Business / Azalea Seafood
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Autor: anton 03 December 2010
Words: 979 | Pages: 4
The Azalea Seafood Gumbo Shoppe
Azalea Seafood Gumbo Shoppe wishes to develop a strategic plan to maintain long-term growth and sustain a competitive advantage. For Azalea to accomplish this, they will need to consider the options presented here. Included is an analysis of Azaleaâ€™s problems and issues to address, along with recommendations to grow the business. The recommendations are based on the status of the current market and forces that drive the industry.
Azalea has a great product that will perform very well in the market. Marketing and sales are areas that will also need improvement. Management is very capable and should easily be able to adjust to competition in the market. A great deal of opportunity lies ahead in the many unfulfilled niches to be filled and explored. Azalea will need to expand and diversify its customer base. This can easily be accomplished by focusing on marketing and sales efforts. The company needs to concentrate on, not only providing a quality product, but also creating a well-known and trusted name. Azalea can easily become a household name!
Currently Azaleaâ€™s average ROA is at 68%. As compared with industry norms this is wonderful. However, debt for the company is at 87% and needs to be much less. This too can be corrected with time and effort. The quick ratio is at 1 and short-term credit remains safe. Cash flow will also need to be improved by implementing a gradual price increase and initiating key retail locations.
Azalea has not been able to attract business due to the state of their facility, which must be updated to allow for growth. A major roadblock that must be addressed is the fact that the company has not been able to meet FDA or USDA standards. This must take priority and be resolved as quickly as possible. This is crucial to creating a trusted name in the market place.
Production and distribution issues will also be addressed. Many production issues will be corrected as the facility is updated. Distribution is less of an immediate problem and future growth will resolve many of these concerns.
In the end, the owners must agree and commit to a plan. If the owners stand firm with their decision and remain flexible and dedicated to the plan, success is imminent.
Problems and Issues
â€¢ Antiquated quality control techniques and processes â€“ Unable to meet FDA and USDA standards. HACCP processes and inspections are incomplete.
â€¢ The current facility will not support growth and is not state-of-the-art. It is not customer friendly.
â€¢ Azaleaâ€™s customer base and distribution is limited.
â€¢ Cash flow and debt issues inadequate.
â€¢ Sales and marketing initiatives must be implemented.
â€¢ More control of product placement is necessary.
â€¢ Negotiation power with value-added seafood producers needs to be strengthened.
The owners must first commit to becoming FDA and USDA approved. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) process must also be in place for monitoring and inspection. This process should be easily accessible and transparent. Customers must be able to trust quality control and be confident they are purchasing a superior product.
Azaleaâ€™s current facility will not support growth and must be brought up to required specifications. It must appear attractive and appealing to customers. This is worth the initial investment and will be the largest expenditure. This facility should be state-of-the-art with up to date equipment. The improved efficiency will add to the bottom line of the company. It will allow inspectors and customers easy access. This will also allow for increased capacity and diversity.
Azaleaâ€™s current customer base needs to be diversified and revenues increased. Currently this company relies too heavily on one customer. If something was to happen to Wal-Mart (and you never know), it would be devastating to Azalea. This will be at least partially corrected naturally through company growth. As the company grows, negotiation power of the company will increase and allow opportunities with value-added seafood producers to be realized. These issues will also be addressed through marketing and sales efforts.
Management will also need to develop a Sales and Marketing Department to handle on going market analysis and sales. Hire a marketing manager and a sales manager. The company must remain aware of changing market conditions and work to be more proactive and flexible. Through marketing and sales efforts, Azalea will be able to address customer base growth, expansion of distribution, and financial issues. They will also be able to maintain greater control over product placement. Competition for Azalea is moderate and also easily addressed through growth of the product and name/reputation. Currently there are few gumbo products on the market that hold the reputation of this product.
Marketing managers should focus on nutritional value and hand-made quality of the product as well. The customer is aging (baby boomers) and more weight conscious. This very tasty gumbo is not high in calories and the company should capitalize on the nutritional pluses of the product. Be certain the company is in line with the Food and Nutritional Labeling Act of 1990.
Management will need to implement a gradual price increase. Begin with a 2% price increase to ease immediate financial stress. The cash flow, revenue, and debt issue can be resolved most quickly by adding retail sales and catering. When the business acquires its updated facility, it should include a store front which will provide cash flow. At peak season, arrange to set up kiosk at key high-traffic locations. This will also provide immediate cash flow and provide exposure.
As profits increase and debt is paid down, the company will need to invest in research and development of new product lines. The company should then work to increase product exposure and sales of specialty items such as the crawfish etouffee.
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