Rowe Potter Works - an Analysis

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Running Head: ROWE POTTERY WORKS

Rowe Pottery Works: Putting a Pottery Business Back on Track
Margaret Jones
Baker College

Abstract
In the past two and half years, Rowe Pottery Works has experienced financial losses despite the ever-growing demand for salt-glazed pottery. The pottery production department is mainly responsible for the losses. A new controller was recently hired to evaluate the processes and make recommendations that will bring this once profitable business back on track. This paper provides an overview of the pottery business by detailing the process of making salt-glazed pottery. The concerns and issues surrounding the pottery operation are discussed. Problems such as inventory, labor, productivity, accounting system, and sales are assessed. Recommendations are made, which will address the concerns and problems of the pottery operation. Rowe Pottery Works was once a profitable business but somewhere along this path, they got lost. With the right processes, procedures, and systems in place RPW can get back on track and return to profitability.

Rowe Pottery Works: Putting a Pottery Business Back on Track
Business Overview
Rowe Pottery Works (RPW) emerged into the pottery business world in 1975. Founded by Jim and Tina Rowe, this once small blacksmith shop is now one of the largest suppliers for salt-glazed pottery. Jim, being an art student, knew secretive techniques for making 19th century salt-glazed pottery. He added his personal touch and created unique salt-glazed pieces that were sold only in art fairs and their small shop. The Rowes decided to change their product line during the 1980s, hence the rebirth of the Early American crocks and jugs. The demand for quality Early American crockery was increasing rapidly. With limited competition, Rowe Pottery Works went into production with their new product line (Rowe Pottery Works, 2003).
All of the pottery at RPW is handmade. Unlike pottery from production lines,



References: Hansen, D.R., & Mowen, M.M. (2003). Management Accounting (6 ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western. Kinsella, S.M. (2002). Activity-based costing: Does it warrant inclusion in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK guide)? Project Management Journal, 33, 2, 49-56. Retrieved October 6, 2003, from ProQuest database. Rowe Pottery Works. (2003). Rowe Pottery Works Homepage. Retrieved October 2, 2003 from http://www.rowepottery.com/index.html. Ruark, R. (2001). Kiln Connection: Buying a Kiln – A Critical Decision. Retrieved October 8, 2003, from http://www.ceramicindustry.com/ci/cda/articleinformation/features/bnp__features__item/0,2710,25151,00.html.

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