Mini Case Study

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Writing Assignment 2: Mini Case Analysis
ECON 634 Bangalore, Dec/Jan 2009/10
100 Points
Due Date: Tuesday Jan 5 at 1pm; 25 point penalty per day late

This is a team-based writing assignment. My strongly preferred team size is four, but I will consider team sizes of three or five on a case-by-case basis. Your assignment is to

Read the Harvard Business Review short case study “Class- or Mass”. Write an analysis of the case following this outline (submit one report for your entire team): Identify 3 possible actions the firm could take to deal with its excess inventory problem. These actions may be options identified by characters in the case, or actions you think of yourself. Start your review be stating clearly each of the three options to be considered in your analysis. After stating each of the three options, go back to the first option and analyze its relative strengths and weaknesses. What is most attractive about this option? What is least attractive about this option? Why? Repeat step 3 for the second option

Repeat step 3 for the third option
Next, identify what specific information it would be most useful to have before having to choose between the three options. Speculate on how the firm might be able to obtain that information. Finally, select one of your three options as the option you would take if you had to make the decision now without any additional information. Clearly explain your reasoning for selecting that option. NOTE: your analysis should focus upon identifying key pieces of information from the case itself and your identification of other specific pieces of information that would be useful to the key decision-makers. Your analysis will NOT be of the “And I Want a Pony Too!” type in which you just assume everything will work out just the way you want it to happen. For example, you will not give me an option that is “I will have marketing prepare an ad campaign that increases demand enough that all excess inventory is quickly sold without any need to adopt any new pricing or production strategies.” That is not analysis, it is hoping. When hoping replaces analyzing, things often end badly.

Format & Other Guidelines
You will format your page so the report has 1 inch margins on all four sides, uses 11 or 12 point font, and is double-spaced. On the first line (two if needed), type the names of each team member (AND Student ID #) and ‘Class or Mass Mini Case Study Analysis’ Start your review on the next line, do not leave several blank lines below the top line. Do NOT insert any subheadings or other titles within the text. Do follow the outline given above. The minimum length for your analysis is that your report extends on to the third page, but does not go beyond a third page.

Class or Mass?
by IdaleneF. Kesnerand Rockney Walters

HBR CASE STUDY

Stuck with excess inventory,Neptune Gourmet Seafood is toying with the idea of launching a second,inexpensive product line. But if Neptune stoops to conquer, rivals might retaliate with price cuts,and the new line might end up cannibalizing the old.

JIM HARGROVE'S Startled expression would have been amusing had he not been in such a pitiable state. He was standing in the yacht's magnificently appointed galley, wondering if his stomach would be able to hold down the cola he was pouring into a crystal flute, when his colleague, Rita Sanchez, said something outrageous. Now the drink had spilled down the length of his pleated khakis, and he was sputtering. "You aren't seriously suggesting that we reduce prices by 50%. Are you?"

It had been a long day for Hargrove, marketing director of $820 million Neptune Gourmet Seafood, North America's third-largest seafood producer. When the firm's chairman and CEO, Stanley Renser, had invited his senior managers to sail with him to inspect one of Neptune's new freezer trawlers.

Hargrove had demurred. He hated sailing on small boats-they made him sick, he told his boss....
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