All-Star Case Studies

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

Case Study - AMBAC

Organization Background

Primarily manufactures and remanufactures heavy-duty diesel fuel injection systems and related components.

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Wall-tech

Company Background

Wall-tech has been providing exterior painting, interior painting, metal stud framing, drywall, taping, finishing, EIFS, stucco, plaster, sandblasting, firestopping and fireproofing services since 1984. After CEO Pete Braun led a buyout of his company from its other shareholders in 2013, he saw the opportunity to create a more employee-focused culture for his business. 

Pete Braun originally started working at Wall-tech 20 years ago as a project manager. More recently, as a reward for his hard work, he was given the opportunity to become one of the shareholders in the business along with the charge to help grow the business, which had revenues of about $4 million at the time. “People thought I was crazy,” says Braun.

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Van Belle Nursery

Company Background

Van Belle Nursery is a commercial supplier of trees, plants, and shrubs based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. The company, which was founded in 1973, ships to a variety of retailers in western Canada as well as in the northern U.S.

Business Challenges

One of the biggest challenges that the nursery faces is finding a way to build a cohesive com-pany culture for its 100 associates, most of whom are immigrants from companies like Mexico, Iraq, Sudan, Zimbabwe, China, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, and India, and even a few from Canada.

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Paul Mueller Company

Company Background

Paul Mueller Company – a 73 year-old public company that trades under the ticker symbol MUEL – manufactures stainless steel processing equipment and heat exchangers for the agricultural, food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. The company has extensive manufacturing and engineering capabilities at five locations in the United States and the Netherlands.

Business Challenges

In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, the company began a harrowing contrac-tion. Domestic revenue fell from a peak of $241 million in 2007 to less than $76 million in 2010 – a decline of 69%. The number of employees fell by 79% over the same period. This left the company in a very difficult situation. The loss of people caused a loss of institution-al knowledge about how to perform the company’s work as well as a lack of trust between employees and management. Those issues spilled over into production as tasks began to take 40% longer to complete than estimated and orders began to fall six to eight weeks behind schedule.

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