Two Olympic gold medalists in skiing, married in 2014, Jason and LeAnn Benson opened Adventurers and Explorers (A&E) outdoor sporting store, which sells gear and clothing. The couple’s concept is different than many other sporting goods stores in that they design and sell their own lines of specialized products. LeAnn’s focus is on the design of products and Jason’s focus is on the financials. As a result, no one is worrying about the organizational policies or controls.
Jason and LeAnn encourage their employees to continue their favorite outdoor sports, from skiing to mountain climbing, white-water rafting, and so on. Employees are given two weeks of paid vacation. However, many employees were allowed to take up to two months off at half pay so they could fulfill their life-long dreams. Samantha just returned from a successful climb of Mount Everest. Beth will use her two months off to backpack around Europe. Around the office, employees joked about the “weekend flu,” taking Friday through Monday off. The office often ran below staffing levels depending on the season. In addition, because Jason and LeAnn were gold medalists, they attract more employees who are interested in skiing. The skiers want time off during peak season. This is also the peak time for A&E orders and service requests.
In the last three years, the company has grown from 30 to 100 employees. Jason and LeAnn need advice on controlling daily staffing levels so A&E meets or exceeds customer expectations for responsiveness without sacrificing company identity.