Best Managed Companies

Lamour Group: Canada's Best Managed Companies 2019

Meticulous measurement makes magic

Canada’s Best Managed Companies

During Canadian winters, warm clothing is a necessity. No one understands that better than Lamour Group, a family-owned company based in Montreal that has built a name for itself creating winter wear you’ll actually be excited to buy.

Lamour designs and creates a wide range of socks, performance wear and intimates—think structured leggings and thermal undershirts, perfect for avid hikers and busy urban dwellers alike. The company has been in business since 1953, slowly expanding its offerings while investing in distribution centres and research and development.

That helps to explain why a company that’s been around for decades is showing no signs of stagnating; earnings have grown by 7% over the past three years.

It’s all thanks to relentlessly efficient execution of strategy, according to CEO Martin Lieberman, who joined the company in 1983 at the request of his father, Aron Lieberman, a co-founder. (Martin is quick to point out that he views the success of Lamour as a family achievement—he counts brothers, sisters and cousins as his fellow employees.) “Before executing any plan, we establish which departments will be affected by the change. Then we meet with the managers of each department and evaluate how the implementation of a specific plan will impact it and the business as a whole,” he explains.

Both front-line and middle managers are able to exchange ideas and challenge each other to streamline workflows. Their vetted ideas then make their way to top management, where a decision is made.

Once execution begins, everything is monitored. And that doesn’t stop when the project wraps. “After an execution, we allow ourselves a three-month, six-month and 12-month evaluation on how well the plan worked,” says Lieberman. “We consult employees of each department and gather feedback. Then top management analyzes the feedback and makes adjustments to make sure the plan was financially and strategically successful.”

The result is an ongoing feedback loop, where a plan is never too far along to receive careful consideration and potential adjustments, and all 1,100 employees have a chance to raise their voice.

Recently, the company decided to implement new management software. It will be a carefully measured implementation: six months in, Lamour will begin testing the software, and at the 12-month mark it will be implemented in tandem with a company-wide survey to assess how employees feel about it. This meticulous process is the exact opposite of haphazard, which is, Lieberman says, entirely by design.

“Continuous communication between departments is key,” he explains. “If the feedback is not circling back to the top and bottom, we would never be able to improve our processes.”