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Accessory Manufacturer



Accessory Manufacturer


Manufacturer and importer/distributor of small leather goods and accessories needed a new business model to fit the profile of a Lean importer/distributor and marketer.


  • Adjust business model, enabling the company to improve its competitive position by realizing annualized cost savings.
  • Develop a disciplined marketing approach.


  • Reduced cycle time in the Concept-to-Market process by 30% and unplanned air freight costs by 50%.
  • Increased Sample Room productivity by 25%.
case study image, CS-214 large

Case Study

Develop New Business Model & Improve Competitive Position


A manufacturer and importer/distributor of belts, wallets, small leather goods and accessories, which operates its own plant and distribution center in the U.S. and sources products from China, Central and South America, needed a new business model to fit the profile of a Lean importer, distributor and marketer of products.

Highland Approach

The Highland Group conducted an analysis of the operation and collaborated with client personnel on the development and implementation of a re-imagined Concept-to-Market process, a targeted improvement plan (utilizing Lean techniques), and various structures to support the new model and measure and optimize ongoing performance.

Actions Taken

  • Developed a disciplined marketing process that would allow the company to properly plan and define its marketing and sales objectives on a timely basis.
  • Restructured the organization to fit the new model.
  • Outsourced domestic manufacturing activities and reduced the number of suppliers in China, in favor of expanding sourcing in Central America.
  • Developed a disciplined marketing approach with clear differentiation between sales and marketing functions.
  • Developed a program to measure the effectiveness of the sales force.
  • Developed a distribution strategy to relocate or outsource services.

Reduced the current fiscal year’s budget by


to achieve a cost neutral position and pay for the project

Related Information

subject matter-based

Project Leader

Manufacturing & Industrial

Joseph is a senior executive with more than 40 years of international industry management and consulting experience, primarily in the areas of process improvement, working capital optimization and operational metrics. Having served in more than 21 countries around Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Rim, and North America, Joseph is skilled at implementing successful and sustainable change programs in culturally diverse environments.

Project Leader

Sales, Marketing & Consumer Products

North America

Bill is a senior project leader with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in assisting multinational companies by deploying his expertise in Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management tools, tactics and strategies. He has deep expertise in sales and marketing improvement, supply chain optimization, fixed-cost reduction, channel management, total production management, balanced scorecards and post-merger integration.