Increase Gross Margin By Leveraging People Strategies

Olsen’s for Healthy Animals is a family-owned business comprised of five stores serving communities in Arizona. Since starting business in 1979, Olsen’s has grown to over 70 employees.  Along with their own line of feeds, Olsen’s offers 31 different brands of dog and cat food, pet toys and accessories, as well as a complete line of veterinary and farrier supplies.

The Impact on Business Goals When You Align Employee Behavior

The Olsen’s management team identified the need for employees to be continuous learners, consistently developing themselves and the business.  Michelle Gronek, CEO, contacted People Spark to implement an incentive plan to drive this behavior in employees.  People Spark Consulting worked with the Olsen’s management team to align and focus the work of managers and employees to the strategies and goals of the business.  Through the work with People Spark, Olsen’s has experienced: 

  • An increase in gross margin,
  • A decrease in inventory shrinkage,
  • Better teamwork and improved morale.

Employees Not Driving Business Goals

Before working with People Spark, Olsen’s was struggling with creating a tiered payroll structure that would encourage and motivate employees to improve themselves as well as the company. In addition, Olsen’s was not making necessary progress on the business and financial goals as quickly as wanted and needed. Employees were showing up for work but not taking initiative and not working to drive the goals and success of Olsen’s.

“Working with People Spark has been rewarding and so much fun.  I really like how they built relationships with my entire team to have a better understanding of our culture to help me lead and guide our team in the best direction…

They provided tools to help our leaders know what to say and how to say it in a way that will be best understood and received by the team.”

– Michelle Gronek, CEO, Olsen’s Grain

Aligned Employee Behavior to Olsen’s Goals

In the discovery phase, People Spark Consulting met with leaders and managers across the locations to better understand goals of the business, current practices, and what behaviors needed to drive business goals. With that foundation, People Spark identified specific actions to align employee behavior to the goals of the business. Actions included:

  • Reviewing current compensation structures and plans.
  • Implementing an incentive plan to drive needed behaviors for both managers and employees.
  • Reviewing and updating the review process to drive feedback on needed behaviors.
  • Providing development for managers and leaders on how to hire employees that will drive business goals; how to provide recognition and feedback on needed behaviors and how to continuously develop not only their employees, but themselves.

“We have seen an increase in margins, a reduction in inventory shrinkage, ideas on how to make better processes, better teamwork, improved morale and so much more…People Spark has given us the roadmap to greatness.”

 – Michelle Gronek, CEO, Olsen’s Grain

Increased Gross Margin and More…..

Within three months of implementing the review process and incentive plans, Olsen’s had made progress on achieving their goals to increase gross margin and reduce inventory shrinkage.  They exceeded the identified goals in a shorter timeframe than originally anticipated. 

Olsen’s experienced other benefits as a result of the work with People Spark Consulting.  Through the use of the processes and skills, the management team is receiving more ideas on how to make better processes, they are experience better teamwork and increased morale both at the store level and within the management team.   This creates a foundation for even greater success of Olsen’s in the future.

Book a call to discuss your current HR strategies and how we can help!

People Spark Consulting is a Minneapolis–Saint Paul, MN based consulting company that specializes in transforming business cultures through human resources and people strategies.


Download the guide: Achieve Your Business Goals Through Your Culture and People Strategies.

Download the guide: Achieve Your Business Goals Through Your Culture and People Strategies.

The success of your business depends on your culture. Therefore, it is critical to establish an intentional culture in your business and build strategies that support and reinforce it. The purpose of this eGuide is to provide a foundation for your business culture and ensure your people strategies and practices are aligned with it. Grab the guide - it’s free!

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