“Over one hundred and fifty years ago, in 1846, two natives of New England took the first step toward establishing an industry that has since become of national importance. Baking soda, which is a trade name for bicarbonate of soda, is now found in practically every kitchen throughout the country and is regarded a necessity by millions of Americans. It was first prepared for commercial distribution by two early New Englanders, John Dwight of Massachusetts and his brother-in-law, Dr. Austin Church of Connecticut. Today the use of bicarbonate of soda is no longer confined to the kitchen. It is used throughout the house, in every phase of housekeeping and personal hygiene. ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda, which was first prepared in a New England village, now is used the world over.”
Church & Dwight Co., Inc., founded in 1846, is the world’s leading producer of sodium bicarbonate, popularly known as baking soda, a natural product which cleans, deodorizes leavens and buffers. The Company’s Arm & Hammer brand is one of the nation’s most trusted trademarks for numerous consumer and specialty products developed from the base of bicarbonate.
Church & Dwight consumer products can be broken into four categories: deodorizing and household cleaning, laundry, personal care and international. Over half of their domestic products are sold under the Arm & Hammer brand name which includes toothpaste, laundry detergent, and pet products.
Church and Dwight are the world’s largest producer of Sodium Bicarbonate, Church & Dwight exports sodium bicarbonate throughout the world from multiple plants in the United States and Brazil. Their subsidiary in Brazil also manufactures various inorganic chemicals, such as sodium sulfide, sodium sulfite, sodium metabisulfite, barium carbonate, barium sulfate and barium chloride.
An external scan of their environment showed that one opportunity available for their company is to expand into the international market. Some of the threats that were seen were competition/imitation, depending too heavily on the Arm & Hammer brand name, and expanding their product lines too far.
An internal scan showed a number of strengths and weaknesses. Some of their strengths include being a well established company, the wide variety of markets they are involved in, brand recognition, financial stability, experienced top management, and acquisition of competing firms such as Carter-Wallace, Inc and Kelso & Company. Weaknesses were that they are competing in a crowded market with established competition, they have had limited success in the international market, and that customers have a preconceived brand image of Arm & Hammer.
“At Church & Dwight, we surround ourselves with professionals who are motivated by a desire to make an impact in a fast-paced and challenging corporate climate. We are resourceful and creative problem-solvers who relish the opportunity to take decisive action to drive our continuing corporate growth. We prefer our dynamic work environment over a highly formalized and layered corporate structure, because we excel when provided with a healthy blend of independence, flexibility and responsibility.”
The secret behind meeting their objectives is that Church and Dwight recognize that their most valuable resource is their employees. They continue to a successful company because of the strengths found within product teams. Their teams work in synergy to identify key consumer insights, develop innovative products. They also encourage their employees to adhere to a company philosophy based on moral and ethical principles. Church & Dwight attracts and retains their employees by offering an action-oriented environment that values accomplishment. The company also offers “competitive salaries, excellent health and wellness benefits, 401(k), profit sharing a generous vacation policy, and educational assistance.”
The key skills and behaviors that Church and Dwight run their company by are leadership, strategic thinking, creativity and innovation, external focus, collaboration and teamwork, communication, and functional mastery. The leadership skills consist of the “5 E’s”: energizing, entrepreneurial, edge, execution, and enable. Their approach to analytical and strategic thinking enables employees to identify and solve problems responsibly and remain competitive in their environment. Their focus on creativity and innovation allows them to generate new ideas and remain strategically focused. The external focus centers around consumers, customers, suppliers and competitors. This enables to look for opportunities to collaborate with outsiders and carry out their philosophy “Act Local, Think Global.”
Evaluation and Control:
Performance: For over 150 years, Church and Dwight has been a successful company that continues to grow.