Elizabeth’s Country Wares

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 498

Words: 2483

Pages: 10

Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 04/02/2011 10:54 PM

Report This Essay

Elizabeth’s country wares

Written case analysis

Problem Identification and Relevant Issues & Facts

Elizabeth Hines is the owner and operator of Elizabeth’s Country Wares (ECW), a decorative country house wares and ceramic pottery business based in Woodstock, Ontario. She targets those with middle to upper levels of income as she believes that her products are not only unique but also functional. For example, her early product line included dinnerware, bowls, mugs and pitchers. In addition, she produces similar themes, including “burst”, “appleburst” and “heartburst”, throughout her products so that her customers can collect pieces with similar designs for their homes over the time, which provides a product differentiation benefit. She expanded her product line once she realized customers’ appreciation of her products and now also offers a lamp and serving platter as well as non-ceramic decorative wood and fabric pieces. The country pitcher (CP) is the primary seller of ECW which has a hand painted design but is also the least profitable product. Hines sells her products at both the wholesale and retail levels.

In terms of cost, ECW’s products are not at the lowest cost compared to competitors but the product differentiation due to appearance, as discussed above, allows her to charge a higher price. In this way, ECW is providing a higher value as the pieces can be used as decoration and for their functionality. In addition, customers of ECW do not require a high level of flexible response as the products are fairly stagnant. With that said, Elizabeth is able to change the designs of her products quickly to account for changes in preferences and therefore still provides a moderate level of response.

The process that ECW uses in producing the CPs is a batch process due to the disconnected line flows, moderate volume and moderate variation. To illustrate, the process is as follows and is shown in Exhibit 0. It starts with the “greenware” stage in which...