The Grommet: Managing Operations at a Fast-Paced Start-Up
The case focuses on a start-up, The Grommet, which views itself as an intermediary between small and independent makers of high-quality products, and sophisticated buyers that value the uniqueness of the products. The Grommet, initially called Daily Grommet but renamed in 2011, was founded to create a more equitable link between product creators and product consumers. The founders trademarked the term Citizen Commerce as the manifestation of this equitable foundation for merchandising. The two co-founders, Jules Pieri and Joanne Domeniconi, have been serving as the company's CEO and Chief Discovery Officer, respectively. The company grew steadily but slowly during its first years. The case's main protagonist is Ray Hallare, who finds himself responsible for ordering decisions for the upcoming December holiday selling season. As preparation, students are asked to develop an ordering and inventory strategy for Ray. The discussion in class then commences as an inventory case, and successively expands to a broader and broader view of the business model itself, and the challenges and opportunities that growth creates for this start-up.