Achieving Carhartt – Operating Model Alignment / Business Transformation

Columbus Consulting facilitated the redesign and implementation of Carhartt’s Design to Delivery business processes, synchronizing enterprise wide functional areas, delivering optimal visibility, flexibility and improved collaboration for improved efficiency.

The Situation

Carhartt faced a number of challenges across the development and delivery processes. The company’s development and delivery calendar lacked discipline and coordination allowing key product milestones to be missed which resulted in late delivery of product to customers. In addition R&D did not align with the design and development calendar thus impacting the ability to bring innovation with timely market launches.

The Partnership – Columbus Consulting and Carhartt

The lack of coordination across functions and untimely decision making resulted in :

  • Late delivery of product to customersand consumers
  • Advertised product not being available at time of offer
  • Elapsed time from concept to customer was not aligned to company’s goals

Columbus Consulting partnered with Carhartt to address these issues through a business transformation project to achieve the goal of Inventory Agility and Operation Alignment.

Inventory Agility and Operation Alignment.

Inventory Agility requires broad visibility and alignment of the operating model through the effective integration of people, organization, business processes and technology and alignment with the Strategic Plan.

The objectives of the project were achieved through:

  • Leveraging best in class processes from design to delivery in the creation of the future state process
  • Perform a gap analysis between the future state and current state identify the road map to bridge the gaps
  • Demonstrate how the line build and assortment planning processes can be used to manage inventory by channel to streamline the process to deliver sales and margin growth
  • Improve operational alignment for greater collaboration between interdependent functional areas to improve overall business efficiency

The approach to driving change was through Accelerated Solutions Workshops (ASW) which are accelerated, creative, collaborative problem solving sessions that utilize a specific process to harness the idea-power of everyone on a team in a focused and energetic way.

The power of the solutions workshop is the ability to deliver ‘A-HA’ ideas through rapid prototyping, cognitive diversity and creative collaboration in a condensed time frame.

Columbus Consulting led a series of Accelerated Solution Workshops with Carhartt to workshop cross process management of multiple business competencies.

The workshops focused on:
• Target Setting
• Product Development and Design
• Product Selection
• Sales
• Production

The result was the creation and implementation of a Development and Design process and calendar that coordinated and managed the cross functional activities and teams to reduce time to market in the first season.

The Solution

Columbus Consulting led the transformation of the end-to-end product development and merchandising calendar including the creation of and implementation of a synchronized business calendar across all supply chain and merchandising decisions and processes. This enabled a strategic and operational plan to be driven creating an optimal business model improving sales and margin with greater inventory visibility and agility to react to the needs of the customer.

The Result

The transformation project has delivered significant improvement through the empowerment of teams improving collaboration and communication, visibility to key milestones and on time decision making, all combining to reduce time to market in the first season.

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