A Foundation of Operational Excellence

Dan Scott is the General Manager of Shore Lodge and Whitetail Club in beautiful McCall, Idaho. He was nice enough to say some really nice stuff about us.  Go visit McCall and have a great glass of wine with Dan - or read this from your beautiful room by the lake.

There is no reason to be in business without a real belief in a foundation of operational excellence. If you don’t think so, try running a business and not thinking about it for a day or two and see what it does to your company.

For most people, the brand and the supply chain are often two unconnected departments. Jane Melvin and I first worked together at Starbucks Coffee International as the company began to expand outside of North America. She was in charge of marketing and I was in charge of supply chain and logistics. We were there to help Starbucks establish a mindset as an international company committed to building a powerful global brand.

We knew right away that we could not exist or grow without strength from each other’s disciplines. We needed a clear vision for our brand and some guardrails within which to develop it, and we needed the ability to deliver each and every thing we needed to run our retail operations in a flawless manner. We were thought partners from the start, both of us with a tremendous appreciation for the other’s contributions. In the many years since those Starbucks days, we’ve worked together in many capacities, and I still find her perspective unique and extremely valuable. She’s a marketer who truly understands the critical nature of running a great operation.

Jane has served on the Board of Directors of a company that I own, we have been board members together, and I have hired her multiple times as a strategy guru, both to guide the articulation of brands and to help operationalize those ideas among the work teams who have to deliver them every day.

Of all the people I have ever worked with, Jane has a unique perspective on how operations and branding work together. She constantly reminds people that operational excellence is the first and best marketing strategy. She serves as a strategic (and brand) conscience for her clients – me included – and she has a unique ability to combine the possibility that great marketers have the gift of seeing with the business reality that great operators think about every day. She is a great thinker who has a special capacity for putting those thoughts into compelling written pieces, a great communicator of ideas, and a passionate force who can help teams understand the value of the vision and the path to achieve it.