Alto Chemicals Europe (Ar)

In: Social Issues

Submitted By hecmba
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Leading Org. Culture & Change
Case 4: Alto Chemicals Europe (AR)
1. At the time of Graaff’s appointment, how good a job do you think the sales force was doing?

The ACE’s headquarters organization was by product group and the subsidiaries was by function. The interaction could be best described as a matrix relationship. In that case there was a dual sources of influence on product and subsidiary management.
Stabilizers had experienced an annual growth rate averaging less than 3% during the 1980s. They were considered as a matured industry as all potential applications have already been discovered and no rapid growth was expected. To enter the market, the company tried to convert customers from Barium to Tin (the company’s variety of stabilizer) with initial discounts of 2 – 3% below Barium prices and a better product performance. The entry strategy placed its sales attention on the segments for which price played a relatively significant role. Producers to whom the cost ratio of stabilizers was high. ACE was not the sole supplier of Tin in the market, but for the others it accounted for a minor share of their stabilizer sales.
Tin stabilizers were sold through a specialized sales force in all the subsidiaries. They were compensated primarily on a fixed salary and they were able to manage their sales quota through few large clients by offering them discounts. There was Conflict among subsidiaries.
Selling was too price oriented which led to the underutilization of sales force potential. Conversion was a time-consuming process and the proportion of selling time spent on it had declined since the mid-1980s. Due to matrix structure performance measurement indices for product management and subsidiary management would be different. Product line’s focused on profitability and subsidiary management focused on sales volume. All these resulted in low profit for the…...

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