case study Down East Spud Busters
Down East Spud Busters is part of a conglomerate that represents the potato growers of eastern Canada and northern Maine and that also overseas the collection, processing, and distribution of potatoes products. For many years, the industry functioned as a local cooperative. The cooperative was simply a collection center where potatoes were weighed and received, washed and graded, bagged and distributed. Potatoes were the only product. Potatoes were distributed in a variety of bag sizes and weights and were also sold loosely in large bins. The first phase of Down East Spud Busters’ strategic plan resulted in the building of a large manufacturing plant in northern Maine with a focus on value-added products. The major strategy is to process higher-value potato products. Those products include a frozen division line (French fries, home fries, gourmet stuffed potatoes, flavored potato skins, and so on), a dried-food division line (instant mashed potatoes, freeze dried potatoes, potato pancake mix, and so on). The corporate group figures that it can triple sales revenues from the existing yield of potatoes. The second phase of Down East Spud Busters’ strategic plan call for a nationwide sales and distribution program. A gigantic market in retail food sales has gone untouched by this group of growers and producers. The major strategy is to recruit the appropriate sales force and to set up a system for selling and distributing the products. The major markets are supermarket chains, smaller retail grocers, major hotel chains, and governmental/school institutional kitchens. Down East Spud Busters is leaning toward the concept of hiring sales associates who will work out their own homes in strategic location throughout the United States. Those sales associates will be assigned to specific territories and will be challenged to meet or exceed specific quotas of each of the conglomerate’s products. The sales associates will also be...
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