July 28, 2010

Fetzer's Footwear: Fed Up

Today, I am meeting Lauren Fetzer, CEO of Fetzer's Footwear, for a picnic at Bacteria Bay, located on the west side of Madrona Island.

Bacteria Bay is named after a mysterious illness befell the early settlers of Madrona Island, causing them to scratch uncontrollably and, in many cases, to run into the bay in a desperate attempt to alleviate their misery.

Kevin: "What are you listening to?"

Lauren: "But It's Alright by Huey Lewis, now that's a classic."

Kevin: "Alright."

Lauren: "You work with a lot of companies, don't you?"

Kevin: "True."

Lauren: "So let me ask you a question. Do the Executives at other companies always do what the CEO tells them to do?"

Kevin: "That's a loaded question. I think most Executives execute the spirit of what the CEO asks them to do."

Lauren: "I want for my team to execute exactly what I ask them to do."

Kevin: "Sort of like the robotics in your distribution center, right?"

Lauren: "In some ways. They're really loyal ... lifeless, but loyal. These folks, I'm asking them to be strategic, and they just keep focusing on tactics and in-fighting. Is it like that at other places?"

Kevin: "Why would you expect Bart Cox to be strategic when you blitz him with a weekly verbal assault because the Alderwood store fails to deliver positive comps?"

Lauren: "It's his job to get that store to perform."

Kevin: "So do you want him to focus on the tactics associated with getting one store to perform, or do you want for him to focus on a five year strategic plan?"

Lauren: "Both, that's the life of the multi-tasker."

Kevin: "But he gets fired if he doesn't get Alderwood to perform this year, right?"

Lauren: "Possibly."

Kevin: "Then that's what he's going to focus on."

Lauren: "And Penny keeps focusing on campaigns. I want to know what our marketing strategy is going to be to compete with Zappos in 2015."

Kevin: "Everybody keeps asking her how the campaigns are working, what would you like for her to do?"

Lauren: "I need a strategic plan from Penny, now. I'm fed up."

Kevin: "Fed up?"

Lauren: "Absolutely. I'm thinking of buying a business. I've been talking with the CEO of Buckley Boots. He's got a five million dollar business that can't get to breakeven, but he's got a social component to his business that is second to none, and he even sends catalogs to his loyal customers. I'm thinking we can fold his business into our business, and then leverage his expertise to develop a marketing plan that takes us to 2015 and beyond. What do you think?"

Kevin: "That's one way to get the job done."

Lauren: "Sure is. Would you be willing to evaluate their customer file so that I can understand the five year potential of their business?"

Kevin: "Absolutely! That's what I do best."

Lauren: "Good! I'll send the data tomorrow, have your review completed by next week."

Kevin: "Alright."

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