Judd Campbell has been helping companies grow since the dawn of his career.
Before coming to Batteries Plus, Campbell was an operations, performance analytics, and corporate management expert who helped grow and improve brands in the hospitality and quick-service restaurant industries. At Troon, he spearheaded day-to-day operations and led a team of thirty to deliver a world class guest experience. At Whataburger, he oversaw the opening of thirty to fifty businesses each year and directed efforts to improve processes and performance for each of them.
As he helped those brands grow, he saw an opportunity to evolve too.
“I knew that new store development was something I was really passionate about but there were components to it that I didn’t have much direct exposure to: real estate, construction, and franchising,” Campbell says. “I had proximity to those areas in my previous organization, but really wanted to get my hands around them more.”
That’s why the opportunity to work at Batteries Plus, a company that’s on its way to its fifth record-breaking year of growth and expansion, came at the perfect time. In 2022, the company was gearing up to open forty-four locations and needed a senior manager of store planning to facilitate the rapid growth. When Campbell stepped into the exciting role, he not only helped open a large portion of the new locations, but also worked on the Commercial First program, which allows new franchisees to start selling commercially before their brick-and-mortar store opens.
Campbell says his early days in the company were fast paced and was like “drinking from a firehose.”
“I didn’t have a chance to come in and take my time learning. It was kind of this moving train that I jumped onto,” says Campbell, who currently serves as director of new store development and real estate. “But it was probably the best way for me to learn because you had to just dive into the deep end and tread the waters.”
While Campbell was initially faced with a learning curve, it didn’t take long for him to help Batteries Plus continue along its path toward greater growth. As a leader who knows what it takes for a brand to penetrate into new markets while thriving in existing ones, he believes a successful balance comes out from cross-functional partnerships.
“A lot of times, organizations tend to work in siloes,” he explains. “Real estate and new store development focus on putting a building in the ground, operations gets the team trained and prepared to open the store, marketing works on the communication strategy, and etcetera. It’s important to break down those walls early on and to make sure teams are working together as a unit to get stores open strategically.”
He continues: “I often describe my team as a group of air traffic controllers. When you think about all the logistics that go into a new store opening, it’s as if you’ve got all these planes circling the airport. Whether it’s order management, IT, marketing, HR, training, or many others, we help make sure the planes are communicating with each other, land safely, and are prepared to take off to the next destination.”
The value Campbell places on communication is a testament to the kind of leader he is. He has a passion for people and leads with a simple philosophy: everything is on the table and all ideas are welcome.
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“Clear dialogue and honest communication are what I’ve found to be most effective when working with a team of outside vendors or contractors. We have weekly meetings with the vendors we work with where we monitor progress and manage expectations. Having that clear and transparent dialogue upfront allows us to manage timelines accordingly.”
“I consider myself innovative and am always looking for better ways to do things,” Campbell says. “I know I’m not always the smartest guy in the room and I surround myself with people who can express new ideas openly, think outside the box, and who want to be heard.”
His approach has given members of his team the ability to answer one of their most pressing industry wide problems—rising construction costs. They spent time developing unique site layouts to reduce rent and fixture requirements while optimizing new store inventory to bring down initial opening costs. Their work has become a standard for the way they are aiming to reduce such costs in the future.
Leaders who want to succeed in their fields should start by surrounding themselves with a strong team.
“Batteries Plus leadership has done a great job of that,” Campbell says. “It doesn’t matter what team in our organization you’re talking about. They’re all staffed with strong leaders and professionals who understand the mission we have to support franchisees and to grow the brand.”
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