Church & Dwight: Time to Rethink the Portfolio

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Church & Dwight: Time to Rethink the Portfolio

I. INTRODUCTION

A. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. Summary statement of the problem: Church & Dwight Co. Inc. is a 160 years old company that has been working to build a market share on a brand name that is rarely associated with its name. In spite of having this status in the eye of consumers its product can still be found among several consumer products in 95% of all U.S. households. Because of its rapid growth brought by its several acquisitions it is now facing new challenges. It must now rationalize the firms expanded consumer products portfolio of 80 brands into the existing corporate structure while continuously seeking new opportunity for growth. Another issue that is evident is how will the company’s small size be able to compete for market share with its giant competitors both domestic and international market.

2. Summary statement of the recommended solution: The issues that the Church & Dwight Corporation face is not an easy task for its board and management. The expanded consumer products should contribute to the continuous and steady growth of the company by retaining products that generates more revenues. Penetrating international market and removing barriers such as transportation cost will gain a competitive edge against the giant players in the market.

B. THE SITUATION

The Church & Dwight Corporation a was founded 160 years ago and became the world’s largest producer and marketer of sodium bicarbonate-based products in United States. Although its name was not popular one, its products can be found in variety of consumer products 95% of all U.S. households (Wheelen & Hunger, pp.35-2). It has many core product carrying the brand name ARM & HAMMER. The ARM & HAMMER baking soda became a fundamental item on the pantry shelf because of its several uses other than baking (Wheelen & Hunger, pp.35-2). It can be used as a dentifrice, chemical agent to absorb or neutralize odors and acidity, a kidney dialysis element, a blast media, an environmentally friendly cleaning agent, a swimming pool pH stabilizer, and a pollution control agent. The company has gained a steady growth over the years and was able to expand several consumer products. They were able to have several company acquisitions due to its huge revenues over the years. But Church and Dwight just like other companies face several challenges along the way. A challenge against leveraged buy-outs and hostile takeovers is eminent. It is also experiencing head on collision with giant competitors such as Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive. In spite of all of these challenges it transformed into much larger competitor not only across a broader range of products but also in geographic territory. Because of this, the company in order to maintain its continuous growth in both domestic and international arena needs to have the best strategy at their side. Author: Cook, Roy A. pp, 35-1

II. ANALYSIS

A. ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION

1. Management – The management of Church & Dwight Co. Inc. was lead by Dwight C. Milton, a direct descendant of Austin Church, as CEO from 1969 to 1995. He remained on the board as Chairman Emeritus as he turned over the responsibility to the first non-family member to Robert A. Davies III. The leadership at the top was maintained which has made the company more stable. In 2004 the responsibility was again transferred to James R. Craige, which has remained focused on building a portfolio of strong brands with sustainable competitive advantage (Wheelen & Hunger, pp.35-2). The company also hired key decision makers to its top management team with wide marketing experience and international background from known company such as Spalding Sports Worldwide, Johnson & Johnson, FMC, and Carter-Wallace (Wheelen & Hunger, pp.35-3).

2. Operations – 10 years ago, the Church & Dwight Co. Inc. was a largely household domestic product company with an average annual sale of...
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