Norton Lilly is a company that has showcased its ability to withstand the test of time. The company has steadily grow and expanded both nationally and internationally since getting their start in 1841. The company was able to shift with the tides when cargo containerization came into the fold in the 1970. The ability to change, but doing so in a strategic manner, put them in good standing up until their point of being acquired in 2005. What I found unimpressive was Thurber and Rutherfords shallow focus on growing the company without having an effective strategy defined or executed upon to handle the growth. They acquired companies outside of the company’s core business, did not effectively handle their M&A responsibilities leading to a degradation in company culture, operational efficiency and profitability. For five years the company grew recklessly putting 150 years of business success at risk before reaching out for help.
2. What happened in 2006 to handicap the company?
A series of acquisitions, joint ventures and international expansions increased revenues by $41 million. Unfortunately, acquisitions outside of the company’s core competencies, ineffective integration of acquired companies, poor operational performance resulting in a bottom line loss.
3. What is Norton Lilly International strategy? Which generic competitive strategy most closely fits with the competitive approach that Norton Lilly is taking?
Norton operated three business units; liner, ship services and overseas. Liner and ship services offered similar services such as fueling vessels, crew transport, medical services, restocking, handling cargo and tows. The primary difference between the two was that the liner focused on cargo whereas ship services focused on the vessels. Overseas handled liner and