A strong competitive advantage is an absolute must in an environment filled with a plethora of companies and where the production costs are comparatively cheap. Madécasse has been long known for its locally produced chocolate of the finest quality, yet the firm may have stumbled upon a problem. Due to the cheapness of the labor force and the abundance of supply materials, a range of competitors have infiltrated the market. In addition, multiple ethical concerns that Madécasse has to avoid in order to remain reputable pose a significant challenge (Marshall et al. 2). By aligning with its values and continuing to invest in the quality of workplace conditions of its local employees, Madécasse will be able to keep its customers.
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The issue of competition might not seem to be a large problem given the amount of representation that Madécasse has across the globe. However, its rivals and copycats may resort to unfair strategies, which will devalue the efforts of Madécasse and make its buyers question whether the company makes unethical decisions as well. In addition, the increase in the intensity of rivalry may create obstacles to compliance with the current ethical policies (Marshall et al. 4). If Madécasse starts losing its profits, the company will be unable to deal with the amount of competition that can be witnessed in the target market.
Therefore, a promotion campaign aimed at raising awareness about the company and its brand is essential to the further success of Madécasse. While the firm has been quite efficient in creating a rapport with local residents, it will also have to pay more careful attention to communication with its potential customers. Therefore, the firm will need to revisit its brand image and brand identity. Once enough emphasis is placed on the fact that the company is a pioneer and unmatched expert in delivering high-quality chocolate based on local recipes, Madécasse will restore and even expand further its profit margins.
Additionally, the current network of value chain activities of Madécasse seems very busy. The resulting threat of mismanaging some of the processes within the firm’s logistics and, therefore, delivering the products of lower value needs to be addressed. Granted that the company has developed a unique and fairly simple supply chain model by restricting the inbound logistics processes to a single location, greater clarity will be needed for managing the related tasks (Marshall et al. 9). Specifically, improvements in the current communication framework may be considered a necessity.
Conclusion and Recommendations
To address the issues described above, the organization will have to prioritize its ethical standards and align them with its current business goals. Given the variety of ethical violations including child labor, destruction of the environment, and other morally inadmissible choices made by companies working in the same industry as Madécasse, the latter will have to retain an impeccable reputation in order to remain competitive and respected by its buyers, investors, and business partners.
Therefore, the implementation of the 4x Fair Trade model must continue as a means of keeping the quality of local people high while increasing the company’s profits. However, even though some of the organizations have also reduced the inbound logistics framework of their supply chain to a single area similar to Madécasse, the company remains unique in its rapport with local farmers. To create an added value to the organization based on the specified characteristic, Madécasse might need a promotion campaign that could spell out the unique nature of its brand more directly and clearly to its customers.
Marshall, R. Scott, et al. Madécasse: Competing with a “4x Fair Trade” Business Model. New York, NY, 2013.
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