June 10, 2011
Alaska Coffee Company had a head start on the state of Alaska in the business of Specialty Coffee except for one other company, Café Del Mundo. Other than that there was no real competition for them when they started their business in 1984 and they only became more profitable with expansion throughout the years. Leadership
Powell’s leadership over the company is an interesting thing, he was quick to get things done and always did what he thought was best for the company. One thing that I think is lacking at Alaska Coffee Company is another source of input, say a board of directors. Sure Powell was given input by his retail managers, employees and customers, but he wasn’t given any advice from people that new the company inside and out. All the people that offered him advice had no knowledge regarding the financials or other intricate facets of the company. If he had a board of directors he might be able to make more informed decisions that better serve the company as a whole. It is clear he also didn’t have a clear process for managers to go through to implement changes and or suggestions. The chain of command was vague and rarely used except by going directly to or through him. His attitude of “let it rip” is great because it gives employees freedom to thing outside the box and make them feel like they are a major part of the company but does not give any structure to them. His marketing background is most likely a key contributor to the company’s success in implementing new products and keeping customers coming back but with no real experience in running a company before this he lacked the human resource skills necessary for a company to thrive which is clear in his passive leadership role. External Environmental Analysis
Some of the key external forces with company were in the beginning not really having any competition which let the company grow and lock down a loyal customer base. Also with the...