The understanding of operations management is a vast one, being constantly revisited by companies for ways of improvement and how it can be applied more efficiently to the whole team; but how can a 15-year old encompass this at such a novice level? I’m speechless! Through the data inflow of the customer requirements like community reinvestment and proactive volunteer support, she has maintained that consumer engagement so crucial to ensuring longevity of a product line. She has donated more than 10,000 pairs of her Fish Flops to countless organizations that convinces her customer base that there is more to this startup than profits. With the aid of her senior leadership team (who consists of strong people like her father and family) she was able to drive this business to the success that it has achieved now.
Through the simplicity and perseverance of Madison showing through, customers are willing to commit to that tradeoff price (a whopping $20 per pair) for the quality of the product (no holes in the sole like traditional flip-flops). Some things that it continues to do to distinguish itself apart from its competitors is as follows: ability to invest in good materials and design processes (with a lot of help from her ole’ man that has his own t-shirt company), a strong presence in local retailers (welcome to NORDSTOM!), highly satisfied customer base, and of course innovative shoe technology (who can resist light up shoes?).
With a philanthropist idea set for the future of the company, it’s no wonder why this young entrepreneur has engaged such consumer market and future prospects, all part of her incredible strategic plan. She can still further improve in her business based on what the world of operations management has discovered with a few recommendations.
A closer look at her strategic plan shows that a key function is to ensure that the retail face is keeping up with the quality Fish Flops wants to convey. This can be done through product and service performance measures and working on a lean/six sigma processing. This is done by choosing suppliers overseas that can handle the cost of manufacturing the sandal, while at the same time keeping quality ensured (like making lights last longer than a week in the shoe!). Another recommendation would be to include a key metric dashboard if they haven’t already done so; include a type of information system that can incorporate the preferences of her client base and the designs that are in most popular demand so that she can develop a leaner JIT inventory system to cut her costs down. Also shipping can be improved and updated on her new website to include real time tracking and reports that would provide essential information for customers seeking the latest product line offerings. She should also work to develop measurement of customer satisfaction to increase that metric.
Do you think Madison will face rejection soon, or did she find the goldmine of the shoe industry?