Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 6/26/15

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Under Amour, A. Duie Pyle, Jack Reiter, Ford, and Murray’s Cheese.

From Sydney Ember: Under Armour Is Swinging for the Stars

“As the sportswear maker finds itself in business with two of the hottest athletes in the country, it is still figuring out how best to capitalize on those relationships.”

From Jane M. Von Bergen: Talking trucking with A. Duie Pyle CEO Peter Latta

“The lesson learned was [that] people think it’s all about the trucks and the technology and the buildings. Those are all tools that we need to effectively operate, but, ultimately it’s the user of the tools – the people – that creates the level of service for the customers.”

From Neal St. Anthony: Jack Reiter built business around machine-operator safety

“One day when Jack Reiter was a boy, he watched his dad nearly lose a thumb when a board he was cutting with a table saw bound then kicked back like a whip as he fumbled for the ‘off’ switch. Reiter has been interested in worker safety ever since.”

From Harry Kraemer: How Ford CEO Alan Mullaly turned a broken company into the industry’s comeback kid

“A great example of an iconic organization that was once broken and staged a successful turnaround is Ford Motor Company under the leadership of then-CEO Alan Mulally. When Mulally took over as Ford’s CEO in September 2006, the company was clearly broken: Its stock price had fallen precipitously (the low was $1.01 a share in 2008), its debt was at ‘junk’ status, and 2006 would go down as the worst year in its history with a $12.7 billion loss. It was widely expected that Ford would eventually file for bankruptcy. However, by the time Mulally retired on July 1, 2014, Ford had achieved a turnaround, becoming a ‘history-making revitalization.'”

From Paco Underhill: Birth, Life and Death: A Retail Cycle

“Rob Kaufelt walked into Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street in New York’s Greenwich Village in the early ’90s and noticed a sign saying the store was closing after a 50-year run. The owners were tired, the neighborhood was changing, and the lease was up. Rob came from a family of grocers. He was a deli man who was used to getting up early and, at that moment, was out of work. His latest store had failed. On a whim, Rob made an offer on the business and was shocked when it was accepted. He moved it across the street for cheaper rent and started cutting cheese.”


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