Ceylon Tea Services (Case Analysis)

Your deliverable is a brief 3-page report of communicating your insights regarding analysis, formulation, and implementation of strategy. The first half a page must be an executive summary that includes a concise report of the problem, analysis, and recommendations (supported by figures from the case and grounded in analysis leveraging business concepts and frameworks, such as capital, growth). The remaining 2.5 pages should identify the strategic issues and problem to be solved, describe the necessary analyses and conclusions, and present recommendations and implications. There is no need to gather additional data outside of the case.

You will be assessed on the following:

  • Concise executive summary of the key points of your analysis and proposed solutions
  • Demonstrate understanding of organizational factors and context (which drive the core question)
  • Justification of your choice of analysis
  • Connect analysis to appropriate and feasible proposed solutions
  • Well written paper for business audience

Feel free to use some of following questions to guide your analysis:

General questions:

  • How is the company currently performing? Also, think beyond performance to assess competitive advantage relative to peers.
  • Considering the context of the case, how might the company lower costs and/or enhance value?
  • You should use issue-based problem solving and the SCQA (situation, complications, question, and answer) framework to determine core question.

External factors:

  • Consider the macro environment: PESTEL (political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal).
  • Consider the attractiveness of the industry: 5 forces (suppliers, buyers, new entrants, substitutes, rivals, and complements).
  • Think about other market factors that relate to strategic grouping or segmentation (low or high price; narrow or broad scope of competition).
  • External factors help you identify opportunities & threats (‘OT” of the SWOT analysis).

Internal factors:

  • Identify resources, capabilities, and core competencies.
  • How are firm assets valuable, rare, inimitable, and/or non-substitutable?
  • Consider both tangible and intangible assets of the firm.
  • Internal factors help you identify strengths & weaknesses (‘SW” of the SWOT analysis).

Other questions to consider:

  • Where does the firm operate in the value chain (what do they make/build internally or buy externally)?
  • How diversified are they in terms of product scope and/or geography?
  • In terms of operations, what might be the role of economies of scale or scope or learning curves?
  • Consider strategy implementation issues (7-S) as well as value proposition, revenue stream, and other components of business model.

Final points:

  • There will always be strategic tradeoffs. You must prioritize.
  • Managing towards short term financial performance usually does not result in a successful strategy.
  • Think about stakeholders beyond the immediate shareholders (triple bottom line and CSR pyramid).
  • Following the same strategy as competitors will not be sustainable.
  • Strategy is not just about what to do, but also about what not to do!
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