Reclaiming market leadership.
This work helped associates understand how their work ties to the overall strategy; it’s something they can get their heads around. We now have a documented purpose and path for what we are focusing on together to Win.Tony Sarsam, Ready Pac Foods CEO
One of Dialect’s clients, Ready Pac Foods, Inc., is known for delighting appetites with single-serve salads, lettuce blends, salad kits, fresh cut fruit and vegetables, and snacking products.
In the recent past, the leadership of Ready Pac Foods had lost focus and chose to reduce costs by cutting capabilities that fuel the agility and innovation needed to provide healthy, convenient, and indulgent fresh food solutions. In 2013, Tony Sarsam, a former PepsiCo and Nestlé executive with more than 25 years of CPG experience, was hired to build greater value and increase profitability. As the new CEO, he assessed talent, made key leadership changes and initiated an organization-wide operational improvement effort designed to grow top-line revenue and bottom-line results.
To complement the leadership changes and operational improvements, Mr. Sarsam hired Dialect to improve clarity and focus on Ready Pac Foods’ strengths. The project started with a rigorous inquiry process that included every function, every division, and Ready Pac Foods’ customers. Dialect led the company in creating a long-term identity that retained the historical strengths of Ready Pac Foods, while improving performance and profitability. The Ready Pac Foods executive leadership team (ELT) articulated an identity that described how they will make a difference for consumers – “giving people the freedom to eat healthier” – and how they will differentiate themselves from their competition – “building the most innovative fresh food company.”
The identity was expressed in what the ELT chose to call The Ready Pac Foods Difference. This refreshed identity was then cascaded to the entire organization through the development of a corporate Master Action Plan (MAP), functional MAPs and departmental MAPs to translate it to specific actions and metrics and bring it to life for associates, customers, and consumers.
How is Ready Pac Foods benefitting from this work? First, the work improved associate engagement – “We’re getting positive energy from people. They are pumped up; it flipped the switch”, commented one ELT member. An associate added “I have always been excited about the potential that lies within us as a company and even more so about the focused direction we are now taking. I believe this is going to be huge!”
The identity work has also changed organizational behavior; Ready Pac Foods has been driving innovation in processes and products. This has resulted in increased new product revenue and greater market share. Ready Pac Foods has also launched a first-to-market product; the first ready-to-eat salad bowls and salad kits with hemp seed. Finally, this engagement, alignment, and accelerated commitment to innovation has contributed to improved financial results: Ready Pac Foods’ top-line grew by double digits.