Con Manufacturing Case Study- Capstone

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Business Finance


Use the default line spacing in Word (about 1.5, not double-spaced), 11 pt. type, standard margins, and headings, charts and graphs as appropriate.Include page numbers. The minimum number of pages for both 1a and 1b is 17.Do not retype the questions.

Remember, using another's words or ideas without attribution is plagiarism and could result in an F for the course.You must identify which ideas you used, with quotation marks or without, and put the source next to it--not at the end of the paper.

1a.REVIEW 7-8 pages

  • What is a SWOT analysis?Why is it important for a business to conduct a SWOT analysis?
  • Explain marketing mix.Describe each P in detail.
  • What are the four functions of management?Describe.
  • List and explain the three leadership styles.Offer examples of where each type of leadership might work best.
  • What are the six different entry modes a business can consider when entering the global market?Provide three advantages and three disadvantages for each mode.


  • Prepare a detailed SWOT analysis of Conn Manufacturing.Provide a minimum of five for each category and explain why you feel they are important.
  • Create a marketing mix for the proposed cattle fountain. As a separate step, identify the target market for the product.Make sure to provide enough detail so the marketing department doesn’t overlook key aspects in the successful launch of this product line addition.(However, you don’t need to repeat your SWOT analysis here.)Research the competition, and its pricing, promotion and distribution mix.
  • How would you rate Stan Conn as a businessman and CEO?Identify the important management functions Conn failed to adequately apply as his company grew.
  • What type of leadership style does he appear to be using?Is this appropriate?
  • What is the most logical entry mode for Conn Manufacturing to enter Argentina?Discuss the specific advantages and disadvantages that Conn Manufacturing will face based on the entry mode you selected.What trade restrictions might he encounter? The Case Study has been up loaded.

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Conn Manufacturing Company The point of view you will take is that of a management consultant, who has been brought in at Mr. Conn's request to provide advice on some business problems. Mr. Conn is president of Conn Manufacturing Company. He started out as a farmer, running a large cattle feeder operation. About 14 years ago, he invented a self-cleaning feed bunk for cattle. His invention eliminated the time-consuming job of cleaning feed bunks. He started making the new bunks one at a time in the workshop on his farm. After he made a bunk, he would load it into his pickup and call on cattle feeders, giving them a demonstration and a sales pitch. After he sold a unit, he would return to his shop and build another one, starting the cycle all over again. He was a one-man operation—he made and sold the product himself. Although sales were small in the beginning, his bunk caught on with customers, and in the third year of operation, he was experiencing frequent orders and steady growth. The increased orders made it necessary for Conn to hire a few people to help build the bunks. Business continued to increase and in a few years he had to buy a larger facility. About seven years ago, Conn expanded his operation still further with other agricultural products. Again he expanded the facilities and added more employees. The company continued to grow, and today employs about 100 people. The firm has a marketing department with a sales force, an engineering department, and a manufacturing section. The office section of the firm has an accounting and data processing department that handles all of the company finances and records. The company is a closed corporation. Mr. Conn holds 55 percent of the stock, and Mr. Lewis, president of the local bank, owns 20 percent. The remainder of the stock is held by long-term employees and business associates of Mr. Conn. Your meeting with Mr. Conn When you enter Mr. Conn's office, he greets you with "I'll get right to the point. I'm a busy man and I only have a few minutes to tell you what is on my mind. After that, you take it from there. I have investigated your background and find you are well-respected in the management consultant field. Therefore, I want you to look around the facilities and talk to my people. I want you to dig into things and fully analyze the situation. Don't be afraid to ask for anything. I'll expect a report from you when your work is finished. Now, here is the problem—actually it is a two-pronged problem.” "First," continues Mr. Conn, "from the time I started this business we experienced regular and steady growth until the last few years. For many years we exceeded the previous year by at least 30 to 35 percent. That's the way it was until a couple of years ago. Our sales began to taper off. Now we are at the same level as last year, just staying even. We must be doing something wrong because I know the market for more sales is there. We just aren't tapping into it. There are areas of the country we haven't even touched. "In addition, the research section in my engineering department hasn't added one single new product to our line for over a year. It seems that if I don't give them an idea, they don't come up with anything. Perhaps that's just as well for I'm not sure we could handle any more work in the shop. To do so would require more employees and equipment. Ironically, I can't justify putting in more work stations if we don't sell more product. It's a vicious circle. We seem to be spinning our wheels, not gaining any ground. I don't think our productivity per person is up to where it should be either. “There’s one new product I’ve been rolling around in my head. . . a cattle fountain. Since we have much of the engineering technology in place with the self-cleaning bunkers, this would be a good addition to our product line. This wasn’t engineering’s idea but mine, I pushed them to design a prototype of the fountain. With a few small design changes I think we could begin producing this product. “ With frustration in his voice he said, “Marketing has not moved on it. They need to develop a marketing plan for the cattle fountain. We also need a sales forecast so we know how many to produce. They don’t seem to know where to begin. I suppose it is because the marketing staff is more comfortable working with the marketing and sales of the current products.” Conn pauses for a moment and, with a note of frustration in his voice, says, "The thing that really upsets me is the fact I have worked my tail off for 14 years putting this business together and trying to keep it running. I haven't taken any time off to enjoy life. I have worked night and day, seven days a week. Now, at my age, I feel I deserve a vacation. I want to slow down and get in some fishing and do some traveling. The problem is I can't get away. There are always problems to handle and decisions to make. Nothing happens unless I am here to tell people what to do and how to do it. Sometimes I believe they can't think for themselves." At this point he is visibly disturbed and emphatically says, “You'd think my staff of managers would take the ball and run with it. I have four division vice-presidents. One over the office function, one in charge of engineering, one over manufacturing, and one directing the marketing and sales operation. The office operations VP has three managers under him. The engineering head has two managers reporting to him. The marketing and sales head has five district sales managers and an office staff. And the manufacturing operations vice president has five managers reporting to him. In addition, I have a personnel manager, a purchasing manager, and an inventory control manager. I've got all kinds of managers and I have to handle everything." Rising from his chair, Conn makes your mission clear. "So there you have it. Find out what is wrong. Get some answers. I want to know why no new products are being researched and developed. I want to know why everyone comes to me with simple little questions. I want to know why I personally have to settle disagreements. In other words, find out why no one seems to be able to act on their own. Finally, see what can be done to free me up so can take a few days off now and then." Conn continued, “I will expect a written report from you. I want you to include a summary of your observations and what you conclude from those observations. I want you to come up with specific recommendations on what should be done. In short, I want you to spell it out. I expect you to be clear so I don't have to call you for clarification on what the report says. I can't spend my time deciphering the report or run the risk of a misunderstanding. I want your report addressed to me personally. After I read the report I will want to meet with you to discuss implementing any changes you come up with." Mr. Conn concludes the meeting by saying, "I sent a memo to all of my vice presidents and managers informing them you would be here. I briefly explained what you would be doing. They are expecting you. Here is a list with all the names and titles of the management personnel. Gwen, the human resources manager, will show you around and introduce you to anyone you want to talk with. Now, I've got to get over to engineering and double-check a design one of the draftsmen is working on." With that, Conn leaves the office and you head for the human resources office. At the Human Resources Office, you find Gwen Parks, the manager, to be very open and cooperative. She not only responds candidly to your direct questions, she volunteers helpful information. She graduated from the university and has been with the company for seven years. Gwen tells you, "Mr. Conn is an entrepreneur. He was raised on a farm and had his own successful cattle-feeder operation before he started manufacturing his first self-cleaning bunk. He is an honest and very hard working man. But, he is fiercely independent. Quite frankly, he wants things his way and doesn't take kindly to people questioning his action or decisions. He has always taken great pride in his accomplishments and the growth of the firm. I think he feels, shall we say, indispensable. I think he is really bothered about the company not showing any growth these last couple of years." Gwen continues, "I joined the firm when Mr. Conn was expanding the operation. We had to hire a lot of new people. My job was to do the initial screening of applicants and refer the promising looking candidates to Mr. Conn for final approval or rejection. And, that is the way it still works—he makes the final hiring decisions. As a matter of fact, Mr. Conn insists upon putting his stamp of approval on almost everything in the company. "The problem is," Gwen went on, "Mr. Conn is so busy you can't get to him when needed. Then, things get delayed and that compounds the problem. I recently asked him if it would be all right for one of the operations managers and me to make the hiring decision when a person was needed for that department. Mr. Conn's response was, 'Gwen, you know I put a lot of faith and trust in you, but I want to make sure we get the right people. Don't want to get a bad apple, you know.’” At that point Jack Blevins, the manufacturing operations vice president, stops by Gwen's office and she introduces you to him. You and Jack leave the personnel office and walk out to the manufacturing floor. Jack Blevins started with Conn in the early days. Jack was the first employee Conn hired to help with the fabrication operation. Over the years Conn promoted Jack, and now he is in charge of all the manufacturing operations. Shortly after Jack’s promotion, two other men were hired to manage other departments, but both left the company after a couple years. Jack tells you, "Stan Conn is one heck of a guy. He is a roll-up-his-sleeves-and-let-me-at-it type. In the old days we worked side by side. We welded parts, drilled holes, and bolted the cleaner together. When we got a couple of units ready to market, he would load them onto the trailer behind his pickup and make sales calls and deliveries. We worked a lot of long and hard days back then. Busy as we were, we still found a little time once in a while to go fishing together. We don't get to do that anymore. Stan sure likes to fish. He is going to do himself in if he doesn't slow up." Jack continues his story, "I don't get to see much of Stan these days, that is, not to really talk with him. We do have a weekly manager's meeting with Stan. However, that session is pretty well limited to giving reports and getting Stan's approval or disapproval on all proposed purchases or new methods and procedures. Even the managers that report to me must attend the weekly meeting. Stan wants to hear directly from them on any issues that come up or to tell them something directly. Sometimes they find out things at the same time I do. The only other time I get to talk to Stan on the phone or to see him is when I need to get his advice or approval on something. And getting to him for that is tough. Seems like he is always tied up with someone in the middle of ironing out kinks of some kind. "Up until the time of the last big expansion, he would regularly come into the shop and spend time. He would visit with the employees. He'd inquire about their families and engage in small talk. He would offer them encouragement when they needed it and give them a pat on the back. That all started to change when we started adding more employees. Now, he makes his rounds like a whirlwind, checking this and checking that. If he finds something he doesn't like, he will call me later and tell me to straighten it up. Then he will call me again to see if I have taken care of it. When someone makes a mistake and Stan thinks he knows who made it, he will contact that person directly.” In conclusion Jack says, "The only time he comes out here now is when there is a problem he has heard about. Then he takes the bull by the horns and orders people around. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect and admiration for Stan. He is a sharp businessman and is competitive. But, he is spreading himself too thin. You know, he still occasionally goes out and makes calls with the salesmen? He claims he has to do that so he stays on top of what customers want.” At this point, you ask Jack to select a half dozen of his employees to meet with you in the break room for an informal discussion. You now find yourself with six employees from the manufacturing line. What you hear is a replay of what you have already heard from Gwen and Jack. The most senior employees of the group also tell you they noticed how Mr. Conn seemed to change as the operations expanded. You walk through the plant and office areas and make notes of the things you see, hear, and feel. You observe that both the manufacturing and the office areas are well laid out. Work areas are clean and spacious. The equipment is up-to-date and in good shape. All of the employees are busy, but you sense something you can't quite put your finger on. There is something missing. Is it a lack of enthusiasm? Motivation? You need to think this over. Next you head to the office of Don Engles, the head of engineering. He tells you his loyal staff has been working hard, and it’s true they find it easier to come up with product improvements rather than innovations. Don says, “I know Mr. Conn is focused on innovations, but with cattle feed being so high, customers may not be willing to spend money on new products. Mr. Conn has said there will be no raises until we have two new products ready to test, yet he keeps increasing demands as well as responsibilities. Moreover, I think our department is being unfairly blamed for problems beyond our control, such as the slow sales. Sometimes I’m feel I’m on shaky ground and powerless given the current state of affairs. Confidentially, if I got another job offer elsewhere, I’d seriously think about taking it.” As you walk out of Don’s office, you run into Tim Young, Don’s assistant in engineering, and ask to speak with him. Tim tells you that he’s been working on the new cattle fountain design. He says that Don Engles has decided it will be more efficient to outsource the production of several of the smaller parts of the fountain. He goes on, “Don has identified several parts that are somewhat specialized and difficult to manufacture without new equipment. He thinks we can’t do it ourselves, so he’s identified a supplier who can manufacture the parts—his brother-in-law’s company.” You want to ask Tim more questions, but just then Karen Black walks up and introduces herself. As you and Karen walk back to her office, she tells you she supervises five outside sales managers. She’s been with the company for about a year and is responsible for leading a virtual team in charge of three states. Karen explains her job by saying: “I communicate directly with the sales managers via telephone and email, as well as written reports, memos and faxes. When virtual team meetings are convened once a month, videoconferencing is used.” She goes on to tell you that after her first few virtual team meetings, she noticed that the managers seemed to be reticent about speaking up. Interestingly enough, when each manager communicated with her individually, primarily in telephone conversations, she or he tended to be very forthcoming and frank. “I think I have a good rapport with each of them,” Karen asserts, “however, getting the managers to work with one another as a virtual team has been a real challenge. At the last meeting, I tried to prompt some of the managers to raise issues relevant to the agenda that I knew was on their minds from my individual conversations with them. Surprisingly, the managers skillfully avoided informing their teammates about the heart of the issues in question.” Karen is clearly confused and troubled. “While I feel my other responsibilities are going well, I know that my sales team is not operating like a team at all, and no matter what I try, discussions in virtual team meetings are forced and generally unproductive.” Karen goes on to share another concern: a South American businessman has heard about Conn’s products and thinks they could sell well in Argentina. “International expansion is something Mr. Conn has talked about for years,” she says, “but I don’t know a whole lot about the South American market. I mean, I know there’s some risk, but aren’t cattle the same all over the world? And the Argentine businessman, well I don’t know how involved he wants to be. I know Mr. Conn is unhappy with the company’s current growth and I suspect he’s going to pursue this Argentine deal quite vigorously. That’s his personality—he decides he wants to do something and then he charges ahead with it. “ Your final stop is the human resources office. You ask Gwen to show you the firm's organizational chart. Upon studying the chart you see it is rather typical. The chart has the traditional pyramid appearance. The CEO, Mr. Conn, is at the top; human resources is a staff function which reports to the CEO; the four vice presidents, in line positions, report to the CEO; department managers report to the vice presidents; and the departments are sub-divided into sections, with each having its own supervisor. You note there are three levels of management below the CEO level. From what you have learned, you know this organizational chart is far from accurate. You say to yourself, "This is another one of those cases where what appears on paper is not a representative picture of reality." You thank Gwen for her help and cooperation and leave for your office to ponder the situation. Your plan is to fully analyze what you have learned and draw conclusions.
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Explanation & Answer




Business Strategy
Institution Affiliation



1 (A)
A business strategy is focused on the matters that affect the achievement of the set objectives by
any given entity. These are plans that organize the undertakings of a company, the place, and the time so
as to accomplish the set goals. Therefore, for any given organization to prosper, it has to consider carrying
out a SWOT analysis which facilitates its comprehension of the exterior as well as the interior
environment. These issues are then assessed in order to rectify or strengthen them for the main reaso n of
improving performance. An organization is also required to consider its leadership abilities, promotion
mix, as well as its ways of entry into a new market. This is to ensure that it is successful and the chances
of failure are reduced.
SWOT Analysis
A SWOT Analysis is a procedure that is utilized by the executive of an organization in order to
comprehend the strengths, risks, weaknesses, and openings of the business (Stańczyk-Hugiet, Lichtarski,
and Piórkowska, 2011). These are usually classified into the interior and exterior influences having
interior influences comprising of strengths and shortcomings while the exterior influences are comprised
of risks and openings in the market. This analysis is ordinarily carried out as a technique of the
organization to arrange for the annual undertakings of the company. It then requires the setting of
monetary and operational objectives for that year and tactics are created with the aim of accomplishing
these objectives.
The strengths of an organization tend to explain the aspects that make it better compared to its
rivals. These are the faithfulness of customers, exclusive technology, and the brand of the commodity or
service. Weaknesses are the aspects that limit the capacity of the enterprise from accomplish ing the set
objectives. These are hence the sections that need to be rectified and comprise of the unavailability of
capital, too much debt, unreliable supply, and poor delivery networks. Opportunities, on the other hand,
are the suitable openings that are available in the surroundings which could be utilized by the organization
to become better than its rivals. Some of them comprise of reduction of tariffs, a higher population in the
area, and high expenses of entry. Finally, the threats are the issues that have the capacity to injure the
organization. They comprise of high taxes, increased costs of resources, and growing competition.
A SWOT Analysis is usually essential since it facilitates the management with crucial
information about their organization as well as the surroundings. Therefore, they are able to identify the
shortcomings and find ways to rectify them. The strengths and openings in the market are utilized to



ensure the organization enhances its position compared to its rivals. The business strategy is then
formulated following the attainment of the information gotten from this analysis which ensures that the
chances of failure are reduced if not eliminated. The effectiveness of tactics that were generated following
this analysis could be measured by the next analysis. Therefore, it could be adjusted or eliminated. The
suitability of an organization in a particular environment is also determined hence facilitating decision
Marketing Mix
A marketing mix is the established undertakings that are utilized by firms with an aim of
endorsing their products. The 4Ps constitute a classic marketing mix comprising of Price, Place, Product,
and Promotion. Nevertheless, the modern times have called for the addition of more Ps which include,
Politics, Packaging, People, and Positioning. The first P is the Price and it is the worth for the commodity.
It usually relies on the production expense, aimed section, the market's capacity to reimburse, supply, as
well as the market (Aaker, 2011). There exists a number of pricing tactics whereby every one of them is
connected with an entire commercial plan. Pricing could also be applied as a technique for differentiation
with an intention of distinguishing and improving the perception of the commodity.
The next P is the Product and it is explained as the commodity being vended. This commodity is
expected to be of high quality in any business so as to ensure its sale. Poor quality of the commodity
would lead to low sales despite having the rest of the marketing combinations being undertaken with
precision. This is because customers tend to react positively with high-quality goods compared to the
substandard goods. The third P stands for Place and it focuses on the location of trade. Each industry
strives to entice the customers to purchase the commodities offered for sale through utilizing a suitable
delivery tactic. Actually, the position of a firm is very crucial in ensuring that sales are successful since it
is where the buyers are found.
The final P is Promotion and it entails every action carried out with the aim of making the
commodity popular amongst individuals and hence ensuring its sale. These would comprise of
publicizing, inducements, media reports, bonuses and prizes to the sale, customer systems, direct
publicizing, competitions, as well as rewards. All these actions make the commodity or service popular
among citizens since they tend to improve their reputation. The public then responds with buying the
commodity or continuing with their purchases hence increasing the output of a firm. Therefore, this
measure is essential for companies which intend to extend their operations over wide areas as the
customers are usually the main element that promotes or discourages the expansion of any enterprise.
Functions of Management



Management is a social procedure comprising of obligation for cost-effective and successful
planning and management of performance of a firm so as to accomplish the set objectives. It is hence an
active procedure that comprises of different components and actions. These undertakings are dissimilar
with operational processes such as advertising, economics, and acquisition. The first purpose of
management is planning and it is the fundamental action. It entails outlining a prospective undertaking
and determining the suitable steps to be adopted by the business in order to accomplish the established
objectives (Zumitzavan and Michie, 2015). It hence makes the executives decide the action to take, the
time in which it should be carried out, and the method of executing the action. Therefore, it connects the
business with the prospective time where it desires to be in future. Planning is essential as it facilitates
the suitable usage of capitals of the business and prevents misunderstanding, do ubts, threats, and wastes.
The next activity is organizing and it entails the gathering of physical, monetary, as well as
human capitals and creating a useful affiliation between them with the intention of accomplishing the
established objectives. To arrange an enterprise hence involves the provision of each relevant necessities
for its operation. These comprise of workers, equipment, funds, and materials. This procedure hence
encompasses the recognition of undertakings, categorization of the combination of undertakings,
allocation of roles, designation of ability and development of obligation, as well as organizing ability and
accountability relations. This procedure is hence crucial in facilitating precision while executing activities
that are meant to benefit the business. Activities are hence carried out at suitable times by the appropriate
individuals which promote accountability and correctness.
The third purpose is controlling and it entails the calculation of achievement which is then
compared to the principles and rectification of nonconformity to make sure that the set objectives are
accomplished. The aim of this undertaking is to make certain that each occurrence happens in obedience
with the principles. A well-organized control procedure facilitates the forecast of nonconformities early
enough prior to their occurrence (McGuire, 2014). Therefore, controlling is the procedure of determining
if good improvement that supports the accomplishment of the set objective is being achieved and
executing the suitable action to adjust the nonconformities. It is also the calculation and rectification of
the undertakings of assistants so as to ascertain that the aims of the firm are being achieved. Thus, it
entails the formation of average performance, calculation of real productivity, the contrast of real
productivity with the principles and determining nonconformities present, and adopting an undertaking
that would rectify the situation.
The final purpose is directing which is involved in the actuation of the techniques of the business
so as to facilitate effectiveness and the accomplishment of the set objectives. It is responsible for making
active the undertakings of individuals in the business since the other purposes of management are just



arrangements for executing the activities. This function is involved with the employees of a firm hence it
entails their regulation, guidance, inspiration, and encouragement to as to accomplish the established
objectives. Therefore, it comprises some components like supervision which entails the control of the
undertakings of assistants by their bosses, motivation involving the inspiration of workers to carry out
their duties with enthusiasm, leadership entailing the offering of guidance to the workers in order to have
a suitable outcome, and communication involving the transfer of information, knowledge, and view from
a singular individual to the other with the aim of increasing comprehension and reducing confusions.
Leadership styles
Leadership is an essential element in any organization and hence it should never be disregarded.
Therefore, one is supposed to adopt the method that is most appropriate to them and their followers in
order to facilitate effectiveness. A particular method of leadership is not suitable for a person merely
because it was appropriate for another person. This is because these methods differ with respect to a
character which affects the effectiveness of the leadership duty. There exist some major leadership
methods that are common in every business and they are part of the standard methods utilized by
commercial leaders in the country.
The first leadership method is laissez-faire which entails having leaders who never participate in
the functioning of the team. They rather let their teams make independent decisions, resolve their own
challenges, and set their aims (Iqbal, 2011). They have little or absolutely no influence on the groups they
are supposed to lead and making this method to be perceived as the lack of leadership. The purposes of
this kind of leadership are to have faith in the team members to come up with suitable decisions which are
going to enhance the performance of the team. The other purpose is to select individuals who possess high
expertise on the concerned issues that need to be dealt with in the company. The duties of the members of
a team led using this method comprise of observing themselves, resolving challenges on their own, and
creating effective outcomes. It is most suitable in situations where team members have high skills and do
not need excessive supervision. These comprise of permanent employees in reputable firms and in science
The other method is the democratic method whereby leaders are described to have come up with
decisions following the consultations of their members, they are usually involved with the members of the
team, they admire their followers in instances where they perform well, and they also criticize them when
they fail. These leaders hence give the members of the team options and encourage them throughout their
undertakings. It utilizes the democratic philosophies like comprehensiveness, self-r...

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