Case Study: “Sustainable Lawn Care”

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Sustainable Lawn Care is a company that deals with the manufacturing of high-quality fertilizer and grass seeds. The company’s sales are nearly $1 billion and its main customers are golf courses and parks (Collier & Evans, 2021). Its objective is to produce the right product for the right customers while ensuring timely delivery. Unfortunately, the company did not offer application services and guidance to enable customers to use the right method and equipment

There was a poor relationship between the customer, application service personnel, and the Lawn Care Company hindering the smooth flow of information. Inappropriate application of its products resulted in devastating impacts such as polluted streams and lakes and damaged lawns. Moreover, golf courses lost heavily when the hole and green were damaged, making it impossible to play the game. Fertilizers that found their way into the water sources caused devastating impacts on aquatic life such as fish.

The market of the company was affected when a competing company emerged and started offering application services and timely application of grasses seed and fertilizers. The competitor took advantage of the company’s weaknesses and threatened to eliminate it from the market through the provision of customized services. Although the Lawn Care Company presented the best quality products, it started losing customers who lacked the application knowledge and those who did not want to be involved. It eliminated challenges facing customers during the application process ensuring value for their money.

The strategic mission for Lawn Care is the “highest-quality physical products” and “highest quality grass seed and fertilizer in the world” (Collier & Evans, 2021). The statement implies that the company is determined to offer quality products to its customers and support timely delivery. It has enabled the company to attract customers who know about applying the fertilizer appropriately. Moreover, the statement was in line with the company’s competitive priority while the value chain was meant to boost customer loyalty and prevent them from moving to other market players. Lawn Care has been achieving the objective by offering an outstanding product that meets all the market expectations.

The company wanted to present the best quality that is difficult for any other player to achieve. Contrary to Lawn Care, the competitor’s business strategy was focused on the provision of a beautiful lawn free of hassles.

In the value chain process, the initial stage would be the provision of preproduction services to attract more customers. The stage would entail financing, supplier services, goods and service design, training and education services, purchasing services, as well as marketing and sales services. The phase would cover product designing based on the market requirements and operating environment. It would also consider inputs including goods from suppliers and raw materials as the company should develop effective procedures and business strategies.

Production services would be the next production process to create products that are beneficial to customers. Offering quality products would encourage customers to keep on coming and encourage others to try them. Lawn Care should consider perfecting its relationship with customers by offering after-sale services to support customers requiring assistance in the application process. This would cut the cost to the consumer since they would not be required to hire another company for maintenance and other related services.

Several problems are evident in the way the company is conducting business particularly because its strategy is limited and lacks the necessary details. For instance, the vision statement simply states “right products at the right time” showing that it does not express the company’s determination to achieve the objective (Collier & Evans, 2021). The company should develop a powerful vision statement that incorporates people, ideas, and resources. It should be designed in a manner that influences change to happen and create the necessary energy. It should also inspire workers to become more committed to the delivery of desirable services to the company’s customers.

Another major problem is that the company products are applied inappropriately, resulting in devastating outcomes to customers and the environment. The negative effect of the product can attract legal issues and affects its image and reputation. Since many customers lack knowledge of the product application and appropriate steps, the company should offer customer training and guidance. This can help address arising issues, support an appropriate application, and value their products. The company should consider including pre-service in the value chain to offer the necessary information to customers, particularly regarding the best application time and required maintenance for the best outcome. The company should also consider offering post-services including maintenance or re-seeding, bundling packages, and proper maintenance.

The company should consider improving its strategy to offer a more appropriate value chain and a customer benefit package based on the current market requirements. Important factors to consider are the provision of high-quality fertilizer and seeds, crew uniforms, and efficient and clean freshly painted equipment. It should improve the scheduling and routing of trucks and labor, call center processes, as well as the right crew per area and an appropriate number of trucks.

The company’s missions should be extended to cover issues affecting their customers instead of concentrating on the quality aspect only. It is necessary to note that poor customer skills hinder the effective application of the product resulting in massive losses. This implies that customers end up feeling frustrated when the product fails to meet their expectations. The company can only satisfy its customers by ensuring that the product is applied in a user and environmentally friendly way.

The application of the revised strategy can only be successful when operations are effective and organized properly. For instance, offering the application services would necessitate the company to re-arrange its activities and improve its procedures. Business operations should be customized to identify the needs of every customer and offer services based on specific requirements. Good operations should be flexible to make adjustments as dictated by the market and emerging trends. Moreover, the revised strategy would require financing, investment in new equipment, and the training of workers.

It is recommended for the company to restructure its operations to generate more profits and attract more customers to widen its market. Most of the issues affecting the company are emerging from inappropriate application of the product. In this regard, the company should move quickly to ensure that a long-lasting solution is established. Since competitors have already started leveraging the company’s weaknesses on poor after-sale services, it must invest in customer service and show interest in facing any negative outcome.

Contracting another company to offer the application service can also facilitate the provision of a solution to the problem. The company may also be tasked with offering education to the product users and encouraging them to ask questions in case they face difficulties. This would encourage them to prefer the company products to those of competitors because arising issues would be addressed appropriately. Offering discounted or free certification can improve the assessment of recommended procedures and proper methods. Educating customers would not only be beneficial to them but also to the company and play a role in the improvement of profitability.

Reference

Collier, D. A., & Evans, J.R. (2021). Operations and supply chain management. (2nd ed.) Cengage Learning. p.81.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Case Study: “Sustainable Lawn Care”." November 1, 2022. https://business-essay.com/case-study-sustainable-lawn-care/.

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