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 have to offices in nine states. Cisco-Eagle’s reach is nationwide—with many national accounts and internet business across the U.S. It also has substantial international business - filling 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 (The Great Game of Business®) team in 2016. The 7-person GGOB team traveled to every office location to reteach and reinvigorate The Game to employee-owners.
The company is currently on a 5-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 Darein Gandall. “GGOB gives our employee-owners insight into the financial strength of the company. Our huddles allow us to get together once a month and discuss revenue, expenses, profits, and direction. GGOB’s tools have created a pathway for our employee-owners to have a voice and truly help steer the company.”
“GGOB has helped to increase individual interest in things that go on across the company from basic company information to specific achievements made in other departments. It has helped us to help each other meet small and large goals together.”
~ Joy Hunsinger, Business Analyst
Spotlight on the Pandemic
Cisco-Eagle reacted quickly to the pandemic, sending 85% of its employee-owners to work from home—a move that has been surprisingly effective, says Gandall. “I think that having GGOB in place where everyone understands what the numbers mean really helped us with our communications through this crisis,” he says. “While our people are hearing about other companies laying off or furloughing employees, we are sharing real information about our strong backlog and cash position. We meet every Friday to make sure everyone knows what is going on. Participation in huddles and company-wide calls has increased. Our employee-owners see a bright future.”
“Playing The Great Game of Business has provided our employee-owners a behind the scenes look at how our business is effectively managed and run. Everyone feels more invested in the success of Cisco-Eagle when they help create the plan that moves us forward.” ~ Logan Beard, HSE Manager
Cisco-Eagle employee-owners played a recent 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.
While the company continues to hum through the pandemic, Cisco-Eagle’s GGOB team is determined to create interesting and fun ways to keep employee-owners engaged in the Game. “When I talk about our ESOP to others, Great Game™ is brought up and discussed at length,” says Gandall. “The folks I speak to are amazed that we open our books and educate our employees on how they contribute to our continued growth and profitability every day.”
“The Great Game of Business reinforces that we all have an important stake in what we do to improve ourselves and our company. A Strong Company is a mirror of employees with a Strong Self and vice versa.”
~ Gary Ashburn, Account Executive-East Coast