Below you will find a wonderful testimonial from one of the amazing clients of John Adams, co-founder of The Project : Retail. We thank you for sharing, Jay Fillings!

When approaching the thought of using a precise monthly OTB budget I was skeptical 15 months ago.  I am a 32 year veteran buyer/seller who used plenty of data but always had the feeling OTB plans would restrict me from running my business aggressively or offensively.  I could not have been more incorrect and narrow minded.

My comments are made in general terms as I suspect most trained individuals with a proven database could advise someone like me.  On the other hand, I have not met anyone with a better work ethic or integrity of purpose than John Adams.  Dennis is not far behind.

1. Identify offensive classifications (buy) as well as defensive (sell) classifications and establish specific plans for each in windows of time small enough to have an influence on results

2. Improve cash flow by proper timing of deliveries

3. Improve all key metrics such as turnover, IMU, and gross margin return on investment by making specific changes in each class with regard to purchasing, merchandising and selling

4. None of the above can be accomplished without specific data and someone with the ability to interpret it.  John is an expert at reading statistics and interpreting the relationship between various numbers.  Dennis is too but perhaps not as quickly as John.

5. John and Dennis have the ability to reevaluate their suggestions based on our conversations monthly about the data.  Obviously some data needs a back story and these guys are able to rethink things on the spot and rework plans based on a moving target.

6. John is quite conversant in our Merchant Plus software platform from Smyth.  This makes an enormous difference in our ability to quickly look behind the data at the assortment level

7. Both John and Dennis are patient, friendly, courteous, accountable, concerned, professional, and extremely hard working.  Case in point on December 4th a full 9 days prior to our scheduled December meeting date I met with both on a Sunday night for 2 hours.  All I had to do was ask.  We had 20% of our month in 3 days and I emailed John.  He called within 20 minutes and scheduled us immediately for the next day AT MY CONVENIENCE.  He was genuinely happy to do this for our benefit.  This convinced me he is less like a consultant and more like a partner.

8. I like to think of John and Dennis as trainers or coaches.  Those of us remaining in this business wouldn’t be alive without some skill level.  Most of us work out regularly but by doing so with a trainer will clearly yield better results.  John and Dennis are my trainers.

9. Both have an appropriate sense of humor.  Reading stats all day is impossible without a few moments of laughter.

10. Real improvement.  I am a skeptic when it comes to consultants in the traditional sense.  These guys have guided us to new levels in all key metrics.  I could be the poster child for their marketing efforts.  I conservatively estimate an increase of $80,000.00 in gross margin dollars on 1.485 million in revenue as a result of their suggestions and their ability to communicate the steps for implementation.

My suggestion for anyone in the 800+ revenue bracket is to listen to these guys and allow them to help develop monthly plans of action.  I have become a believer and would never operate without the discipline a proper OTB plan offers.

 Thanks for your assistance as the entire Management One team seems to conduct themselves similarly.


Jay Fillings


Fillings Men’s & Women’s Clothing

Lancaster, PA 17603