HBS Case; Newell Company Corporate Strategy

Statement of Newell Companies 1967 Basic business is manufacturing and distributing volume merchandise lines to the volume merchandisers. A package of lines carries more marketing impact than each line separately. Newell will build its growth through performance and the marketing leverage of the package.

A. Newell runs a strategy of expansion strongly based on acquisitions.
Targeted companies were evaluated to their potential to be integrated into Newell s, considering; y Producing in basic home and hardware domain (broad range) y Companies which had low tech, non fashionable, non perishable products that are year in and year out in the shelves. y The products were ranked #1 or #2 in their product category and imperative for retailers to have in their shops and thus allocating these products good shelve space y It s (often) under-performance with operating margins of less than 10%. y Can the products be sold through the same channels as Newell s; being large discount retailers such as the big three? y Can the company be integrated into Newell s organisational structure? y Can the profit optimization methods of Newell be applied onto the acquired company? y Is the product added improving the product range of the Newell? y After acquisition theses companies went through a process known as Newellization , a process of streamlining, focusing on operational efficiency and profitability, with the ultimate goal of turning profit margin above 15%. (To be achieved in a period less than 18 months) with the introduction of 3 Newell systems standards; Integrated financial system 2. Sales and ordering processing system 3. Flexible manufacturing system


The divisions were monitored by: The triangle of corporate strategy of Newell 2 . Original structure was functional based on consolidation and centralization in order to achieve efficiencies including one single sales force. Newell from a FUNCTIONAL to a DIVISIONAL CORPORATION. marketing and sales. acquired businesses were obliged to focus on their core product line (strongly delimited by HQ) but aligned with the Newell s systems and processes B.Comparable dynamics as illustrated in the Mc Kinsey restructuring pentagon Another stringent condition. manufacturing. This was not the optimum solution to sell a variety of different products and Newell divided in individually empowered divisions running design.

) y Retailers are prepared to pay a 5-10% premium for this excellent service (regained because of less disruptions in supply) Resources y Efficient high volume manufacturing y Global Reach y Superior service (on time delivery). effective information exchange with large discount retailers y Program merchandising y Products exclusively chosen for distribution to large discount retailers y Excellent HR due to attractive career paths and compensation plans Businesses y Low tech. Coordination divisional structure. (analysis later in text) empowerment of the 21 divisions that are responsible for their own P/L support and monitoring from experienced senior managers in the HQ (holders of Newell s image. non fashionable product y Any product that large discount retailers sell Organization 1. A package of lines carries more marketing impact than each line separately. This service level allowed Newell s suppliers to have a higher Willingness To Pay when compared to competitors. internal and external finance. replaced by corporate CRM promoting excellence in customer service. (In 1970 the industry average was 80% of line fill and on-time delivery.y Strong alignment of Newell operations with large discount retailers. subpar performance (intangible resource) y Acquisition helped enhance Newell brand equity y Dan Ferguson MBA holder from Standford (human resource) y EDI. reliable supplier adapted to the just in time model the no problem supplier y Leveraging on excellent relationship with discount retailers y Financial resources (net worth of USD 10 million) y Solid reputation. control and executive nominations) 3 . except for the onecontact-shopping approach. Newell will build its growth through performance and the marketing leverage of the package. data processing and exchange. experience) cross hiring between the various divisions centralized elements imperative to Newell reputation of excellent suppliers (CRM. Vision Statement of Newell Companies 1967 Basic business is manufacturing and distributing volume merchandise lines to the volume merchandisers. At the same period Newell was able to target 95% of these measures and soon drove them up to 100%. 2.

30-45 Corporate office 375 employees.5% ROA => bonus of 100% basic compensation) Strict financial discipline. Divisional structure Advantages Coordination and authority to appropriate level of rapid response Divisions unique environment hence unique strategic orientation Top management s focus on strategic orientation Performance accountability Challenges Division s manager s line of authority Policy inconsistencies between divisions Newell s divisional structure Growth through acquisitions Cross hiring and clear organisational chart Monthly meetings with top management + strong delimitation of product range from head office Division responsible for own P/L + strict financial control of comparable divisions Corporate resource allocation in terms of resources and cost - C. 4 . control support to determine strategy senior management involved through monthly review meeting (thus also adding value through experience and broad vision) corrections made through bracket meetings 30 operating variables critical to success Comparable operations => system applicable to all divisions (SG&A < 15%) Uniform compensations making HR transfers easier + rewarding for excellence (32. Limited group of highly experienced senior managers Large team in charge of data management systems Corporate culture from top to bottom of operating like Newell Top light organization cost only 2% of sales 4. payment term non negotiable 2%.3. FURTHER DIVERSIFICATION.

Newell s strategy is to reach out to these new markets in order to gain volume and independence against large retailers. to level of service excellence Newell s client are expecting. Therefore a question needs to be considered whether the Calphalon product line can be integrated into Newell s corporation smoothly.To continue to grow the overall organisation. This takes into account that the growth rate is becoming more challenging to achieve. CONCLUSION Corporate strategy 1. Dan Ferguson wanted to further diversify in specific unrelated areas such as writing instruments to ensure that overall growth that company was seeking and become big enough to get attention . but a disastrous reputation as a supplier. patiently and actively implemented since decades. Based on strong vision. Attempts to merger with Rubbermaid appeared not possible due to divergences in vision. benefits of corporate membership are greater than the cost. the Newell s resources are the unifying thread inside the corporation 5 . System of INTERDEPENDANTS parts. This was not aligned with the Newell s usual strategy of offering basic products to mass retailer. Newell preferred to wait for acquisition to ensure it could integrate Rubbermaid like it did with previous acquisitions. Ability to move fast and to be patient (see Rubbermaid acquisition) 2. It would bring this company that produces great products and has strong brand equity with end-users. Acquisition of Calphalon Calphalon offered more upper end product line being targeted to the special retailer as oppose to the mass retailer. consistent and capitalizes on outside opportunities. However. Their mutual reinforcement makes the elements to the most valuable inside the Newell organisation (higher value as for any other corporation) 3. Newell to adapt to discount retailers / category killers / global supply 4. the acquisition of Calphalon does open up additional distribution channels that Newell could take advantage of.

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