The Chattanooga Ice Cream Division Case

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The Chattanooga Ice Cream Division Case

Context and Background of the Case
The Chattanooga Ice Cream was one of the three divisions of Chattanooga Food Corporation. Since 1992 the sales flattered and profits declined consistently. While US per capita consumption of ice cream diminished, the competition in its market increased considerably. In order to remediate the division’s performance, Chattanooga Ice Cream took several actions which included the promotion of Charles Moore to head of the division in 1993, the hiring of a new vice president of marketing, Barry Walkins, and of Stephanie Krane to upgrade the division’s information systems and control function, the introduction of a line of frozen yogurt and the closing of its original manufacturing plant to reduce costs. Despite these actions, the company’s profit continued declining. In 1996, the division’s third largest customer decided to replace Chattanooga with one of its competitors. Charles Moore decided to call the group together to figure out how to save the division from its downturn. All the senior managers were present at the meeting: Barry Walkins, he is very creative and had a good intuitive sense of what consumers wanted but disorganized and often lacks follow through; Billy Fale, who is a very knowledgeable and disciplined vice president of production but a bit rigid in his thinking and anchored in the past; Kent Donaldson, vice president of research and development who had conflicts with Walkins; Les Holly, the division’s sales manager who has a tendency to withhold information and sometimes does not follow through; and Stephanie Krane, who had a strong record of delivering on her promises. Running the meeting was Charles Moore who, unlike his predecessor who was the division’s indisputable leader for over 30 years, believes in the value of group-based decisions and like to bring people together formally to share information, consult in decisions, and forge consensus. Since Moore took over...
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