Handles and Hinges Ltd

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Introduction :Handles and Hinges Ltd
H&H was established in Birmingham, England, by two young entrepreneurs, Dave Philips and Chris Agnew, both experienced in the hardware trade. The business specialized in the ‘designer’ market for polished metal (brass or stainless steel) door handles, cupboard knobs, furniture fittings (mostly used in shop/office furniture) and hinges. Their company was successful, was based on H&H’s reputation for high-quality, unique designs of both traditional and modern products, many of which were selected and specified by architects for large and prestigious projects such as new office developments in London’s Docklands. Dave, the Chief Executive Officer, with responsibility for sales, believed that most orders from construction companies were placed with H&H because they assumed they had no other choice once the H&H products had been specified. Larger companies would sometimes suggest to the architect MARKETING PERSPECTIVE

1. Carefully examine the marketing method/processes/approaches by H&H 2. Observe the strategic marketing plan such that the products can be improved to meet customer needs and requirements 3. How does the company compete in its market place, and what is the role of ‘quality’ in its competitive strategy? Discussions with Chris (the Manufacturing Director) put a different perspective on the problem: ‘The sales catalogue shows pictures of our products prepared for photography; special effects are used to give a bright polished finish but we actually use a matt finish. The samples used by Sales are specially made by experienced craftsmen to eliminate any scratching or minor faults; of course, we cannot always repeat that standard with the modern batch production methods.

‘We were aware that the reorganization of production methods could lead to quality problems, so I introduced statistical control, a subject I studied extensively in a quantitative methods course at the local college. Our...