Westlake lanes Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Westlake lanes  Case Solution


Mr. Dane Sugar was the founder of Westlake Lanes. He formed Westlake Bowling lanes in 1970 with a $250,000 of total investment. Dane Sugar operated the business for several year. And after his sudden death in October 2008, Shelby Givens was the new General Manager of Westlake Bowling lanes.

Dane Sugar was the maternal grandfather of Shelby Givens and was an enthusiastic bowler of his time. Shelby Givens, a recent graduate from a highly reputed business school of Midwest. She was given the responsibility to resolve the problems in Westlake Bowling Lanes and promised to gain a reward of $75,000 in salary and 25 percent share in the equity if the business moves towards profitability.

Problem Identification:

Shelby Givens had faced series of the problems include the decisions made by the board. The board came to a decision of selling of the Westlake lanes if the profitability targets are not achieved by the Shelby Givens. High salaries of the employees, the harsh decision to made for the hiring or keeping the employees.

The debts repayment also terms as a problem to the Shelby. The growth in the accounts payable is resistible. The compensation for the employees. The current model of the Westlake was timeworn, and no changes were made in the model since its foundation. The unnecessary footprints lead to a problem for the Westlake lanes. The target market segment was not defined clearly. The management was not clear whom to target, is it for the family audience or the young group of the segment.

The food menu of the Westlake Bowling Lanes was limited to only pizza, and it was observed that the sales of the pizza are in a declining phase. The company was also not fully utilizing their current resources; the alcohol license was also not fully utilized. There were no leagues on the Fridays and weekends.

The different fee structure for the different days was not well managed and the time allotment was also unjustified. The low number of the customers attracted towards the Westlake bowling lanes. The increasing number of the advertising expenses also didn't attract more customers; it's like a waste of money that is reserved for the advertising. The advertising is not appealing the customers or the advertising is targeting the wrong customers.

External Analysis

Porter’s Five Forces

Threat of New Entrants:

The Westlake Bowling Lanes have a very attractive location in downtown Raleigh. The Westlake bowling lanes have rigid its roots since 40 years of high services to the industry. The company has developed expertise and name in the market. It will be difficult for any new company to develop its business. It will be difficult for the new entrant to gain market share in the industry or to fetch share from the Westlake Bowling Lanes.

Since the cost of entry is too low to enter into the market, any company that have a long relationship with recreational and league customers and have knowledge of the Bowling lanes can easily attract the customers. The new entrants can gain the advantage of heavy financials against Westlake Lanes to attract customers as the Westlake Bowling Lanes is suffering from the financial lack, although the threat of the new entrants is comparatively low.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

The main contribution of the business is from the services. Other than that the food and drinks are causing a huge revenue for the Westlake Bowling Lanes. The increasing number of restaurants and other shops make it possible for the Westlake Lanes to acquire or hire new, cost-efficient suppliers for the services. No switching cost is associated with the switching of suppliers for the food and drinks. So, if the suppliers increase their costs, Westlake lanes can easily switch to other suppliers..................

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