Mark Ross - Benefit Narratives (Accomplishment / Action / Result)
(1) Established new market distribution in 30 countries. Outlined specific target channels of distribution; developed an ideal distributor, sales agent and/or retail profile; prioritized markets to enter; conducted research and candidate evaluations; and made a market-by-market entry decision. Increased international sales from $5 million to $22 million within 5 years, achieving average annual sales growth of approximately 35%.
(2) Recruited, trained and managed a global sales organization focusing on casual, streetwear, outdoor and denim markets. Researched potential candidates through available and innovative resources; provided an extensive orientation of the company and product line; sales, marketing and promotional objectives as well as overall brand positioning guidelines; frequent market visits and yearly evaluations. Set up a long-term stable and aggressive global sales organization.
(3) Initiated a “marketing department” where there had been no perceived need for one. Developed marketing collateral materials (catalogs, pamphlets, line sheets, etc.), sales tools, promotions and media campaigns; new packaging and hang tags; required trade show participation; introduced a co-op program; product labeling. Outerwear label that is strongly identified and recognized as a major brand in overseas markets.
(4) Created an incentive program to increase Alpha’s marketing, advertising and promotional budgets by introducing a co-op program to all international markets. Researched and analyzed such programs at other apparel companies and worked with Alpha’s CFO to “tweak” the program(s) to fit Alpha’s objectives. An immediate and sustained increase (varied between 25% - 200%) in the amount of marketing activity done at the local level.
(5) Introduced the terminology of “military inspired outerwear” and led the development behind Alpha’s long-term growth through new product launches and licensing activities. Analyzed opportunities, market needs and requirements; researched designers, vendors and manufacturers; negotiated contracts, agreements including registration of trademarks; worked with key accounts on product specifications, launch and ongoing sales/marketing efforts. Launched a successful “military inspired” pant (cargo, khaki’s, etc.) and outerwear program in Japan and Europe/Latin America. New products contributed to a 6-8% increase in sales; licensing royalties approx. $175,000 to Alpha in the first full fiscal year.
(6) Identified, developed and implemented a long range plan to increase market share as a supplier of Mil-Spec. garments to foreign military governments and organizations. Evaluated in-house manufacturing capabilities; drafted a proposal indicating target markets, budget requirements, factory floor usage and a benefit/cost analysis over a three-year period. Executed the program through a focused advertising effort, specialized trade show participation and increased distributor support for this synergistic market. Awarded contracts in Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay generating sales in excess of $4-5 million in the first calendar year.
(7) Developed and launched a series of innovative (SLPP) product fixtures for the global L’eggs hosiery market (noted a need for a cost/space efficient, lightweight, movable fixture to accommodate a vast array of international retail markets). Analyzed and reviewed existing data on fixture prices, average available floor space, height requirements and features; researched vendors at several trade shows; drafted a final proposal with drawings. Full-scale production of an initial 2,300 fixtures (two floor models and one counter-top) were produced.
(8) Corporate shift from a traditional (government) manufacturing mind set to a branded program driven by retail/consumer sales and marketing objectives (fashion). As Director of International Sales, I played a vital and decisive role in this transition. The expectations of the new customer base led to a major overhaul of manufacturing:
a) quality standards and evaluation processes were improved
b) ability to run shorter production with less disruption, quicker order turnaround
c) handling of a 300% increase in SKU’s
d) improved inventory management
e) off-shore sourcing
f) overall improved manufacturing flexibility and technique
The overall result is the continued success of Alpha. It is the only U.S. Government contractor to successfully develop a “branded” fashion program while remaining a major manufacturer of Mil-Spec. outerwear.
(9) Implemented a defective returns policy. Researched and analyzed such programs at other “international” apparel companies and developed one to fit Alpha’s needs; set out program parameters to accept returns (allowable %, timing, type of defect, merchandise credit, etc.). Strengthened our market position and long-term relationships with distributors, retail and key accounts. In some cases received increased visibility and positioning within the store(s).
(10) Focused manufacturing on improving product quality standards. Ongoing directives, noting customer complaints; increased quantity of returns; competitive standards; analysis of potential lost business and consumer confidence; researched alternative sources (vendors) for materials such as knit cuffs, snaps etc. As a result, manufacturing made a significant reorganization of the production lines to increase controls; added additional line inspectors; made changes in some of their material vendors. Improvement in the quality of the products led to increased satisfaction and bottom-line results.
(11) Launched a counter-attack on counterfeiters of Alpha products. Initiated a strong trademark program throughout the world; outlined a step-by-step program in handling a counterfeit jacket; worked with manufacturing to set up a profile to recognize counterfeit jackets and disseminated this information to our sales network; notified customs officials to be on the look-out in major ports of entry; took strong focused legal action against counterfeiters; publicized actions and results to emphasize our willingness to fight. Several highly publicized seizures, including the largest (50,000 pieces) seizure ever in Scotland (a major port of entry) to continental Europe. Over the course of this on-going program, a dramatic decrease in the sheer quantity of counterfeit products and such illegal activity in the market.
(12) Alpha Industries as a U.S. based manufacturer, initiated an off-shore sourcing and production program. Presented a strongly researched thesis on the benefits, tradeoffs and overall value to introduce an off-shore program to diversify and remain competitive in global markets; gained support of the sales organizations; key account presentations; researched vendors; sampling program; financing alternatives; production and delivery. Successful introduction of a non-USA made Alpha product to European markets, achieving quality standards, pricing levels and sales targets.
(13) Established a European sales office (London) to increase sales and marketing efforts in this region. Set-up budget, P&L and operational needs; duties, requirements and responsibilities; recruited and trained a General Manager. Opened up Alpha Industries – Europe. Quickly improved market communications and enable office to work with the sales network on a much closer basis.
(14) Opened a European distribution center. Analyzed requirements; researched available resources; duties, taxes, freight, holding and “picking” costs; pricing structure; chose location. Distribution center opened to assist the sales network in out-of-stock situations and direct sales to key accounts. Also noted improved (quicker) deliveries, increased customer satisfaction and fewer out-of-stock situations thereby improved results at retail.
(15) Registered Alpha Industries, Inc.’s intellectual property Ò and Ô in all viable markets. Worked with legal counsel to determine current standing and position in market(s); outlined markets to register property; coordinated budgeting and funding activities; produced quarterly updates for review. Strengthened our ability to legally enforce trademarks and other corporate property.
(16) Product launch of Champion Sportswear and L’eggs Hosiery in Korea, Taiwan & Hong Kong. Analyzed requirements and steps; timing, recruited distributors; trained sales network; developed specific marketing, packaging, sizing and color programs; fixturing; established wholesale and retail price points; target retail outlets. First year sales targets met or exceeded goals in all three markets.
(17) Implemented licensing and private label program with Walt Disney & Harley-Davidson (Latin America) and Faconable (France). Sought out opportunities with these and other companies to license their trademarks and/or produce private label outerwear; coordinated funding and budgeting requirements; contractual negotiations; new product development; retail positioning and sales. Developed increased penetration in niche markets, opportunities with DFS (Duty Free Shops) and other channels of distribution. Increased brand awareness and long-term market building rather than significant bottom line results were the objectives (yearly sales approx. $150K).