Arthur Keller Case Analysis and Case Solution

Posted by Peter Williams on Aug-09-2018

Introduction of Arthur Keller Case Solution

The Arthur Keller case study is a Harvard Business Review case study, which presents a simulated practical experience to the reader allowing them to learn about real life problems in the business world. The Arthur Keller case consisted of a central issue to the organization, which had to be identified, analysed and creative solutions had to be drawn to tackle the issue. This paper presents the solved Arthur Keller case analysis and case solution. The method through which the analysis is done is mentioned, followed by the relevant tools used in finding the solution.

The case solution first identifies the central issue to the Arthur Keller case study, and the relevant stakeholders affected by this issue. This is known as the problem identification stage. After this, the relevant tools and models are used, which help in the case study analysis and case study solution. The tools used in identifying the solution consist of the SWOT Analysis, Porter Five Forces Analysis, PESTEL Analysis, VRIO analysis, Value Chain Analysis, BCG Matrix analysis, Ansoff Matrix analysis, and the Marketing Mix analysis. The solution consists of recommended strategies to overcome this central issue. It is a good idea to also propose alternative case study solutions, because if the main solution is not found feasible, then the alternative solutions could be implemented. Lastly, a good case study solution also includes an implementation plan for the recommendation strategies. This shows how through a step-by-step procedure as to how the central issue can be resolved.

Problem Identification of Arthur Keller Case Solution

Harvard Business Review cases involve a central problem that is being faced by the organization and these problems affect a number of stakeholders. In the problem identification stage, the problem faced by Arthur Keller is identified through reading of the case. This could be mentioned at the start of the reading, the middle or the end. At times in a case analysis, the problem may be clearly evident in the reading of the HBR case. At other times, finding the issue is the job of the person analysing the case. It is also important to understand what stakeholders are affected by the problem and how. The goals of the stakeholders and are the organization are also identified to ensure that the case study analysis are consistent with these.

Analysis of the Arthur Keller HBR Case Study

The objective of the case should be focused on. This is doing the Arthur Keller Case Solution. This analysis can be proceeded in a step-by-step procedure to ensure that effective solutions are found.

  • In the first step, a growth path of the company can be formulated that lays down its vision, mission and strategic aims. These can usually be developed using the company history is provided in the case. Company history is helpful in a Business Case study as it helps one understand what the scope of the solutions will be for the case study.
  • The next step is of understanding the company; its people, their priorities and the overall culture. This can be done by using company history. It can also be done by looking at anecdotal instances of managers or employees that are usually included in an HBR case study description to give the reader a real feel of the situation.
  • Lastly, a timeline of the issues and events in the case needs to be made. Arranging events in a timeline allows one to predict the next few events that are likely to take place. It also helps one in developing the case study solutions. The timeline also helps in understanding the continuous challenges that are being faced by the organisation.

SWOT analysis of Arthur Keller

An important tool that helps in addressing the central issue of the case and coming up with Arthur Keller HBR case solution is the SWOT analysis.

  • The SWOT analysis is a strategic management tool that lists down in the form of a matrix, an organisation's internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats. It helps in the strategic analysis of Arthur Keller.
  • Once this listing has been done, a clearer picture can be developed in regards to how strategies will be formed to address the main problem. For example, strengths will be used as an advantage in solving the issue.

Therefore, the SWOT analysis is a helpful tool in coming up with the Arthur Keller Case Study answers. One does not need to remain restricted to using the traditional SWOT analysis, but the advanced TOWS matrix or weighted average SWOT analysis can also be used.

Porter Five Forces Analysis for Arthur Keller

Another helpful tool in finding the case solutions is of Porter's Five Forces analysis. This is also a strategic tool that is used to analyse the competitive environment of the industry in which Arthur Keller operates in. Analysis of the industry is important as businesses do not work in isolation in real life, but are affected by the business environment of the industry that they operate in. Harvard Business case studies represent real-life situations, and therefore, an analysis of the industry's competitive environment needs to be carried out to come up with more holistic case study solutions. In Porter's Five Forces analysis, the industry is analysed along 5 dimensions.

  • These are the threats that the industry faces due to new entrants.
  • It includes the threat of substitute products.
  • It includes the bargaining power of buyers in the industry.
  • It includes the bargaining power of suppliers in an industry.
  • Lastly, the overall rivalry or competition within the industry is analysed.

This tool helps one understand the relative powers of the major players in the industry and its overall competitive dynamics. Actionable and practical solutions can then be developed by keeping these factors into perspective.

PESTEL Analysis of Arthur Keller

Another helpful tool that should be used in finding the case study solutions is the PESTEL analysis. This also looks at the external business environment of the organisation helps in finding case study Analysis to real-life business issues as in HBR cases.

  • The PESTEL analysis particularly looks at the macro environmental factors that affect the industry. These are the political, environmental, social, technological, environmental and legal (regulatory) factors affecting the industry.
  • Factors within each of these 6 should be listed down, and analysis should be made as to how these affect the organisation under question.
  • These factors are also responsible for the future growth and challenges within the industry. Hence, they should be taken into consideration when coming up with the Arthur Keller case solution.

VRIO Analysis of Arthur Keller

This is an analysis carried out to know about the internal strengths and capabilities of Arthur Keller. Under the VRIO analysis, the following steps are carried out:

  • The internal resources of Arthur Keller are listed down.
  • Each of these resources are assessed in terms of the value it brings to the organization.
  • Each resource is assessed in terms of how rare it is. A rare resource is one that is not commonly used by competitors.
  • Each resource is assessed whether it could be imitated by competition easily or not.
  • Lastly, each resource is assessed in terms of whether the organization can use it to an advantage or not.

The analysis done on the 4 dimensions; Value, Rareness, Imitability, and Organization. If a resource is high on all of these 4, then it brings long-term competitive advantage. If a resource is high on Value, Rareness, and Imitability, then it brings an unused competitive advantage. If a resource is high on Value and Rareness, then it only brings temporary competitive advantage. If a resource is only valuable, then it’s a competitive parity. If it’s none, then it can be regarded as a competitive disadvantage.

Value Chain Analysis of Arthur Keller

The Value chain analysis of Arthur Keller helps in identifying the activities of an organization, and how these add value in terms of cost reduction and differentiation. This tool is used in the case study analysis as follows:

  • The firm’s primary and support activities are listed down.
  • Identifying the importance of these activities in the cost of the product and the differentiation they produce.
  • Lastly, differentiation or cost reduction strategies are to be used for each of these activities to increase the overall value provided by these activities.

Recognizing value creating activities and enhancing the value that they create allow Arthur Keller to increase its competitive advantage.

BCG Matrix of Arthur Keller

The BCG Matrix is an important tool in deciding whether an organization should invest or divest in its strategic business units. The matrix involves placing the strategic business units of a business in one of four categories; question marks, stars, dogs and cash cows. The placement in these categories depends on the relative market share of the organization and the market growth of these strategic business units. The steps to be followed in this analysis is as follows:

  • Identify the relative market share of each strategic business unit.
  • Identify the market growth of each strategic business unit.
  • Place these strategic business units in one of four categories. Question Marks are those strategic business units with high market share and low market growth rate. Stars are those strategic business units with high market share and high market growth rate. Cash Cows are those strategic business units with high market share and low market growth rate. Dogs are those strategic business units with low market share and low growth rate.
  • Relevant strategies should be implemented for each strategic business unit depending on its position in the matrix.

The strategies identified from the Arthur Keller BCG matrix and included in the case pdf. These are either to further develop the product, penetrate the market, develop the market, diversification, investing or divesting.

Ansoff Matrix of Arthur Keller

Ansoff Matrix is an important strategic tool to come up with future strategies for Arthur Keller in the case solution. It helps decide whether an organization should pursue future expansion in new markets and products or should it focus on existing markets and products.

  • The organization can penetrate into existing markets with its existing products. This is known as market penetration strategy.
  • The organization can develop new products for the existing market. This is known as product development strategy.
  • The organization can enter new markets with its existing products. This is known as market development strategy.
  • The organization can enter into new markets with new products. This is known as a diversification strategy.

The choice of strategy depends on the analysis of the previous tools used and the level of risk the organization is willing to take.

Marketing Mix of Arthur Keller

Arthur Keller needs to bring out certain responses from the market that it targets. To do so, it will need to use the marketing mix, which serves as a tool in helping bring out responses from the market. The 4 elements of the marketing mix are Product, Price, Place and Promotions. The following steps are required to carry out a marketing mix analysis and include this in the case study analysis.

  • Analyse the company’s products and devise strategies to improve the product offering of the company.
  • Analyse the company’s price points and devise strategies that could be based on competition, value or cost.
  • Analyse the company’s promotion mix. This includes the advertisement, public relations, personal selling, sales promotion, and direct marketing. Strategies will be devised which makes use of a few or all of these elements.
  • Analyse the company’s distribution and reach. Strategies can be devised to improve the availability of the company’s products.

Arthur Keller Blue Ocean Strategy

The strategies devised and included in the Arthur Keller case memo should have a blue ocean strategy. A blue ocean strategy is a strategy that involves firms seeking uncontested market spaces, which makes the competition of the company irrelevant. It involves coming up with new and unique products or ideas through innovation. This gives the organization a competitive advantage over other firms, unlike a red ocean strategy.

Competitors analysis of Arthur Keller

The PESTEL analysis discussed previously looked at the macro environmental factors affecting business, but not the microenvironmental factors. One of the microenvironmental factors are competitors, which are addressed by a competitor analysis. The Competitors analysis of Arthur Keller looks at the direct and indirect competitors within the industry that it operates in.

  • This involves a detailed analysis of their actions and how these would affect the future strategies of Arthur Keller.
  • It involves looking at the current market share of the company and its competitors.
  • It should compare the marketing mix elements of competitors, their supply chain, human resources, financial strength etc.
  • It also should look at the potential opportunities and threats that these competitors pose on the company.

Organisation of the Analysis into Arthur Keller Case Study Solution

Once various tools have been used to analyse the case, the findings of this analysis need to be incorporated into practical and actionable solutions. These solutions will also be the Arthur Keller case answers. These are usually in the form of strategies that the organisation can adopt. The following step-by-step procedure can be used to organise the Harvard Business case solution and recommendations:

  • The first step of the solution is to come up with a corporate level strategy for the organisation. This part consists of solutions that address issues faced by the organisation on a strategic level. This could include suggestions, changes or recommendations to the company's vision, mission and its strategic objectives. It can include recommendations on how the organisation can work towards achieving these strategic objectives. Furthermore, it needs to be explained how the stated recommendations will help in solving the main issue mentioned in the case and where the company will stand in the future as a result of these.
  • The second step of the solution is to come up with a business level strategy. The HBR case studies may present issues faced by a part of the organisation. For example, the issues may be stated for marketing and the role of a marketing manager needs to be assumed. So, recommendations and suggestions need to address the strategy of the marketing department in this case. Therefore, the strategic objectives of this business unit (Marketing) will be laid down in the solutions and recommendations will be made as to how to achieve these objectives. Similar would be the case for any other business unit or department such as human resources, finance, IT etc. The important thing to note here is that the business level strategy needs to be aligned with the overall corporate strategy of the organisation. For example, if one suggests the organisation to focus on differentiation for competitive advantage as a corporate level strategy, then it can't be recommended for the Arthur Keller Case Study Solution that the business unit should focus on costs.
  • The third step is not compulsory but depends from case to case. In some HBR case studies, one may be required to analyse an issue at a department. This issue may be analysed for a manager or employee as well. In these cases, recommendations need to be made for these people. The solution may state that objectives that these people need to achieve and how these objectives would be achieved.

The case study analysis and solution, and Arthur Keller case answers should be written down in the Arthur Keller case memo, clearly identifying which part shows what. The Arthur Keller case should be in a professional format, presenting points clearly that are well understood by the reader.

Alternate solution to the Arthur Keller HBR case study

It is important to have more than one solution to the case study. This is the alternate solution that would be implemented if the original proposed solution is found infeasible or impossible due to a change in circumstances. The alternate solution for Arthur Keller is presented in the same way as the original solution, where it consists of a corporate level strategy, business level strategy and other recommendations.

Implementation of Arthur Keller Case Solution

The case study does not end at just providing recommendations to the issues at hand. One is also required to provide how these recommendations would be implemented. This is shown through a proper implementation framework. A detailed implementation framework helps in distinguishing between an average and an above average case study answer. A good implementation framework shows the proposed plan and how the organisations' resources would be used to achieve the objectives. It also lays down the changes needed to be made as well as the assumptions in the process.

  • A proper implementation framework shows that one has clearly understood the case study and the main issue within it.
  • It shows that one has been clarified with the HBR fundamentals on the topic.
  • It shows that the details provided in the case have been properly analysed.
  • It shows that one has developed an ability to prioritise recommendations and how these could be successfully implemented.
  • The implementation framework also helps by removing out any recommendations that are not practical or actionable as these could not be implemented. Therefore, the implementation framework ensures that the solution to the Arthur Keller Harvard case is complete and properly answered.

Recommendations and Action Plan for Arthur Keller case analysis

For Arthur Keller, based on the SWOT Analysis, Porter Five Forces Analysis, PESTEL Analysis, VRIO analysis, Value Chain Analysis, BCG Matrix analysis, Ansoff Matrix analysis, and the Marketing Mix analysis, the recommendations and action plan are as follows:

  • Arthur Keller should focus on making use of its strengths identified from the VRIO analysis to make the most of the opportunities identified from the PESTEL.
  • Arthur Keller should enhance the value creating activities within its value chain.
  • Arthur Keller should invest in its stars and cash cows, while getting rid of the dogs identified from the BCG Matrix analysis.
  • To achieve its overall corporate and business level objectives, it should make use of the marketing mix tools to obtain desired results from its target market.


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