Lyfe-fit is a company that distributes sporting and recreation goods such as cardio machines and strength machines. Basically, Lyfe-Fit is a startup company that was set by a bigger American company, with the point for this startup to conquer the overall Asian market. It was founded in 1996 by the bigger company, Lyfe-Litness and now, Lyfe-Fit is counted as a well-known multinational company. In 2016, this company has more than 1500 employees and over 10 manufacturing facilities all over the world.
One thing that is special about our company is that it has been in this world for more than 45 years and has been creating innovative fitness equipment and products ever since, in getting the world moving. This is because of the uniqueness of our company that keeps it working until today. Those are;
1. Emotion – the way we connect with our consumers includes providing a top-notch customer service. This also brings out the way on how we connect with them and the availability of accessing information about our products and services.
2. Business Operations – this includes the quality and creativity of our products and the success of the introduction of the fitness software solution into the industry. Lyfe-Fit is also known to have a good marketing strategy and good connections with both internal and external factors within this company. Also, on how we manage our distributors around Asia in distributing our equipment that comes all the way from America.
3. Environment and Culture – I think that our company has the best workplace environment and a success in running a business unit that is part of a multinational company as we are representing as one of the leading brands in sports.
However, Lyfe-Fit is still in the need for fresh ideas to keep growing. Hence, this report will provide further details on the operations of Lyfe-Fit.
The internal or external driven needs for change
As the competitiveness within this industry is rising, therefore the need of change in a company is essential, in order to compete better. This does not matter of how long that this company has been running in this industry. What am I trying to say here is that as a leader to this company, I personally think that there are always rooms for changes and that changes should happen in every 3 to 5 years. It does not have to be a drastic change but small changes that will lead to new opportunities or making the company perform better in each consecutive year, will do.
At this part of the report, I am going to apply the Burke-Litwin model shown above in relations to only few parts that I think is suitable to identify and explain the drivers of change in this company. However, internally, Lyfe-Fit is still very traditional in the kind of an ‘old-school' way of going about our business.
Even though Lyfe-Fit is counted as a leader in this industry, we are going through a massive change, as we speak. We are revising our go to market strategy as the industry has change. The industry mention here is health, wellness and fitness industry are changing at a rapid pace. Therefore, this affected our customers and competitors.
As a matter of fact, Lyfe-Fit is more to a traditional fitness equipment company. However nowadays, people or consumers are doing functional training such as boxing, indoor cycling class and high intensity training. Consumers now they seek for different experience.
Competitors such as Tech Gym is doing pretty good job and conquering the market however we are still the leader in the industry. But, the existence of group exercises and high intensity interval training. These classes are now creating trends and they prefer using and producing their own equipment.
Recently, the board of directors of our parent company fired our President whose only been working with us for 19 months. This is because there has been no improvement at all but adding more issue to the current one. A great leadership attitude could turn a company around just like that. This should come by standing by the company's vision and work on the vision clearly and align teams and the people around our company to actually deliver the vision stated. Creating a great brand consist of a great vision to as it is the key for the company to keep going.
Mission and Strategy:
The lack of focus within the company. This means that most of the time company tends to pay attention to competition rather than developing the nature of strengths they have. I feel like the whole company needs to spend more time on understanding this.
Our business structure, the way we set up is that we are blowing up our current work structure as Lyfe-Fit is located in Asia and so we try to always be connected to our HQ in Chicago and our company's CEO, who's in Holland. Strategic planning is important too as it creates better understanding with a great solution.
Work Unit Climate:
The lack of employees' interest within the workplace. Maybe our office needs to have like a recreation area and provide social activities for staff, so that it is more fun and motivating. A good example to this is company such as Google.
Optimization outcome to be achieved
There are few important aspects within our company that will be affected by these changes. Below are the 4 important ones and it will be done through a flatter structure.
- Training – To coach and teach employees to make them better as to help them grow within Lyfe-Fit and become great employees and great managers themselves and being able to build up the company, flatter.
- Cost efficiency – this could be done by improving the current equipment in a more advanced technological way, e.g. treadmills.
- Service efficiency - To be more innovative by creating smart products – to come up with cool ideas and to keep up with the latest trends. Combining technology with people and process to provide services.
- To focus on the right market and channeling the right kind of consumers. Then, to also focus on our vision and mission, values, culture and anyone working with Lyfe-Fit, should represent this with utmost dedication.
Readiness of organization to change
Until recently Lyfe-Fit was very resistant to change. Recently, there was a sweeping management shakeup within the company as our business performance results started to suffer even after hiring the new CEO, therefore after considering of firing him, our two board members have also stepped into getting the company to change and go through a digital transformation and get back to be the most innovative company in the industry.
Then, externally we are changing the way how we operate our business and on how are we going to enter the market with the products that are necessary for relation to the way the industry is changing. We are blowing up our current organizational structure and setting ourselves up to move faster, be more efficient and to be able to launch equipment and programs at a faster pace. It took a major intervention from the board members as well as missing quarterly targets to wake us up and get us to change at the corporate level. These changes are meant to focus on a more healthy and logical management structure
On top of that, there were signs of challenges that we faced, such as the existence of boot camps and group training studios. Another thing is that even with this booming global market, Lyfe-Fit was growing at 3% a year. So, I guess it is time to shake things up and work on improving the factors that need to be fixed above. Moreover, we had also bought a major cycling brand as for the purpose of that we see the rise in group exercise and boutique studios are taking over the industry. Put that aside, now we have got great stuff going on, such as planning on buying small companies that create similar equipment like us.
The other big piece of change comes from technology – the digital transformation that has been going on within the industry such as tracking apps, heart rate monitoring, zone training and all these things that are accessible through watches and body straps or something like a bracelet strap. Basically, tracking stuff. Now, everybody is tracking their activities, from how many steps per day, calories burned, stairs climbed and so on. This is how consumers tend to analyze their data and from that people tend to challenge themselves more as this motivates you. Therefore, investing more in technology as part of this ongoing transformation programme is a must too. Here is where we as a company needs to start thinking outside the box.
Then, in this industry, ubiquity will kill you—it means that our company is not really extra anymore. And we were becoming ubiquitous. I feel like Lyfe-Fit needed to be more than an older company. It had to develop into a great global luxury fitness brand while competing against big or small rivals, such as Tech-Gym. I would say that we wanted a share of the disposable income of the world's first-class buyers—and to win it, we would have to fight for the prime real estate in the world's most rapidly growing consumer markets.
Another issue to be concerned about is even though Lyfe-Fit is at the top in this industry, it has to keep being profitable in the long term as to be viable in the long-term future and I think that even though Lyfe-Fit is a big company, we need to be able to act like a startup to be able to move quicker such as designing and launching equipment quicker.
Readiness as a leader to lead change
As a leader to this company, I would say that we are kind of slow when it comes to change but I can definitely say that we are changing big time. The decisions I make to these changes, either good or bad, will cause impacts on people's lives, such as employees and will also influence the markets and business performance as a whole. Therefore, I will be more aware of identifying and executing new changes in terms of strategy and tactics as these will affect both internal and external factors of our company, Lyfe-Fit.
Moreover, I have set a new vision in relation to the changes planned out. The new vision is “Machine is the engine, passion is the fuel”, having the meaning of; it is a promise and an attraction to our customers that are going to make them want to buy our products, as to compare to the current vision statement that says, “we are the platform that connects the world to fitness” which I personally think the old one is just plain and boring.
With changes been happening all around, it is important to think of ways in terms of differentiating and reinforcing the brand's image and sales performance as no matter how long you've been in the industry or even when you are on the top 3.
Training – as stated above, I will provide training for employees and will take risks because from what I think is that growth will not happen if there is no risk.
Good connections and keeping updates by informing our stakeholders and participants that are related to our decision-making process.
Commitment is really important. Therefore, I would make sure that my employees and I are committed to the overall plan that will measure the impact and meet the goals.
In the end, I would want to see Lyfe-Fit as a foundation of a great brand and a great company not just in this industry but to the whole world as these changes are meant to rebuild Lyfe-Fit rather than just letting it work itself. I think it is time to be different.
...(download the rest of the essay above)