Case Study

Family-owned Safety Equipment and Hospitality Apparel Company Turnaround



Client Situation

A $20 million catalog B2B marketing and manufacturing company had experienced high turnover in the President’s position due to conflicts with the matriarch and patriarch founders of the business.  Family influence and cronyism had crept into the organization affecting sales and morale.


An experienced senior executive, now a E78 Partner, was hired as a new CEO to implement changes necessary to reverse this decline and place the company on stable footing.  Over a two-year period the following actions were implemented:

  • Transformed company culture to positive, proactive, employee- and customer-focused.
  • Recruited talented management team, launched new training initiatives, established employee career-pathing, rewrote benefits program, and tied bonus compensation to achievement of business objectives.
  • Implemented fully integrated ERP system that enabled, for the first time, real-time cost and production/inventory control.
  • Reengineered distribution organization and installed material-handling automation that increased capacity by 33% while reducing costs 25%.
  • Aggressively pursued new business with key accounts while repairing and solidifying relationships with existing customers. Captured $1 million of new business with a major home improvement retailer, and $500 thousand with a prominent family entertainment organization receiving accolades from them for customization efforts and product quality.
  • Calmed fragile relationships within the organization between owners and employees that improved culture and morale


The company realized increased sales of 10%–12% annually; achieved 15% EBITDA; effectively managed debt for overdue capital improvements and a debt-leveraged ESOP.

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