The current project proposal is designed to develop and launch a new chocolate bar to be produced by the company. Since the company is operates on the beverage market by having a history of producing carbonated drinks, it is relevant to expand the product range and enter a confectionary market. The launching of a chocolate bar is a good strategic decision that will allow for enhancing the target market and increase the company’s market share.
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Some general information concerning the chosen type of confectionery products is required to arrange the project accordingly. Chocolate products are sugary commodities that are rich in carbohydrates, which are necessary energy sources for human activity (Madar, 2018). Therefore, this product is being consumed by a significant population and is anticipated to have a high demand level.
Chocolate products are manufactured using “cocoa powder, sugar, powdered milk, lecithin” and additives, such as “vegetable fats, kernels, sugary fruits, raisins, coffee, food essences, colorants” (Madar, 2018, p. 100). Importantly, cocoa powder is the main ingredient of chocolate and contains about 50% lipids, which melt at 32°C (Madar, 2018). Therefore, storage specifications should correspond with appropriate temperature requirements.
The product targets a wide range of consumers, including people of all ages, genders, and socio-economic statuses. For that matter, the prioritized competencies to be pursued within the project are high-quality based on natural ingredients and reasonable prices to make the chocolate bar affordable for the target market. To meet the preferences of a wider population, the project aims at producing chocolate with various additives, including milk, raisins, nuts, and coffee.
In such a manner, the company will ensure the diversification of the product by relatively low costs (Madar, 2018). Thus, the general objectives of the project include launching a high-quality, affordable chocolate bar for consumers, design a competitive product capable of occupying a solid place on the market, and ensure production sustainability (Gallo, Antolin-Lopez and Montiel, 2018). One project manager, two marketing managers, one financial manager, one designer, and a 20-people production group, will be involved in the project.
The details of the project plan are presented in Figure 1. The planned activities incorporate the actions of all participants at every level of chocolate bar developing and launching. The planned actions will be tackled in the order of their priority of contribution to the final result. Apart from the manufacturing specifications, a significant part of the project actions is devoted to marketing efforts, which will allow for addressing the risks and opportunities of the company on the market.
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|Number||Planned Actions||Priority Level|
|1||Developing a chocolate bar recipe (ingredients and production specifications)||High|
|2||Designing of packaging||Moderate|
|3||Search for partners to supply raw materials||High|
|4||Target market analysis||High|
|6||Distribution channels analysis||Moderate|
Scheduling a project is a core of a fruitful implementation of the planned actions with priorities to time. According to Wilson (2014), any project’s schedule needs to be created within the framework of workload and the coordination and co-dependency of different tasks. The proposed project timeline includes the range of phases from developing a product to initiating its production. Therefore the successful end of the project is anticipated to be a successful start of the manufacturing of the new chocolate bar by the company. The schedule of all the phases with the specification of actions is presented in Figure 2.
|Phase||Description||Early Start Date||Late Start Date||End Date||Duration (assuming early start)|
|1||Competition analysis||1 May||10 May||25 May||25 days|
|2||Target market analysis||15 May||25 May||15 June||31 days|
|3||Developing the recipe||1 May||10 May||15 June||46 days|
|4||Search for raw material suppliers||15 May||20 May||15 June||31 days|
|5||Designing the packaging||1 June||10 June||1 July||30 days|
|6||Promotion strategies development||15 June||25 June||15 July||30 days|
|7||Distribution channels analysis||1 July||10 July||20 July||20 days|
|8||Project evaluation||20 July||25 July||1 August||11 days|
Budget specifications are essential to the implementation of any project. Since the company launches a new product and plans to enter a new market, it is crucial to invest relevant resources to both ensure the competitive entrance of the new product to the industry and ensure the company’s sustainable development in case of project failure. The anticipated costs for the project are $730,000. According to Kerzner (2017), preparing a budget at the initial planning stages allows for a reasonable distribution of the prioritized tasks across the timeline. It must address the possibility of changes to the initial project plan during the project’s life cycle.
For that matter, a top-down budgeting approach is utilized to allocate a general sum of finances and then distributing appropriate costs to each project section. For this project, five main areas of expenditures are planned, including the expenditures for buying raw materials and arranging their supply, costs for purchasing necessary equipment, salaries for the workforce, facilities’ financing, and other expenses. The project budget displaying the sums for each of these five areas is presented in Figure 3.
|Expenses Description||Budget ($)|
Risk management is one of the most challenging issues in project management since it requires a complex analysis of all possible obstacles in the way to the successful completion of the work. Under the conditions of the company’s attempt to enter a new market, it is even more relevant to analyze the difficulties that might be associated with high competitiveness and insufficient experience of the company managers in performing on the new market. When it comes to the confectionary industry, the competition is very high due to the significant number of chocolate bar manufacturers and their occupied niches in the market (Gallo, Antolin-Lopez and Montiel, 2018).
On a general scale, a new might face losses and failures at the initial stages. In particular, since the market is occupied by competitors who already work with main raw material suppliers, it is anticipated to be a difficulty to find high-quality materials for reasonable costs from suppliers. At the same time, high competitiveness level imposes increased demands on promotional strategies’ development, which would allow for profit-oriented distribution of the manufactured chocolate bar across all segments of the target market.
More specifically, there are several risks for this project, including those based on internal and external factors. Internal risks are related to technical processes, budget, schedule, workforce performance, and strategy changes. The impairments in following the planned schedule and budget, as well as the underperformance of the specialists involved in the developing and launching of the chocolate bar, are considered high-level risks. In the case of the occurrence of problems in these areas, the overall implementation of the project will be in danger. Any changes in the company’s strategy concerning the carrying out of the project objectives will have a moderate impact on the project.
Consequently, external risks incorporate problems with raw material supply, unpredicted market changes, external hazards, and legal risks. These probable obstacles arise on the bases of forces outside of the company’s influence. The difficulties in the supply of raw materials are regarded to be of a high level of risk since the provision of materials is the core of chocolate production. Any problems with suppliers will lead to delays or even collapse of the project tasks.
Also, unpredictable changes in the confectionery market, such as the active performance of new competitors or other issues, might have a severe influence on the success of the project. Legal issues related to obtaining all permissions for productions and distribution are of medium level of impact. Finally, such external hazards as epidemics, natural disasters, or social conflicts are estimated to be low-level risks. All these risks are grouped into high, medium, and low level depending on the anticipated probability of their impact on the outcomes of the project (Kerzner, 2017). The grouped external and internal risks are presented in Figure 4.
|Impact Level||Internal Factors||External Factors|
|High||Workforce performance||Unpredictable market changes|
|High||Budget||Raw materials supply|
|Medium||Technical processes||Legal risks|
|Low||Strategy changes||External hazards (natural disasters, social conflicts)|
Gallo, P.J., Antolin-Lopez, R. and Montiel, I. (2018) ‘Associative sustainable business models: Cases in the bean-to-bar chocolate industry’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 174, pp. 905-916.
Kerzner, H. (2017) Project management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. 12th edn. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.
Madar, A. (2018) ‘Removing the pressure from the competition by using diversification strategy’, Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Sciences, 11(1), pp. 99-108.
Wilson, R. (2014) A comprehensive guide to project management schedule and cost control: Methods and models for managing the project lifecycle. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.
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