CASE STUDIES
Tenzing partners with McKinney Rogers® to build a new kind of artisanal wine and spirits brand distributor.

Tenzing is a Chicago-based wholesale wine, spirits and sake distributor. The company’s founding philosophy combines customer service with high-quality wine and spirits products through innovative, first-time-in-the-market education programs hosted at the company’s West Loop location.

The offices contain a restaurant-caliber kitchen for client education and entertainment, which also houses the Tenzing Bar Lab. This has become the premier location for Chicago’s foremost mixologists to experiment and invent.

Tenzing is a start-up company that was formed to serve artisanal wine and spirits brands. Catering to suppliers that are typically smaller and culturally different than the dominant players in the alcohol / beverage industry, Tenzing needed to create a business culture and value system that would reflect and align with their customers and the unique brands they would offer.

When Tenzing was still just an idea, the future leadership team enlisted McKinney Rogers to provide their counsel and apply their business execution approach. Brought on board at the very earliest stages, McKinney Rogers played a critical role in helping to form the business case for funding, by instituting the culture, and establishing the alignment, vision and values. Applying their mission leadership approach, the business execution experts helped build the company based on competitive industry intelligence that would address market demand and operate like a well-oiled machine from day one.

McKinney Rogers helped take Tenzing from inspiration to success story in 17 months by implementing their proprietary business execution operating system on behalf of the new organization and leveraging their core products of Mission Planning™, Mission Alignment™, High Performing Teams and the McKinney Rogers Mission Leadership Dashboard™. McKinney Rogers helped unlock the team’s entrepreneurial spirit, assemble talent, and shape their business thinking and behaviors.
Mission Planning™
The first step was to develop the five-year vision for the company. McKinney Rogers conducted extensive market analysis, leveraging internal and external industry experts. Based on this intelligence, they developed the most suitable course of action for the company, which would be carried out through business and contingency plans.

Mission Alignment™
With a multi-year vision and strategy in place, McKinney Rogers took the Tenzing team through a two-day Mission Analysis workshop with the goal of clarifying the alignment of the business strategy by cascading the first year’s operational mission down through the team. The workshop leveraged an inspirational case study to get teams thinking about business planning, the importance of aligning their personal mission to deliver their fiscal objectives, and delivering on the company vision. By breaking down goals across teams, and having every employee create their own personal mission, McKinney Rogers was able to foster collaboration and a total understanding of everyone’s role in achieving the plan; their deliverables, required cross-functional support, and timelines to make it happen.

McKinney Rogers Mission Leadership Dashboard™
The Mission Leadership Dashboard is a technology platform developed by McKinney Rogers, which enables Tenzing to track and measure progress toward their goals in real-time. Since it can be accessed from iPads, iPhones and other hand–held devices, the Dashboard appeals to early adopters of technology and facilitates collaboration across a multi-generational enterprise. A critical component of the McKinney Rogers solution, the dashboard brings transparency and a focus on metrics to the process. Priorities and deliverables are highlighted, and business-minded, performance-based decisions (versus emotional) are made across the organization, which improves accountability and confidence at all levels.

High Performance Teams
To ensure emotional buy-in and alignment of the strategy, McKinney Rogers applied their High Performance Team (HPT) methodology. HPT takes an experiential approach to galvanize the team members and equip them with a road map for working together as a high performing team by leveraging case studies and thought provoking exercises based on common business issues. McKinney Rogers conducted a two-and-a-half day workshop involving the entire company, which enabled all participants to explore and build consensus around the highest performing ways of working together, deepen co-worker bonds and establish Tenzing’s values: Humility, Innovation, Will to win, Integrity, Respect and Excellence (HI WIRE).
In just 17 months, Tenzing has become a viable company with an aggressive growth trajectory. Within the first year they achieved their fiscal target mission, and now in the second year they are on track to double year-over-year revenues.

According to Master Sommelier Ken Fredrickson, “McKinney Rogers has been instrumental in Tenzing’s success and their strategy has been paramount in many aspects of our business. They provided the scalability critical for a start-up company to hit the ground running and expand aggressively. They helped me to maximize the talents of the individuals that I hired for Tenzing headquarters, and they provided a tailored support solution to meet our exact needs. Our delivery team maintained touch points through the year and delivered consistent support to ensure success. I developed a great relationship with the McKinney Rogers team and was able to leverage them as a trusted advisor in the business.”