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Case
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Reference no. 380-012-1
Authors: R C Parker (Hult Ashridge Executive Education); J P Marsden (Hult Ashridge Executive Education)
Published in: 1980

Abstract

The third generation of a family business concerned with the manufacture of cake decorations experienced three grave problems. It was widely split geographically, was seasonal and hence subject to cash flow difficulties, and was labour intensive and so threatened by low priced imports. The company approach, under the enthusiastic leadership of its chairman, was to take heed of current management thinking. A corporate plan was drawn up, from which emerged a number of actions aimed at improving productivity and launching new products. In particular, successful application of formal creativity techniques led to products that evened out the cash flow, and enabled 1979 to achieve excellent profitability. The teaching elements concern the ability of a small company, while under stress, not only to be sufficiently detached to examine and select appropriate management techniques, but to demonstrate their effectiveness within a period as short as two years.
Location:
Industry:
Size:
350 employees
Other setting(s):
1977-1979

About

Abstract

The third generation of a family business concerned with the manufacture of cake decorations experienced three grave problems. It was widely split geographically, was seasonal and hence subject to cash flow difficulties, and was labour intensive and so threatened by low priced imports. The company approach, under the enthusiastic leadership of its chairman, was to take heed of current management thinking. A corporate plan was drawn up, from which emerged a number of actions aimed at improving productivity and launching new products. In particular, successful application of formal creativity techniques led to products that evened out the cash flow, and enabled 1979 to achieve excellent profitability. The teaching elements concern the ability of a small company, while under stress, not only to be sufficiently detached to examine and select appropriate management techniques, but to demonstrate their effectiveness within a period as short as two years.

Settings

Location:
Industry:
Size:
350 employees
Other setting(s):
1977-1979

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