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Project Description

Macy’s Logistics and Operations (MLO) handles supply chain and operations functions for Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and bluemercury retail brands.  It operates distribution centers and ensures efficient, timely flow of goods to stores and direct-to-customer deliveries—from clothing to household goods to furniture.

Pivotal was engaged by the executive team to help master new ways to drive efficiencies and customer satisfaction (who include store staff, shoppers and on-line buyers).  A parallel objective: drive a culture combining data-based thinking, customer focus, and cross-business collaboration.  The Six Sigma initiative, as they dubbed in, evolved from a few projects to successful improvements in such areas as product breakage, delivery scheduling, store construction and vendor management.  We worked with leaders to continually refine the program, train and coach teams and lead “FastTrack” problem solving sessions.  To integrate the effort into its management processes, MLO formed “Business Process Teams,” groups of managers from across the country establishing standards, measures and improvement priorities in key areas.

A few years after our initial work with MLO, we conducted a special leadership retreat for 60 of the group’s managers to help launch a corporate initiative (“My Macy’s) to tailor merchandise choices to local market preferences.

Project Results

MLO exceeded its goals in delivering savings, customer service and culture change results.  As then-EVP for Human Resources Kevin Hart explained: “[Pivotal] helped our leadership team set the right direction and priorities, and then enabled our people to look at our problems and opportunities in a new way.”  He added: “Obviously, it’s the numbers that tell the story, and we’ve attributed significant savings” to the effort.  “It’s helped us make improvements intelligently.”

One of the best testaments to MLO’s new change capability was integration of the May Company stores—a huge acquisition. The group was able to exceed targeted cost savings, even sooner than anticipated.