In the past 40 years, Buffalo Specialties, a screen printing, embroidery, and promotional products distributor, has grown exponentially to be in the top 5% of specialty manufacturers in the United States. Though the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges for Buffalo Specialties, they were able to navigate the ever-changing circumstances. In fact, as other special products manufacturers folded, Buffalo Specialties inherited some of their former competitor’s clients. Around the same time, they acquired Texas Art Embroidery, a Houston-based embroidery shop, to bolster their workforce and production capabilities.
Prior to 2020, business growth had been organic for Buffalo Specialties. By the end of 2021, they realized that they needed business processes and protocols to support the recent growth, and future scalability, of the company.
The Sendero team began the project with an exploratory assessment effort to better understand the challenges at hand. After proposing a set of recommended initiatives, the project team divided into two workstreams and began the execution phase of the project.
The first workstream focused on developing the “people” part of the project plan. Buffalo Specialties employees had experienced a year of growth and, as an unintended result, had heard conflicting messages about what the organization’s goals were and what their roles were in navigating the change. It was important for Buffalo Specialties to define their culture and to use that as a tethering point to grow the firm. To support that goal, the Sendero team:
- Defined and documented the mission, vision, and values statements
- Developed job descriptions to resolve any outstanding questions about roles and responsibilities
- Created an employee handbook to provide clear answers to frequently asked questions
The second workstream focused on the “process” part of the project plan. Because of the increase in order volume and the challenge of integrating a newly acquired company, streamlining processes was another key objective for Buffalo Specialties. To support this goal, the Sendero team:
- Redesigned existing processes to account for current and future growth
- Inventoried existing assets and key maintenance details
- Developed functional training materials