I think it's about time that I give an update on my job!
For those of you who do not know, I was hired as the Operations Manager for Louis Vuitton at the Dallas Galleria in March 2011. It has been a pretty drastic change from any other company I have worked for, but I am really loving the brand and the potential for growth!
The first challenge was just understanding and embracing my new role as Operations Manager. If you weren't aware, I was a Store Manager in my previous job with Ann Taylor LOFT for about a year and a half... and there are a lot of perks that go along with being the store manager! You can make your own schedule, hire your own staff, develop your people to fit your management style, discipline your staff when you feel it's necessary, set your own standards, etc... The list goes on and on. Now, however, the authoritative hierarchy at the store in which I work is as follows:
A: Store Manager
B: Operations Manager & Leather Goods Manager
C: Shoe Manager
D: Accessories Manager
E: Client Relations Manager
F: Sales Staff
As you can see, I'm no longer the head honcho... And while there are many good things that come along with being in my current role, it is a tough transition.
Basically, my role as Ops Manager encompasses everything EXCEPT sales, hiring, coaching/talent development, product knowledge, and training. That leaves tasks such as preparing for the annual policy & procedure audit, executing full inventories semiannually, managing store budget, supplies, uniform orders, shrink, shipping, receiving, repairs, all things HR related, travel booking/expenses, sales audit reconciliation, housekeeping, contracting labor for any store issues (electrical, plumbing, carpet cleaning, fire extinguisher inspection, etc)... I could go on and on!! It's kind of broad, as you may have gathered. I think the hardest part for me, besides the loss of freedom to run things my own way, is not having numerical figures tracking my success. It used to make me feel really good when the store had a profitable month, or when I trained my staff on something new and I could see an immediate increase in sales... but as Ops Manager, there are very few ways to measure my success. I guess if we aren't receiving collection letters, the toilet isn't overflowing, and the lights are all working, it's a pretty operationally sound day! Haha!
Despite the transition, this is a great role for me because all of my previous managerial roles were sales and talent focused, so this forces me to learn all aspects of the job-- which makes me a much more well-rounded manager! :)
Beyond learning my role, I have been learning a LOT about the company by attending some very amazing training workshops in New York City and Miami! Talk about FABULOUS! I have NEVER worked for a company that invests so much time and money into training... It's unreal! And all trip expenses are put on my very own corporate AMEX (and of course paid by the company). It's pretty sweet to have a card that says "Louis Vuitton" under my name... Not gonna lie! Haha!
In addition to my amazing trainings, I have also traveled to Miami for a "Global Store" opening. (A global store is pretty much the biggest, highest level store in our company that carries all product categories.) The big store at the Bal Harbour shops in Miami closed and reopened in Aventura Mall as a global store! I was part of the crew who helped orchestrate the move of merchandise and supplies, and then helped get everything put away in it's proper place before the grand opening! It was such a wonderful and educational experience, and I got to meet a ton of corporate big-wigs! Bonus!
Ok well, I think that's all the news I have on the job front for now... But here are some super fab pictures from all of my LV adventures thus far... Enjoy!! :)