Fisk Alloys Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Fisk Alloys Case Study Solution


The case illustrates the growth policies of the Fisk Alloys company that operates in the alloys market in Europe and USA.The company offers cadmium free alloys in the market. Since after the European policy “to eliminate cadmium” from the copper alloys, the company under the leadership of Brain and Eric prepared itself before the law imposition, resulting in high demand in the market for the Fisks Alloys. However, the company faces intense competition from Olin that offers aluminum and copper products in the market and is regarded as number: 1 quality alloy in the market.

Since the company gained the certification from Defense military department, the company faces the issues in managing the growth with limited scare resources, also the order from DX (defense department) poses great pressure on the company to ful fil its order at priority, leaving other projects at stake. In addition the company also faces scarcity of skilled human resource and mechanical technique to make the equipment’s work efficiently.In certain circumstance, Eric and Nickel has to decide which opportunity to tap in market and how to manage the operations and sustainability of the company with limited resources.

Keywords:  Limited resources, Copper Alloys, Fisk Alloys, conductors

Strategic Profile and Case Analysis Purpose

Fisk Alloys offers the copper quality wires in the market, and expanded its business by offering copper alloys that are cadmium free. Since after the policy renewal of European Union to use eco-friendly products and ban on cadmium use in wires, the company received tremendous reputation and support from the market, due to the initial adaptation to the process. Due to the early adaption ad certification from the Military units, the company succeed in building a strong brand image and brand value making it compete with the Philip Dodge, the only competitor of FiSk Alloys, offering aluminum and copper wires and alloys in the market. Since Philip dodge entered the market first, it developed the strong market position of offering a high quality copper and aluminum wires under the category of PD135.

In the initial years, after switching the production strategy and material inclusion, the company faced complexities in making the market accept the Fisk alloys as a best alternative of PD135. However, After receiving the certification (after 2 years),) the company gained the reputation, brand acceptance and brand awareness in the market as a second option for PD135. Since the company grew in size, the requirement for skilled labor to run the cadmium free process machine, became a problem for the company.

The market lacked in skilled labor along with the different labor law policies indifferent region. In addition to this, the company faced the scarcity of labor or engineers that can make the best effective use of the machines, by changing the algorithms and functioning of the machine.The company totally reliedon the expertise of Brain (engineer) to make the changes in machine. In addition,it took a full one year for the labor to get equipped with the machine usage.

Lastly, since the company has gained great reputation in the market, it is expose to great opportunities and great demand in the market. However the company has to decide between the different projects to take and work on first, balancing and managing the trade off associated with each project.

Case Analysis Purpose

The purpose of the case analysis is to understand the pros and cons of drastic growth and demand in the market, and how the company can manage the growth opportunities while sustaining its market share in different markets. Also the case analysis is pursued to understand the underlining impact of scare resources on the operational efficiency and smooth supply chain movement, along with the restructuring of cost strategy that offers the competitive advantage to the company in terms of cost leadership or differentiation business strategy.

Situational Analysis

Political and Legal Trend

The alloys industry has recently faced the restriction from European Union, to restrict and control the use of cadmium from the copper alloys, as it creates harmful foot prints on the environment while recycling the waste material.In addition, since cadmium is a reactive element, people can’t and don’t touch it due to its harmful radiation. Hence under the European policy, every player in the copper alloy market has to forbidden the use of cadmium. In addition, the trend is not restricted to Europe only, but the whole world is emerging and shifting toward the use of eco-friendly products.

Socio-Economic Trends

Since the European union has restricted the use of cadmium, many consumers has realized the effect of harmful material on the environment and thus the trend has shifted towards he use of eco-friendly products’ doing so, many players and company has shown an increased demand towards Fisk Alloys product due to the value proposition of cadmium free products, which has been reinforced with the adaptation of Fisk Alloys by the defense Military.

Economic Trend

Fisk Alloys operate in two different regions, namely O risk any and Hawthorne.The employment conditions difference in both regions which made Fisk to hire the people at different wage rates. For example the labor in O risk any is hired on $10 while the labor in Hawthorne is hired on $15.The difference depicts the difference in economic conditions and labor law policies...............

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