I've seen it first hand, and you are right, changes are needed now. The management in Winston-Salem for SLBA talk about changes, then stall when it comes to implementing them. Departments at SLBA that need a serious overhaul include IT, Planning, and Cost Accounting. The antiquated systems they use cost more to maintain every year. When they do decide to implement changes, it's always piece-meal at best. Then they try to convert the new systems to their old methods. Before any changes can be implemented, it would be best if they got rid of some of the fat. IT is a good place to start, but not at the bottom as done in the past, but at the top where it belongs. One former CIO, now a VP, in particular rides the coat tails of other projects. No long range or short range plans exist. He is driven only by his SOP, regardless of what is good for the company. His demise and his cronies would save about a half million per year. Their staff could easily be moved under another of the existing areas. No decent projects have been completed in his area for 5 years. You hear the corporate directives coming down, but no one seems to ever investigate what is going on. He keeps his direct reports in line by intimidation and fear. He chooses to keep only those who follow his lead, and no one dares to challenge anything. These little empires grow every day, regardless of the company's objectives. Hopefully Chicago will eventually send someone to Winston with the balls to actually run the company, instead of trying to promote themselves. The days of SLE being at $50-60 is gone, unless better management is brought in that knows how to run the business. IT seems to dictate the operations of the company, instead of being a service organization. SLBA spends too much money on trying to set up a pretty building to work from, thinking the better they look, the better they will be. Cary McMillan damn near ran the place to the ground, trying to spend millions of dollars on a new 'campus format', with pods instead of cubicles. Form without substance. In spite of all that, the company still remains profitable. However, who knows where it would go if they got rid of the deadwood.
Lets not forget the Intimate Apparel part of the business. It is doing well and represents 35% of sales and 38% of income.
I believe they will continue cost cutting in the Intimate Apparel part of the busines with a slight increase in sales causing an increase in income.
$25 before 3/1/05.
Intimates is a strong part of the business, along with underwear. If they can get through the systems consolidation, and reduce some of the management headcount in that area, the cost savings would definitely have an impact on profits. Branded Apparel suffers from using ancient systems that cost a fortune to maintain. Not to mention too many managers in IS trying to build their own empires. SL Corporate should take a hard look at this area, and ask why so many managers are needed to manage across several platforms. IS has been stagnated for years due to the lack of the CIO's inability to make decisions, unless it suits their personal needs.
The company as a whole is strong and very reliable, but profits could increase if IS were motivated to proceed with restructuring and elimination of cross-functional CIO's.
Actually at one time SLE did.
However there was one problem. The way SLE works with so many executives they lost more with each cup of coffee they sold.
It could be dons, perhaps it should be done but not till they streemline the company more which is what I'm hoping Brenda Barnes is going to accomplish.
So don't wish on your enemy as yet. But if Brenda gets the job done properly we will not only be making a lot more money we might even make money this way.
The accountants will have to mull this over for their usual 4 or 5 years. They wouldnt want to do anything to risk their stock options ,bonuses,or well paid positions.Why would they do something that benefit the shareholders before themselves?