IIBMS MMS CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS – Finance Management – In the Purchase Decision, what are the cash flow impacts of the Bank Loan (Please focus on the after tax cash flows.)

Finance Management – In the Purchase Decision, what are the cash flow impacts of the Bank Loan (Please focus on the after tax cash flows.)
Finance Management – In the Purchase Decision, what are the cash flow impacts of the Bank Loan (Please focus on the after tax cash flows.)

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Finance Management

Note: Solve any 4 Case Studies:
Case 1:
Lewis Securities Inc. has decided to acquire a new market data and quotation system for its Richmond home office. The system receives current market prices and other information from several on-line data services, then either displays the information on a screen or stores it for later retrieval by the firm’s brokers. The system also permits customers to call up current quotes on terminals in the lobby. The equipment costs $1,000,000, and, if it were purchased, Lewis could obtain a term loan for the full purchase price at a 10 percent interest rate. Although the equipment has a six-year useful life, it is classified as a special-purpose computer, so it falls into the MACRS 3-year class. If the system were purchased, a 4-year maintenance contract could be obtained at a cost of $20,000 per year, payable at the beginning of each year. The equipment would be sold after 4 years, and the best estimate of its residual value at that time is $200,000. However, since real-time display system technology is changing rapidly, the actual residual value is uncertain. As an alternative to the borrow-and-buy plan, the equipment manufacturer informed Lewis that Consolidated Leasing would be willing to write a 4-year guideline lease on the equipment, including maintenance, for payments of $260,000 at the beginning of each year. Lewis’s marginal federal-plus-state tax rate is 40 percent. You have been asked to analyze the lease-versus-purchase decision, and in the process to answer the following questions:
Questions:
  1. Who are the two parties to this potential lease transaction?
  1. How will these alternative decisions impact the company’s Capital Structure and its balance sheet?
  1. What discount rate should be used in this Net Present Value analysis? Why?
  2. In the Purchase Decision, what are the cash flow impacts of the Bank Loan? (Please focus on the after tax cash flows.)
Finance Management – In the Purchase Decision, what are the cash flow impacts of the Bank Loan (Please focus on the after tax cash flows.)

 

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MIB IIBM CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS – Finance Management – If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept

Finance Management – If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept
Finance Management – If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept

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Finance Management

Case 4: Choosing Between Projects in ABC Company
ABC Company, has three projects to choose from. The Finance Manager, the operations manager are discussing and they are not able to come to a proper decision. Then they are meeting a consultant to get proper advice. As a consultant, what advice you will give?
The cash flows are as follows. All amounts are in lakhs of Rupees.
Project 1:
Duration 5 Years
Beginning cash outflow = Rs. 100
Cash inflows (at the end of the year)
Yr. 1 – Rs 30; Yr. 2 – Rs 30; Yr. 3 – Rs 30; Yr.4 – 10; Yr.5 – 10
Project 2:
Duration 5 Years
Beginning Cash outflow Rs. 3763
Cash inflows (at the end of the year)
Yr. 1 – 200; Yr. 2 – 600; Yr. 3 – 1000; Yr. 4 – 1000; Yr. 5 – 2000.
Project 3:
Duration 15 Years
Beginning Cash Outflow – Rs. 100
Cash Inflows (at the end of the year)
Yrs. 1 to 10 – Rs. 20 (for 10 continuous years)
Yrs. 11 to 15 – Rs. 10 (For the next 5 years)
Question:
  1. If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept?
Finance Management – If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept

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IIBMS DMS CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS – Finance Management – Based on your analysis, should the company open the mine

Finance Management – Based on your analysis, should the company open the mine
Finance Management – Based on your analysis, should the company open the mine

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Finance Management

Case 3: Bullock Gold Mining
Seth Bullock, the owner of Bullock Gold Mining is evaluating a new gold mine in South Dakota. Dan Dority, the company’s geologist, has just finished his analysis of the mine site. He has estimated that the mine would be productive for eight years, after which the gold would be completely mined. Dan has taken an estimate of the gold deposits to Alma Garrett, the company’s financial officer. Alma has been asked by Seth perform an analysis of the new mine and present her recommendation on whether the company should open the new mine.
Alma has used the estimates provided by Dan to determine the revenues that could be expected from the mine. She has also projected the expense of opening the mine and the annual operating expenses. If the company opens the mine, it will cost $500 million today, and it will have a cash flow of $80 million nine years from today costs associated with closing the mine and reclaiming the area surrounding it. The expected cash flows each year from the mine are shown in the table. Bullock Mining has a 12 percent required return on all of its gold mines.
Year
Cash Flow
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
─$500,000,000
       60,000,000
       90,000,000
     170,000,000
     230,000,000
     205,000,000
     140,000,000
     110,000,000
       70,000,000
    ─80,000,000
Questions:
  1. Construct a spreadsheet to calculate the payback period, internal rate of return, modified internal rate of return, and net present value of the proposed mine.
  1. Based on your analysis, should the company open the mine?
Effective HR Training & Development Management – Which theory of motivation do use to motivate the bus crew why

 

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IIBMS MIB CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS – Finance Management – As a financial consultant, advise the proprietor whether he should go for the extension of credit facilities

As a financial consultant, advise the proprietor whether he should go for the extension of credit facilities.
As a financial consultant, advise the proprietor whether he should go for the extension of credit facilities.

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Finance Management

 
CASE : 2
M/S HI-TECH ELECTRONICS
 
M/s. Hi – tech Electronics, a consumer electronics outlet, was opened two years ago in Dwarka, New Delhi. Hard work and personal attention shown by the proprietor, Mr. Sony, has brought success.  However, because of insufficient funds to finance credit sales, the outlet accepted only cash and bank credit cards.  Mr. Sony is now considering a new policy of offering installment sales on terms of 25 per cent down payment and 25 per cent per month for three months as well as continuing to accept cash and bank credit cards.
       Mr. Sony feels this policy will boost sales by 50 percent.  All the increases in sales will  be credit sales.  But to follow through a new policy, he will need a bank loan at the rate of 12 percent.  The sales projections for this year without the new policy are given in Exhibit 1.
Exhibit 1 Sales Projections and Fixed costs
Month
Projected sales without instalment option
Projected sales with instalment option
January
Rs. 6,00,000
Rs. 9,00,000
February
      4,00,000
      6,00,000
March
      3,00,000
      4,50,000
April
     2,00,000
    3,00,000
May
     2,00,000
     3,00,000
June
     1,50,000
     2,25,000
July
     1,50,000
     2,25,000
August
     2,00,000
     3,00,000
September
     3,00,000
     4,50,000
October
     5,00,000
     7,50,000
November
     5,00,000
     15,00,000
December
     8,00,000
     12,00,000
Total Sales
   48,00,000
   72,00,000
Fixed cost
     2,40,000
     2,40,000
 
         He further expects 26.67 per cent of the sales to be cash, 40 per cent bank credit card sales on which a 2 per cent fee is paid, and 33.33 per cent on instalment sales.  Also, for short term seasonal requirements, the film takes loan from chit fund to which Mr. Sony subscribes @ 1.8 per cent per month.
       Their success has been due to their policy of selling at discount price.  The purchase per unit is 90 per cent of selling price.  The fixed costs are Rs. 20,000 per month.  The proprietor believes that the new policy will increase miscellaneous cost by Rs. 25,000.
       The business being cyclical in nature, the working capital finance is done on trade – off basis.  The proprietor feels that the new policy will lead to bad debts of 1 per cent.
(a)      As a financial consultant, advise the proprietor whether he should go for the extension of credit facilities.
(b)      Also prepare cash budget for one year of operation of the firm, ignoring interest.  The minimum desired cash balance & Rs. 30,000, which is also the amount the firm has on January 1.  Borrowings are possible which are made at the beginning of a month and repaid at the end when cash is available.

 

Finance Management – As a financial consultant, advise the proprietor whether he should go for the extension of credit facilities

 

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IIBMS MMS CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS – Finance Management – Analyse the financial viability of the two options. Which option would you recommend Why

Analyse the financial viability of the two options.  Which option would you recommend ?  Why
Analyse the financial viability of the two options.  Which option would you recommend ?  Why

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Finance Management

 
CASE : 5
ARQ LTD
 
ARQ Ltd is an Indian company based in Greater Noida, which manufactures packaging materials for food items.  The company maintains a present fleet of five fiat cars and two Contessa Classic cars for its chairman, general manager and five senior managers.  The book value of the seven cars is Rs. 20,00,000 and their market value is estimated at Rs. 15,00,000.  All the cars fall under the same block of depreciation @ 25 per cent.
       A German multinational company (MNC) BYR Ltd, has acquired ARQ Ltd in all cash deal.  The merged company called BYR India Ltd is proposing to expand the manufacturing capacity by four folds and the organization structure is reorganized from top to bottom.  The German MNC has the policy of providing transport facility to all senior executives (22) of the company because the manufacturing plant at Greater Noida was more than 10 kms outside Delhi where most of the executives were staying. 
Prices of the cars to be provided to the Executives have been as follows :
Manager (10)
Santro King
Rs.    3,75,000
DGM and GM (5)
Honda City
          6,75,000
Director (5)
Toyota Corolla
          9,25,000
Managing Director (1)
Sonata Gold
         13,50,000
Chairman (1)
Mercedes benz
         23,50,000
The company is evaluating two options for providing these cars to executives
Option 1 : The company will buy the cars and pay the executives fuel expenses, maintenance expenses, driver allowance and insurance (at the year – end).  In such case, the ownership of the car will lie with the company.  The details of the proposed allowances and expenditures to be paid are as follows :
  1. a) Fuel expense and maintenance Allowances per month
Particulars
Fuel expenses
Maintenance allowance
Manager
DGM and GM
Director
Managing Director
Chairman
Rs.    2,500
          5,000
          7,500
         12,000
         18,000
Rs.    1,000
          1,200
          1,800
          3,000
          4,000
  1. b) Driver Allowance : Rs. 4,000 per month (Only Chairman, Managing Director and Directors are eligible for driver allowance.)
  2. c) Insurance cost : 1 per cent of the cost of the car.
           
       The useful life for the cars is assumed to be five years after which they can be sold at 20 per cent salvage value.  All the cars fall under the same block of depreciation @ 25 per cent using written down method of depreciation.  The company will have to borrow to finance the purchase from a bank with interest at 14 per cent repayable in five annual equal instalments payable at the end of the year.
Option 2 : ORIX, The fleet management company has offered the 22 cars of the same make at lease for the period of five years.  The monthly lease rentals for the cars are as follows (assuming that the total of monthly lease rentals for the whole year are paid at the end of each year.
                  Santro Xing                                                  Rs.  9,125
                  Honda City                                                         16,325
                  Toyota Corolla                                                    27,175
                  Sonata Gold                                                         39,250
                  Mercedes Benz                                                    61,250
       Under this lease agreement the leasing company, ORIX will pay for the fuel, maintenance and driver expenses for all the cars.  The lessor will claim the depreciation on the cars and the lessee will claim the lease rentals against the taxable income.  BYR India Ltd will have to hire fulltime supervisor (at monthly salary of Rs. 15,000 per month) to manage the fleet of cars hired on  lease. The company will have to bear additional miscellaneous expense of Rs. 5,000 per month for providing him the PC, mobioe phone and so on.
       The company’s effective tax rate is 40 per cent and its cost of capital is 15 per cent.
          Analyse the financial viability of the two options.  Which option would you recommend ?  Why ?

 

Analyse the financial viability of the two options. Which option would you recommend Why

 

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IIBMS DMS CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS – Falcon International Limited is a well-known company for electrical and electronic products. It is the market leader for various electrical products and enjoys the second position for electronic products. The company has realized the 80 million strong middle-class market of India now wants world-class products and after-sales-services.

Falcon International Limited is a well-known company for electrical and electronic products. It is the market leader for various electrical products and enjoys the second position for electronic products.
Falcon International Limited is a well-known company for electrical and electronic products. It is the market leader for various electrical products and enjoys the second position for electronic products.

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Principles and Practice of Management

 
CASE NO – 4
 
Value Approach to Productivity
Falcon International Limited is a well-known company for electrical and electronic products. It is the market leader for various electrical products and enjoys the second position for electronic products. The company has realized the 80 million strong middle-class market of India now wants world-class products and after-sales-services. These customers are now ready to pay higher price for better product. On the other side, the lower middle-class customers have become very price-sensitive, with decreasing real income and increasing inflation.
            So far, this company has been selling ‘same quality products’ to all income groups of customers. But now, it has realized that ‘prduct differentiation’ if required, and ‘value for money’ on one side and ‘reasonable value for reasonable money’ on the other side are going to be the future ‘product strategies’ of the company.
            Product differentiation is to be effected very carefully, without disturbing ‘customer sentiments’. This requires suitable change in ‘employee skills’. If employees are ready to change their style of operations, the required change in ‘product design’ or ‘product quality’ can be achieved and the customers could be completely satisfied.
            Employees are to be exposed to ‘real market realities’ through live product demonstrations and effective workshops.  Careful study of ‘customers ideas on product value’ should be carried out. New designs, new contents, new utilities require new technology and new ideas. Ultimately, all this requires flexibility in productivity. Change in operations or style should not have a negative effect on productivity. If changed design or quality of product demands improvement in productivity, it should be achieved by the employees. The company should properly reward such an improvement.
            Falcon has appointed a committee to find out ways and means for redefining productivity, based on redefined ‘product value’.
Required
 
  1. Discuss the significance of timely change in ‘product value.’
  2. Discuss the significance of timely changes in’ productivity’ to suit the ‘change in product value.’
  3. How would you bring in such a change in the productivity.
Falcon International Limited is a well-known company for electrical and electronic products. It is the market leader for various electrical products and enjoys the second position for electronic products.

 

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IIBMS MMS CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS – Faced with intense competition, increasing expectations from customers, reduced product life cycles, and localized geographic markets, Whirlpool Corporation (a Fortune 500 manufacturer of appliances) realized that the need to achieve a competitive advantage from its sourcing and material efforts was greater than ever.

Faced with intense competition, increasing expectations from customers, reduced product life cycles, and localized geographic markets, Whirlpool Corporation
Faced with intense competition, increasing expectations from customers, reduced product life cycles, and localized geographic markets, Whirlpool Corporation

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Purchase Management

CASE 4
 
Faced with intense competition, increasing expectations from customers, reduced product life cycles, and localized geographic markets, Whirlpool Corporation (a Fortune 500 manufacturer of appliances) realized that the need to achieve a competitive advantage from its sourcing and material efforts was greater than ever.  Part of the strategy to achieve this advantage involved pursuing an alliance with a key steel supplier.  Steel is a major component used across all of the company’s finished products (such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and others).  The purchasing managers at Whirlpool faced a number of questions with regard to their purchasing strategy:
  • What do we need to do to be competitive?
  • Who is best suited to be the primary steel supplier?
  • What do we need to know, and how do we get the information required to answer this question, especially with regard to our organizational culture, technological roadmap, and where both organizations are moving in the long term?
  • How do we implement a strategic alliance?
  • How do we establish a strategic alliance in terms of confidentiality agreements, termination agreements, and negotiation strategies?
  • How do we provide the supplier with evaluations to ensure that this alliance continues, with regard to continuous performance, goal achievement, and commitment?
  • What do we do if we do not meet our objectives—change the situation or simply terminate the agreement?
Whirlpool realized it needed to reduce the number of steel suppliers it used and locate a supplier with a common desire to enter into a longer-term alliance.  Whirlpool’s organizational goals were to leverage the selected supplier’s technical capabilities through early supplier involvement, day-to-day redesign support, and process improvement.  At the same time, top executives realized that in order to obtain these benefits, it was important that the supplier partner perceive value in the relationship.
While all of this was occurring in 1984 at Whirlpool, the management team at Inland Steel was considering a different set of questions.  Four vice presidents of marketing at Inland Steel, an integrated steel producer located in the same geographic region as Whirlpool, were reviewing their market strategies and the recent changes that had occurred in their strategic alliances.  They had made the decision to reduce their customer base, and were forming a new management plan.  This was part of Inland’s Customer Relationship Management strategy, which entailed reducing their customer base in order to serve only their preferred customers that would yield the highest long-term profitability for the company.   This strategy was a direct result of Inland Steel’s total quality management program, which dictates that to delight the customer one must identify key markets and focus on those markets.  
A major component of this market strategy was to approach key customers with the idea of entering into long-term agreements.  In doing so, Inland Steel realized that the best opportunity for reducing costs was to become involved early in new product design with key customers.  However, to achieve this objective, the vice presidents realized that significant capital investment would be required to update Inland Steel’s facilities with state-of-the-art steel processing technology to align technologies with key customers.   In some cases, this involved some degree to risk, as aligning capital investments with specific key customers could “shut out” new business with other potential customers.    However, the management team reached a consensus that the only way to succeed in the current market structure was to reduce costs through early involvement in customer new product designs, and to back this up with capital investments in design capabilities and new facilities.
Meanwhile, Whirlpool executives were mulling over whether Inland Steel was the right supplier to form an alliance with.   Whirlpool Corporation had used Inland Steel as a supplier for several years, but had used many different steel suppliers during this period.   The strategy of forming a formal buyer-supplier partnership was a relatively new one.  As these two companies explored the idea, it became obvious that a complementary common strategic vision existed between the two companies, which could make such a partnership a reality.  This common vision was based on the fact that the Whirlpool Corporation needed to sustain a competitive advantage and support its direct customer relationships, while Inland needed to manage the transition inherent in a customer-focused market strategy.  Thus, Whirlpool Corporation sought to work with Inland Steel to realize reduced costs vis-à-vis the competition, and Inland sought to obtain a major share of Whirlpool’s steel contract.  While this initial concept seemed straightforward, it required almost seven years to make it a reality.
The vision was made a reality by first understanding that reducing cost did not simply mean lowering the price paid per ton of steel, but rather to take cost out of the business processes, which takes much more time.  Linkages throughout every step of the value chain, not just between purchasing and sales, had to be established (See Exhibit 1).  The end goal became to maximize profitability at both companies, while not relying on explicit formulas and equations formalized in contract form.  Along the way, the companies encountered a number of obstacles.  However, as the vice president of purchasing at Whirlpool Corporation described the process, “Neither of us let these problems get in the way of cost reduction efforts, which in the long run far exceeded the changes in market steel prices.”
Overcoming the obstacles in the relationship required a seamless organization and the elimination of levels of bureaucracy.  Functional personnel in each firm had to be able to communicate directly with their counterparts in the other firm, all the way to the chief executive office.  The underlying foundation of the relationship was challenged many times during the early years.  “The reason why this relationship works,” says the vice president of marketing at Inland Steel, “is that Whirlpool Corporation created an environment that allowed questions to be laid out on the table every time a new issue came up.”
A Roadmap to Trust
The following is a timeline of the development of the strategic relationship between Whirlpool Corporation and Inland Steel.  In 1984, Inland Steel began to share its market strategy and management vision with Whirlpool.  The sharing was unique because the supplier (Inland Steel) actually took the initiative when pursuing the strategic alliance.  By 1986, Whirlpool had reduced its supply-base from eleven steel suppliers to seven, and Inland had invested over $1 billion in new capital investment.  This investment was specifically designed for Whirlpool’s steel requirements in the appliance industry, which could not be used in their other major market, the automobile industry.  Inland Steel needed to be granted access to Whirlpool’s engineering personnel to identify the different ways that Whirlpool Corporation was using steel and convert these into process specifications.  At this point, Inland was given assurances that it would receive a larger volume of Whirlpool’s orders.  One of the most important of Whirlpool’s later actions was that the company actually did place the orders it said it would.
In 1988 and 1989, the alliance was reevaluated by Whirlpool Corporation, and Inland’s orders from Whirlpool increased by 30%.  Simultaneously, Inland began the first of their joint cost-reduction projects, which sought to eliminate cost from the business processes.  By 1990, Whirlpool had reduced its number of steel suppliers to four.  The companies held a joint leadership meeting to bring discussion of the alliance to top management’s attention and to formally develop a supplier council.  The companies also developed a long-range vision, which was deemed critical to the success of the partnership.
The alliance solidified in 1993.  By this time, Inland Steel had established resources at its technical center dedicated to the needs of Whirlpool.  In 1994, Whirlpool increased its orders to Inland Steel by another 15%, bringing the total to approximately 80% of Inland’s total steel requirements.  At this point, the two companies were sharing joint strategies, and Whirlpool’s organizational restructuring was developed around the Inland Steel relationship.  Purchasing management was actively involved in top-level strategic planning.  To date, the strategic relationship between Whirlpool and Inland Steel is in place and producing benefits that a traditional relationship could not have produced.
Issues and Concerns
In the process of developing greater trust between the two organizations, the companies had to address a number of issues directly.  First, different employee practices between the two companies often led to conflict.  This conflict was reduced in part by promoting greater cross-cultural interaction, such as having a purchasing manager work at the supplier’s plant, which helped to smooth over any differences in corporate culture that existed.  The sharing of cost data was also problematic, but this happened in segments so as to target specific cost drivers in different areas of the business process.  In the long run, by focusing on quality improvements and reject-rate reduction, hourly labor costs became almost a non-issue.  Even though Whirlpool had several CEOs during this period, the relationship between the companies remained intact because of the level of trust that had developed over time.  The relationship was no longer between people but rather between organizations.
Inland Steel was also concerned that a single-sourcing policy might cause it to lose touch with the market, and was concerned with confidentiality of information.  At the same time, Whirlpool was concerned about the technological risks of relying on only one supplier.  However, these concerns were ultimately dwarfed by the belief that both companies would be low-cost producers in the long-term because of the relationship.
 
Mechanisms to Support the Relationship
Executive management at both companies recommend that organizations considering pursuing partnerships need to think early on how they will deal with issues such as those just mentioned.  Although no single right answers exist, there are different approaches to these issues that must be tailored to the specific situation.  For example, significant organizational realignment was needed so that people could work specifically with their counterparts in the other firm.
The creation of a supplier council was also instrumental to the relationship.  This approach permitted the sharing of strategies and tactics so that each party became aware of each other’s activities.  Senior management discussion, both structured periodic meetings and informal spontaneous telephone conversations, also helped promote greater trust.  Quarterly performance reviews by Whirlpool were helpful to Inland for understanding how well they were meeting performance expectations.  Engineers from Inland were also co-located at Whirlpool’s product development center, which created many other informal avenues for communication.
Whirlpool has begun to apply the same “customer service” principles used by Inland to their own customer based.   Whirlpool’s CEO has redefined his company’s mission as a fabric-care of a food-preservation enterprise rather than as a washing-machine or refrigerator maker.   Whirlpool sales executives recognize that certain distribution channels make up the majority of their sales volumes – in this case, what they call the “Power Retailers”, such as Circuit City, Sears, and Electric Avenue.   These retailers demand 100% availability, and Whirlpool’s logistics managers meet this expectation.   A second set of customers, building contractors and government agents, purchase in smaller volumes, but also require higher levels of customer service.   Thus, they promise close to 95% availability for this group.   Finally, the “Discount Outlets” and “Mom and Pop” operations require 85% availability, as they purchase infrequently and in smaller volumes.   In effect, a different customer service standard is set for different customers, depending on their importance. 
The underlying outcome for both parties in this agreement is that the relationship became viewed as a covenant, which implies a greater commitment than a contract.  In the words of one Inland Steel executive, “A covenant implies a promise that is enduring and provides a way to manage expectations.  The single most important tenet of the relationship is the need to satisfy the end consumer who purchases the finished appliance.  By focusing on this covenant, the relationship should survive and prosper over the long term.”
Questions:
  1. Discuss what the following statement means: ‘It can take years for a buyer/seller partnership to begin delivering results.’
  1. Discuss the advantages of having point-to-point contact (Exhibit 1) between functional groups at different companies. Are there any disadvantages to this approach?
  1. What role does trust play in the relationship between Whirlpool Corporation and Inland Steel? Provide examples from the case that illustrate trust within this relationship.
  1. Why is it important to have a strategic fit between the companies involved in a buyer/seller alliance or partnership?
  1. When formulating its purchasing strategy, what other strategy alternatives besides an alliance with another company could Whirlpool Corporation have pursued?
EXHIBIT 1
Supply Chain Linkages Between Whirlpool Corporation and Inland Steel
Supplier                                                                                     Buyer
Manufacturing             <——————————>                 Manufacturing
Human resources        <——————————>                 Human resources
Accounting                   <——————————>                 Accounting
Engineering                  <——————————>                 Engineering
Sales/Marketing          <——————————>                 Purchasing

 

Faced with intense competition, increasing expectations from customers, reduced product life cycles, and localized geographic markets, Whirlpool Corporation

 

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IIBMS MIB CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS – Express your opinion about whether the structure is in line with the recruitments of the strategy that Synergos is implementing.

Express your opinion about whether the structure is in line with the recruitments of the strategy that Synergos is implementing.
Express your opinion about whether the structure is in line with the recruitments of the strategy that Synergos is implementing.

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Strategic Management

CASE 4:     THE STORY OF SYNERGOS UNFOLDS
Synergos is a young management and strategy consulting firm based at Mumbai. It was established in 1992 at a time when there were a lot of expectations among the industry people from the liberalisation policies that were started the previous year by the Government of India.
The consulting firm is an entrepreneurial venture started by Urmish Patel, a dynamic person who worked with a multinational consulting firm at the time. He left his comfortable position there to venture into the management consultancy industry. The motivation was to be ‘the master of his own destiny’ rather than being an employee working for others. Urmish comes from an upper middle-class Gujarati family, settled in a small town in Rajasthan. His father was a government servant who retired with a meagre pension. His mother is a housewife. His other siblings are all educated and well-settled in their respective careers and professions. Urmish is a creative individual, uncomfortable with the status-quo. During his student days at a college at Jaipur, he was continually coming up with bright ideas that some of his friends found to be preposterous. To him, however, these were perfectly achievable ideas. He studied biotechnology and then went to the US on a scholarship to do his Masters. After a semester at a well-known university there, he lost interest and switched to pursue an MBA. He liked it and soon settled down to work with an American consultancy firm and toured several countries on varied assignments during the seven years he worked there.
In 1992 came the urge to Urmish to chuck his job and be on his own. It was risky, yet an exciting step to take. His accumulated capital was limited—just enough to rent office space, buy a few computers and hire an assistant. There were no consultancy assignments for the first three months. But an acquaintance soon came to his aid, introducing him to the CFO of a major family business group who needed advice on a performance improvement project they wanted to launch. The opportunity came in handy though the returns were nothing to write home about. That project was the first step to
many more that came gradually. Synergos started gaining presence in the competitive management consultancy industry and attracting attention from the people whom they worked for. Word-of-mouth publicity led them from one project to another for the first three years till 1995. Synergos took up whatever came its way, delivering a cost-effective solution to its clients. A team of four had formed by now, each member of the team specialising in services rendered to the clients. For instance, one of the members is a specialist in engineering projects, while another has expertise finance. The third one is a service sector specialist, also having experience in dealing with government matters.
The phase of rapid growth started some time in 1995 when the Synergos team decided to focus on the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These were firms that realised they had problems needing specialist advice, but were apprehensive to approach the big firms on account of their limited outlay and inexperience of dealing with such firms. Synergos came to their aid by tailoring their services as near as possible to their needs. Another differentiation platform Synergos offered to its client was a fully-integrated consultancy service where it got involved right from the stage of planning down to its implementation and monitoring.
Presently, Synergos has grown to be a medium-sized consultancy firm, serving clients in India and abroad, working for industries ranging from auto components to financial services and for manufacturing organisations to service providers. Some-how, nearly half of the assignments it has worked on have been for mid-sized, upcoming, family-owned businesses, a niche it has served well. These organisations typically need a boutique sort of consultancy that can offer customised services dealing with a broad range of practices related to strategy, organisation design, mergers and acquisitions and operational matter such as logistics and supply-chain management. Synergos fits in with their requirements owing to its personalised service and reasonable commission structure.
The organisational structure at Synergos has a board at the top, consisting of seven people, including the four founding members and three independent directors. One of the independent directors is the chairman of the board. Urmish, as the founder CEO, also heads an executive management committee with each of the founding members, leading three other top-level committees dealing with business portfolio, service management and executive recruitment.
The management team is called the professional group. The rest of the employees are referred to as the staff. The professional group has young women and men who are graduates from some of the best institutions in India and abroad. They are assigned to taskforces based on their qualifications, experience and interests. The departmentation at Synergos is flexible, based on an interplay of the three categories: skill, service and specialty. For instance, a professional may have IT skills, may have worked to provide supply-chain management services and developed expertise in handling operational assignments for medium-sized food and beverage firms. There is a lot of multi-tasking however, to utilise the wide range of skills and special expertise that the professionals have. For administrative matters, the professionals are assigned to client-service departments of industry solutions, enterprise solutions and technology solutions. The flexibility that such an organisational arrangement affords seems to have been the major reason for the evolution of the organisation structure at Synergos over the years.
The staff group of employees consists of the support people who provide a variety of services to the professionals. Among these are research assistants, industry analysts, documentation experts and secretarial staff. There is no set pattern for assignment of staff to the administrative departments and generally, a need-based approach is followed, depending on the workload at a particular time.
Recruitment for professionals is stringent. Synergos typically looks for a good combination of education and experience and lays much emphasis on the compatibility of the prospective employee with the shared values. Creativity, broad range of professional interests, intellectual acumen, team-working and physical fitness to undertake demanding tasks and work for long hours are the criteria for hiring. There are not many training opportunities except the on-the-job learning. New professionals are assigned to a mentor for some time till they are ready to handle assignments autonomously. The staff members are usually recruited from fresh graduates, with good degrees from reputed institutions, in arts, sciences and commerce. The staff positions are also open for persons wanting to work on part-time or project-bases. Emphasis is given to the ability of the prospective staff to undertake multi-tasking and work with documentation and word processing and presentation software packages.
The compensation system consists of a base salary with commission and bonus depending on performance. There are other usual elements such as medical reimbursement, loan facility and gratuity and retirement benefits. the performance appraisal is informal, with at least one of the four founding members being part of the evaluation committee for a professional. Usually, the founding member closest to the work area of the employee is involved in determining the rewards to be given. The time-cycle for appraisal is one year. Management control is discreet and performance-based rather than behaviour-based. The means for control are informal, such as direct supervision.
Urmish is a strong proponent of the emergent strategy and is not in favour of tying Synergos to a fixed strategic posture. So are the other founder members, though at times they do talk about deciding on a niche such as SME organisations as clients and enterprise solutions as the core competence. In the highly fragmented consultancy industry where it is possible for even one person to set up an office in a commercial area and leverage connections to secure projects, Synergos is open to opportunities as they emerge, while trying to maintain the flexibility that has made it successful till now.
 
 
Questions:
 
  1. Identify the type of organisation structure being used at Synergos and explain how it works. What are the benefits of using this type of structure? What are the pitfalls?
  1. Express your opinion about whether the structure is in line with the recruitments of the strategy that Synergos is implementing.
  1. Based on the information related to the information, control and reward systems available in the case, examine whether these systems are appropriate for the type of strategy being implemented.
Express your opinion about whether the structure is in line with the recruitments of the strategy that Synergos is implementing.

 

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IIBMS DMS CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS – Every three months, millions of people in the UK receive a magazine from the country’s number one retailing company, Tesco. Nothing exceptional about the concept—almost all leading retailing companies across the world send out mailers/magazines to their customers.

Every three months, millions of people in the UK receive a magazine from the country’s number one retailing company, Tesco.
Every three months, millions of people in the UK receive a magazine from the country’s number one retailing company, Tesco.

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Marketing Management

 
CASE: 2       Tesco: the customer relationship management champion
Every three months, millions of people in the UK receive a magazine from the country’s number one retailing company, Tesco. Nothing exceptional about the concept—almost all leading retailing companies across the world send out mailers/magazines to their customers. these initiatives promote the store’s products, introduce promotional schemes and contain discount coupons. However, what sets Tesco apart from such run-of-the-mill initiatives is the fact that it has mass-customized these magazines.
Every magazine has a unique combination of articles, advertisements related to Tesco’s offerings and third-party advertisements. Tesco ensured that all its customers received magazines that contained material suited to their lifestyles. The company had worked out a mechanism for determining the advertisements and promotional coupons that would go in each of the over 150,000 variants of the magazine. This has been made possible by its would-renowned customer relationship management (CRM) strategy framework.
According to Tesco sources, the company’s CRM initiative was not limited to the loyalty card scheme; it was more of a company-wide philosophy. Industry observers felt that Tesco’s CRM initiatives enabled it to develop highly focused marketing strategies. Thanks to its CRM initiatives, the company became UK’s number one retailer in 1995, having struggled at number two behind rival Sainsbury’s for decades. In 2003, the company’s market share was 26.7 per cent, while Sainsbury’s market share was just 16.8 per cent.
CRM the Tesco way
Tesco’s efforts towards offering better services to its customers and meeting their needs can be traced back to the days when it positioned itself as a company that offered good-quality products at extremely competitive prices. Even its decision to offer premium-end merchandise and services in the 1970s was prompted by growing customer demand for the same (see Table 2.A for the company’s ‘core purpose’ and ‘values’, which highlight the importance placed on customer service).
The biggest customer service initiative (and the first focused CRM drive) came in the form of the loyalty card scheme that was launched in 1995. This initiative was partly inspired by the growing popularity of such schemes in other parts of the world and partly by Tesco’s belief that it would be able to serve its customers in a much better (and more profitable) manner
 
Table 2 A  Tesco: core purpose and values
CORE PURPOSE
Creating value for customers, to earn their lifetime loyalty
Values
 
  1. No one tries harder for customers:
understand customer better than anyone, be energetic, be innovative and be first for customers, use our strengths to deliver unbeatable value to our customers
look after our people so they can look after our customers
  1. Treat people how we like to be treated:
all retailers, there’s one team—the Tesco Team trust and respect each other strive to do our very best give support to each other and praise more than criticize ask more than tell and share knowledge so that it can be used enjoy work, celebrate success and learn from experience
by using such as scheme. Tesco knew that, at any of its outlets, the top 100 customers were worth as much as the bottom 4000 (in terms of sales). While the top 5 per cent of customers accounted for 20 per cent of sales, the bottom 25 per cent accounted for only 2 per cent. The company realized that by giving extra attention to the top customers (measured by the frequency of purchases and the amount spent) it stood to gain a great deal.
To ensure the programme’s success, it was essential that all Tesco employees understood the rationale for it as well as its importance. So, the company distributed over 140,000 educational videos about the programme to its staff at various stores. These videos explained why the initiative was being undertaken, what the company expected to gain from it, and why it was important for employees to participate whole-heartedly in it.
Table 2B:  Tesco: classifying customers
EXPENDITURE
SHOPPING FREQUENCY
Daily
Twice weekly
Weekly
Stop start
Now and then
Hardly ever
High Spend
PREMIUM
STANDARD
POTENTIAL
Medium Spend
STANDARD
POTENTIAL
UNCOMMITTED
Low Spend
POTENTIAL
UNCOMMITTED
FREQUENT
INFREQUENT
RARE
Impressed with the programme’s results over six months, the company had introduced the scheme in all its stores by February 1995. The stores captured every one of the over 8 million transactions made per week at Tesco stores in a database. All the transactions were linked to individual customer profiles and generated over 50 gigabytes of data every week. Dunnhumby used state-of-the-art data-mining techniques to manage and analyse the database. Initially, it took over a few weeks to analyse the vast amount  of data generated. To overcome this problem, Dunnhumby put in place new software that reduced this time to just a few days. As a result, it became possible to come up with useful and timely insights into customer behaviour  in a much faster way.
Table 2C:  How Tesco used the information generated by its Clubcards
Pricing
Discounts were offered on goods that were bought by highly price-conscious customers. While the company kept prices low on often-bought goods/staples, for less familiar lines it adopted a premium pricing policy.
Merchandising
The product portfolio was devised based on customer profiles and purchasing behaviour  records. Depending on the loyalty shown by customers towards a particular product, the substitute available for the same, and the seasonality, the product ranges were modified.
Promotion
Promotions were aimed at giving special (and more) rewards to loyal customers. Few promotions were targeted at the other customers.
Customer service
Extra attention was given to stocking those products that were bought by loyal customers.
Media effectiveness
The effectiveness of media campaigns could be evaluated easily by noticing changes in the buying patterns of those customers whom the said campaign was targeted at.
Customer acquisition
The launch of new ventures (such as TPF and Tesco.com) went smoothly since Tesco targeted the ‘right’ kinds of customers.
Market research
While conducting marketing research, Tesco was able to tap those customers that fitted accurately into the overall research plan.
Customer communication
It was possible to mass customize communication campaigns based on individual customer preferences and characteristics. Tesco began holding ‘customer evenings’ for interacting with customers, gathering more information, and gaining new customers through referrals
The analysis of the data collected enabled Tesco to accurately pinpoint the time when purchases were made, the amount the customer spent, and the kinds of products purchased. Based on the amount spent and the frequency of shopping, customers were classified into four broad categories: Premium, Standard, Potential and Uncommitted (see Table 2B). Further, profiles were created for all the customers on the basis of the types of products they purchased. Customers were categorized along dimensions such as Value, Convenience , Frozen, Healthy Eating, Fresh and Kids.
Tesco also identified over 5000 need segments based on the purchasing habits and behaviour patterns of its customers. Each of these segments could be targeted specifically with tailor-made campaigns and advertisements. The company also identified eight ‘primary life stage’ need segments based on the profiles of its customers. These segments included ‘single adults’, ‘pensioners’ and ‘urban professionals’, among others.
Using the information regarding customer classification, Tesco’s marketing department devised customized strategies for each category, Pricing, promotion and product-related decisions were taken after considering the preferences of customers. Also, customers received communication s that were tailored to their buying patterns. The data collected through its Clubcard loyalty card scheme allowed Tesco to modify its strategies on various fronts such as pricing, inventory management, shopping analysis, customer acquisition, new product launches, store management, online customer behaviour and media effectiveness (see Table 2C).
Tesco began giving many special privileges, such as valet parking and personal attention from the store manager, to its high-value customers. special cards were created for students and mothers, discounts were offered on select merchandise, and the financial service venture was included in the card scheme. The data generated were used innovatively (e.g. special attention given to expectant mothers in the form of personal shopping assistants, priority parking and various other facilities). The company also tied up with airline companies and began offering Frequent Flyer Miles to customers in return for the points on their Clubcards.
Reaping the benefits
Commenting on the way the data generated were used, sources at Dunnhumby said that the data allowed Tesco to target individual customers (the rifle-shot approach) instead of targeting them as a group (the carpet-bombing approach). Since the customers received coupons that matched their buying patterns, over 20 per cent of Tesco’s coupons were redeemed—as against the industry average of 0.5 per cent. The number of loyal customers has increased manifold since the loyalty card scheme was launched (see Figure 2A).
The quarterly magazine Tesco sent to its customers was customized based on the segments identified. Customers falling into different categories received magazines that were compiled specifically for them—the articles covered issues that interested them, and the advertisements and discount coupons were about those products/services that they were mostly likely to purchase. This customization attracted third-party advertisers, since it assured them that their products/services would be noticed by those very customers they planned to target. Naturally, Tesco recovered a large part of
Figure 2A:      Tesco increasing number of loyal customers
its investment in this exercise through revenues generated by outside advertisements.
The data collected through the cards helped the company enter the financial services business as well. The company carried out targeted research on the demographic data and zeroed in on those customers who were the most likely to opt for financial services. Due to the captive customer base and the cross-selling opportunity, the cost of acquiring customers for its financial services was 50 per cent less than it would be for a bank or financial services company.
Reportedly, the data generated by the Clubcard initiative played a major role in the way the online grocery retailing business was run. The data helped the company identify the areas in which customers were positively inclined towards online shopping. Accordingly, the areas in which online shopping was to be introduced were decided upon. Since the prospective customers were already favourably disposed, Tesco.com took off to a good start and soon emerged as one of the few profitable dotcom ventures worldwide. By 2003, the website was accessible to 95 per cent of the UK population and generated business of £ 15 million per week.
By sharing the data generated with manufacturers, Tesco was able to offer better services to its customers. It gave purchasing pattern information to manufacturers, but withheld the personal information provided by customers (such as names and addresses). The manufacturers used this information to modify their own product mixes and promotional strategies. In return for this information, they gave Tesco customers subsidies and incentives in the form of discount coupons.
The Clubcards also helped Tesco compete with other retailers. When Tesco found out that around 25 per cent of its customers who belonged to the high-income bracket were defecting to rival Marks & Spencer, it developed a totally new product range, ‘Tesco Finest’, to lure them back. This range was then promoted to affluent customers through personalized promotions. As planned, the defection of customers from this segment slowed down considerably.
In February 2003, Tesco launched a new initiative targeted at its female customers. Named ‘Me Time’, the new loyalty scheme offered ladies free sessions at leading health spas, luxury gyms and beauty saloons, and discounts  on designer clothes, perfumes, and cosmetics. This scheme was rather innovative since it allowed Tesco customers to redeem the points accumulated through their Clubcards at a large number of third-party outlets. Company official Crawford Davidson remarked, ‘Up until now, our customers have used Tesco Clubcard vouchers primarily to buy more shopping for the home. However, from now on, “Me Time” will give customers the options of spending the rewards on themselves.’
As a result of the above strategies, Tesco was able to increase returns even as it reduced promotions. Dunnhumby prepared a profit and loss statement for the activities of the marketing department to help assess the performance of the Clubcards initiative. Dunnhumby claimed that Tesco saved around £300 million every year through reduction in expenditure on promotions. The money saved thus was ploughed back into the business to offer more discounts to customers.
By the end  of the 1990s, over 10 million households in the UK owned around 14 million Tesco Clubcards. This explained why as high as 80 per cent of the company’s in-store transactions and 85 per cent of its revenues were accounted for by the cards. Thanks largely to this initiative, Tesco’s turnover went up by 52 per cent between 1995 and 2000, while floor space during the same period increased by only 15 per cent.
An invincible company? Not exactly…
Tesco’s customer base and the frequency with which each customer visited its stores had increased significantly over the years. However, according to reports, the average purchase per visit had not gone up as much as Tesco would have liked. Analysts said that this was not a very positive sign. They also said that, while it was true that Tesco was the market leader by a wide margin, it was also true Asda and Morrisons were growing rapidly.
Tesco’s growth was based largely on its loyalty card scheme. But in recent years, the very concept of loyalty cards has been criticized on various grounds. Some analysts claimed that the popularity of loyalty cards would decline in the future as all retailing companies would begin offering more or less similar schemes. Critics also commented that the name ‘loyalty card’ as a misnomer since customers were primarily interested in getting the best price for the goods and services they wanted to buy.
Research conducted by Black Sun, a company specializing in loyalty solutions, revealed that though over 50 per cent of UK’s adult population used loyalty cards, over 80 per cent of them said that they were bothered only about making cheaper purchases. Given the fact that many companies in the UK, such as HSBC, Egg and Barclaycard had withdrawn their loyalty cards, industry observers were skeptical of Tesco’s ability to continue reaping the benefits of its Clubcards scheme. Black Sun’s Director (Business Development) David Christopherson, said, ‘Most loyalty companies have a direct marketing background, which is results-driven, and focuses on the short term. This has led to a “points for prizes” loyalty model, which does not necessarily build the long-term foundations for a beneficial relationship with customers.’
Commenting on the philosophy behind Tesco’s CRM efforts, Edwina Dunn said, ‘Companies should be loyal to their customers—not the other way round.’ Taking into consideration the company’s strong performance since these efforts were undertaken, there would perhaps not be many who  would disagree with Edwina.
 
 
Questions:
  1. Analyse Tesco’s Clubcards scheme in depth and comment on the various customer segmentation models the company developed after studying the data gathered.
  1. How did Tesco use the information collected to modify its marketing strategies? What sort of benefits was the company able to derive as a result of such modifications?
  1. What measures did Tesco adopt to support the CRM initiatives on the operational and strategic front? Is it enough for a company to implement loyalty card schemes (and CRM tools in general) in isolation? Why?
Every three months, millions of people in the UK receive a magazine from the country’s number one retailing company, Tesco.

 

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IIBMS MIB CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS – Even though Absolute ads have been depicted in different media, the central theme of the campaign has remained unchanged (the bottle and the two-word slogan) over the years. In light of the above statement, do you think that the campaign will manage to hold sway or lose in impact in the near future? Give reasons to support your arguments.

Even though Absolute ads have been depicted in different media, the central theme of the campaign has remained unchanged (the bottle and the two-word slogan) over the years. In light of the above statement, do you think that the campaign will manage to hold sway or lose in impact in the near future? Give reasons to support your arguments.
Even though Absolute ads have been depicted in different media, the central theme of the campaign has remained unchanged (the bottle and the two-word slogan) over the years. In light of the above statement, do you think that the campaign will manage to hold sway or lose in impact in the near future? Give reasons to support your arguments.

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Marketing Management

 
CASE: 1    Absolute Vodka: creating advertising history
 
The Absolute advertising campaign was often regarded by advertising experts as one of the most brilliant, innovative, successful and long-running campaigns ever. The several prestigious awards that the campaign has won since its first ad was launched stand as testimony to this fact (See Table) for details of some of the awards).
Table:    A brief list of awards won by Absolut advertisements
Year
Award(s)
1989
The Kelly Grand Prize for the ad ‘Absolutla’
1990
Grand EFFIE Award for Absolut advertising campaign
1991
The Kelly Grand Prize for the ad ‘Absolut Glasnost’
1992
Award of Excellence’ for animation on the Internet by the communication Arts magazine
1993
Absolut Advertising Campaign introduced in the ‘Hall of Fame’ by the American Marketing Association
2000
Four Cresta Awards for international Advertising for the ads ‘Absolut Accessory’, ‘Absolut Auckland’, ‘Absolut Voyeur’ and ‘Absolut Space’ from Creative Standards International and the International Advertising Association
2002
Insight Award for Best online advertising
2003
EFFIE Gold Award for sustained success of the Absolut advertising campaign
 
 
 
‘Absolut adventure’: the making of a legend
In early 1979, Absolut vodka launched in the USA at the liquor trade convention held at Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans. Initially, the company concentrated its marketing efforts in and around New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston because these were the places where new trends were created, media attention was intense and the bar culture prevailed. V&S had sold around 25,000 cases of Absolut vodka when advertising agency TBWA took over its ad account in late 1979. Two at TBWA, Graham Turner and Geoff Hayes, were assigned the job of creating the ads for the ‘still not so popular Swedish vodka’. The duo began by getting familiar with the product’s  taste and conducting extensive research on different liquor ads of the previous 10 years. They found that most ads were pretentious and pompous, featuring people dressed in expensive attire and living lavish lifestyles with a small liquor bottle tucked in some corner. Moreover, none of the ads was targeted at people below 40.
After extensive research and effort, the admen came up with three different advertisement samples. The first featured a Russian soldier looking through a pair of binoculars with each lens reflecting the Absolut vodka bottle, accompanied by a slogan that read ‘Here’s something that Russians would really love to put behind bars.’ This ad was aimed at challenging the Russian vodka brand Stolichnaya. The second ad featured some of the favourite pastimes of Swedes, with a picture of the bottle; the slogan read ‘There’s nothing the Swedes enjoy more when it’s cold.’ The third ad featured only the Absolut vodka bottle with a halo over it, with a two-word slogan: ‘Absolut Perfection’ (a modified version of one of the ads created at NW Ayer). This ad was designed with the intention of humorously portraying as pure and natural.
The admen had come up with a dozen designs, which depicted the bottle in different ways accompanied by a two-word slogan. It was one of the simplest themes anyone associated with Absolute had created up until then. The ads featured the Absolut bottle, a description of the product and the two-word slogan with one word describing the theme and the other the brand name itself. In early 1980, V&S launched the first advertisement, ‘Absolut Perfection’, along these lines. Since then, the bottle has been retained as the centerpiece for every advertisement of Absolute vodka accompanied by a two-word slogan.
All Absolute ads were published in popular American newspapers and magazines like Newsweek, Time, New York, Los Angeles, New Yorker, New York Times, Interview and GQ. Carillon decided to continue using the same ad concept with a variety of themes. Experts felt that by using the same concept to depict various events, people or things, Absolut ads always gave people something to think about. Soon the ads had become a topic of interest among liquor consumers.
People began drinking Absolute not only because it was a new premium brand available on the market, but also to experience the image that its advertisement had created—that of simplicity and purity. Analysts credited the popularity of Absolute to its advertisements as they involved viewers in a creative process. Within three years, v Absolute vodka was being exported to 16 different markets worldwide as well as its home country, Sweden. In 1984, V&S exported six million litres of Absolute vodka. In the USA, sales were doubling every year (see the table).
Table    V&S: Income statements, 1997-2002 (SEK million)
Particulars/year
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
Net Sales
3223.6
3,446.9
4028.6
5711.5
6725.1
9092.8
Other operating revenues
(10.3)
32.3
43.2
104.3
175.3
149.6
Operating Expenses
(2449.8)
(2626.8)
(2924.9)
(4177.4)
(4741.2)
(6686.6)
Depreciation, amortization and write-downs
(105.7)
(130.7)
(85.6)
(235.0)
(394.9)
(519.2)
Non-recurring items
(17.0)
287.3
(143.3)
46.1
Operating Profit
640.8
1009.0
918.0
1449.5
1764.3
2036.6
Financial items, net
31.5
50.6
46.0
(16.2)
(292.6)
(167.6)
Profit before taxes
672.3
1059.6
964.0
1433.3
1471.7
1869.0
Taxes
(175.0)
(197.3)
(273.5)
(437.2)
(462.0)
(598.5)
Minority share
(0.4)
(0.8)
(0.3)
(61.9)
(0.5)
(5.7)
Net profit for the period
496.9
861.5
690.2
934.2
1009.2
1264.8
In 1985, Michel Roux, President of Carillon and in charge of US distribution, came up with the idea of getting Absolut bottle painted and using it as an ad. Initially, there was opposition to this idea as it was a departure from the central idea of having the bottle photographed. However, Roux went ahead and commissioned celebrated artist Andy Warhol to paint the bottle, marking the beginning of Absolut’s association with art. The painting attracted a lot of accolades and the celebrity association gave the brand a great deal of mileage.
Thereafter, several artists painted their own interpretations of the Absolut bottle. Analysts observed that painting an Absolut bottle had apparently become an issue of pride for many leading artists. Big names such as Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Stephen Sprouse, Edward Ruscha, Arman and Britto made their own interpretation of the Absolut bottle (see Table given below for details). The above exercise was not only in the form of painting, but also in sculpture, glasswork, photography, folk art, wood work, computer/digital art and many other media. As Absolut’s association with the world of art gave the brand a lot of media attention and publicity, the company began regularly publishing these art ads along with the regular ads. Analysts noted that what began as an advertising campaign to promote an unknown Swedish vodka brand had become a part of American culture.  
Table        Absolut’s association with art and fashion
Year 
Name
Description
ABSOLUT ART 
1990
Absolut Glasnost
This art collection featured paintings by 26 Russian artists including Alexander Kosolapov, Evgeny Mitta and Leonid Lamm.
 1993
Absolut Latino
This collection featured artwork contributed by 16 artists from South and Central America. This collection showcased the artist’s interpretations of the Absolut bottle in traditional and contemporary Latino themes depicting the relationship between reality and illusion. Some of the artist who contributed to this collection were: Alberto Icaza, Vik Muniz and Monica Castillo.
 1997
Absolut Expressions 
This collection featured art work contributed by 14 African and America artists. The artists (including Anita Philyaw, Maliaka Favorite and Frank Bowling among others) presented their interpretations of the bottle in traditional African art, early American folk art and in abstract imagery through mediums like canvas, quilts, and sculptures.
 1998-99
Absolut Originals
This included paintings contributed by 16 European artists including Damien Hirst, Maurizio Cattelan and Francesco Clemente. 
 2000
Absolut Ego (Paris) Absolut Exhibition (New York) Absolut Art
 Collections featured paintings contributed by famous artists like Damien Hirst and Nam June Paik.                                                                                                
 Absolut FASHION  
 1995
Absolut Newton                                                        
This campaign featured designer wear created by famous fashion designers John Galliano, Helmut Lang, Anna Molinari and Martine Sitbon. It was first featured as an eight-page insert in Vogue, a popular fashion magazine.
 1997
Absolut Versace 
This eight-page insert in Vogue featured designer wear created by Gianni Versace, the famous Italian designer. Gianni’s creations were modeled by famous models like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Mark Findley and Marcus Schenkenberg, and photographed by famous fashion photographer Herb Ritts.  
 1999
Absolut Tom Ford/ Absolut Gucci 
This campaign included designer collections created by Tom Ford (of Gucci) a famous American fashion designer. The campaign was shot at a discotheque in Paris and was included as an eight-page insert in Vogue.
 2000
Absolut Gaultier 
This campaign featured designs by Jean Paul Gaultier, inspired by Absolut and other Swedish legends. It was included as an eight-page insert in Vogue and other popular European fashion magazines. 
Roux now began toying with the idea of making ads that were ‘stylish, hip and audacious’. With this began Absolut’s association with the world of fashion. In 1988, Roux commissioned the famous American fashion designer David Cameron to design an advertisement for the bottle. Instead of featuring the Absolute bottle, Cameron designed a dress (with the Absolute Vodka name and the text printed on it) that was modelled by a famous model of the day, Rachel Williams (she ‘represented’ the bottle). This print ad, named ‘Absolute Cameron’, was launched in February 1988 and gained tremendous publicity. On the day of its publication, 5000 women reportedly called TBWA wanting to buy the dress shown in the ad.
This led to the next phase of Absolute’s advertising strategy, wherein the bottle began to be represented in new, innovative ways. By the mid-1990s TBWA ran several ads linked to fashion, like Absolute Fashion (eight pages of coverage in Vogue), Absolute Style and Absolute Menswear, in popular fashion magazines like Vogue, Elle and GQ (see Table for details).
As the themes for the advertisements became more complicated, the cost of producing them went up substantially. For instance, some of the Absolute Christmas ads cost more than US$1 million to produce. Thus, over the years, V&S continually increased its advertising budget. TBWA spent approximately US$25 million on Absolute ads in 1990, an increase from US$750,000 in 1981. In 1997, Absolute also became associated with The Ice Hotel (an entire hotel made from ice) in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden. An ‘Absolute Ice Bar’ was added to the Ice Hotel, where different kinds of drinks made from various Absolute brands were served in glasses also made of ice.
By the end of the 1990s, Absolute ads began targeting not only the sophisticated, upper-class consumers but also sports fans, professionals, artists, intellectuals and even those who could not comprehend subjects like art and literature. Clearly, V&S was now aiming at a broader set of customers as the ads were featured in almost all kinds of magazines: sports, entertainment, art and fashion, business, and so on. By now the company had launched more than 1000 Absolut ads all over the world.
‘Absolut continuity’: the brand marches strongly ahead
By 2ooo, Absolute advertisements were recognized the world over for their stylish, humorous and innovative attributes. As people began collecting the ads, analyst observed that the brand had become an advertising phenomenon. More importantly, sales of Absolute were increasing over the years. Apart from the USA, Absolute was now exported to Russia and many Asian and Latin America countries. The brand generated most of its sales in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Greece, Spain, Germany and Mexico. In 2002, total sales stood at 7.5 million cases, making it the world’s largest premium spirit brands.
In 2002, Absolute was presented with the international advertising industry’s most prestigious awards for its online advertising on its website, www. absolut.com, and the Absolutes fashion campaign. Advertising experts regarded the website as ‘a premier online brand and lifestyle destination’.
Commenting on the creativity that Absolute ads stood for, Richard W. Lewis, author of Absolutes book: The Absolute Vodka Advertising Story, says, ‘Readers enjoy a relationship with this advertising that they have with few other advertising campaigns, especially in the print media. They are challenged, entertained, tickled, inspired and maybe even befuddled as they try to figure out what is happening inside an Absolute ad.’
In January 2003, the company launched Absolut Vanilia. Unlike the previous variants, Absolut Vanilia was launched in a white bottle. The launch of the new flavour was not only supported by print advertisements, but also with radio and outdoor ad campaigns. These ads were launched in a phased manner, beginning with teaser ads in different magazines in April 2003 followed by interactive online ads. The online ads were featured on websites like Maxim.com, EntertainmentWeekly.com, style.com, and Wired.com. These ads were created specifically to suit the product tag-line ‘a different kind of vanilla’.
In October 2003, in line with its penchant for creativity/innovation, Absolut ventured into the world of music with the launch of the Absolut Three Tracks project. This campaign featured music created by different artists according to their interpretations of the Absolut bottle. Analysts felt that the Absolut Three Tracks project, had opened am entirely new chapter in brand communications, as it enabled users to ‘listen to the Absolut brand.’ Commenting on this, Michael Persson, Director, Market Communications, ASC, said, ‘For years, our consumers have seen interpretations of the brand by some of the world’s most prominent artists and designers. With this new project they will also be able to listen to the brand: this is the voice of Absolut’.
Advertising experts felt that even 25 years after its launch, the Absolut advertising campaign was still going strong, innovatively, without changing the central theme. Even while creating music for Absolut Three Tracks, the bottle was used as the central theme. Aril Brikha, one of the artists who created a music track for Absolut Three Track said, ‘I had scanned the shape into a computer program that turns a picture into a tone—a futuristic way of including a picture without letting the listener know. I find it quite similar to previous Absolut projects where the bottle has been hidden in a picture.’ Industry observers as well as customers agreed on one issue: whatever the mode of expression—be it art, photography, technology, fashion or music—Absolut had until now stood for ‘brilliance in advertising’. Said an analyst, ‘We are surprised each year by the creativity and innovation of the brand. It is successful because it is contemporary. There is no end to the campaign.’
Questions:
  1. Discuss the role advertising plays in increasing brand awareness and brand loyalty among consumers, especially for products that have very subtle differentiable attributes. In the above context, examine the impact Absolute advertisements had on its target audience. Do you think the advertisements fulfilled their purpose?
  1. ‘The Absolute advertising campaign is successful because it is contemporary.’ How did TBWA maintain the ‘freshness’ of the Absolute campaign? Discuss with respect to the brand’s association with different media: art, fashion, technology and music.
  1. Even though Absolute ads have been depicted in different media, the central theme of the campaign has remained unchanged (the bottle and the two-word slogan) over the years. In light of the above statement, do you think that the campaign will manage to hold sway or lose in impact in the near future? Give reasons to support your arguments.
Even though Absolute ads have been depicted in different media, the central theme of the campaign has remained unchanged (the bottle and the two-word slogan) over the years. In light of the above statement, do you think that the campaign will manage to hold sway or lose in impact in the near future? Give reasons to support your arguments.

 

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And for each service, each subject and each topic, we dedicate an expert writer who has knowledge in that specific field of study. Experience impeccable academic writing service like never before.
Our experts understand that the time of the customers is very precious. The professors of universities and colleges are very rigorous about the submission deadlines of projects or assignments. Hence, the key objective of our case study help service is to deliver the assignments to the customers even before the promised submission deadlines.
We keep the quality measures for all papers which mean we will provide best essays. Our editing services are also excellent. Before submitting any essays, we will check whether the papers writer well or not. The high standards of academic writing will exceed your expectations. With our quality service, we have satisfied more number of people across the world and also work with different universities in Australia, UK, USA, Dubai, Oman, etc.
IIBMS MBA CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS,
IIBMS MBA CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS,
IIBMS EMBA CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS,
IIBMS EMBA CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS,
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IIBMS DMS CASE STUDY SOLUTIONS,
IIBMS MMS CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS

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