Dan River revs up with new global Structure

New York -- Out of bankruptcy, slimmed down and flying the flag of a new corporate parent (Gujarat Heavy Chemicals), Dan River Inc. is revving up with a new corporate structure that creates "five major processes," or groups, within the company. Eachgroup has its own head, reporting to either Dan Hammer (formerly president and vp sales) or Greg Boozer (formerly head of manufacturing), both Dan River veterans.

Sanjay Purohit, Dan River ceo, identified the five segments in an internal memo as: design, product development, and sales, each reporting to Dan Hammer; and procurement and supply chain, both reporting to Greg Boozer.

In his memo describing the five "processes," Purohit provides a unique insight into the company's core values and the way it will position itself to compete in a textiles game where the rules have changed -- in a new global environment, played out on a radically altered playing field where the very size and shape have been altered forever in recent years.

"As an analogy, you can compare it to a relay race consisting of five laps," Purohit told Dan River workers in the memo. Each of the five functions, starting with design, "has to complete the lap and pass the baton to the next one," concluding with distribution and customer service.

And the memo makes it plain that Dan River will impose a tight business discipline within each segment, analyzing costs and results as the company makes the transition from a manufacturing- to a marketing-driven company. Equally plain is the need for the company to move quickly in a rapidly evolving global arena.

Purohit admonished workers: "We just have to speed up, because 'faster or dead' is today's business reality."

DESIGN: The design process will continue to be led globally by Melanie Kaplan, supported by a number of design managers: Faith Glerum for kids' lifestyle; Kathleen Szatmary for kids' licensed; Dana Wachs for adult and licensed; and Jeff Shuford for open line. Purohit said the unit "will evaluate all new and existing license/projects on a business case. Our design resources will need to measure time spent on each project or pattern, much the way a consultant does, to aid in this business case assessment."

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: A newly created product development team is headed by Bruce Nichol, reporting to Hammer, and is based in New York. "It will receive the baton from the design process and carry it up to final production approval of the new products," said Purohit. "In today's business, either you are fast or dead. Product development is one area where we have to accelerate."

The development team will be divided into three functions: product development, sample acquisition, and product execution. The development function will include Colleen Painter and Amanda Baskett in kids, and Shannon Maher and Joanne Novak in adult. "They will have complete authority and responsibility to ensure that respective sales heads -- who are their internal clients -- get all support to win new business.

The sample acquisition team includes Inam Ali, country manager in Pakistan; Vikas Mathur, country manager in India; and David Middleberg, country manager in China. They remain part of the global sourcing department, with a dotted-line relationship to Bruce Nichol.

A separate product execution function "will be responsible for expediting and tracking all facets of the development calendar, for providing product specifications and logistical information to the suppliers and for defining and assuring compliance with all internal and proprietary quality requirements. The team will also develop all packaging components for production. The team will include Dawn Davis and her packaging design team; Steve Robertson and his specification team; Gail Nicholson and Kathy Cronin.

SALES: Sales will continue to be led by Kevin Jarrek in mass; Don Whittam in upstairs sales; Dan Greco in kids; and Jeff Connors in institutional. Brian McAlear will continue to head Canadian sales. Additionally, said Purohit, "a focused merchandising group will be created to assure profitability of our products."

PROCUREMENT: Procurement will be headed by Mike Porter, “and carry the baton from the time a contract is received until either products arrive at our warehouse or, for direct-delivered products, at the port of entry,” said Purohit. “The major focus will be on developing time and action plans with our suppliers to have the right product delivered in the right quantity according to our customers’ needs.”

Within procurement, Michael Haselden will head a planning function, and will be responsible for inventory management and planning time-sensitive needs. A purchasing function will be led by Gary Smithwick; and a separate procurement function will include the three individual country managers. Separately, Bill

Daly will work as strategic sourcing director, helping to evaluate vendors worldwide. Dennis Johnson will continue to lead traffic and transportation, reporting to Gary Smithwick.

DISTRIBUTION, QUALITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICE: Dick Slack heads up the area. The distribution side of supply chain will continue to be led by Buddy Warren. Donna Finley continues to lead customer service and order processing.

Rounding out the executive team, Chris Nelson was named to the new position of vice president/strategy. Nelson, who now heads up information technology, will now take over strategy formulation for the entire company. “This includes leading all the strategic initiatives like merger and acquisitions, which we are planning to do worldwide, cost cutting, developing global delivery capability in information technology and customer service. He will also be creating a smooth information flow across the organization.”

Elsewhere in top management, Rodney Reynolds is chief financial officer and leads the global finance team, while Calvin Barnhardt heads up human resources.

As part of the ceo's office, Hannah Arora is margins manger, analyzing data and "assuring that our margins are maximized." Judy Baboun joins the office, "and will be charged with following up on all decisions made to assure that they are executed per our business plan," in addition to current duties in licensing and royalties.

Purohit concluded: "When I look at the talent of this team, I am amazed. We just have to speed up, because 'faster or dead' is today's business reality."

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

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