One of the principal conditions of the present-day companies’ sustainable development is the correspondence of their regular operations and essential decisions to international environmental regulations. The company under consideration, Barnana, is no exception to the rule since it cooperates with the United Nations and follows the organization’s goals (Dann 1). However, their approach seems ineffective in the context of the continuing expansion of the enterprise’s business activity on the market. The introduction of new products is complicated by the existing challenges complemented by emerging issues. Therefore, this paper aims to assess the situation of Barnana in terms of problems in this regard, analyze them with the use of corresponding strategic tools, and elaborate an action plan and recommendations based on this evidence.
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As follows from the case study, the recent trends demonstrate the declining rates of growth of Barnana, both on the market and concerning the indicators of the retail locations stocking the company’s products. Thus, the former’s annual numbers are reported to significantly decrease in 2018 (6%), and the subsequent improvement in 2019 to 37% is insufficient for recovery compared to the past success (Dann 15). In turn, the latter shows slowing growth of stores while their amount has significantly increased (Dann 16). Considering these two factors, it can be concluded that the main problem is in the offers’ current attractiveness, which does not appear to be one of the strengths of the business. Since external circumstances are impossible to affect, Barnana should focus on eliminating internal risks for future prosperity.
This work area implies the development of measures intended for adequately addressing buyers’ environmental concerns as they present the main obstacle to the enterprise’s profitability. According to the available information, this aspect encompasses the failure of Barnana to find a balance between the brand’s positioning as a manufacturer of organic food and its situation on the market (Dann 9). In other words, the company struggles to produce healthy food in the context of the lack of necessary resources in the required amounts and adjust to the world’s changing environmental needs. The realignment of operations implies using eco-friendly materials, which are not being efficiently adopted by the specialists (Dann 8). Therefore, all of the mentioned strategic issues related to protecting the environment should be analyzed accordingly.
Strategic Analysis: VRIO Framework
The described challenge of Barnana leads to the need to thoroughly assess the resources, which the company can use for preventing the crisis. For this purpose, the VRIO framework examining organizational potential is suggested because it is vital to reveal the resources, which can be used for building an action plan upon them. The model incorporates four parameters, including valuable, rare, inimitable, and organized, and they are to be provided in the corresponding sections below.
The first parameter examined within the paper, valuable, aims to reflect the competitive value of the products manufactured by Barnana. As per the case study, the benefits include the large range of offers, which is currently being expanded, a strong brand image, a well-developed distribution network, and skilled personnel experienced in managing the business (Dann 8). In this regard, the only problem is connected to research and innovation as the implementation of these components is complicated by specialists’ inability to find eco-friendly packaging materials (Dann 9). Hence, this outcome adds to the role of the environment in Barnana’s future progress.
The second element, rare, is the company’s uniqueness with regard to the key characteristics specified above. From this point of view, the strong points are connected to the brand recognition on the market and the offers addressing a significant gap in healthy food options. They also include partnerships with suppliers of bananas from Ecuador and other tropical regions. Among the specified factors, the most critical ones are the cooperation with all the participants, which explains the firm’s capability to survive in the long run, and the absolute rarity of snacks.
The third condition contributing to the effective elaboration of new action plans is the inimitability of the prospective change’s existing drivers. From this perspective, they are mostly connected to the lack of analogs of the products manufactured by Barnana, the established network of all actors on the market, and the qualified specialists with local market expertise (Dann 5). Thus, creating a similar product might be time-consuming and expensive because it should be underpinned by good marketing and distribution efforts. In addition, the costs for training personnel will not be enough for ensuring their independent decision-making process in the absence of real-life experience.
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The fourth circumstance affecting the design of an action plan is the organization of resources, and this aspect presents the main obstacle to its practical implementation. For instance, the connections with suppliers and distributors are well-established, but they do not have sufficient materials to manufacture organic foods (Dann 6). In turn, the researchers are an efficiently organized group, which is, nevertheless, incapable of delivering timely solutions to environmental problems (Dann 8). In this case, a large range of offers, human resources, marketing skills, and other strengths cannot be considered a competitive advantage for Barnana in crisis conditions.
The source of conflicting opinions in the case of Barnana and its partners was the lack of clarity regarding the enterprise’s environmental policy in the long run. In contrast to Caue Suplicy, the founder of the company, who completely neglected this aspect, its current CEO, Al Multari, was more concerned with the issue of this nature (Dann 3). However, despite the emerging need to realign the operations accordingly, these two leaders’ varying priorities did not lead to a consensus (Dann 9). On the contrary, the situation became critical, and this circumstance can be considered the main orientation of the plan of action.
Action Plan and Recommendations
The proposed grounds for resolving the environmental issues stemming from the non-compliance with the actual world’s needs are the change in the competitive advantage of Barnana and the corresponding orientation on the identified obstacles. My analysis shows that all the aspects, which should be addressed, affect the perceptions of customers and, consequently, the attractiveness of the products. Therefore, it is critical to developing methods to improve these indicators by solving the essential problems. More specifically, it is needed to organize research for proposing innovative solutions regarding eco-friendly packages, start using new types of bananas, and increase the number of suppliers.
Considering the above outcomes of the analysis, the proposed plan of action consists of several steps, and their adoption will take one month to obtain comprehensive data regarding their efficiency. First, it is necessary to examine the technological advances instead of focusing on the existing packaging methods. This decision’s feasibility is conditional upon the fact that the efforts to use the materials popular among other firms did not provide any benefits in the past (Dann 5).
The tasks will be performed by the same team of specialists who were engaged in the previous attempts to find alternatives. In this way, Barnana will gain an advantage over other firms. Second, it is vital to learn more about the types of bananas, which can complement the Cavendish banana used by Barnana as the main material. It is significant for eliminating the risks stemming from the possibility of environmental harm if the used fruit will be impossible to find after the potential spread of the fungus (Dann 12). The fact of avoiding the use of pesticides will add to the company’s beneficial position on the market and allow increasing the number of suppliers.
To summarize, the recommendations laid on the basis of the proposed plan can efficiently solve the environmental problems related to manufacturing Barnana products. They include the use of harmful materials and the lack of innovation connected to the development of eco-friendly procedures. The implementation of the suggested method will increase the attractiveness of the offer among customers and ensure a competitive advantage for the business.
The acceptance of the project is likely due to managers’ interest in this area, and their competence will help them adopt the measures. In this case, the market and other constraints are insignificant, and the financial aspect of the matter does not present any obstacles as the idea is to reorientate efforts rather than allocate new funds. Thus, the combination of the suggested approaches is better than other options since it is less expensive, which is important in the current conditions.
Dann, Jeremy B. “Barnana: Adventures in Upcycling,” pp. 1-17. 2020.