Edward Marshall Boehm, Inc. is a company that produces unique and high quality porcelain products mainly focusing on birds, flowers, and wildlife. The objective of the company is to raise awareness of Mr. Boehm’s artist talent, create appreciation and protection for threatened and vanishing species. Meanwhile, Mr. Boehm wants to build a business that could make them wealthy. There are two main problems facing by the company. First, the process of making these porcelain products is complicated and required elaborate technical skills, the company does not have enough skilled staffs and producing power to meet the demand from the market. Second, the company lacks of enough distribution channels to raise awareness of its brand and the uniqueness of its products. At the current stage, the company has three series of porcelain in its product lines, which are priced from $100 to over $20,000.
Each piece of porcelain sculpture requires a 52-step process. Some of products are sold out for years in advance, and it is difficult to anticipate which pieces might achieve this distinction. In addition, the company has only one distributor, Minton China, to distribute its products to some 175 retail outlets in the United States. The company can try to reduce costs by using other materials at a lower cost, developing a faster production process, but the bottom line is since the most competitive advantage of the company is the uniqueness and high quality of the product, the company should preserve its quality instead of using cheaper materials or faster production time that may violates the value of its products.
In order to continue the business in the long run, the company should adapt the following changes. First, the company should hire more staffs and train them to produce the products in order to increase production of lower priced products. Meanwhile, it should find more distributors to raise awareness of the company, and supply them only with the lower priced products. Second, the company can open its own local stores that provide medium and high price range products. In addition, as for the most valuable piece, the company should put it on auctions that mainly focus on customers like museums and private collectors.
Case 2 – Edward Marshall Boehm, Inc.
1. Analyze the firms goals and objectives
Goal: Make the world aware of Mr. Boehm’s artistic talent, to help world wildlife causes by creating appreciation and protection for threatened species, and to build a continuing business that could make them comfortably wealthy, perhaps millionaires. No one goal has grater precedence over the others. Strategic objective: The case does not tell a lot about strategic objectives that are specific and cover a well-defined time frame.
2. Analyze the external environment
The case does not talk a lot about the external environment, but it could be very useful for Boehm to make an analyze of the general environment (demographic, sociocultural, political/legal, technological, economic and global.). Also the competitive environment is very important. That kind of information will give them a better opportunity to make a good firm strategy.
3. Analyze the internal environment
What is adding value to the firm?: The company’s big knowledge about have to make porcelain that is very technical as well as artistic challenge to make.
4. Assess the firms intellectual assets
Human Capital: Edward Marshall Boehm is the man behind the porcelain. He has the knowledge to make it and the love to the nature which inspires him in his work. This and the special hard paste porcelain make the company unique and give the company a big competitive advantage. The company should be aware of not only having tacit knowledge where Edward Marshall Boehm have all the knowledge but instead share the knowledge in the company.
5. Analyze the business level strategy
Competitive strategy: The company follows the competitive strategy called focus (differentiation) because they sell to a particular segment only and not the whole industry. They are also selling a unique product.