Case Study Analysis of Panda Bear Toys, Caribou Toys and Grizzly Bear Toys

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Abstract
Starting from going through respective business background then to the challenges faced, and finally recommended HR practices to improve corporate effectiveness, competiveness and sustainability, this analysis has addressed aforementioned of following 3 toy companies: Panda Bear Toys, Caribou Toys and Grizzly Bear Toys. With limited background information provided, several studies have been treated as reference in this analysis, especially the studies of Gubman (1995) and Sheppeck & Militello (2000),describing the relationship between corporate value disciplines and corporate strategies. Value discipline is a framework to describe organizations’ marketplace strategies, and company with different value discipline has its own business goals and culture. With reference to the information provided, the value discipline of Panda Bear, Caribou and Grizzly Bear were identified. They are Product Leadership, Customer Intimacy and Operational Excellence respectively. In addition, macro environment, Toys industry trends and statistics from European Commission (2012)and Toy Industry Association (2012), were taken into consideration throughout the whole analysis. Panda Bear Toys – Company Background and Challenges Faced

It is a family-run business which has been producing high-quality and expensive nostalgic wooden toys for over 50 years. The products, targeting at both children and parents, are distributed via up-market retailers and department stores. It strives to continually improve the quality of its existing products and does not focus greatly on developing new product. The business strategy of it is to sustain its competitive advantage by differentiating itself in terms of high product quality, superior customer services and unique product feature which is ‘nostalgic’ focus. Its challenges include how to maintain the high quality of products and services: how to source and retain the skilled labor, e.g. craftsmen, how to expand production capacity to cope with the growth in demand, how to sustain the business growth with a limited range of products.

Recommended HR Practices to Panda Bear Toys
The key objective of HR strategy is to develop a dedicated workforce focusing on quality, customer service and marketing skills. In longer term, the HR strategy will have to address the issue of sustainability in view of diminishing demand for nostalgic wooden toys due to aging profile and availability of wood as the prime material of production. Resourcing. Retain and attract key employees with specialized product knowledge and skills are crucial. Marketing skills to promote the unique product feature of nostalgia is key to the success of the company. To address the challenge of increasing market demand, it is necessary to expand the production capacity. Talents on product development are crucial to the long term success of the business. Pay, compensation and benefits. Competitive reward is required to retain staff who are performing well and whose skill sets are critical to the business. Some incentive programs such as Profit Sharing Program, Pre-Retirement Planning Program and Employee Recognition Program could be introduced to enhance staff commitment and encourage outstanding performance. The reward system should be designed with fair treatment to both family and non-family members. Training and Development. Training is critical to ensure continuous development and sustainability of key skills, as well as a retention strategy. More resources will be allocated to train up semi-skilled labor to skilled labor, to strengthen the marketing capability and to develop a strong internal talent pool for succession planning. Work organization. To encourage improvement ideas from staff, a positive, comfortable and harmonious working environment is essential. An effective communication system should be set up to facilitate communication and co-operation. Succession planning. Succession planning is essential for long-term...
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