Steinway & Sons, also known as Steinway, is an American and German manufacturer of handmade pianos. German immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg founded it in 1853 in New York City. The company’s growth led to the opening of a factory and employee village in what is now Astoria, Queens in New York City, followed by a second factory in Hamburg, Germany, in 1880. Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg’s dedication was “To build the best piano possible”. He established at his company three basic principles: “Build to a standard, not a price”, “Make no compromise in quality”, and “Strive always to improve the instrument”.
To date, Steinway & Sons has been granted over 115 patents . Environmental and organizational changes in Steinway and Sons have been minimal. They are still an important part of the classical music culture. Steinway Artists are not paid to play a Steinway nor do they receive a free Steinway for personal use. Steinway Artists choose to perform on Steinway pianos. As of March 5, 2012, there are currently 135 All-Steinway Schools worldwide. On January 15, 2010, Steinway & Sons joins Twitter – @steinwayandsons .
On November 4th, 2010, Steinway & Sons unveiled something it had never built before – a full-featured digital Metronome App for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (Ibid). Steinway and Sons started LeanSigma training in March 2004. Improvements included more usable floor space, reductions in the cost of doing business in areas like energy consumption and optimizing materials to remain competitive. However, no changes are made that may cheapen a piano.
Steinway intends to continue and revisit events to make further improvements. A SWOT analysis would include the following elements: Strengths: cost advantage, innovation, loyal customers, market share leadership, strong management team, strong brand equity, supply chain, pricing, and reputation management. Weaknesses include: core/highest margin products are focused on old technology & designs, not keeping pace with competitors at bringing new technologies to the marketplace.
Opportunities include: acquisitions, emerging markets and expansion abroad, product and services expansion, and takeovers. Threats would include: competition, cheaper technology, economic slowdown, exchange rate fluctuations, lower cost competitors or imports, price wars, and product substitution . The diagnostic model used in Application 5.1, Steinway Strategic Orientation, was the correct model. Having researched and read many different articles about Steinway and Sons, the diagnosis seems accurate.
The company is passionate about its product, and its customers. They commit themselves to creating the best product they can. Even in the restoration department, the workers of this company give every piano and every customer the white glove treatment. Based on how Steinway fared during the recession, the conclusions drawn about the strategic orientation of Steinway in Application 5.1, Steinway Strategic Orientation, are correct. Steinway needs to clarify its mission and vision statements, so that their strategy is clear. Concerns from environmentalist about their apparent waste of natural resources need to be addressed.
Retention of skilled employees should be looked at, because if Steinway were to lose key team members, that would weaken the Steinway product. Each team member has been with the company for many years and is highly skilled in their jobs. References
160 Facts About Steinway and the Pianos They Build. (2013, March). Retrieved April 2013 , from Steinway Pianos: http://www.steinwaypianos.com/159-facts-about-steinway-and-the-pianos-they-build Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2009). Organization Development & Change (9 ed.). Mason, Ohio, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning. Hahm, S. (2009, September). Steinway and Sons Applying LeanSigma to the Art of Piano-Making. Retrieved April 2013, from TBMCS: http://www.tbmcg.com/cases/TBMCS_SteinwayandSons_ApplyingLeanSigmatoArt.pdf S, A. (2010, November). SWOT Analysis on Steinway & Sons. Retrieved April 2013, from Management Paradise: http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/principles-management-p-o-m/208589-swot-analysis-steinway-sons.html