Clayton Industries: Rethinking Strategies in Europe
Clayton Industries has been around since 1938 when they began as a residential and light commercial air conditioner manufacturer and distributor. In the early 80’s they expanded in North America, and this has helped establish them today as one of the foremost leaders in the United States and North American air conditioner sales. They restructured in 1988 to better organize their business arms as they were expanding into many different European nations to continue competing on an increasingly global scale. By the year 2000 Clayton really had established itself in Europe, but the residential and commercial air conditioner industry just was not as powerful as it was in North America at the time and cultural differences put Clayton through many a test of character over the years. They have maintained positive growth in most national European markets except for Italy. This is their main issue of concern and their point of interest for this case. When Clayton brings in Simonne Buis as Vice-President of European operations she shakes things up begins immediate initiatives to reverse negative trends in European performance, especially Italy. In choosing the best performance overhaul option for Peter Arnell, the newly appointment head of Clayton’s Italian branch, we must analyze Clayton’s core competencies, risks associated with each option, and the potential rewards all relative to the current goals of the organization and its administration. Clayton’s main strength as it always has been is its North American operations and the massive percentage of sales that goes on here. We must realize that this market, though very large, is declining and that is a big reason why we must take the best business practices from these operations in North America and translate the success to Italy in as many applicable ways as possible. Clayton is also very well diversified in the European nations, with operations in almost every...
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