14.12. CASE: Lazybones

Sitting in his Cambridge townhouse, Dan Hermann mulled over the latest performance report for his company, Lazybones, a laundry delivery service for college students. The unit[] in Boulder, Colorado, was performing well, and he could see the positive results of the company's hiring and training initiatives. The Boston, Massachusetts, store was bringing in decent revenues, but it had just lost its manager. Over the coming weeks, Dan would need to be onsite quite a bit to work with new staff. Meanwhile, the Storrs, Connecticut, location (Lazybones' newest unit) was well below expectations. So in addition to overseeing four other stores and giving extra attention in Boston, Dan needed to spend time in Storrs assessing why that site couldn't get off the ground.

[] This case was prepared by Sara Gragnolati under the direction of Professor Andrew Zacharakis. A unit, also called a store, is where Lazybones executes all of its laundry activities.

On the surface, the Lazybones store operations were straightforward: collect dirty laundry from college students, clean it, and then deliver it back to their dorm or apartment in less than 24 hours. The process, fine-tuned at their Syracuse, New York, and Madison, Wisconsin, flagship locations, worked flawlessly. Dan and his co-founder, Reg Mathelier, could monitor each unit remotely via webcam. They also used a barcode tracking system to feed a comprehensive reporting system for each store: the daily dashboard performance ...

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