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Analysis of the strategy development in the vsm group

6. Case analysis

Background to the analysis

The overall evaluation of the strategy development in the VSM Group is rather clear-cut (in hindsight). In 1997, the new CEO joined up with the company. Given that the new owners Industri Capital didn't seek long-term ownership, his activity was to help make the VSM Group a profitable company that would be fit for an IPO within the next 5 years roughly. At the time, the VSM Group still experienced a strong development concentrate and concerns tended to end at the factory gates. Like the majority of other creators of sewing machines, it turned out fighting unsatisfactory success. Summing up the problem in a straightforward SWOT analysis implies that the VSM Group was strong on development and product development but got less proficiency in managing the elements of the value chain between production and the customer. Although the market all together have been declining for decades, the upper segments (computerised machines with embroidery capacity) were still profitable. Given its capacity for expanding and producing high performance sewing machines, VSM opted for a technique with the explicit aim of becoming the primary producer of high grade sewing machines. However, the lack of competence on the marketplace side was all too noticeable to the new CEO. VSM had a need to increase customer orientation in all parts of the value chain, so that it started to work intensively with its independent retailers to train them and, optimally, induce them to offer entirely with VSM's products. Furthermore, VSM started to expand the amount of fully owned vendors to spearhead its products in profitable markets. Within the business proper, information and training was aimed at instilling the idea that the employees at VSM got only one source of income, regardless of position within the business: the customer.

The VSM Group was strong on both creation and R&D however the product market options for sing only its development skills to get low cost advantages in the mid and top segments of the market looked less promising. To become market innovator and achieve true differentiation, it needed to provide new superior products while growing new competence to control the linkages between creation and retailing. The brand new model 'Creator 1' therefore performed a crucial role in VSM's new strategy, as does its efforts to extend its competence into retailing.

The Pfaff purchase can be looked at in light of the strategy. Even though the acquisition of Pfaff had not been quite based on the new strategy of the VSM Group, it was aligned. When Pfaff came up for sale, the explicit goal of the VSM top management was to make an exit easy for their owner. The purchase of Pfaff would change the framework of the industry but the programs for an IPO of the VSM Group would need to be postponed. However, this was acceptable to the owner who previously acquired searched for structural bargains in other market sectors. Further, the purchase of Pfaff didn't include any creation capacity in Germany. The prospective of the VSM Group was the Pfaff brand. In the process, VSM uncovered the flower in Brno, which was not really a part of Pfaff, but a subcontractor. However, its role in the creation of Pfaff brand name machines was so important that VSM decided to buy the place and make it a completely owned subsidiary of the VSM group. This was not in VSM's original plan and is an excellent illustration of how a process point of view helps us

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understand how strategic decisions are developed as time passes. An additional important strategic decision was to keep Pfaff as a full-range top quality brand parallel to the initial Husqvarna Viking collection. This decision was the result of a rather long process and the final decision was definately not obvious first of the conversations. Overall, the VSM Group is sticking to its strategy: high quality products and managing the value chain while keeping profitable. However, the purchase of Pfaff has delayed a number of these objectives. Although the number of fully owned stores has increased, it offers increased less than originally prepared. Further, the work to integrate the store network for the Pfaff lines started out at square one and needed a whole lot of attention. Finally, the underestimation of the severe nature of the German market has tangled up the most notable management team greatly and attracted additional cash from the Group.

Turning now to the precise questions:\

6. 1 There have been lots of concurrent changes in the VSM Group in theperiod 1997-2003. Is the VSM Group still the same company?

The last 25 years of the VSM Group are a brief history of considerable contextual, organisational and market change. In 1977, the Husqvarna company, a huge manufacturer of home appliances and forestry equipment, was taken over by its fiercest competition Electrolux. In mere a couple of years, the company was integrated into the massive Electrolux. Still, resources and competences actually altered surprisingly little over time. The manufacturing facility barely changed and the merchandise development department got a long tradition with department managers and employees offering long conditions. The purchase of Pfaff added no development resources because the Karlsruhe vegetable was shut down. However, the purchase of the Brno production facility did add to production capacity while not production competence. As a result, a source of information audit will show that few resources or basic competences have actually been changed during this time period. (Remember that we discuss change in quality alternatively than number. ) Alternatively, the change process has been aimed towards conditioning the linkages between practical areas in the value chain. To this end, several methods have been utilized. The development of a mission assertion (that actually did not exist prior to the introduction of the new CEO), organisational changes (structure top management team), the physical relocation of the R&D and marketing departments to the same building and the VSM program for educating vendors are examples of this.

6. 2 How would you describe the strategic capacity for the VSM Group in 1997? In 2001? In 2003?

The VSM Group has always confirmed high technical proficiency compared to its competitors. This is briefly illustrated in appendix 1 where in fact the antecedents of the present organisation are explained. The VSM Group was e. g. the first to make a home- lubricating sewing machine by using sintered metal technology. Its streamlining activities through the 1980s were also successful in minimizing the parts' count and cost. This intended directing design initiatives not only to satisfy the consumer but

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Instructor's Manual also to meet up with the needs of the development department for designs which were possible to create better. Historically, the ideas for product improvements have come from the R&D division with little type from the marketing division. This is not to say that the development technical engineers were uninformed about customer needs, but instead that market information was not gathered and channelled though the organisation. But the VSM Group got for years required all its product engineers to sew positively in their free time, we have a vintage case of the product- oriented organisation. To comprehend the organisation in 1997 see appendix 1 where in fact the company's historical record is organized. A mill has been located at or close to the present site for more than 300 years. Beginning as a foundry for guns in the seventeenth hundred years, the actions at the Husqvarna vegetable have shifted from weapons to rifles to sewing machines as demand has changed through the ages. Tool positions (the mill) and competences (notably the foundry and mechanics) have been used to follow new strategies as induced by changes in the surroundings.

During the time 1997-2000, the VSM Group got a number of activities to increase the linkages between efficient areas. First, the professionals of the international sales companies were brought in to the top management team, which provided an industry for strategic dialog with other areas of the company. Second, the work on the formal strategy file (like the mission assertion) brought together different parts of the organisation, both horizontally and vertically. The written documents also offered to communicate corporate and business strategies and worth in a new and coherent way. The carefully been able strategy process appeared to pay off in conditions of organisational determination. Third, moving the product development and marketing departments to the same building was another step to web page link technical skills and marketing know-how to create a whole.

It is important to note that the change towards market orientation was a standard effort that involved changes in the very best management team, a new financial accounting system, as well as the physical relocation of departments. Furthermore, it should also be noted that the increased concentrate on managing linkages extends beyond the business's own organisation. The company's high engagement in the introduction of the independent sellers is another example of managing linkages. To identify this the students need to grasp the concept of the value string (section 3. 6. 1) to be able to not limit the evaluation to resources and competence manipulated through possession.

At a everyday glance, it may seem clear that the learning resource position of the VSM Group got modified markedly by 2003. After that it owned the Pfaff brand and it had new in-house development capacity at the Brno herb, which was cost efficient and with the capacity of consistent quality. For the "front end" of the worthiness chain, new dealers had been added. However, on closer inspection the changes might not be that significant. Pfaff possessed proven itself as a superior quality brand and the new production facility in Brno do add capacity but no new or different competence to the company. As it was, the Pfaff purchase appears similar to "more of the same" than genuine change. By 2003, VSM's strategic capacity had not evolved appreciably in quality however in quantity. The company still possessed know-how in product development and had

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Instructor's Manual effective production facilities. In addition, VSM had two strong brands with a global presence. In the retail part, VSM continues to be continuing its search to 'convert' its sellers to transport its brands specifically. 6. 3 Will be the main competences in 2003 more robust than in 1997? It really is straightforward to single out the merchandise development capacity of the VSM Group as a prospect for a core competence. The new strategic way has increased the leverage of this competence as well as spawned the development of others such as handling linkages. However, it is doubtful whether product development capacity alone may be called a central competence; the Brother company has emerged as an progressive competitor with possibly deep pouches. However, the robustness of a core competence will increase when it is embedded in a particular organisational context; the final outcome would be that the robustness has increased with the focus on building linkages within the worthiness chain (section 3. 6. 1). Robustness also stems from ownership. The advent of completely software-controlled sewing machines has made software development very very important to the sewing machine makers. The acquisition of the small software designer EMNET was seen as strategically important because of the business's commitment to "enhance the pleasure of sewing". According to VSM, it found the craze as heading towards further integration between computer and sewing machine, making the use of a PC a redundant step for e. g. the construction of embroidery. If VSM weren't in control of its embroidery software, it might mean that in the future it would be forced to count heavily on outdoors parties in order to provide the full products. Interestingly, a similar situation was accessible in the first 1980s when electric controls were unveiled in sewing machines. The strategic options facing the company in those days were either to build up the necessary competence internally or even to choose the services and parts from another supplier. Eventually, the business's decision was to employ engineers with levels in electronics in order to develop the new technology internally. In hindsight, interviewees from product development acknowledge this as an important strategic decision since some competitors (e. g. Bernina) lost important floor in producing their own technology. Know-how in consumer electronics has later proved to be a threshold competence for sewing machine manufacturers aside from the cheapest market sections.

6. 4 What exactly are the important factors in the macro-environment that influence VSM and its industry?

The PESTEL platform may be ideal here. Some factors may be thought of as structural individuals of change, i. e. factors in the macro-environment that impact the complete industry, plus some may only be worth focusing on to the one organisation. The error devoted by students in this research is to attempt to fill each notice in PESTEL with some content, however insignificant. We have chosen to give a few good examples that before show to be of importance. Concentrating on a few salient factors gives the students an opportunity to gain deeper knowledge of these factors instead of only rudimentary understanding of an extended 'laundry list" of potential factors.

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Political

Although the politics environment in Sweden is very secure, trade policy issues between your EU and the US have threatened the VSM Group before. In the so-called "Banana Warfare" in the overdue 1990s, US authorities threatened to impose a higher (50%) surcharge on targeted products such as sewing machines, in response to European union protectionist procedures discriminating against imports of American bananas. This hazard was very real and would have meant serious deficits in VSM's key market for premium sewing machines. This illustrates the value of accounting for political conditions between state governments, and not only within claims. Another issue could be the standard liberalisation of trade. Low or no tariffs on textile imports have made clothes much cheaper in the Western world, wiping out large parts of the textile industry in america and in the European union. Cheaper clothing has completely undermined the old incentive to sew.

Economic

Once again, the economical environment in Sweden is reasonably stable for a small talk about. However, Sweden hasn't opted to joint the Western Monetary Union (EMU). The Swedish krona therefore floats against both the US buck and the Euro. In the short run, you'll be able to hedge fluctuations in the exchange rates. In the medium run, these fluctuations will impact the income of the VSM Group in local currency. Before, the success of the VSM Group has confirmed clear covariation with the exchange rate of the Swedish krona, both in 1982 (when the krona was devaluated by 16%) and again in 1992 when the krona lowered over 25% immediately as the insurance policy of fixed exchange rate was forgotten. Even in 2003, the VSM Group experienced to cope with shrinking revenue (in domestic currency) because of the drop in the US dollar.

Sociocultural

Under the rubric of sociocultural factors, we find a few of the structural drivers of change in the sewing industry. LOMLOTs (Lots Of Money, PLENTY OF Time) were frequently employed by the VSM Group to spell it out a growing group of retirees, particularly in america, with plenty of time for leisure activities and money to spend. Sewing out necessarily is no more important for generating demand: you can purchase much cheaper than you can sew. Somewhat it is 'higher' motives in the Maslowian sense that drive many consumers. This change in consumer preferences has had a direct effect on the industry: the sales of reasonably priced simple machines have plummeted, while more complex machines show regular sales. The actual fact that it's now possible to ask for $5000+ for a consumer sewing machine (the Husqvarna Viking Custom made 1) is also an signal of this change. Considering that sewing machines are no more a necessity, there is no "automatic" creation of demand. Consequently, the sewing machine is currently competing with other types of leisure activities: sportfishing, golf, or travelling. The VSM Group has evidently recognised this and its mission statement provides the expression "creating demand for more creative uses of sewing".

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Technological

The more and more common use of the web and its convenience of file copy has managed to get possible to easily up grade top features of the sewing machines through a straightforward download of software upgrades. The top models from the leading manufacturers use the web to distribute adornments habits and software for the building of custom adornments. In addition, the VSM Group distributes updates of the operating-system of the sewing machine proper. By yet, no model has a direct linkage to the web. Rather, software has to be downloaded with a PC. In course discussion, this might open up up to date speculation in what new features we may see, given the immediate development for new applications of it in the areas.

6. 5 What exactly are the causes of competition in the sewing machine industry?

The case word has enough information to make it possible to perform a Five Causes evaluation. More ambitious endeavours might include external sources of information. From experience, it has been mentioned that students may have difficulties with understanding the difference between competitive rivalry within the industry, which is one of the five "forces", and the level of competition, the centered changing in the model.

The information provided in the case (notably in part 3) can help you perform a Five Forces analysis (section 2. 3. 1). Persistently low profitability over the business enterprise cycle basically defines the amount of competition as "high" (in the Porterian sense). Competitive rivalry seems to be moderate with average degrees of product innovation, lack of price wars, or intense marketing towards sellers. However, changing buyer preferences have meant reducing overall demand for sewing machines, especially on basic models. Buyers have high bargaining electricity credited to low switching costs between brands because the industry is older with a dominant design. Furthermore, the normal sewing machine retailer holds several brands. Thus, it could be concluded that it is the demand area that put downward strain on the industry's profit margins. From the research of the environment the students are asked to develop a concept of how the market will establish and what solution positions the actors on the market might take. Section 2. 4 in ECS will probably be helpful here, specially the Strategic Group Analysis in 2. 4. 1. Also section 2. 4. 2, Market Segmentation, is a key reading since VSM's strategy is to follow a niche section that is still profitable even though the total market for sewing machines is declining. Thus, the challenge of defining the industry also to perform a active analysis will come into play.

6. 6 What are the next tactical issues Viking must address? What tactical options might be considered?

For the VSM Group, two issues stick out: maintaining technical leadership and managing the value string. Additional issues are brand management and handling the Pfaff acquisition. Issues of path, methods and "success criteria" for strategy development are handled in chapter 7 of ECS. Within the short run, this might be "protect Pearson Education Small 2005 Instructor's Manual and build on current position". However, in the medium to long haul, issues of product and market development will type in the formula. The records below is highly recommended in this light.

The technical skills of VSM is a recurring theme in cases like this. It is true that capacity for product advancement is a key part of VSM's proper capability, but it will not be construed as the foundation of competitive edge for VSM. In recent years, its competitor Brother has introduced automatic threading, a good feature presently not available from VSM. In all, Brother's capacity for engineering appears to rival that of VSM. Nevertheless, keeping complex authority (as it manifests itself in services) is one key to VSM's overall strategy. An excellent set of engineers is area of the equation but knowing how to create the right kind of advancement is even more critical. Hence the emphasis on bridging spaces within the worthiness chain to improve flows of information and resources in both guidelines. The case is made up of a good amount of information on the process intended to increase customer orientation in every parts of the value chain. This goes for the R&D, creation, and marketing departments as well as the vendors. The chain metaphor is appropriate in cases like this: a chain is no better than its weakest link. The most challenging part to manage is the link of the worthiness string that VSM does not control through ownership: the stores. The merchants have a crucial role in the business's contact with the client. Any change in the preceding parts of the value string will be "filtered" through this last link to the client. Therefore, VSM has put a great deal of money and effort into training stores and providing them with support such as brand specific shop interiors and auxiliary products such as instructional videos and habits. This process is ongoing, for both brands. Customer relationships are a resource that needs to be managed by the business: they cannot be bought and they devote some time and effort to build. In comparison, anatomist skills are less expensive to build up. VSM's increased initiatives in marketing and customer relationships provide increasing robustness (ECS, section 3. 4. 3) with their strategic capabilities. The integration of the retailers into the VSM organisation is taken to its logical result in the truth of the captive store-in-store concept developed for the US market. Exclusive dealership in the "Dealer-Partner" program is also a move towards increasing control of the retailing business. The question is: will the ideas that have been proven successful in the US also be relevant to other markets, such as Europe and Asia? The transformation of VSM from a product-orientated company to 1 of market orientation has just started out. From a "Mdchen fјr alles" covering all market sections, the objective is currently to satisfy the selected customer group. This is also clear from the positioning of the recently acquired Pfaff brand. The goal is to build a relationship with the client. A vital strategic issue is therefore to raise the understanding of the targeted customer group. The mark group is often described as middle-aged women with above average financial resources. In VSM's corporate and business jargon, the acronym LOMLOTs (Lots Of Money, Lots Of Time) appears to capture a few of the fundamental characteristics of this customer segment. The online marketing strategy is to make the customers think about sewing as a task that makes good use of the spare time, all the while recognising Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff as the high quality brands because of this activity. 288 Pearson Education Limited 2005

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By 2003, the Pfaff type of machines had not been re-engineered mechanically; the basic technology used is 'old' Pfaff. However, with new models designed by VSM's own designers, integration between the brands will presumably become more pronounced both in creation and in R&D. The question is, will VSM have the ability to uphold the distinctions between your brands? There are numerous parallels that may be made to the car industry upon this concern, e. g. with the Volkswagen conglomerate. The decided on strategy is costly; the launch of progressive products and services is costly. These costs need to be passed on to the consumers and the latest models retail for approximately $2000 to over $5000. Therefore, the need for amount may only be satisfied by a global presence. Market penetration in america is good and in Europe vital steps are being taken to increase it (the acquisition of Pfaff is one part of this). However, the case of Asia is more difficult. In 2001, the VSM Group established a small existence in Tokyo, Japan, but sales are marginal. This can be considered an attempt to grow naturally but what other options are within reach? Is the Asian market "worth" rivalling for or are resources better spent on loan consolidation and defence of VSM's main markets?

VSM's mission to "create demand for creative sewing" means so it has started changing itself into a firm offering more and more services (after sales, embroidery, sewing classes). The balance of the company is changing. The acquisition of Emnet and the swiftly expanding variety of software designers underline the importance of an understanding base in processing. The bet for development in education will also require development of new competences. In what of one interviewee, the sewing machine in the future may are "a typical printer", the top part being patterns, education and inspiring mags. Consequently, an interesting strategic issue is how to balance the original strength of the company, product development, and the formation of competences in information technology and education. This is also a question of company individuality. Take one of these. In interviews with the main element individuals in the very best management team, the number of machines sold often surfaced during conversations on performance. The interviewees reviewed the history as well as the future in terms of sales of hardware. The primary picture was that the number of machines was decisive for the success of the company, and management should be focused on the relationship between produced machines and sales of machines. The hyperlink between sales, production and logistics was emphasised. However, in a market-orientated company with desire to to make long-lasting associations with the customers, the amount of machines is only an sign of just how many customer interactions are initiated. Rather, the target must be to make an company that seeks to increase client satisfaction, promoting a continuing cash flow from each of these connections. One possible situation could e. g. be that VSM will sell its machines at a cost that is closely subsidised and instead reach profitability through the sales of patterns and education. In this particular scenario, new linkages between resources and competences would be essential for the success of the company.

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6. 7 How does the strategy of the VSM Group match its tactical capability using its environment? How did it differ from 1997 to 2003?

A discourse of VSM's strategy and its development builds on the interplay between strategic stretch and fit - stretch out in terms of things to consider for existing resource positions and easily fit into terms of building new resources to fully capture a position on the chosen product market. In 1997, VSM already experienced a number of important resources and competences that dished up as the basis for the new strategy. First of all, VSM possessed a dynamic R&D division and a competent production facility. It also had a brand name that was reputable in most markets. However, its marketing team mainly supplied product descriptions and sewing habits and was little involve in product development. The market all together have been declining for many years but the top section was healthy and VSM's product line was much like that of its competitors. Even though major celebrities were striving for differentiation, almost all of them were sporting full product ranges with similar features on their models. VSM's proper analysis advised that concentrating on the more expensive designs (computerised sewing machines with embroidery capacity) would seem sensible in light of the changing sociocultural factors influencing the customers for sewing machines. VSM's strong position in the US market probably influenced this conclusion noticeably. Clearly, following a differentiation strategy in conditions of the "strategy clock" (ECS, section 5. 3), VSM appeared to move clockwise towards a posture of concentrated differentiation. The new top-of-the-line model "Designer 1" was instrumental in reaching this goal. However, attaining a role as market innovator was not as easy as launching a new superior product and then just producing it; it had a need to reach its customers. The sewing machine business is dominated by small self-employed retailers, usually having several brands. Handling the marketing efforts of the vendors was therefore especially important when selling something at almost double the price of any machine from the competition. Further, VSM's mission to make demand because of its products necessitated closer control of the communication using its clients. To control the link between the development of sewing machines and the marketing of sewing machines, VSM started out an extensive programme where independent retailers were asked to the Husqvarna herb. On site, they toured the premises, received training on the new models and information on VSM strategy. Furthermore, VSM also started to provide complete shop interiors and training programs for customers. It also shut contracts with chosen retailers to be exclusive retailers of the Husqvarna Viking range of products. In trade, these stores received considerable marketing support.

The strategy development process combines components of both stretch and fit. VSM's original learning resource position experienced a whole lot of impact on its new strategy and in this respect, we have a case of "strategic stretch out". However, a few of VSM's resources weren't adequate for this strategy. This is clear with regards to the marketing functions of the value string. In 1997, VSM has very little control over the marketing activities pursued by its local dealers. The value of proactive changes previously in the value chain therefore threatened to be suboptimal since the potential benefits wouldn't normally reach its clients. Building this new reference (i. e. taking care of the linkage between various parts of the value

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chain) was considered necessary to record the targeted position on the merchandise market. Furthermore, VSM had limited co-operation between the R&D and marketing departments. In an effort to encourage increased co-operation and communication, the R&D and marketing departments were transferred in to the same building. Previously, the R&D team had been located near the production collection. In this respect, the strategy development was a question of fit. The purchase of Pfaff designed adding new resources similar to what already existed in the VSM Group. The Pfaff brand was strong and perceived as high quality. But managing two global brands needed clear delimitations. The choice to view the Pfaff brand as being on the par with the Husqvarna Viking brand was based on the corporate and business strategy. The differentiation between the brands is founded on the understanding that identified value and prices are certainly the only measurements on which we map strategic groups (see ECS, section 3. 3) on the market for sewing machines. Embracing characteristics of the clients as opposed to the product itself allowed VSM to work with the value of the brands in conditions of being regarded as technologically advanced and reliable, while providing for a more substantial customer group in its market communication. Adding the Pfaff brand allowed the VSM Group to reach new customer organizations without stretching the brands too much. Again, similarities with the car industry, e. g. Volkswagen, may be interesting to discuss. 6. 8 The situation starts with the appearance of the new CEO. What role performed Mr.

Runnquist play in the transformation of the business? How important is he for future years of the business? The strategic command of the new CEO Svante Runnquist has several important aspects and lots of the techniques can be conveniently accepted in ECS, chapter 10. Collaboration, education and communication, involvement and direction are area of the CEO method to enable change and build commitment. To begin with, the window of opportunity for him was there: the company have been sold and the CEO was newly on the job. Additionally, the new owner Industri Kapital experienced explicit needs on success, so there is a tangible external pressure sensed by the organisation. Finally, he appeared to be "the right person in the right place", coming to a production-oriented company which badly had a need to up grade the marketing competence.

The first thing Svante Runnquist have was to start out the development of a new mission statement and a technique document. Hitherto, the company had mainly used activity plans to steer the short run businesses but no communicable objective statement been around for either external or internal use. The strategy process possessed some important features. First of all, associates from marketing, R&D, creation and funding were all included in the top management team working on the documents. Second, middle management needed to participate in the review and further development of the strategy documents. This made for dedication to later levels. Third, the strategy as a process was emphasised by making the strategy development in the very best management team an ongoing activity. The simple appearance of the stapled strategy underlined that this was not cast in stone.

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Why was Svante Runnquist successful in his work to promote market orientation in the company? Considering that the circumstances were favourable, the persuasive rhetoric of Svante Runnquist certainly played a component. The proactive orientation of the strategy was found with some scepticism among middle management since more pressing things appeared to top their agenda. To counter this, Svante Runnquist illustrated the necessity for change using cases or testimonies from other establishments that were at the mercy of unanticipated change or reorganisation. The need to give attention to the dealers was illustrated by an in-house version of the value string (dubbed "The Viking customer staircase"). It evidently illustrated that the sellers and VSM were part of the same value string, that it was only the dealer that actually attained the customers and that the only income source for the worthiness was the final customer.

6. 9 At two items in time, the CEO of the VSM Group opens up a broad talk on the proper issues. What issues are talked about and why will he involve a more substantial group of the company on these issues?

In this circumstance, corporate-wide conversations on strategic issues are initiated at two factors in time. In 1997, the crafting of the initial mission statement was talked about from top management down to the shop floor. Later in 2000, the integration of the Pfaff brand series brought about a similar process. Albeit limited to an inferior circuit of folks than in 1997, the procedure still included people well outside the top management team. From interviews with the CEO it is noticeable that the objective was to get legitimacy for the strategy. The problems mentioned in both these processes were quite definitely related to corporate identity; the quest statement is created in terms of company characteristics and "who were". The second instance of open up discussion on a strategic issue was initiated in relation to the Pfaff purchase. The integration of the Pfaff brand into the VSM Group was also more a question about commercial personality. The image and feel of the new brand and associated product lines had to be discussed with regards to the prevailing Husqvarna Viking brand and what the people focusing on it were about. Both these procedures seem to be to be genuine attempts to require folks of the organisation in something that eventually worried their professional identity. However, once these procedures were shut down through formal decisions, the CEO vigorously argued because of their implementation. "You need to stand on the barricades", as Svante Runnquist portrayed it. It really is interesting to contrast other strategic decisions to these very available processes. The decision to get Pfaff was purely an affair between the owners of the VSM Group and the most notable management team. The identical goes for the purchase of the Brno vegetable. Having less a wider process around these very important decisions shows that management regard these issues as pursuing rather than formulating strategy.

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