Holly farms strategy
In order to revive profits and save themselves from bearing heavy losses, Fred and Gillian Giles had opened a two purposed farm for the general public in 1993. Their ambitious goals had let them to put in all their savings to establish facilities on the farm which would entertain the tourists. This side of the business was apart from the usual farming being carried out which included the distribution of ice cream which was manufactured behind the farm in a small factory, a milking parlor to see the latest technology being used to milk the cows and an additional guided tour of the farm. Even though the business is currently running reasonably well, the owners are facing some serious issues related capacity constraints and competition. Answers
Answer 1: There is a no. of issues which Gillian Gales is facing in her side of the business. These issues include the fact that in order to grow the Holly Farm's business, it is not possible for the owners to add additional capital. They have already invested a lot of money and any additional capital available to them will be in terms of a loan. However, the interest rate on the loan is expected to be above ten percent which would not make it feasible since the owners are not expecting to earn that high a return on their investment in order to pay the interest and the principal amount. Other issues which Gillian needs to take notice of include the fact that the ice-cream factory is not operating at full capacity, the freezer which has a capacity to hold 10,000 units is operated at 7000 units' storage to allow for stick rotation. The lack of preservatives used in the ice-cream would also be a factor in this regard where the inventory needs to move out of the factory within 6-12 weeks. This factor would be driving down retail sales to shops and hotels which might be interested in stockpiling the ice-cream for their peak periods (since Gillian is not in a position to increase production for them at that time). Gillian also needs to decide whether to promote coach firms or market to families and schools for trips to their farm. Gillian mentions that on average one out of two coach customers' buys one liter box of ice-cream while a four occupant car buys the same amount. This data, though a good starting point, would not allow for proper decision making since data on how many a coach normally holds. Also the use of averaged data is not advisable when making decisions as to who the target market would be for the coming year. There is also a need for extra staff by the farm, currently the ice-cream manufacturing employs farm workers' wives (three) and a maximum of four flavor can be produced given the time constraints and the set up time (to change flavors). Since capital investment is not possible at this time, Gillian would need to hire more staff for ice-cream manufacturing if she plans to increase the number of flavors to ten, analysis and accurate forecasting of what quantities of flavors to produce would also be required if the number of flavors is to be increased. Market researches as to which flavors are being demanded by the customers would also be required and could help eliminate the need to expand to ten flavors outright, but this is currently not being undertaken by Gillian. The lack of promotional activities by Gillian has seen the number of arrivals to the farm cap at 15000 a year; this situation is being ignored as Gillian is concentrating more on expanding the manufacturing side, now she needs to take a more active approach to increasing the traffic at the farm. The issue of farm timings not being conducive to picnics and factory visits (20% of the customers leave before the milking process) and this very fact that many visitors are unable to see the milking process is also one which would be driving lower ice-cream sales and needs to be looked into by Gillian. Answer 2: To increase the number of farm visitors by 50% in a single year is a...
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