Work Uniform Blog

Leadership Planning for Family-Owned Success

Mark Stedman - Wednesday August 28, 2019

Succession planning is a core part of any strong business strategy. For a family-owned business, it’s not just important – it’s central to the process of growing and sustaining a thriving company.

A recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that nearly 44% of family owned businesses consider succession planning a challenge they will face over the next five years, yet just 23% of these companies have a “…robust, documented succession plan in place.”

At Roscoe, succession planning is woven into our business strategy and plays a key role in the efforts by which we’ve been able to grow our business and provide our customers with consistently high-quality service.

Succession, after all, is about ensuring the continuity of leadership and values that drive success.

A Legacy of Leadership

Today Roscoe is thriving under a third generation of Buik family leadership, with a fourth generation moving forward on the same path. We work hard to uphold a family tradition of serving both our clients and our employees. Roscoe President Jim Buik, grandson of founder George Buik, is passionate on the subject of succession planning and dedicated to making this process at Roscoe as smooth and strategic as possible, as well as to sharing what he has learned with others in the industry.

Buik chairs the industry organization Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA),  and recently shared some of his thoughts and experiences in his monthly chairman’s message, where he noted the value of working with outside experts and learning from others who have gone through the process.  When Buik’s father Don was planning the future of Roscoe in the late 1990s, he sought the advice of the Chicago-based Family Business Consulting Group (FBCG), which still counsels the company today.

“For three years, my parents, siblings and I met with two consultants discussing the ground rules, governance and various options for the business,” Buik writes. “The meetings were often difficult and sometimes contentious, but my father wanted to see the business continue and he felt I was the one who would see that through. You learn so much from the experts in the field of family business consulting and from those of us who have shared experiences – positive and negative.”

Today, the company is grooming a next generation of Roscoe family leadership. Buik’s daughter Julia is a business analyst at Roscoe and his son Dan serves on the board of directors.

A Work Uniform Team that Takes Pride

At Roscoe, “family” is also a broader concept incorporated into the culture of the company, with a focus on leadership that  ensures that every employee is valued, respected and has a path for growth and success. It’s an approach that we see reflected in the commitment and tenure of our employees. Our route service representatives have an average tenure of over 13 years, while the industry average is 18 months. They genuinely take pride in the work they do and it shows.

Through strategic succession planning and expert advice from FBCG, Roscoe has been able to maintain the principles set forth by our founders. We have come a long way since George Buik founded the company in 1921, and our succession planning ensures that we can continue to grow and thrive into the next generation as well.

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