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Fraser Institute

Success Stories

Robert Mann Packaging

Robert Mann Packaging Success Story

Robert Mann, CEO of Robert Mann Packaging, is always thinking about the future; this is especially true when it comes to the company that he founded in 1971."This company has the potential to thrive and grow for decades to come with the right leadership,"explains Mann. His company offers an extensive line of stock and custom packaging products for the produce and nursery industries. "If you live in California and buy strawberries at the store, the fruit probably comes in one of our trays," explains Mann.

Future-Focused Planning

The organization has grown from two people to its current staff of 250 and Mann was looking to position the company to successfully address his clients' current needs, plus prepare for any future demands that come with growth. "We had the facilities and technology in place to serve our clients, but our management team lacked the skills to take the company to the next level," here calls. "The dynamic changes when you become a $100 million company." Mann knew the management team needed new abilities to ensure a prosperous future for the company. He also wanted to optimize the structure of the organization's leadership."I kept trying to imagine what management would look like in five to ten years from now," he remembers. Mann decided to hire a coach in order to work through the major challenges faced by his executives. "I wanted an expert that would bring in new thinking and ideas. We needed a neutral party that had experience helping management teams grow and evolve," he explains.

Mann asked for executive coaching recommendations and heard about KLR Consulting from a trusted colleague. He met Kristi Royse, CEO of KLR Consulting, and knew he wanted to work with her. "I could see right away that she would be effective," he remembers. "Kristi was very knowledgeable and she had the experience needed to lead our management through the challenges we faced." Mann engaged KLR Consulting and asked them to develop a customized executive coaching program that focused on improving individual skills and refining the team's business process strategies.

"We always saw ourselves as a sales service organization, but after KLR, we really started putting customers first. Everyone; customers, suppliers and employees; has a much better opinion of us now and it shows in the sales figures."

Robert Mann, CEO

Executive Coaching and Retreats

KLR started the engagement by conducting assessments and providing executive coaching to the management team members. Once the organizational issues were brought to the surface in the confidential coaching sessions, KLR facilitated a two-day executive team retreat. "KLR brought us right back to the fundamentals," recalls Mann. "They showed us how we could build on the innate trust our group enjoyed because of our rich history together. After finding this common ground, the group quickly worked through our issues. It was a very productive two days."

Program Reinforcement

KLR gave the executives some homework and then conducted short follow-up retreats to ensure everyone continued to incorporate the solutions learned into their daily work processes."The retreats really helped the executive team develop their skills together and enabled us to retool the structure of management,which will ensure a more successful future for the company. We decided to hire a new President, so we worked with KLR to find the right guy. Luckily, he was able to join us for some of the workshops and KLR quickly changed the agenda to help assimilate our new leader into the group." Mann added.

After the initial success with the executive programs, Mann has turned to KLR Consulting for help with other staff and leadership development challenges over the past few years. "Overall, KLR has brought a higher level of professionalism and ownership to our staff," says a grateful Mann. This new found level of productivity and communication translates as better service for the company's internal and external clients. "We always saw ourselves as a sales service organization, but after KLR, we really started putting customers first," says Mann. "Everyone; customers, suppliers and employees; has a much better opinion of us now and it shows in the sales figures." Mann still thinks about the future, but he now sees a properly aligned executive team prepared to lead his company to the next level.

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