Business Case Studies
Case 1 – Organisation of a Local Food Supply Chain
Conversations were held with personnel in store, the hubs or consolidator and producers using an Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry seeks to find the best of something, things that really worked well or things that people really admire and replicate these. These conversations were held about the organisation of the supply chain from consumer to supplier or producer. Most comments were about Supply Chain issues (These were a mixture of practical issues, but also seeing the supply chain as an end-to-end process) and then concern for cultural, local and local employment. Many aspects relating to the local community were important. Support for local producers & farmers was high. There is considerable scope for learning between producers, hubs and stores. A number of outcomes have already occurred within these supply chains, and this work is being followed up with a number of clients to discover the better practices and what can be improved.
Case 2 – Strategic profile of European breeding companies
Companies throughout Europe were asked for written information on their products and this was followed up by telephone interviews. Information on companies was also obtained from press articles, publications etc. Various SWOT analyses were undertaken to provide further description. This method has been used successfully to gain insight into company strategy, marketing and technical capability.
Case 3 – Review of a sectors’ business models
A sector review of supply chain business models which encompassed vertically integrated, cooperatives and separate entities. The opportunities for operators in one sector to participate in another sector were investigated. The business model that a firm chooses may be the result of historical and personal preferences and the context within which the firm operates. Uncovering some of the advantages and disadvantages helps inform current decisions.
Case 4 – Strategic review of regional bioscience companies
In late 2014 we undertook a review of the bioscience companies in the York and North Yorkshire region for a leading Business Processing Outsourcing and Professional Services company. This involved interviewing senior executives from companies located in the region to complement our existing regional bioscience database and build up a knowledge bank of firm information from a variety of resources. This work was aligned to the North Yorkhire and East Riding regional growth strategic plans. The European concept of research and innovation strategies for smart specilaisation (RIS3) was used a conceptual model to analyse and present the data. In the recent BIS Science and Innovation Strategy document “Our Plan for Growth” the importance of “place” is recognised:
“Science and innovation, and the education and training of future academics and practitioners, is
about ideas and thought. But, for the most part, ideas and their application and exploitation are
not formed in the ether, but in particular institutions and companies which are physically
present in particular towns and cities. Place can make a difference – the clustering of resources
and industries in specific locations can provide a conducive – and, in some cases, essential –
context for success.” (Our Plan for Growth, page 11)