Cargill Enterprises: Case Study


Cargill Enterprises, popularly known as CE was established in 1960 as the trading arm of Disabled Citizens Society (Otago) Inc. The primary goal of this not-for-profit organization was to create an avenue through which persons living with disabilities could be empowered. The management of DCSO had conducted research and realized that many large corporations in the country were avoiding people with disabilities in their recruitment programs. The organization realized that it was necessary to create a platform that could accommodate such people. Given its social course, the entity has received the support of the government, making it possible to expand its line of products. They include timberworks, e-waste recycling, assembly, polystyrene cutting, packaging, and mailing services. The vision of the entity is to remain self-sustaining despite the not-for-profit business model.

Key Strategic Marketing Issues Facing the Company

The case study shows critical strategic marketing issues facing the company that cannot be ignored. One of the main issues that are apparent from the analysis of the case is that the company has acquired the image of a social entity focused on helping people living with a disability. As such, expectations are created in a way that makes it necessary for its customers and partners to apply relaxed rules when engaging it. In the current competitive business environment, many firms are keen on avoiding such firms because of the need to make profits. They believe that CE does not offer them the competitiveness they need to succeed in the market. It is also evident that the company is facing stiff competition from the international market. Some of the products imported from China cost about 10% of the price that CE charges, although their quality is compromised. It is also evident that the company cannot keep up with the minimum wage requirement.

The Possible Options for Addressing the Issues

The company must find a way of addressing key challenges that it is currently facing. One of the possible options that it can consider is to redefine its workforce to ensure that it employs individuals with and without disabilities. The diversity may help in improving productivity at the company. The second option may be to consider automating some of the services. Automation should not focus on downsizing the workforce. Instead, it should aim at expanding the capacity of the firm to offer more services to its customers. The firm can consider outsourcing some of the services, especially those that are costly to the firm. Another option may be to focus on importing some products as a way of lowering its production cost and increasing profitability. Whichever strategy that the company chooses, the goal should be to protect the interest of its workforce and to ensure that it remains sustainable.

Options That Should Not Be Adopted

When the management of CE is choosing the right strategy of addressing challenges that it faces in its operation, it should be careful in avoiding options that are not based on its primary mission of creating a platform for people with disabilities to have gainful employment. Outsourcing services is one of the options that should not be given priority at the company. The strategy may help the firm to lower its operational cost and even improve productivity, but it may have a negative effect on the current workforce at CE. As more of the tasks are outsourced, some of these employees may be rendered redundant and it may be necessary to lay them off. The idea of importing products from countries such as China may have the same effect of eliminating jobs for its current employees. These two strategies may help the firm to solve financial and competition problems, but they go against the interest of the employees.

The management should consider embracing policies and strategies that will help it lower its cost of operation, improve productivity, and address any other challenge identified in the case study presented. One of the best strategies that the organization should consider is to redefine its workforce structure. In this context, the company will focus on employing individuals with and without disabilities. The aim will be to create an environment where the weaknesses of people with disabilities can be addressed by those without disabilities. It will also be a motivation to the current workforce when they realize that they can perform just as well as those without disabilities. The strategy will also help change the image of the company. The second strategy that the firm should consider is automating some services, especially those that the current workforce cannot handle effectively.

Timeline for the implementation of the Recommendations

The success of the strategy that the management chooses to use lies in the implementation. One of the factors that have to be considered in the execution process is the timeline for different activities involved. The table above shows the proposed timeline of activities that the management should consider. From September 1-18, the focus should be on formulating the best strategy or strategies that can help the company to overcome the challenges that it is facing. The creation of awareness among all stakeholders, which shall involve explaining to them the need for change and its benefits, should last from September 20 to October 2. The actual introduction of the new policy/strategy will need about 2 months, from October 5 to November 30. It will involve the actual process of change within the organization. The last stage will be the assessment of the outcome, which should last from 2-19 of December.

Timeline for the implementation of the Recommendations

Key Milestones for the Implementation of the Recommendations

The management should understand the key milestones for the implementation of the recommendations given above. The first step will be to have a recruitment program where the firm will start hiring employees with and without disabilities. The management will need to create awareness among all stakeholders when hiring such employees, explaining why it is important to do so. The goal is to avoid creating the image that it is no longer focusing on creating employment opportunities for the disabled members of society. The next milestone is to redefine the approach of undertaking various tasks based on the skills, experience, and capabilities of every member of the company. The management can then introduce automation as a way of improving overall productivity. The last stage is to assess the progress made after restructuring and to make relevant changes.

The Responsibility And Resource Implications of the Recommendations

It is important to define individuals who should be responsible for specific actions and resources that would be needed for the implementation. The management unit of this organization will be responsible for approving the proposed strategies needed to transform the organization. They also have the role of developing a recruitment plan that will delicately balance the number of workers with disabilities and those without. They have to conduct the recruitment process and introduce new policies to guide the new workplace environment. They also have to approve and release resothe urces needed for the implementation process. Employees have the responsibility of adapting to the new environment in the workplace, which may require them to use new technologies to undertake their duties. The timeline of activities shown in the table above indicates that the process will require about 4 months to be completed. The amount of money needed will vary depending on the approach that the management chooses to embrace.

Risks in the Proposed Approach and Mitigation

The proposed approach to addressing challenges facing CE has some risks that the management should be ready to address. One of the biggest challenges is that the organization may lose its image in the society as one that focuses on creating employment and empowerment avenues for people living with disabilities. It may be viewed as another for-profit entity that does not deserve any special treatment. As the firm continues to hire people without disabilities, those living with disabilities may find it difficult getting employment at the firm. There is also the problem of funding from the government. There is the risk that the government may not find it necessary to continue supporting this company. It is critical to find ways of addressing these challenges. The proposed mitigation measure is for the company to invest in awareness creation among members of the public so that they can understand why these strategies are relevant for the survival of the organization.

Consequences of Not Following the Recommendations

The management may choose to ignore the recommendations provided in this presentation. One of the potential consequences of such an action is that the company may lose 75% of its market share within the next 2 years as more cheap imports continue to flood the market. Organizational buyers keen on cutting operational costs as a way of enhancing their profit margins may consider purchasing cheaper imports. If the company fails to redefine its operations as suggested, it may end up losing most of its customers. There is the risk of the organization being forced to stop its operations within the next 3 years if the current market trends continue in the same way but the firm fails to change. It may lose its relevance in the local market. It is also possible that the government may consider it unnecessary to continue supporting this company. The management will need to embrace the proposed solution to avoid these risks.

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