Tillamook: 20% Growth Despite Market Forces
The iconic food brand and dairy co-op, Tillamook, began 2014 in a $40 Million hole due to massive fluctuations in the cost of raw materials. The company had built its budget for 2014 using the futures market to forecast annual spending on milk, but something unexpected happen: milk prices shot up —way up. Overnight, their 100-year-plus history of success was at risk.
“Historically, team members would have thrown their hands up. I’ve worked at other companies where people would have said, ‘The year’s over.’ But we weren’t about to go about our business that way,” said Patrick Criteser, CEO of Tillamook.
In 2014, Tillamook turned to Verus Global and began contracting Pathways to Leadership® sessions to support their evolving culture and their ongoing need to respond to emerging market forces with forward-focused, solution-based thinking. While leadership made strategic shifts, including raising prices, lowering costs, preserving cash, and driving process efficiencies, they also knew prioritizing their culture would equip them to thrive in future shifts.
“We didn’t want to overcome this budget challenge the traditional way,” said Criteser. “We knew there was going to be a 2015, 2016, 2017, and so on. We were determined to make sure those years were even stronger.”
In 2014, Tillamook had a breakthrough year with the whole team, all-in, working together, focused on what they could control to drive the business forward. In 2016, Tillamook had the following results:
- Saw 20% revenue growth, doubling their income
- Improved distributions to the owner-farmers of the region by over 35%
- Grew their workforce by 30% from 600 to 800 employees
- Created an even greater impact on their local community of 4,500 people