2019 Pursuit of Prime Announced, Latakko. A Client Close-Up.

Adizes Client Close-Up: 2019 Pursuit of Prime Announced, Latakko

Jevgenijs Kopilkovs founded Latakko when he started importing car batteries to Riga, Latvia, 25 years ago. In 1997, Jevegenijs added tires to his product portfolio when he signed an agreement to distributePirelli tires.

Today, Latakko is the market leader in the Baltics offering more than 40 international brands of tires and sells more than 1,000,000 tyresa year. With 270 employees and more than 60 million Euros in revenues, Latakko opened the largest warehouse in the Baltic States in 2015 to support sales. This success has not come without its challenges. From 2015 to 2017, Latakko lost about 2.5 million euros. Also, the company was suffering from low levels of managerial engagement and high employee turnover. The staff, the creditors and the suppliers were all looking to Jevgenijs to solve the company’s problems.Feeling alone and overwhelmed, Jevgenijs turned to the Adizes Institute.

In August of 2017, Adizes Associates Greg Mathersand Vladimirs Kuzmins conducted a Symbergetic Organizational Diagnosis(Syndag™) with 25 of Latakko’s key managers. During this event, the company wasdiagnosed as being heavily embedded in the founder’s trap and, in addition tolosing money, had strained relationships and low levels of collaboration. Thismeant that immediate action was needed to arrest the negative profitability andto develop managers and processes to spread the burden of running the companybeyond Jevgenijs.

An Adizes program was deployed and early efforts went intooptimizing sales planning among purchasing, sales, and marketing and to buildefficiencies in logistics and warehousing. At the same time, the programfocused on building collaborative management skills and processes to involvemore people in decision making and to streamline the implementation of neededinitiatives. Jevgenijs saw almost immediate behavioral changes as his managersbegan to meet and solve problems on their own, where before they had alwayscome to him expecting answers.

In November of 2017, Latakko was ready for the next phasein its transformation program and Adizes Associate Mirko Music helped themanagement team define a mission action plan for the next three years. A fewmonths later the structure was redesigned around this new mission action planwith the help of Adizes Principle Associate, Zvezdan Horvat.

In this new structure, multiple profit centers werecreated; each assigned a manager with full profit and loss responsibility whocould be held accountable for building his or her business line. Supportcenters were put in place to provide services the profit centers needed tothrive with full quality and budgetary responsibilities.

The effects of these changes run based on the Adizesmethodology were impressive. In 2018, the company returned to profitabilitywith over 1 million euros in profits. In 2019 they are forecast to hit recordlevels of performance.

The company’s success has also been recognized in theLatvian business community. In 2018, they were named one of the Top50 mostdesirable employers in Latvia.
Jevgenijs Kopilkovs says:

“From the very beginning, CARE and ATTENTION have been the values, which Latakko is grounded on. When another two values TRUST and RESPECT accompanied, this has impacted the company a lot. People started to accept changes and challenges, be engaged, be open to new opportunities, looking forpotential improvements.

Transformation is the best what people can experience. Butto make this transformation working, a methodology is needed, and now we haveone. With a new organizational structure, mission action plan, black Book andBlue Bock is much easier to move forward.

I‘m happy that now we face a process of step-by-stepmaturation. People are “infected” by the virus of change. They are growingwithin the company, internal candidates apply to every vacancy we open, what wehaven’t experienced before. And we give an opportunity to our staff to grow,even if they are not yet fully mature for a position, but we see thewillingness to develop, see the potential.

All this has helped me to change. I’ve been full of ideasand changes through 25 years, though very often it was a big headache to mycolleagues. Now, I first of all, try the methodology on myself, and I see theresults – I’ve become more calm and happier, and these changes have reached myclosest people, too.”
Currently, Adizes is helping Latakko redesign its reward systems, streamlineinformation flow and build greater accountability for results while in-companyAdizes integrators, Lena Ovsjannikova, Marija Ročane, and Yulia Sorokivskayatake over leadership of the continuous improvement module of the Adizesprogram.

Latakko will receive the Pursuit of Prime Award inrecognition of its dedication to the Pursuit of Prime on January 13th duringthe 44th Adizes International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand.

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