Calloway Callaway Golf Case Study Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Ratio Analysis

Profitability Ratios

ROA % (Net)

ROE % (Net)

ROI % (Operating)

EBITDA Margin %

Calculated Tax Rate %

Liquidity Indicators

Quick Ratio

Current Ratio

Net Current Assets % TA

Debt Management

Total Debt to Equity

Interest Coverage

Asset Management

Total Asset Turnover

Receivables Turnover

Inventory Turnover

Accounts Payable Turnover

Accrued Expenses Turnover

Property Plant & Equip Turnover

Cash & Equivalents Turnover

Callaway has invested aggressively into their customers' satisfaction levels while at the same time concentrating on the end consumers' brand loyalty and the ability to get them to "pull their golf clubs through distribution channels. The combined effects of heavy R&D spending and very rapid product lifecycles in conjunction with having the lowest gross margin generated through distribution channels has left Callaway in 1998 with a Net Loss of $26M.

What is your solution to the problem that was defined in question #4 above? Your solution/explanation must focus on a) Product development & Commercialization issues and b) on distribution channel issues.

Callaway is still operating like a start-up despite the fact they are nearly a $700M company during the period of time this case study covers. As a result, their approach to product development and commercialization is to overwhelm both the competition and their customers by concentrating on speed of product lifecycles combined with unique solutions to common golfer or "duffer" problems. This approach to new product development and commercialization is highly effective for starting a company yet can become quite expensive and chaotic in more established ones, as Callaway is expiring within the timeframes of this case study. What is needed is a more systematic approach to product development that takes into account the specifics of how the market for golfing equipment is changing over time. In addition, R&D appears to be disjointed from the remainder of the company, forcing other functional areas to overcompensate to keep up with the pace of product introductions over time.

Just as evident of a continual start-up mentality in the company is their approach to defining and executing distribution strategies. Fortunate to have a strong "pull" based product that have end consumers requesting their golf clubs and accessories from customers or distribution channel members, Callaway has yet to create a more strategically-based distribution channel strategy. Instead of having unique objectives by each channel or even the synchronization of strategies across multiple channels, Callaway is going all-out on the off-course retailer yet does not appear to have a strategy for balancing this with the on-course retailer. The international market is completely untapped and it appears in the context of the case study that Callaway is allowing their brand to carry them in selected geographies. With a more concerted multichannel management strategy, the company could be much more effective and profitable. Lastly, the many support and service programs the company has actually significantly drop their gross margins through distribution, and like product development, this could also be significantly improved.

Consider the text's chapter 8 Product Development & Commercialization strategic and operational process steps. In your opinion, which strategic and operational process steps in chapter 8 would Callaway Golf Company benefited most from using in the year 2000? Be specific (i.e. support your answers using PAGE NUMBERS and QUOTATIONS FROM the TEXT) and concise in your answers.

Despite the insistence of Ely Callaway and others that innovation, not market orientation or market planning should dominate the company's direction, they are in fact racing into a more mature market and do need to stay attuned to market demands. The first phase of the product development and commercialization process states that "corporate and marketing strategies should influence idea generation for products." (pg. 135) This is counter to the heavily innovation-based approach that Callaway has engrained into its culture. Second, Callaway tends to have their R&D function running independently of all other strategies and functional areas. As a result, by 1999, the company has earned the reputation of flooding the market with new product introductions, a strategy competitors can easily follow through product line extensions. The focal point of the product line race going on are the trade shows in Las Vegas and Florida where dealers evaluate new clubs to consider carrying. This proliferation of new products is meant as a strategy of outdistancing the competition yet is leading to confusion within the distribution channels as customers' salespeople grapple with how to sell existing golf club lines, often not having time to study and effectively sell the new ones. As the books states on page 136 "A proliferation of products and product variations might cause complications with little or no payoff."

R&D as a function needs to also be defined through guidelines established through cross-functional product development team leadership as well. Within the context of the case study Callaway is not actively involving Customer Relationship Management and Supply Chain Management, two critical areas that can help R&D appreciate the constraints of the broader market and also provide greater insights into how R&D can make greater contributions to the value chain of the company. As is stated in the book, "The involvement of the process team from customer relationship management and supplier relationship management is central to managing the relationships across the supply chain (pg. 137)." Lastly Callaway needs to concentrate on having better focus on the strategic objectives behind each new product development effort, instead of just launching new products for the sake of speeding new product introductions through the industry. As the books states on page 140 "...better management of the product development and commercialization process can lead to sales increase as a result of rolling out successful new products, improving product availability, retaining existing customers and also attracting new customers." Taken together these are critical objectives for the…

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