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May 2019 IB Business Case Study

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M19 3 BUSMT BP1 ENG TZ0 XX CS Business management Case study Radeki de Dovnic Manufacturing For use in May 2019 Instructions to candidates yy Case study booklet required for higher level paper 1 and standard level paper 1 business management examinations 6 pages 2219 5001 International Baccalaureate Organization 2019

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2 M19 3 BUSMT BP1 ENG TZ0 XX CS Radeki de Dovnic Manufacturing 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Radeki de Dovnic Manufacturing RDM is 100 owned by the Radeki de Dovnic family RDM is located in Lobjanec a small city in the Czech Republic Founded in 1873 the business originally made coal burning stoves for residences Several decades later RDM s management foreseeing the final stages of the product life cycle of coal burning stoves also began to manufacture kerosene oil burning stoves In 1949 following the Communist takeover of what was then Czechoslovakia over 95 of private sector commercial enterprises including RDM were nationalized Following the Velvet Revolution of 1989 when Communism in Czechoslovakia collapsed many companies moved from being state owned to privately owned Adriana Radeki de Dovnic took over as chief executive officer CEO of RDM in 1990 As demand for kerosene stoves had been declining for many years in 1993 Adriana decided to add healthcare devices using ergonomic designs to RDM s product portfolio The reasoning behind the move to manufacturing medical devices was that with the baby boomer generation soon to reach retirement age the demand for goods and services in the healthcare industry would be growing Though not immune to broader economic trends in Europe since the Velvet Revolution the Czech economy has fared well Part of this success stems from the relatively smooth transition compared to some other former Soviet bloc countries to a stable market economy and democracy The fact that the capital city Prague is one of the most beautiful cities of Europe and a magnet for tourists has also aided the economy Traditionally educated Czechs speak German in addition to Czech a situation that has facilitated positive trade relations with Germany Europe s largest economy A small compact country the Czech Republic now has an IT infrastructure that ranks among the best in the world For many years the head of the Radeki de Dovnic family was Dr Kristi n Radeki de Dovnic 1920 2001 a former Austro Hungarian baron who fled Czechoslovakia in 1944 with only the money in his pockets as the Soviet army advanced westward Escaping to the United States he earned a PhD in history and became a professor at an American university Adriana chose to retire as CEO in 1995 giving Kristi n the opportunity to return to his home country and take on the role of CEO of the family business He eagerly accepted even though his professional training and experience had hardly prepared him for the task Fortunately his son Jan b 1963 who was born and grew up in the United States had studied engineering at university and had long wanted to live in Czechoslovakia which had been divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on 1 January 1993 When Kristi n died in 2001 Jan took over as CEO In 2002 RDM produced its last kerosene stove and now primarily manufactures healthcare devices Jan began to introduce a highly automated manufacturing process in 2006 that was operational by 2009 For most orders customers enter desired specifications for healthcare devices into a template on RDM s web page An engineer then reviews the specifications Often engineers will contact the customer if questions arise or the engineers have identified a way of improving the design RDM has developed several minor adaptations to customers products that have made them cheaper to produce or more stable Once the design is approved they transmit the information to accounting and marketing which together determine the price for the customer of the order A person in marketing then contacts the customer to confirm that they want to proceed with the order Once the customer confirms the design specifications are transmitted electronically to the shop floor where robots configure the tooling A different set of robots collects and loads raw material into the manufacturing process which is done entirely by automated machinery Only occasionally do humans have to intervene Highly trained engineers monitor the processes

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3 M19 3 BUSMT BP1 ENG TZ0 XX CS Two areas that have yet to be automated are the costing of products which is mostly done the old fashioned way by human accountants and delivery Jan wonders whether it will be long before self driving lorries trucks will replace current human driven ones for delivery 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 Today RDM is highly automated though this situation was not always the case For decades RDM employed a large unionized labour force mass produced stoves and sold its product to wholesalers Because of globalization and fierce competition from Asian manufacturers which had lower cost structures in the early 2000s Jan determined that European manufacturers would have to lower costs Automation while requiring significant capital expenditures lowers costs in the long run In addition digitized communication between robots allowed RDM to be responsive to customers requirements As RDM improved its automation processes and integrated cloud computing mobile devices big data artificial intelligence and three dimensional 3D printing its ability to customize products improved dramatically regardless of the size of the order This integration of technologies also meant that RDM was not restricted to manufacturing healthcare devices Rather it could easily retool to manufacture other products when opportunities arose For example one large medical customer asked RDM to manufacture 500 customized aluminium water bottles Customization included special design features of the bottles themselves as well as their colour and finish The customer wanted to give one bottle to each of its employees With its highly automated processes RDM could quickly and inexpensively produce the bottles with different coloured bottles for the different divisions of the company and with each employee s name on his or her own bottle The success of the order for water bottles was such that several executives at RDM encouraged Jan to make the manufacture of customized aluminium water bottles a distinct division of the company RDM s relationship with stakeholders was profoundly changed by the move to automation In the 1970s RDM employed roughly 500 workers making it the largest single employer in Lobjanec In 2019 the business employs 117 people only a small number of whom are involved in manufacturing Further most of those involved in manufacturing are not skilled manual labourers but highly trained engineers and computer experts who manage the automated process Their attitudes aspirations and motivations differ significantly from the workers who survived the Second World War and had worked under the Communist regime With this reduction in and transformation of RDM s labour force the company no longer has the level of local influence that it formerly had The vocational school no longer liaises with RDM regarding the required skills of workers Now with the free movement of labour throughout the European Union RDM recruits engineers from universities across Europe The move to automation also led to changes in the organization of RDM Traditionally the business had been hierarchical Design changes in RDM s products whether coal burning or kerosene stoves were infrequent and directed by the CEO Now design changes for the healthcare products come with almost every order Teams composed of individuals from all business functions manage orders Jan who replaced his father as CEO in 2001 has a democratic leadership style which is different to his father s paternalistic style Turn over

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4 90 95 100 105 110 115 120 125 M19 3 BUSMT BP1 ENG TZ0 XX CS Over many years Jan painstakingly introduced many changes in practices at RDM to create an environment of innovation When Kristi n headed the company the environment at RDM was orderly even dull and somewhat depressing as a steady stream of workers was being made redundant due to falling kerosene stove sales Jan however is constantly seeking innovation in both RDM s products and its processes He fosters an atmosphere conducive to creativity with heavy emphasis on teamwork diversity humour and fun Most employees love this environment even though it sometimes seems chaotic The atmosphere has produced positive results However some employees have complained that there is insufficient guidance and the business sometimes lacks focus RDM has always displayed a strong sense of corporate social responsibility CSR even before the concept of CSR became fashionable The Radeki de Dovnic family an old aristocratic family of the Austro Hungarian Empire had long held a caring and paternalistic attitude towards the people who worked for them including the workers in their factory Today RDM maintains a full programme of CSR including sourcing components from businesses who also have good CSR practices paying fair wages and having a strong emphasis on care for the environment A component of the cost to customers is delivery costs which are based primarily upon weight and distance to delivery location Given the cost of delivery RDM can generally offer competitive pricing in a 700 kilometre radius of Lobjanec see Appendix 2 This 700 kilometre range means RDM can be price competitive in crucially important Germany but less so in such potentially lucrative markets as Scandinavia the Netherlands Belgium France and northern Italy To continue to grow and access these potentially lucrative markets the chief financial officer CFO has proposed that RDM build an additional production facility elsewhere in Europe which would extend RDM s market area Given that the entire order manufacture delivery process could still be performed in Lobjanec this new facility would require limited staff and most of the work will be done by robots RDM can finance the expensive expansion through either share capital or loan capital Relocation could be very expensive and may be beyond what RDM could raise as a private limited company so they may have to go public to raise sufficient finance Before considering the CFO s proposal Jan knows that one other issue must be addressed RDM s marketing strategy In fact RDM has no marketing strategy but rather a series of practices that have evolved since the Radeki de Dovnic family regained control of RDM in 1990 Arguably RDM has no corporate strategy either apart from a vision in Jan s mind He effectively communicates that vision to employees but no written corporate strategic plan exists to achieve that vision RDM has an outdated name a weak brand identity no relevant vision or mission statement and no written operations management strategy or human resources plan The company makes good products at competitive prices and is responsive to customers needs As a result the company enjoys healthy profits for now ergonomic designs products that are designed specifically for the people who use them

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5 M19 3 BUSMT BP1 ENG TZ0 XX CS Appendix 1 Order manufacture delivery process Step 1 Customer wants product or Step 2a Customer completes online template Step 2b Customer contacts RDM for help Step 3 Engineer reviews request sometimes contacting customer Step 4 Engineer inputs design into system Step 5 Accounting and marketing determine price to customer Step 6 Salesperson confirms purchase Step 7a Designs sent to shop floor where robots configure tooling Step 7b Designs sent to robots which get and load raw materials Step 8 Order is manufactured Step 9 Order is delivered Turn over

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6 M19 3 BUSMT BP1 ENG TZ0 XX CS Appendix 2 Map of Europe showing the area in which RDM can be most price competitive ed en Iceland Sw Norway Finland Estonia Ireland United Kingdom Lithuania s nd la er th e N Belgium Luxembourg Germany Russia Latvia Denmark Belarus Poland Ukraine Czech Rep ia k a v Slo Austria Hungary Moldova Switzerland Slovenia Romania Croatia Bosnia and Herzegovina Italy Serbia Bulgaria Po rtu ga l France Spain Macedonia Albania Greece Turkey