pandemic
The innovative and can-do culture at Argent was on display in the wake of COVID-19. While April was a struggle financially, the team pivoted from making automotive labels to producing personal protective equipment (PPE) like face shields, masks, and labels for hand sanitizer bottles. “We didn’t have anything in our contingency plan to deal with the shutdown,” says Perenic. “But we are open-book players and mental gymnasts. We were able to use our capabilities to shift and meet a market need.” Another key is that every team member is empowered to be salesperson (with business cards) and several deals came about from individual team members handing out their business card to let companies in the community know what they are capable of. “All of employees are informed and financially literate,” says COO Deborah Sellis, “and that knowledge is used to help all be engaged in the running of our business and year over year growth.”
ATL has found that MiniGames have been effective at addressing multiple challenges inside the business, from continuous improvements, to tackling open tasks, and improving various efficiencies. One example was named, “The Great Tag Race.” The company received a high value purchase order in December 2019 and in order to make their 2019 sales number, the team needed to get it out quickly. The team tracked the number of parts they had to ship by 12/30/19 and each day sent out an updated email with where they were at and how many parts were left to produce. Great news—they did it!
“I feel we communicate greater as a team, we always know what is coming and what we need to do.”
~ Vincie Jones, Rewind Inspection
While the ATL team has had success playing MiniGames, it has struggled at times to get everyone on the team involved in playing them—which is a goal for the coming year. The ATL team is also honing its High-involvement Planning™ process. In the coming year, the team wants to improve its contingency plans as part of its annual strategic plan by making it more detailed and specific on how they would implement those contingencies if needed. “You will consistently hear our teammates saying, ‘Teamwork makes the dreamwork,’” says Perenic. “We have shirts that boast this motto. This is something we all live by and GGOB makes it easy for us to do so as we have the transparency on what needs to be done and how to get there. We are a team and we are in it together!”
‘We are always working as a team moving towards a common goal. We all think like owners and have offered to change vacation time, help in other areas, or do whatever is necessary to get a job done. It is refreshing how the team supports one another because we are empowered employees and engaged in the business that we all understand.”
~ Bekah Keehn, Quality guru