Muhammad Fahad Ali Mirza
MBA 3.5 YEARS | ID # 121103
esrochers, Incorporation was a horticultural and floral services company located in the
Northern Virginia in 1932. It had Three Retail Floral stores that provides full menu of
floral and gift services to residential and commercial customers. They have all the stuff
related to the Floral and Horticultural services. They were the one of the biggest service providers,
with the Annual rate of $800 Million and the employment of 170 people.
It provides a full line of turf, plant and floral services to commercial account. “The absolutequality
and the overwhelming customer service” was the key to success.
History of Desrochers Incorporation
Desrochers Incorporation is the family owned business started in late 1932. It was initiated by the
M. M. Desrochers. In the early history, the company grew rapidly as a nursery, landscaping and
tree service firm for wealthy private customers.
After the death of M. M. Desrochers the company revenues drop down to the $20,000 in the 1955,
so its older son Walt took over the company and during the next twelve years, Walt built up the
Exterior Department of the company (Turf & exterior plant sales and maintenance). Walt also
remitted his brother Bob. Bob was names as the head of the External Department. Bob became the
president when the Walt left the organization for the academic life. By 1985 the Interior
Department was grown by two-thirds of the business and the brothers had long since decided to
specialize on commercial customers and not to deal with the residential market.
In 1989 the Desrochers bought the Wade Florist the seventh largest florist in the nation, from
Mark Wade. It had three retail ships in the Northern Virginia. The Mark wade decision to sell to
Desrochers was due to the reputation of horticultural. After the acquisition of the Wade the
Desrochers created the new division Trademarks to deal with the commercial business clients
floral needs. With the advent of Trademarks the company is now divided into Four Profit centers.
The Exterior Department
Desrochers original business were housed within the Exterior
Department, but since that time, the business had changed
Exterior department was still housed at the 8.6 acres of the
land in Mclean owned by the Desrochers in the 1937 for his
nursery. Exterior department offers a program of regular care
for shrubs, trees and turf. The Exterior Department was
organized in matrix fashion.
During the peak, Exterior Department might employee as many as 65 People, many of them
temporary or on a contract. But the numbers could fall up to the 20 People during Extreme Winters
or Dead Season. During the Off season the employee can be utilized in the other department of the
Facility Problem for the Exterior Department
Following are the problems faced by the Exterior Department in the Desrochers Incorporation.
Spring Season or Peak season External Department suffers due to inadequate site.
Parking issues of the Cars and Trucks.
Congestion near the Barn.
Congestion near the flower bed for employees to pick up necessary implements and
material for various jobs.
Coordination between the managers. Managers were split into two buildings.
Cooperate office was located three miles away from the facility.
Communication between the corporate office and facility was a big issue.
Mclean side was Bare-Bones. Dust, Dirt and Mud.
The interior department chief business was the ongoing lease and maintenance of the tropical
plants. Failed plants should be replaced by the Desrochers and then maintain them every week of
two. Desrochers reputation rested not only quality of the plant but also on the service level they
provide. How responsive they are towards plant and complains. Desrochers was the brand of
Quality and service. 80 percent of the revenue comes from the Maintenance and the lease of the
plants and remaining 20 percent from the short rentals.
In 1992 the Desrochers earned the significant amount from the short period rentals as they could
be used for multiple functions as well. The bread and butter of the Interior Department, however
were the 900+ weekly contracts that Desrochers maintained. The Desrochers also used the vendor
services to fulfill the demand of the market and the inventory was only that which was rejected by
the customers. The internal Department employed 36 People.
Plants to Fulfill the Demand
Orders were placed on the Wednesday & Thursday.
Arrives on the Next Monday
Clients Rejection was the only Inventory.
After the Installation of the Plant, the Desrochers have six visits each a Week.
Plants for the Desrochers came through the broker from the Florida.
The Glebe Road Facility (Interior
Jim Desrochers, 35, the manager of the Interior Department
and Walt Son saw a number of Problems with existing layout
The facility have no natural light. All the plants were held in
rooms with a combination of fluorescent, sodium and halide
lighting. They provide full spectrum of light but it is not a
long term conducive to hold the plants.
Tropical plants have to be held in temperatures greater than 55 degree Fahrenheit or they face
Interior Department kept the Inventory everywhere. There was no proper store or system to store
the products. Small rooms were there. That space, with more than 200 rooms was quickly filling
up with the odds and ends.
4. Layout Efficiency
The system was not efficient. Over processing and over complication of things were there that
leads towards the inefficiency of the system and the Desrochers.
Space was very limited. The supervisor could hardly talk to the employees individually. There was
no individual space for the employees and sometimes even the parking for the trucks and cars
became so difficult that product could get defect due to this delays.
Jim opinion was of the opinion that nothing more should be done to the existing facility Glebe
Road until a decision was made about the facility for the longer term.
Arlington in a building owned by Mart Wade father. The building had been used for road paving
after World War 1 and was made of spare paving bricks.
The side was located into two or three blocks from the main shopping area. It had a feeling of
This was the Desrochers largest store which has about 70% of the business control and
revenue generation from.
All the telephones and communication was done through this facility of Arlington.
All major events of the Desrochers were planned and executed from here.
Arlington location was responsible for processing, pricing, and distribution products to the
Wade Florist currently leased 13,800 square feet of the 17,000 square feet in the building. The
building occupied a four-acre plot, some of which lay vacant.
Concerns about the Arlington Facility (Wade Florist)
Although the building worked well enough for wade, it forced a number of compromises on the
firm. Following are them:
There were many separate storage areas.
The flower production facilities were separated into three distinct rooms.
The receptionist was separated from the Telephone sales and some of the production and
During the peak there was not enough space for everything, two refrigerated truck trailers
were typically brought in to handle the overflow.
Building was not a purpose build. Wade had many concerns about the current space.
Because of the layout the room sizes were different from each other, the building becomes
less and less satisfactory.
Over processing of the things was also there. Added
steps creates the delays in the processing thus the
customer will not be satisfied.
Carts could not fit into the coolers because the room size
were abnormal not the standard sized.
Arlington facility has homey feeling as it was close to the main
area and employees could have easy access to their need.
The Trademarks concept was one of the principal reasons for
seeking the Wade Acquisition. Within six to eight months after
the acquisition, Bob had tapped Bill Cantwell to handle this
The major Golf Event PGA was done under the Desrochers.
70 percent of the revenue comes from the big events like PGA Golf Tournament and
Christmas flowers on the Mall.
30 percent of the revenue comes from the traditional customers.
Commercial angel was more beneficial than the traditional.
Bill Cantwell’s Concerns
There was certainly much to be desired. Trademarks had no production and office space of its own
except for a tiny backroom space in the very expensive National Bank Showroom in the heart of
the areas business district. Bill also wanted the formal control over the production of the
As they were contributing to the 70 percent there was also the extra pressure on the Arlington to
produce more effective results. And more over that they were also not appreciated in form of
monetary terms. No extra benefits were given to them for the hard work they have shown to the
Desrochers and the customer they have attained and satisfied within the limited sources.
Eleanor Lopez, 44 has been with the Desrochers for the last Five years as the Operations Manager
and controller. Although she also had some concerns on it but she believed that Desrochers
obsession for quality and customer service could be supported with almost every facility.
In efficiencies all over the system and over processing that may result in Delays.
Quality could be improved if we add more value and technological uses.
Inventory is not maintained. Working on the JIT phenomena while the product is required
in bulk is a big risk.
Flow of the product is not disciplined or in line. Proper line is not there.
Facilities are not as per the Finances of the Organization.
Bob Desrochers Dilemma
Especially with the advent of the trademarks and its events work, Bob Desrochers began to see
more synergies among the four departments of the company. Interior and Exterior departments
both live evergreens and labor in a design that was a combination of trademarks work and that of
the company’s landscape architect, rendered in part by Wade production Staff.
Bob wondered how the departments should be tied together and how their growing facilities needs
could be handled. He fretted about the pride of the ownership that each part of the company had
displayed and pondered how Desrochers small team atmosphere could be sustained while the