Cooley Distillery: The Independent Spirit of Ireland Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Analysis of Internal & External Environment of the Company

            First of all, the internal environment of the company has been analyzed and in order to do that, the strengths and weaknesses faced by the management of Cooley Distillery have been analyzed as follows:

Strengths

            Cooley Distillery is basically an independent producer of Irish Whisky in its market. The management of the company has created a competitive advantage for the company on the basis of its use of the traditional methods in giving touch to its customers for Irish heritage in its Whiskey and high commitment to the quality of the product. The company has maintained its high quality by making use of the native ingredients such as peat so that the Irish history could also be preserved within the product itself.

            By the year of 2011, the management of Cooley Distillery had expanded the product offering to four primary categories of the products to maintain its traditional image and positioning in the market. The company had also won the European Distiller of the year award for the years 2008 to 2011 consecutively. In 2008, the company also won the World Distiller of the Year award. Overall, Cooley Distillery had maintained a strong competitive position in the market despite being a niche player in the Whiskey industry.

Weaknesses

            First of all, if we analyze the financial information of the company as provided in case exhibit 4, then it could be seen that over the years the profitability of the company has increased however, since 2009 till 2010, the profitability of the company had started to decline. Furthermore, the company had achieved significantly high margins on its branded products; nonetheless, the management of the company had not achieved the margins of the same magnitude for its private label branded products.

                Cooley Distillery was an unlisted public company and therefore, the company was not able to put its shares up for sale in the primary market in order to raise the needed capital for which the company has a strong need currently. Now the time had come that significant investment was required by the management of the company in sales marketing and distribution areas so that the company could maintain the same tangible returns for its shareholders.

In order to analyze the external environment of the company, the threats and opportunities faced by the company have been analyzed as follows:

Threats

            The management of Cooley Distillery is now struggling to get its brands back on the shelves of the company. The management of the company has always invested its profits back in the businesses in order to remain competitive in the market. Apart from this, the constraints that are placed upon the funding requirements of the company is another threat, which is being faced by the company and this is mainly due to the reason that the company has not been able to maintain the same distribution and marketing budgeting capacities just like its competitors. Another significant threat faced by the company is the significant decline in the Irish whiskey industry.

            The weaknesses and all the threats that are being faced by the company have always been countered on a lower level; however, the decline of the industry was one of the most significant threats faced by the management of the company. Another important threat faced by the company was to retain its stockholders to whom the company had never paid on their investment.

Opportunities

            In order to overcome these threats, the management of the company had several opportunities available in the market. The range of opportunities available to the management of Cooley Distillery included to do partnership with one of the major spirits company, sell the company, take the company private, exit the whiskey business and become the sole producer for a number of other companies and lastly, the management also had the opportunity to maintain its current status quo in the market and focus on its current operations.

            There were many companies that had approached to Teeling, the owner of the company, in order to buy the company. All these opportunities would present risks and rewards for the management of the company; however, the most optimal opportunity would create value for the business and also generate tangible returns for the shareholders of the company................

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