Title of the Case: The Quaker Oats Company Time Context: Early 1971 Summary/Abstract: Harry Ambrose had recently been appointed The Quaker Oats Company’s director-long-range planning. An MBA with nine years of managerial experience but no previous exposure to the management of formal planning systems, in early 1971 Mr. Ambrose had a task of guiding the company through what is essentially the initiation of formal, long range planning. Mr. Ambrose also has objectives to attain for the betterment of long-range planning.
First, he would like to establish in managers’ mind that long-range planning is here to stay and is an important part of their jobs. Second, he would like to educate them in the rationale of long-range planning. In particular, he needs to break them away from thinking that long-range planning is the extrapolation of short-term quantitative relationship. I. Statement of the Objectives To establish in managers’ mind that long-range planning is an important part of their jobs To educate them in the rationale of long-range planning
To break them away from thinking that long-range planning is the interpolation of short –term quantitative relationship II. Central Problems How will Harry Ambrose achieve his objectives? III. Areas of Consideration STRENGTH 1. Mr. Ambrose has a good relation with the head of PP&A. 2. A fine budgeting and control system 3. Well established short-term planning 4. Research and Development Group that is good enough to produce or come out with striking products to target customers. 5. A highly successful product development program WEAKNESSES 1.
Uncertainty arising from the new corporate structure 2. Limited staff capability 3. Changing management structure OPPORTUNITIES 1. Company expansion to other countries. 2. Attract more customers with their various products. 3. Catch the attention of more markets THREATS 1. Intense competition over other companies 2. Customers’ changing taste and preferences a. Unexpected problems or emergency like new striking product from other company. IV. Alternative courses of Action 1. Properly dissemination of new information or breakdown about long-range planning.
ADVANTAGES: • Staffs will be more aware of long-range planning. • Updated of what is real long-range planning 2. Hold a seminar that will educate managers something more about planning. ADVANTAGES: • This can improve managers’ skill • It can actually improve someone’s thinking about long-range planning DISADVANTAGE: • Costly. 3. Choose staffs that are skilled and disciplined enough and train them. ADVANTAGES: • It will not be too costly like the first ones. V. Strategy Formulation / Recommendation I therefore conclude that the best solutions to the problem are lternative course no. 1 and 2 which is to have a properly dissemination of new information or break down about long-range planning and to hold a seminar that will educate managers something more about planning. Because everyone needs to be aware what’s the real long-range planning is. By holding a seminar, it can really educate the managers in rationale of long-range planning. Even it is costly, I think it will be worth it because it’s the company who will also benefit from it. VI. Plan of Action 1. Hold a seminar about long-range planning 2. Research more about the topic 3.
Establish to managers’ mind that long-range planning is important to their job VII. Potential Problem 1. What if the said seminar is not effective to the managers? 2. What if the customers change their taste and preferences? 3. What if the long-range plans are not effective? VIII. Contingency Plan 1. Maybe Mr. Ambrose needs to explain them the real essence of long-range planning. 2. Study their demands so the company will know the appropriate product since the Research and Development Group is successful in innovating products. 3. Revision should be done and study the plans well.