Textbooks and literature
Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation,
Entrepreneurial Development within Organisations,
Second Edition, Thompson Southwestern,
M. Morris, D. Kuratko, and J. Govin.
Crafting and Executing Strategy,
South African Edition. Text, Reading, and Cases. J. Hough, A. Thompson, A. Strickland, and J. Gamble McGraw Hill
Strategic Management of Technological Innovation
Second Edition, 2008.
Farmwise is a company that buys and sells agricultural commodities such as white and yellow maize, Soya beans, sunflower seeds, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. They have as their purpose the creation of value for customers and making the exchange of these commodities in an effective, efficient, and profitable way. The company was founded on the 16th May 1993 and consisted of 11 members who traded physical commodities. The company grew relatively quickly and the grains devision of Farmwise was started on the 11th February 1994. It was founded with the intention of providing a physical trading system that would facilitate the transactions between farmers and their customers. They served as middle-men that made the transaction much more efficient for both farmers and end users. Farmwise was one of the founding members of the AMD Devision of SAFEX, which illustrates that they have had a leading market position for a number of years.
Ownership and Organisational Structure
The following organisational chart illustrates the structuring of management and authority at Farmwise.
Farmwise is a private company with an internal board of directors that determine the long-term strategic decisions of the company. Daily board meetings help the top managers at Farmwise to deliberate the events of the day and discuss tactics that might improve performance. Although there are definite reporting relationships within the company, there is still a high level of employee participation in the decision making process. There are currently twelve directors at Farmwise and numerous shareholders in the company but these shares are not freely transferable. Employees are encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions and are given a certain amount of freedom to pursue opportunities that they see as potentially viable. This has created a relaxed atmosphere in the workplace and employees are not constricted by policies and procedures that have to be adhered to. Mr. John Hammond, a director at Farmwise illustrated in an interview that they have moved away from an “or else” approach to a “what if?” approach that allows employees to use their own initiatives.
Products and Services
The following is a direct quotation from the Farmwise website and illustrates the diversity of the product and services offerings that Farmwise has. “Farmwise offers a comprehensive brokerage service with a diverse client base which includes producers, consumers and speculators from a wide geographical area. This enables us to keep an “ear to the ground” at all times. We have a low client to broker ration, which ensures prompt and efficient service. The company has developed and internet based trading system that enables our clients to monitor the market in real time, as well as placing electronic orders. Financing of grain already in-silo, provides their clients with the financial flexibility to make considered marketing decisions. Cash flow constraints should not force a market participant into a marketing decision and Farmwise provides the wherewithal to ensure this. Swops, involving physical inventory, enable different participants to maximise potential or minimise transport costs. This exciting facet of the market is possibly...
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