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Management/Macro-economics – Processed food industry


In doing your cases you will need a minimum of five US credible references outside the case I give you. Use current business websites to find out about recent developments. Certainly do not use websites that develop term papers or do strategy analysis on these cases and publish them.

The case study analysis allows you to apply your knowledge to the real world. Your goal is to identify the major problem confronting the subject company and provide a strategic solution for the problem. You will need to collect data and interpret it. You must also isolate the critical issues that the company faces. Remember that in the words of Lord Kelvin, “anything that cannot be expressed in numbers represents the knowledge that is of a poor and uncertain kind.”

After identifying the critical issues you can generate alternatives to address the company’s competitive situation. Evaluating these alternatives allows an organization to select one course of action. With a course of action defined the strategic manager can then provide a plan for implementing this is what you are to do on the case studies. Always refer to the rubric for the critical points to cover.

The format for the case studies should be as follows.

  1. APA cover page,
  2. One-page, single-spaced Executive Summary for the case as noted below. This is a summary of your report and, therefore, must be done after you finish the report. This one-page report must use headings and subheadings indicated in the following format to identify the critical issues. Begin with your understanding of the situation in a problem statement. Follow this with a concise presentation of your analysis and the alternatives you see. Recommend one course of action and support that recommendation with facts and other information, such as competitor’s moves. The last item is presents a plan for implementation –a sentence or two is sufficient. A sample of the Executive Summary is available with all this material.
  3. Body of your report. The summary page should encapsulate your understanding to the problems facing the company, a brief summary of the strategic analysis, financial analysis, the alternatives considered and a single recommendation with an implementation plan.

After the executive summary page, you are to use standard APA formatting for a 5-page report. Tables, charts, graphs, etc. are to be put in the appendix and referenced from the body of your paper. Deductions may be taken for papers where the body is longer than five pages. Remember, in management, you must get your thoughts across quickly if you expect your work to be read. Long reports generally wind up in a stack awaiting reading at some future date (which never comes).

Case Study Report Format:

Your report must include:

  1. Executive Summary (1 page in length).

The Executive Summary is a concise overview of the report. The Case Study Report should be written from the perspective of an outside consultant, writing to the Board of Directors of the firm. It notes the essential points of the report and must have the following sections:

  1. Problem Statement: State the main problem facing the firm (or industry) in one, succinct sentence.
  2. Analysis: Summarize the main findings of your analysis. You may use bullet points, bold, italics – any means to convey and highlight the key factors you have determined based on your analysis. Don’t repeat items from the body of your report like the SWOT. Summarize the major issues.
  3. Alternatives: State briefly (one sentence or a bullet point each) 2 or 3 alternative courses of action that could be implemented
  4. Recommendation: Choose one course of action and support your choice.
  5. Implementation: Briefly (1 or 2 sentences are sufficient) present how the plan would be implemented. This tests the viability of the choice. For example, your plan would demonstrate that the company has the people, financial resources and time to implement your recommendation.

These bullets should appear in your paper. The following is a precise format for the Case Studies.

Formatting for Executive Summary:

  • Single-space
  • One inch all margins
  • Use bullet points, lists, or other means to convey information briefly. Further explanation can be found in the main body of the report.
  • Use headings and subheadings to organize the material in an easy-to-read and understandable manner that highlights the essential points of your analysis.
  • Do not include a summary or overview of the firm in your report. The Board of Directors is knowledgeable and needs no background presented.

The body of your paper should be in standard APA format, double-spaced, with appropriate references, but not exceeding five pages. You may attach Appendices for tables, charts, anything useful that is referred to in the body of the case report.

Case Study Outline

Below is an outline and some key points for you when you prepare your case study analyses. Be sure to submit your papers using the outline order and flow as these are necessary for a coherent paper and to earn full credit as per the grading rubric provided in the Official Syllabus

I. Executive Summary/Problem Statement. (worth up to 20 points)
Provide a brief summary (1-2 paragraphs, maximum) of the key points of the case and clearly state the crucial / main problem facing the company in the case.

  • You may include more than one problem, but you must clearly state the problem that you feel is most crucial to the management team of the company.
  • Bring the situation up to the current time.

II. Provide a detailed analysis of the company in the case using tools and concepts of strategic management. (worth up to 20 points)

  • Leverage tools explained and provided in your text (from bsg-online.com). For Case 1 the tools are in Chapter 3.
  • Such tools include Porter’s Five Forces Model and analysis of the macro-environment.
  • Be specific in your analysis and bring the analysis up to the current day.
  • This will require you to conduct online research about the company.

III. Provide a quantitative analysis of the company using information provided in the case as well as what you may find through your own research. (worth up to 10 points)

  • Be sure to explain the quantitative data you include – do not just post data without analysis.
  • Data can be financial and non-financial.

IV. Proposed solutions to the company’s crucial problem. (worth up to 10 points)

  • Generate at least two potential strategies that could be implemented that would help remedy the challenges caused by the crucial problem you stated in your Executive Summary/Problem Statement section.
  • Each alternative must be explained and justified as to how it might help ameliorate the main problem facing the company.

V. Optimal Solution & Evaluation. (worth up to 20 points)

  • Select the optimal solution from the potential strategies from section IV above.
  • Provide detailed justification as to why this solution is the best for the company and how it will fix the issues presented by the main problem.

VI. Implementation Plan (worth up to 10 points)

  • Include a short plan about how the company should implement your recommended solution. The implementation plan should present data that demonstrates the company has the resources, or can acquire the resources needed to adopt your recommendation. Resources can include financials, time and talent.

Guidance / Rules:

  • Include section headings.
  • Bring the case up to date with your own research.
  • Include a references page for sources cited and referenced (use APA style).
  • Write your papers in the order specified in the outline above.
  • Refer to the grading rubric included in the Official Syllabus.
  • Include the mandatory HCBE cover sheet signed (electronically or actual).
  • The focus on this group case analysis is on your external environmental analysis; in particular, the macro-environment and the industry ( Porter’s Five Forces model analyses, for example). The key issue facing the industry should come from your external analysis of the marketplace and industry, and the alternatives/recommended strategy for the company should also result from your external analysis. Be sure to include quantitative analysis to earn full points as per the grading rubric. This is a team assignment.
  • The Case: Case 1 is about analyzing the external environment. External Analysis is the main topic of Chapter 3; external means the macro-environment and the industry. The material in Chapter 3 will be the main source of analytical tools you will need to write your report.
  • Your role is a consultant, hired by an investment group, to write a report to them about the state of the processed food industry in the USA. The articles “Investors Turning Up Noses at Food Companies” and “Conagra’s Post-Covid Strategy” (see articles below) will help you get started on your research about this important industry.
  • The investment group wants you to 1) analyze and present to them the current state of the industry; (2) based on the industry analysis, determine a significant problem facing the industry; (3) briefly present two alternative strategic actions a company in that industry might follow to take advantage of Opportunities or avoid Threats or both; (4) recommend one of the alternatives and explain why, based on your analysis, it is the best course of action to follow considering the current state of the industry and its significant problem; and (5) briefly suggest an implementation plan that shows your recommendation is viable.
  • Your report is about the industry and the macro-environment- not an individual company. The problem statement is about a significant problem facing the industry. The analysis section is about the external environment. Based on your analysis, you recommend what a company in that industry should do.
  • The key tool for industry analysis is Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model (Chapter 3). It would be difficult if not impossible to conduct a good industry analysis without understanding and applying this tool.
  • Please see the three files for instructions regarding Case Studies in this class. Remember: your report is based on where the industry is now! In addition to these articles, you should use at least 4 other recent authoritative sources. Authoritative sources include, but are not limited to, the Wall Street Journal, Fortunes, Bloomberg, Reuters, World Bank, and IBIS World, Mergent Online.
  • Sample of executive summary and articles attached.

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