Larry DeWitt started his own landscaping business in 1977. Today, the business has expanded into manufactured state-of-the-art textiles and fabrics such as weed and frost barriers that are used in more than 70% of the commercial landscaping done throughout the United States.
Help all team players understand how they can impact the company's biggest expense—direct material cost—to help increase profitability.
Educate team members on how to read and understand the scoreboard and gain their trust by showing each of them how they played a role in producing that score.
Since the DeWitt team began playing The Game approximately five years ago, gross sales revenue has increased by almost 40% while net profit margins have gone from essentially less than 1% to around 10%. “When you help your team, they will help you,” says DeWitt, who admits that he ran a top-down organization for years until he discovered the Great Game of Business. “You teach them how to earn more money or improve your net profit and they will go to bat for you.”
The success of playing the Great Game was driven home whenever team members received their share of the Stake in the Outcome, which helped them think like owners while recognizing that their daily decision making truly impacted the company’s bottom line net profit.
“If you want to make things better, you need to start with the hearts and souls of people,” says DeWitt. “You can’t be a leader until you understand where your people have been at. You can’t put yourself above the team. If you don’t have anyone following you, then you sure aren’t a leader.”
“The GGOB is a great motivator to encourage people to do the best they can. It also helps with accountability. It keeps everyone’s eyes open and helps them see how the bottom line changes when they cut costs—and they are seeing payouts because of that.” ~ Meredith DeWitt, Vice President
The DeWitt team has actually played unofficial MiniGames for many years where they have tracked critical data and then taken steps to improve outcomes. One example is how the company has provided lunch to all team players (and coaches) whenever budgeted gross sales are exceeded, for the month. Dewitt Company recently began a MiniGame focused on the reduction of cost associated with waste disposal by recycling more products and compacting waste, to reduce the amount of disposal charges per month.
After they started playing the Great Game, the team kicked off a MiniGame whose goal was to reduce the company’s dumpster and waste pickup charges by 50%. The most impact came from their production and shipping teams, as they became much more aware of what waste products should be thrown away versus those that could be recycled.
The maintenance department also played a critical role by developing a custom fabricated tool for compacting waste within the dumpster, which played a key role in dramatically cutting the number of waste pickups needed. In the end, the MiniGame topped its goal by cutting pickup charges by 80%.
“The Great Game to me represents a way to run business in a way that is more inclusive from the top down. It means that the company is willing to work with their employees in order to accomplish a goal not just to order around their employees. We more often see each other as equal parts to a moving piece. Everyone is important in order to be successful. “~ Becky Schmader, Production Coordinator
One of the focuses for the Amy’s team in the upcoming year is to improve its forecasting ability—while also increasing their ability to react and adapt to changes in the marketplace—something they’re calling “agile forecasting.” “We were noticing that people were just throwing out numbers when it came to their forecasts,” says Banks. “It was clear that they were missing the strategic plan behind how we could meet those numbers. Our focus now is to help people look at their assumptions about what they think will happen and then compare those assumptions to the actual results. Forecasting is not about predicting the future; it’s making the future you want to happen.”
“Increased production as well as reduced cost has really helped DeWitt Company come a long way in the past couple of years. I am convinced that The Great Game of Business buy in by every team member is the number one reason why our net profit numbers have skyrocketed in such a short period. I am very excited to move forward and enjoy the benefits and watch the satisfaction from each and every team member. Communication is the key. If people understand why things are important, they have no problem going the extra mile to do it correctly.” ~ Les Thompson, Logistics / Warehouse Manager
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