Case Study: Vulsay Industries

9 Years, 3 Owners, Best In North America

Key Role: General Manager and Lead Sale Navigator


√ Of 20 subsidiaries in North America, Vulsay was the best. Highest in Profit Margin and Profitability, Safest Place to Work, Most Efficient Production Facilities, Best Customer Service, Smallest Environmental Footprint, Highest Quality Standards, Lowest Rework, Best Teamwork Performance.

√ Small but mighty was Charlene’s $30 million operation. She was tagged to go to the US and teach the other 19 subsidiaries the secrets. Instead, the recession hit and 3500 people, including her, lost their jobs.

√ On her last day, all 126 employees shook her hand, said goodbye and cried on her shoulder. They had never done that for any other owner or manager before or since.


The 3-month assignment to clean up the books so the company could be sold became a 9-year odyssey of fashioning a small company into a stellar performer through three ownership and two culture changes. Prodding and pushing a group of ordinary people to think and do extraordinary things.

The Strategy:

Very Simple. Pick problems that have plagued operations for a long time. Pull a team (of all the parts that are impacted) together. Lead and help that team permanently fix the problems.


We tackled every area of the company. Sales, inventory, receivables, warehousing, distribution, customer experience, scheduling, purchasing, quality control, environmental, etc. The key was getting early success with easy wins. Once those were won, the teams became invincible. And with an invincible team, anything is possible.