Business Strategy - Walden and Able - Walden International

Walden International, the proposed new parent company of Able, is a large multinational conglomerate. It is an extremely financially well-run company, with an emphasis on short-term, quarterly results. In fact, it is Walden's key value proposition to its stockholders that each quarter's sales and pretax profits will be greater than the prior year's corresponding quarter. Walden has a 35-year record of consecutive quarterly increases and absolutely every other corporate objective is subordinate to extending this streak indefinitely. Walden works very quickly re-engineering and consolidating the common functions of its acquisitions into its own administrative services. These functions include accounting, legal, engineering, and customer service. The savings that are realized through the elimination of these common services are usually passed on to the bottom line. Sometimes, if a good case can be made, those funds are reinvested in the new subsidiary.

One of the biggest obstacles to the implementation of a successful business strategy is the clash of value systems between a parent and subsidiary. These differences often manifest themselves in conflicts between the various levels of strategy: corporate, business, functional, and operating. Below are a number of the sticking points between Able and Walden. Discuss the steps you would take to address the issues.

* How would you reconcile Able's need for building market share (long-term strategic business objective) with Walden's drive for year-to year quarterly increases in sales and pretax profit (short-term, corporate objective)?
* Walden's success metrics of head count control, inventory management, inventory turnover, and days sales outstanding can be inhibitors to growth vitally needed by Able. What would you do to moderate these functional objectives and make them work for Able?

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