Background

Euphoria Chocolate Company has been delighting chocolate lovers in the Pacific Northwest with hand-dipped truffles, artisan chocolates and confectioneries since 1980. With three retail locations and a production facility located in Eugene, Oregon, their products are carried in several grocery stores and gift shops. Euphoria Chocolate Company sources local ingredients and features Oregon wine, beer, and spirits prominently in product offerings.

20%
Growth in web sales
80%
Improvement with inventory accuracy
21
Jobs retained

The Situation

In 2013 Euphoria Chocolate Company was purchased by new owners, Van and Bonnie. At that time the company was leveraging outside sales staff. To target growth markets beyond Eugene-Springfield, Euphoria sought support to bring sales staff in-house. They sought assistance from OMEP to support this initiative and optimize their inventory management to ensure they had the operational capacity to meet new sales. Like many business owners, Bonnie and Van were frequently overworked, stressed by the daily challenges of running a food processing company. Demands on owners in small manufacturing companies are endless, and these owners were starting to feel the strain. They hoped that by engaging with OMEP and alleviating some of the bottlenecks, they’d experience less stress.

The Solution

OMEP partnered with Euphoria Chocolate to build a new production team, and implement inventory management improvements. Together, they developed a top-line growth sales and marketing strategy with measurable targets and objectives and identified and trained internal sales personnel.

To ensure product flow and increase capacity, OMEP also helped the team establish visual storage and inventory management via 5S and kanban systems. Through an analysis of inventory overstock and shortages, OMEP was able to establish root causes and propose solutions.

Aside from these proficiency improvements, the OMEP team came alongside the owners to coach and mentor them throughout the process. Along the way they taught various leadership tools and techniques to empower and enhance the great work these business leaders were already doing.

The Results

By embracing continuous improvement methodologies Euphoria Chocolate Company has experienced significant results. With their new sales strategy in place, they have increased web sales by 20%. Thanks to the work they’ve done to improve quality by focusing on strong KPIs, as well as their production scheduling, inventory management and purchasing system re-vamp they’ve improved inventory accuracy by 80% leading to improved margins and product availability, and have retained 21 jobs.

Less tangible, but more significant, are the changes in the business owners lifestyles. For the first time in several years, the owners were able to visit family out of the country. While they were away and an issue arose, the business owner was able to request a root cause analysis and trust the team to manage the situation. The team conducted the analysis and then worked to resolve the issue. They were able to step back confidently knowing they had systems in place to effectively gather data and make decisions, as well as a team they can trust to navigate challenges. Euphoria Chocolate Company is poised to continue successful growth moving forward.

We were able to step back confidently knowing we had systems in place to effectively gather data and make decisions, as well as a team we can trust to navigate challenges.

Bonnie Glass
Owner

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