All-Star Case Studies

Learn from the "Best of the Best" - the Great Game All-Stars

West Paw Design

Company Background

West Paw Design is a world-class manufacturer of eco-friendly and high-quality pet toys and beds based in Bozeman, Montana. More than 3,000 pet retailers carry West Paw Design products domestically while exports to some 38 international locations now account for nearly 20% of revenues. West Paw Design has also been a certified B Corp since 2013.

Williams was just 23 back in 1996 when he bought an existing small business that made dog and cat toys and turned it into his own, which he renamed West Paw Design. “I was too young to know what I was doing,” says Williams, “but I wanted to do something that involved hands-on manufacturing in a neat industry connected to something I love, pets.”

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Destination Harley Davidson

Company Background

When Ed Wallace bought a struggling 13-employee Harley shop in 1994, he had high hopes and big plans. He had no clue, however, how successful his dealership would ultimately become. In nine short years, Destination Harley- Davidson grew ten-fold, expanding to 100,000 square feet, 180 employees and annual sales of $40 million. Along the way, it’s been lauded by regional and national business publications for its innovative merchandising, training and marketing practices. Among its Harley peers, Destination has ranked first in new buyer/customer satisfaction for the past five years in a row.

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Whole Foods Market

Company Background

Whole Foods Market, founded in 1980, is the world’s leading retailer of natural and organic foods, with 185 supermarkets and several distribution centers in North American and the United Kingdom. Grown largely through mergers and acquisitions, the Austin-based company (Nasdaq: WFMI) has 39,000 team members and posts annual sales of $4 billion. In 2006, Whole Foods ranked #15 on Fortune magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For”. It was the company’s ninth appearance on that annual list, and its highest ranking yet.

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1-800-GOT-JUNK?

Company Background

In 1989, university student Brian Scudamore bought a used pickup truck and started a junk-removal service. Today that service, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, is the world’s largest junk-removal franchiser, with more than 200 locations covering 48 of the top 50 metro areas in North America. The organization has scooped many national and international business awards for its fast growth, corporate culture and management practices. Recently, it twice topped Watson Wyatt’s list of the “Best Companies to Work for” in British Columbia. Vancouver-based 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has more than 1,050 junk haulers who drive 455 trucks and post annual system-wide revenue of $70 million.

Business Challenges

The primary challenge is managing hyper-growth. Hiring dozens of people while trying to maintain system efficiencies hasn’t been easy. And with the Olympics coming to Vancouver in 2010, the task of finding commercial space has been tough. Despite the hurdles, however, the company has consistently reached its targets for revenue and employee and franchisee satisfaction.

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Hilcorp Energy Company

Company Background

Houston-based Hilcorp Energy, launched in 1989, is the nation’s fourth largest private producer of onshore crude and natural gas, with annual revenue in excess of $900 million. Its explosive growth has been fueled by acquisition, leading-edge exploration/drilling technology and 560+ enterprising employees. Last year, Hilcorp was ranked 15th on SHRM’s list of the “Best Medium-Size Companies to Work for in America.”

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Clark EyeCare Center

Company Background

Dr. Calvin Clarke opened Clarke EyeCare Center in Wichita Falls, Texas, back in 1973. His son, Danny, and his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth – who met each other at optometry school – then joined the practice in 1995. 1n 2010, the younger Clarkes bought the business - which provides optometry services, prescription glasses and contact lenses - though the senior Dr. Clarke continues to see patients. The Clarkes began playing The Great Game of Business a few months after the change in ownership.

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Chuck Latham Associates

Company Background

Chuck Latham Associates (CLA) is a leading broker in the specialty retail areas of pet care, equine products and sporting goods. Its capable team (120 full-time and up to 1,000 part-time associates) helps client's exceed their distribution goals by providing sales, marketing and retail services and expertise. The $19-million company, based in Colorado, has been playing The Game since 2007.

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Ginger Bay Salon & Spa

Company Background

Ginger Bay Salon & Spa, near St. Louis, is a $4-million provider of high-end beauty and personal wellness services. Opening the books in 2008 to its 70 creative professionals was the salon's first solid step on its path to sustainable financial health and employee ownership.

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