Squirrel Defense, Inc. (SDI) was founded by Bo Haeberle, Glen Thomas and Ed Welsh in October 1998. The company manufactures and markets a high-end, squirrel resistant bird feeder called Solar Feeder. The solar feeder is a squirrel proof bird feeder that delivers a mild, non-lethal shock to a squirrel without delivering a shock to a bird using the feeder. It was a unique twist on typical bird feeders, because although it still resembled the usual bird feeder, it was used to house feed instead.
With any company, you need strong vision and mission statements to help consumers better understand your business and where you intend on being in the future. After reading the case, I found many issues that management must address in order to sustain a profitable business. The first problem that needs to be addressed is the development of a vision and objectives. A business plan is needed and management must find answers to questions like:
* What business are we in?
* What are our goals?
* What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)?
* How are we different from the competition?
Strengths are something a company has that allows it to be dominant. SDI is strong in the fact that it was the first to produce a solar powered bird feeder, thus establishing a precedent. A weakness is something a company lacks, thus causing market disadvantage. Some major weaknesses of SDI are it lacks a strategic vision, has horrible distribution methods and has little capital to help establish market dominance. Once SDI has created a strategic direction, the company should go about the process of implementing and executing the plan. A strong strategy and vision would greatly help SDI move into the next generation of business management. During the process of generating their strategy, management needs to find a way to break even, mainly by decreasing costs and increasing sales. Another important area to change would be advertising. SDI should also include the technology aspects of its bird feeders and incorporate them into their retro theme ads. Strong advertising can help a firm go a long distance by helping consumers feel more comfortable with the product which they are purchasing. After strong considerations, I felt that the central problem with SDI is the fact that it is not profitable and has yet to develop a strong strategic approach to get out of this rut.
Again, to survive as a company, you must break even when it comes to sales. This is one of the issues that SDI greatly needs to address in order to survive in their industry. After reviewing their sales charts, I realize that another problem facing SDI is that their balance sheets show negative numbers for their checking and savings accounts of ($7,308) and their income statement is showing negative net income of ($26, 607) for the year 1999. This is a major problem mostly because their feeders are expensive and time consuming to make, and their production...