Cisco-Eagle was born in 1970 when Warren Gandall, a material handling specialist for an industrial supply company, went into business for himself. Today, the company provides solutions for the movement, storage, retrieval, control, and protection of materials and products throughout their manufacture, distribution, consumption, and disposal. The company started with three employees in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but has grown to offices in nine states. Cisco-Eagle’s reach is nationwide—with many national accounts and internet business across the U.S.—and international — having filled orders to over 70 countries.
Even after becoming employee-owned in 2000, Cisco-Eagle wanted to further develop its employee-owners. “We want everyone to think and act like great owners,” said Darein Gandall, company president. “We were doing well, but we wanted to do more.”
The Cisco-Eagle team first opened its books back in 1998, a move that paved the way for their ESOP in 2000. The process kicked into high gear with the formation of a GGOB committee in 2016. The seven-person GGOB team traveled to every office location to reteach and reinvigorate The Game to employee-owners with their mission: “To educate, motivate, and empower Employee-Owners to think and act like great owners.”
The company is currently on a six-year run of setting year-over-year records for revenue, profitability, and stock value. Cisco-Eagle doubled its sales volume over that time while keeping expenses relatively flat through good stewardship and workforce education. They’ve also been able to achieve that growth while keeping their headcount relatively flat—which has helped boost their bottom line. “We do not believe we’d be where we are right now without the implementation of The Great Game of Business® (GGOB)
and open-book management,” says Gandall. “With GGOB in place there are no surprises when it comes to the financial fitness of the company. It drives our culture of continuous improvement in finding areas of our business that we can have a positive effect on.”
“We owe a lot to Great Game™. Through OBM and Huddles, we've been able to use GGOB teachings in conjunction with our Employee-Ownership (ESOP) foundation to really solidify a culture in which everyone participates and understands their role in the business.”
~ Jeremy Beckett, E-commerce Supervisor
Spotlight on the Pandemic
Cisco-Eagle reacted quickly to the pandemic, sending 85% of its employee-owners to work from home. While that was a challenge, GGOB kept everyone on the same page and marching together towards an extremely strong year. In years past, for example, the company wasn’t able to pay out any “bucket” bonuses based on their Critical Number. But in 2020, they paid out a record 37 buckets, their best year ever. “My favorite part of my job is handing out those bonus checks,” says CFO Randy Williams. At the same time, the company has seen its ESOP stock value increase an incredible 755% over the past eight years—including a 50% rise in the past year alone.
Cisco-Eagle employee-owners played a MiniGame called “Knowledge is Power.” This game focused on the value of customer service and general business practices. “GGOBingo”—a Bingo-based Minigame—was played in early 2020 where employee-owners marked off squares after completing tasks like community service, taking a financial literacy quiz, attending Financial Peace University, making charitable donations and providing ideas for the next MiniGame.
“The Great Game of Business is woven into the fabric of everything we do at Cisco-Eagle. Every employee-owner understands that they have the ability to affect the bottom line.”
~ Logan Beard, HSE Manager
“The GGOB team and ESOP Advisory Committee will continue to work together to come up with creative ways to engage our employee-owners,” says Jonathon Green, Senior Accountant, and chair of the GGOB team, noting that the team just launched their first company-wide game of the year, which is a Poker Chip Challenge that will run through the end of December. “We will continue to assist individual departments in implementing specific games and challenges that are more geared to their specific issue or concern.”
“I tend to think of all financial decisions now as if my household were a company. With what I learned in The Game it helps me to view not only how purchases/investments will affect me immediately but also how they will affect my future finances.”
~ Cameron Wilson, Account Executive