Jeanie Wells

About Jeanie Wells

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So far Jeanie Wells has created 22 blog entries.

Cross-Training to Achieve Operational Efficiencies

We’ve been in the “new normal” long enough to not call it “new” anymore. Despite pressure from competition and rising minimum and livable wages, co-ops continue to work to be the employer of choice in their communities and to offer great compensation packages. We all know efficiencies are the main way we can afford to stay competitive, but other than just asking staff to [...]

Marketing Planning that Cuts Through the Clutter

Retailers face lots of challenges, profit margins are small, inventory needs to turn, and the competition is fierce. Getting customers into the store and keeping them satisfied should be everyone’s focus to boost sales and enhance profitability. Retailers faced with flat or declining sales need to take a closer look at their marketing and customer service experience. Since food co-ops are owned by the [...]

Are You Ready to Compete? A crowded marketplace is the new reality

By Mel Braverman, Nicole Klimek, Jeanie Wells 184 May-June 2016 In the back of our minds we knew that [insert name of competitor here] was coming. It was only a matter of time before grocery chains would notice our happy piece of the natural foods pie. Co-ops are feeling squeezed, and it hurts. Increased competition may limit our profitability but may also limit our [...]

The Decision Matrix

By: Carolee Colter & Jeanie Wells   When an organization is going through rapid change, roles within the organization change, too, and not always in a consciously thought-through manner. Expansions can result in forming new layers of positions. For example, opening a second store creates the necessity for new approaches to buying. Relocating to a new facility with a much-expanded food service leads to [...]

Staffing for a natural products store expansion

Your new store will have a bigger deli, more parking and a better floor plan. But will it have the staffing to support bigger and better operations? You will have a strong staffing plan to match your expansion plan if you remember a few key guidelines: First and most importantly, everyone has to be clear on where the organization is going and why, in [...]

Getting Ready for General Manager Succession

By Thane Joyal, Jeanie Wells 178 May-June 2015 Whether or not your cooperative expects to hire a general manager (GM) in the next year, your board should have an awareness of the skills and resources that would be needed to accomplish this essential task. Even if your GM is doing great and has no expressed plans for retirement or other career changes, your board [...]

Are you getting the most out of your management team meetings?

Look around your management team meeting. Is everyone engaged in the conversation? Or are they looking at their phones as the meeting winds its way through a parade of topics or check-ins? We invest payroll and time in these meetings, so let’s make sure that we leverage that investment into a valuable and productive use of time. It’s good for the organization and for [...]

Strategic Pricing: Why and how

By Mel Braverman, Jeanie Wells 177 March-April 2015 Almost every cooperative retail grocery is feeling increased competition in its community. Twenty years ago, merely having featured products consistently available was enough for co-ops to be successful, but this is no longer an option. In the last few years, not only has the conventional industry become smarter operators of its natural/organic sets, we have also [...]

Expanding to a Multi-Store Co-op: Build capacity from the inside out

By Jeanie Wells 171 March-April 2014 Your market study promises great sales. Developers are wooing you into their properties. Staff and shoppers are clamoring for more space. Adding a second store seems like a piece of cake, right? Not quite. Ask any leader of a food co-op that has made the leap from single to multi-store operations, and you will inevitably hear tales of [...]

How to create a vision for your company

“To the person who does not know where he wants to go, there is no favorable wind.” Though 2000 years have passed since the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger wrote those words, they’re still true today for people and organizations. Whether you're making operational improvements or organizational restructuring plans, none of those efforts will matter if you don't have a compelling, clear vision of [...]