Management and Organizational Theory

Management and Organizational Theory
Case Discussion

Smithfield Custom Furniture (Part 2)

As a result of its consultants’ wonderful guidance in 1901, Smithfield Custom Furniture has continued to do extremely well financially. It is now 1987, and the company has been headed by the founder’s grandson, Jonas Smithfield III. He has run the company for the past twenty years.

The company now has 247 retail stores. 220 stores are spread throughout the 50 states, and 27 stores are located in England, France, and Germany. Each country has 9 stores. In total, the company employs 13,000 people. Approximately 40% are in manufacturing, distribution, quality control, design, delivery, administrative, and back-office work. Approximately 60% of the employees are in retail stores.

It has been Smithfield Custom Furniture’s mission to target the wealthiest segments of the market. The company does all its manufacturing in the United States at six facilities, recently modernized with the latest equipment. They use the finest and most exotic woods to make distinctive furniture for their clientele. Much of their work is limited edition, and they try to ensure demand is slightly higher than supply for each product they make.

For the past 20 years, Jonas Smithfield III has been aware of the financial growth in a large segment of the workforce, primarily due to more women in the workforce holding full-time and professional occupations. He knows too that families are moving more often and may not need or desire the exclusivity of his furniture. His last concern is that his plants may not be working as efficiently as they could. In other words, he realizes his plants could produce less of the high-end furniture if the company developed a line of products that was still upscale—aimed at mid-career professional households.

Your Task for Your Initial Post

In your role as a consultant to Smithfield Custom Furniture, Jonas Smithfield III has requested you, using this week’s assigned reading, to provide to him the following information:

An explanation of what a mission statement requires plus a mission statement for the new furniture line. Use in-text citations and list references from course readings as required.

An explanation of what a vision statement requires plus a vision statement for the new brand. Use in-text citations and list references from course readings as required.

An analysis of how Michael Porter’s competitive advantage (low cost versus exclusivity) or competitive strategy (Five Forces Model) applies to both Smithfield’s exclusive product line and the newly conceived, more reasonably priced product line. Use in-text citations and list references from course readings as required.

A list from this week’s course readings, placed in priority order, of the 3 next steps Jonas Smithfield III should take to enhance his chances for success if he moves ahead with the new product line. Justify the selection of your 3 priority steps by writing a 2-3 sentence rationale for each. Use in-text citations and list references from course readings as required.

Format for Your Initial Post

You must use the following numbers and headings for each part of your response to a particular issue. You will also use, as required, in-text citations and a reference list to support your answers.

1. Explanation of Mission Statement Requirements

2. A Mission Statement for Smithfield Custom Furniture’s New Product Line

3. Explanation of Vision Statement Requirements

4. Vision statement for Smithfield Custom Furniture’s Product Line

5. Application of either of Michael Porter’s two strategies — Competitive Advantage (low cost versus exclusivity) or Competitive Strategy (Five Forces Model)

6. Priority Order/Justification Smithfield’s 3 Next Steps

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