Hall of Fame Richard M. Schulze
After a period of nationwide expansion, Best Buy's next major challenge came during the 1995 holiday selling season, when Best Buy's inventory management system, while adequate for moving consumer electronics, failed miserably when it came to handling the retailer's fast-turning computer business.
"We weren't able to move computer inventory fast enough," Schulze said. Compounding the situation, Intel announced it would introduce a new CPU in January, prompting consumers to delay purchases. During fiscal 1996, the company lost most of its earnings to losses in its computer sales.
On the rebound, the company sought outside help, hiring Anderson Consulting, now Accenture, to study Best Buy's weaknesses and suggest improvements. With Anderson's assistance, Best Buy began to "buckle up and re-engineer" its internal systems to handle the separate product cycles of its four distinct businesses: home office, consumer electronics, major appliances and the music/software business. This process continues today, as a part of the company's "process to profits" strategy.