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Case Studies

Skeleton Key

Skeleton Key is a technology consulting and custom software development firm based in St. Louis, MO, with additional satellite offices in Columbia, Joplin and Nixa, MO. Founded in 2004 by Mark Richman and Oliver Block, the company embraced the idea of financial transparency early on. But it wasn't until 2009, when they began implementing other elements of The Great Game of Business such as identifying critical numbers and creating accurate forecasting through the High Involvement Planning process, that the company became financially sustainable.

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Central States Manufacturing

In 1988, entrepreneur Carl Carpenter saw an opportunity to turn some used sheet metal rolling equipment into a small business based in Rogers, Arkansas that would sell metal building components. The business soon took off, and the company moved in 1990 to a larger facility in Lowell, AR. Not only has that facility grown exponentially, so, too, has the company as a whole as it now operates five facilities (in Lowell, AR; Michigan City, IN; Cedar Hill, TX; Jasper, AL; and Mount Airy, NC) and employs 400. On the strength of more than 2,000 post-frame, commercial, residential, and architectural customers across 26 states in the U.S., the company earned revenues of more than $250 million in 2011.

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Mears Floral Products, Inc

Mears Floral Products, Inc. (MFP) is a wholesale distributor of fresh flowers and greens, plants, interiors products, and floral supplies such as: glassware, baskets, silks, ribbon, dried materials, foam, preservatives, Christmas decor, and more. Founded more than 60 years ago, MFP, which is based in Springfield, MO, and has 28 employees, serves retailers in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma with its fleet of refrigerated trucks.

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Dorian Drake International

Dorian Drake International is an export management company that helps U.S. manufacturers in four product categories - automotive, food service, industrial and hardware – developing their international sales, distribution and in the building their brand. The company was originally founded as Dorian International in 1980 by Ed Dorian Sr. and later changed its name in 1996 based on the integration of British-owned Drake International – a company five-times its size – which is acquired in 1985. “It was like a minnow swallowing a whale,” says Ed Dorian Jr., the company’s CEO who joined his father at the company full-time in 1983. The company is celebrating its 10th year of playing The Great Game of Business in 2012.

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