To grow in the highly competitive consumer products market, Newell Rubbermaid's strategy has long been one of acquisition. One of the company's strengths has become its ability to quickly integrate new companies into the Newell Rubbermaid business. But with each acquisition, the IT and business teams were left struggling to manage additional independent brands with very divergent sets of technologies. With the emergence of e-business as an increasingly important opportunity for driving down costs and providing better service online, Newell Rubbermaid recognized the importance of finding a new, centralized platform to support their divisions.
it is pretty clear that the company only acquires related businesses that fit the mold of their current distribution system, or at the very least can be changed to fit it, I would argue that Newell is resource-based. Executives at the company seem to think that, despite its distinct divisional structure, Newell is not a holding company. This point can be debated when you consider it empowers each division to run independently while simultaneously keeping a tight rein on each one’s financial output. Yet, due to the highly-related product attributes across the divisions, I tend to agree with the executives. Newell takes this integrative approach one step further than most when acquiring new companies, since it looks to see if it can leverage preexisting relationships with retailers whenever adding a new business. According to the case, the “most important asset in acquisition is shelf space.” Once acquired, the Newellization process begins
As Newell grew as a company, it switched from a functional to divisional management style. This was an important decision when you consider the number of new product categories that were added in a generation. To be honest, it was even more important since the company really had little differentiation between its products and those offered by its competitors. As such, Newell has thrived...
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