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Petco Process Improvement

Case Study

Petco Health & Wellness Company

Retailer selling pet food, products, and services

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Integrated Marketing & Creative Services Projects Flow from Intake to Delivery


The Need

Petco Health and Wellness Company's Integrated Marketing Department faced a formidable challenge with an expansive array of hundreds of projects spanning web development, print materials, packaging, retail and new store launch initiatives, social media campaigns, photography, and trade shows. The complexity of managing these diverse projects led to an overwhelming number of meetings and emails, consuming a significant portion of the team's capacity and creating a pervasive struggle to meet project deadlines and maintain effective communication. The team members were forced to work long hours under considerable stress, and it was evident that a solution was urgently needed.

The Action

To address these challenges, a proactive approach was taken to streamline and organize the flow of projects within the department. For individual project management, an updated, automated Smartsheet timeline system was introduced, tracking 200-300 interconnected steps and multiple delivery deadlines. This system effectively flagged at-risk items, deadlines at risk or late, and automatically sent daily reports to project owners, including project comments, updates, and identified risks.

In parallel, I developed a custom-built Smartsheet Program Tracker, featuring a main program sheet containing all projects and receiving all new intakes, that funneled relevant information to 45 smaller sheets tailored for different departments, directors, and creative services. Each department and main stakeholder had access only to the information relevant to their department, facilitating all project communication, milestone dates, approvals, and project acceptance or rejections by the individual departments.

Extensive training sessions were conducted for department heads and stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition to the new program tracker and capacity model, with ongoing support and continuous improvements as the system was launched.

The Results

The results were transformative. After successful training and implementation, the new program tracker and capacity model brought much-needed order and organization to a program consisting of over 600 ongoing projects. Real-time visibility into all project information, including business and marketing briefs, and each department's acceptance or rejection of projects, significantly reduced confusion, questions, and the need for daily meetings and emails. This freed up a substantial amount of time for the team to focus on production and project delivery.

Furthermore, the program tracker offered a capacity tracking feature, allowing individual departments to forecast their capacity for the remainder of the year based on project intakes and deadlines. This capacity planning helped in deciding which projects should be prioritized as "Above the Line" and which as "Below the Line." The program tracker also featured a series of dashboards providing a high-level overview of the Integrated Marketing Program, including project progress, risk alerts, new project intakes, and workload distribution across marketing departments.

This custom-built Smartsheet system evolved into the backbone of the department's project management process, encompassing projects of varying scales and preserving a historical record for retrospectives and lessons learned. As a result, the efficiency of project delivery significantly improved, fostering enhanced team cooperation, project organization, and capacity planning. Petco Health and Wellness Company's Integrated Marketing Department successfully transformed its operations, optimizing productivity and achieving a more structured and efficient workflow.


"Chris is knowledgeable, articulate and a pleasure to work with. He has a well-rounded skillset with agency experience and expertise in process improvement, and project management. He's highly collaborative and solutions-oriented. Chris is dependable and takes pride in his work, ensuring projects and process changes are well executed above and beyond expectations. He builds a great rapport with team members and clients and is always willing to help where he can. He would be an incredible addition to any team."

Michelle Bentley, Sr. Manager, Marketing Operations
& Project Management Leader

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