The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf™
When Philip Patent signed on as president of The Coffee Bean & Tea LeafTM Nevada in late 2006, he knew he was jumping aboard a ship that was floating amid rocky waters. Despite store expansions between 2001 and 2006, and Las Vegas’ thriving economic environment, the company was facing its worst fiscal performance ever – a situation that Patent knew he had to change. He quickly identified one major, underlying issue – The Coffee Bean’s various managers needed to boost their commitment and involvement with their stores and be accountable for performance. Patent realized he needed objective, expert advice to inspire and implement such changes effectively.
Patent contacted MAP after hearing first-hand about how its structured business coaching had helped other business units within the same parent company. After attending MAP’s 2.5-day executive workshop and talking with one of its top consultants Patent decided that MAP’s system was a good fit for The Coffee Bean. The company’s senior management also attended the workshop, after which The Coffee Bean brought in the expert consultant to introduce MAP to the entire management team. During regular Vital Factor Team meetings, MAP coached The Coffee Bean in setting up its “Vital Factor Dashboard,” which gave the managers a way to establish, monitor and measure individual and group goals. This created the foundation for a collaborative approach that instilled fresh ownership and accountability among the managers, as well as crucial team-building skills. Also, as a group, the managers celebrated achievements and identified opportunities to reach healthier levels of success. This newfound energy motivated and inspired the managers, who started taking greater ownership in store and company performance. Instead of taking a top-down management approach, they addressed responsibilities from the bottom-up. Customer interactions and communications, employee insights and feedback, and a hands-on, managerial style steered the ship.
With the MAP system in place, The Coffee Bean experienced a complete turnaround in its productivity and profitability. In terms of the workplace culture, the managers’ renewed ownership in their stores, plus their dedication to the welfare of their employees, customers and the company at large, became infectious. Employees caught the spirit, which has since translated into better service and product. In three years’ time, sales have increased 30 percent, the cost of goods has dropped 3 percent, labor costs have shrunk 5 percent, and personnel turnover has decreased from 236 to 52 percent annually. As to bottom-line profits, The Coffee Bean has experienced a 200 percent turnaround from 2006, positioning the company in a positive cash-flow situation, despite a weakened national economy. According to Patent, the improvements stemmed from MAP’s structured system, as well as the coach’s ability to create for the managers that important buy-in to the program, which impacted their ability to set and achieve key goals. Now that The Coffee Bean is sailing on calmer financial waters, Patent plans to use the MAP system to set even greater goals and drive The Coffee Bean toward new marks of success.