Client Situation

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the client is a retailer specializing in classic and traditional furniture, prints, and accessories.

When client was founded, the need for an integrated human resources management system was inconceivable for a $1.5 million catalog-only retailer. But by 1997, the client needed a comprehensive HR services strategy to support its retail operations in 42 states and Canada.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the client is a retailer specializing in classic and traditional furniture, prints, and accessories.

The client faced many of the profit challenges common in the retail industry: 40-50% employee turnover; thin margins; and increased labor competition in a strong economy. In addition, the client was under increasing cost scrutiny by its shareholders. Strategically, opportunities dictated migrating quickly to a large-store model and introducing new direct marketing and catalog sales channels. E–commerce and international market potential were on the horizon, but The client’s HR department was not equipped to support these initiatives. Neither the existing HR system, which was not Y2K compliant, nor the outsourced payroll service were sufficiently responsive to the company’s reporting needs or data tracking requirements.

Cedar’s Approach

  • The client chose Cedar to help articulate a new HR business vision, conduct a business process reengineering effort, and lead an HRIS vendor evaluation and selection endeavor.
  • Cedar responded with an innovative set of solutions.
  • With its strategic visioning process, Cedar worked with the client to develop a strategy that included support for employee self service and automated workflow for HR transactions, which minimized the time spent on HR processes by store managers.
  • Cedar also helped The Bombay Company envision enterprise-wide linkages from Loss Prevention and Point-of-Sale processes into Payroll.
  • This unique-to-retail solution enabled the organization to create incentive bonuses based on quantifiable performance, at any level within the operation.
  • Together, the client and Cedar developed a strategic plan that accommodated the retail industry’s particular need to think, decide, and act quickly.
  • Since time and immediate results were critical, the client formulated a new corporate HR vision which included selecting and implementing a leading HR management system and aligning with a premier payroll service provider well known for accuracy and customer service.


The two main variable cost drivers in retail are inventory and labour. Many retail organizations focus their system efforts on inventory and neglect the HRIS function. The client recognized the need to focus on labour productivity and, in a very short period of time, developed and executed a strategic vision that positioned itself to manage this function and support future growth. The mindset of many retailers is that a new HR strategic vision cannot be formulated and executed quickly and successfully. With a flexible management team, the right business partners, and a dedicated project team, the client successfully challenged this theory by creating and executing a new HR vision in less than one year.

Cedar offers industry-leading solutions to help organizations maximize the return on their enterprise system investments and drive improved organizational performance.

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