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Case Study Analysis Ideal Standard France: Pat Paterson

2156 words - 9 pages

Ideal Standard France (ISF) has been in operation for 75 years, the two primary manufactured goods are heating products and sanitary china products. ISF has accounted for over one-third of the total sales and approximately one-half of heating business in Europe. Heating products make up approximately 90% of ISF's sales.Strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)American Standard invested $6 million at an ISF site in the form of new equipment and machinery, which expanded the capacity of Aulnay by 50%. This additional ISF capacity is considered a key strength to increase production and sales. One of ISF's strengths is that it has been able to compete on its brand recognition and product design.A large weakness of ISF is the strong increase in COGS in the last six months (of 1974), if it continues at its present rate it could reach approximately $124,960 a 21% increase over the 1973 value. This is detailed by the first chart show in appendix A.ISF prior management could have reduced employment too deeply and weakened their manufacturing capability; this is illustrated by the first chart in appendix A, which shows that the increase in COGS followed the decrease in employment. ISF's liquidity ratios show a declining trend could be considered a financial weakness; this trend is detailed in the second chart of appendix A. Another IFS weakness is the decline inventory turnover ratio; shown in appendix B, shows a reduction in how fast ISF is converting inventory into accounts receivable (4.65 to 4.61), this shows a small decline.ISF has an opportunity to expand markets in Europe for boiler type products because there appears not to be a trend toward warm air or forced air heating systems as in North America. There may be an opportunity to increase sales if the economic turnaround happens as forecasted by the French Government, increase of 7% of housing completions in 1977 and non-residential construction would build to a 7.5% growth rate in 1977. This current dire situation at ISF provides an opportunity for change, new management could equate to a new business approach.There appears to be a demand shift from cast-iron radiators toward steel and aluminum products this can be viewed as an opportunity, this could appear as an emerging product early in life cycle. However, France and Italy seems to remain strong consumers of case-iron radiators.The political threat from the strong unions in ISF becomes a primary obstacle for higher productivity. Aulnay is located in a strongly Communist area, a primary force in the local union. Threats could come from competitors offering extended credit terms to move products into the wholesale inventory. Another threat is that the Governmental prices controls will continue to lag six to nine months behind the cost increases. High inflation rate of 12% causing profit margin pressures is considered a threat to continuing conducting business in France.SWOT analysisThe increased capacity at the Aulnay plant is a...

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