The development of the Hovis Crusty White Loaf
- Pages: 12
- Word count: 2838
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The main objectives for the Hovis crusty loaf were to capture a new market; this in return should allow the company to gain a long term competitive advantage in the bread market. It needs to satisfy customer needs and requirements to achieve this. They wanted something that no one else has. This would meet larger market segments. Overall growth is Hovis’s main objective, but to achieve this marketing would play a big part in it. SWOT and PEST can both be used to give them ideas of what they need to improve. These identify the strengths and weaknesses etc. of current products.
Also it identifies the opportunities and threats for new ideas. For example where they have decided on keeping the white loaf but used opportunities to make it better and therefore a new product altogether (Crusty Loaf). Another large part of marketing is the research and this has been done by Hovis, mainly using primary research e. g. asking customers which bread they prefer and what they would like. Percentages were also worked out to show which breads were sold most and when. This in tern gave a clear idea of what the customers preferred and are looking for.
This meant they can try and meet the customers requirements, which is one of there main objectives to eventually allow them to grow in size. The 4 P’s are also essential for market research. (Product, Place, Price and Promotion). The crusty loafs that already exist are popular, but only at the weekends because they have a short shelf life. One of Hovis’s other objectives Is to make the crusty loaf last longer and therefore meet even more customer requirements and be available to be eaten all through the week. A lot of research is required for this, ingredients etc.
Overall the main objectives are to make Hovis bread more popular to people and be the leading bread maker. This will be achieved by using the above marketing ideas to allow them to get research about what it is people are after. This being the crusty loaf which lasts longer than any other crusty loafs. This will set Hovis above all other leading brands, e. g. Kingsmill etc. they will have something that none of the others have and this should give them a better customer base and increase there market share from 12% to 18%.
The marketing objectives for the crusty loaf differed from those of the RHM white breads because they have involved the customers a lot more. This in tern gave them a clear idea of what was needed to please the customers and sell more bread. Rather than just trying to keep up with competitors as with the white bread. This time they have tried to slightly improve there products to give it a different appeal. The crusty loaf will be no longer just weekend bread it can be eaten all week. Overall by doing this they will separate them selves from all competitors and be in league of there own.
Making more profit and selling more bread. Describe the conventional new product development screening ‘funnel’ approach. To what extent was this followed to arrive at the final product and package design? The conventional new product development screening approach is a 7-stage process that companies can use when developing new products. The process allows the company to predict as early as possible whether a product will flop and allow the company to either make changes or give up on it. The first stage in this process is idea generation.
There is a whole host of different places where ideas can come from. These include marketing, staff, customers, acquisition and many more. The second stage is idea screening. This is where ideas from the first stage are analysed to find the most likely design to succeed. Products will be rated against specified criteria until a workable number of projects are reached. The third stage of the process is concept development and testing. The company will look at the product while it is still in the idea stage to try and determine the customer reaction to the product.
Stage four is business analysis. The costs of development are established and marketing strategy is developed. The fifth stage is product development. The company need to be sure they have a good idea by this stage because costs increase greatly and therefore the risk to the company is greater. This stage will see many people become involved in the development to make sure it is possible to manufacture the product on a large scale. Stage six is test marketing. This is normally done in a selected area or with a limited production run.
Feedback is then obtained from the consumer and refinements to either the product or marketing message are made. Stage seven is commercialisation and launch of the new product. This is the general launch of the product. Hovis stuck to this approach quite well. The first three stages though are blurred together slightly. The first thing they did was to conduct some market research to find a hole in the bread market that they could then enter and dominate. The research showed that consumers preferred white to brown bread and that on taste and texture a fresh crusty loaf was best.
Customers wanted ‘real bread fresh from the baker’. With the market research done it meant that the company could move on quickly to the business analysis stage. A NPD team was set up to look at the technical challenges of producing the new loaf. This team looked at the idea to see if it was possible and the costs involved with it. The product then entered stage five where the NPD looked at the recipe and ingredients that would be used to produce the loaf. After that was done the team overcame the challenge of using new packing methods.
As the loaf entered stage six, presentations and training were carried out at the bakeries that would produce the new loaf. The supermarkets were also made aware of the new loaf. This was done 3 months before the intended launch. Two bakeries began production of the new loafs to test the reaction to this new product before full production capacity was used. The loaf went to full production on 28th June 1999. Describe the organisation structure used for this development The core NPD (New Product Development) team that was formed for this project consisted of the key people needed to cover all aspects of the project.
They were all involved right from the start this allowed them to consider every situation of the development and problems that may arise from the design suggestions. In addition to this there were also further parties that became involved when their specialist skills were needed. This gave the team an efficient structure with a formal hierarchy and all the specialist skills required for the task. This runs along the lines of a classical theory of organisation but they managed to avoid the pitfalls this kind of structure has been criticised for by talking to the people actually operating the machines in the baking plants.
The classical theories were criticised as being unresponsive to human needs so by involving the shop floor employees the team was able to take on a strong human relations approach. These were the people who actually be making the bread and as Drucker said “The human element is vital, as people, not machines, actually do the work”. An example of the benefits of their involvement was showed by the development of the automated bagging process. This was technical difficult process as they were using bags made of a paper/plastic combination in machines designed for only plastic.
The success was mainly attributed to the suggestions from the baking line staff and their close working with site engineers and suppliers. It was done via weekly experiments at the plant the RHMT running trials listening to the packaging staff’s ideas, making modifications and returning with a new version the next week. This allowed the development and implementation of the automated process and other problem solving, implementing solutions to take place much quicker than would have happened without the close involvement of the shop floor operators.
Even the debrief review meetings were attended by all of the key personnel members and chaired by the Bakery Manager. This close involvement minimised any adverse effects of hierarchy and internal politics. Thus the team worked efficiently and solved the problems and difficulties they faced by involving everyone who at one stage or another, whether it be whilst designing or when the bread is going in the bags, is going to face the problem. What were the advantages and risks of the design approach taken by Cathy and her team for the development of Hovis Crusty loaf?
When Cathy undertook the Hovis crusty loaf product in 1997 there were many advantages and risks associated with the development of the new bread. One of the first things that were under taken was a market research analysis of the current bread market to discover what were the needs of the consumer and showed the trends of bread brought. As a result of the research Cathy concluded that the crusty loaf would be a major opportunity to exploit the market by producing crusty bread that would last for up to four days and therefore last for most of a week a large advantage of producing the bread.
One main problem that was encountered by Cathy would have been the budget in which to produce the loaf of which was i?? 3 million, from which the whole process would need to be have undertaken. Also was the percentage increase in the market that was expected by the company. The construction of a design team made of various people heavily associated with bread making and the company was initialised which would be responsible for designing and the production of the bread.
The key risks that the team discovered were that loaves of crusty bread all ready on the market suffered form the following problems; Loaves would dry out as moisture is lost to the atmosphere. Secondly, bread goes stale because of chemical reactions; with the starch converting from one form to another, however, a third problem would be maintaining the crusty nature of the loaf which was required for a minimum of four days, which is what was desired.
With this in mind the team concluded that three areas were in need of improvements which were the recipe and ingredients; the production process itself and the packaging and storage conditions needed to keep the bread fresh and crusty for four days. All of these three areas were carefully and intensively taken apart with various testing and intensive research which would allow them to produce a good crusty loaf. From this a design approach was constructed after various sessions with the design team trying to solve all risks within the project.
The approach the team took to solve these risks were to create new process techniques, technology and equipment would be required as well as, new high-speed packing techniques of packaging. It was also necessary to develop visually striking packaging to attract customer attention, and packaging to maintain the correct combination of moistness and crustiness of the loaf. With this in mind it was necessary to consider acceptability of the solution with the risks, financially and operationally, of the consequences of any which could result in commercial failure.
With the combined contribution of all members of the design team and others a crusty loaf was produced that fulfilled all criteria’s set by Cathy’s team. The high expectations Cathy’s team had were correct to a standard in that the bread sold well very quickly with better expectations resulting in that the advantages and risks of the design approach paid off in the long run. Team Work Report From the outset team 4 took up the theory of a group. All the members of the group have a contemporary manner and there for it was seen right to work in the modern way of forming a group.
Although before the assignment all members of group 4 were on a level playing field in terms of hierarchy, we did not take on a committee formation. The two authors of this section of the report became the main leaders within the group due to the fact that this report depicts on how well the group worked, if the leader(s) worked on a small but just as important task they would not of interacted as much will the whole group and therefore not getting as much information.
Our group developed from an informal group, by which it is understood that all the group members meet on a friendly basis to exchange information and release organisational pressure, into a formal group, where leaders were appointed so that tasks could be issued and particular aspects could be dealt with. The team would also become more permanent. From the initial group development, our conversation and actions had gone past the model stage of Forming, where each team members speaks politely and not out of turn in case to hurt anyone.
We found it to be an advantage to be in the Storming stage, as it made our team more efficient and we were able to do more solid work as people gave their true feelings about the tasks ahead. The documented report for this assignment meant that the task in hand was not vague to any group member, but if it was the information needed could be gained from another group members as there was no lack of support. Although group 4 had taken the group formation, it was due to formality development that meant no one person was too dominant.
These three factors helped to reduce pressure within the group and stop any destructive conflict that could occur. The main factor in group work is co-operation. In our meetings for the coursework we discussed how the individual’s subtasks are related to each others and how each group member will go about processing them. As it is a fairly equal group and the work load is the same for each person, it was important to make sure that the progression of work was discussed, this again helped to relieve pressure by giving support where it was needed.
Once the development of the subtasks of the coursework assignment had been established, for example how the four question were interlinked and partially dependant on one another, the work could be internally assessed to gain constructive feedback and for information and ideas to help one another. Decisions don’t come easily within group. In the first few meetings within our group, it seemed that members vie for position as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other team members and the leader, who might receive challenges from team members.
After taking down the thoughts in our meetings in the form of minutes, it was clear that the process off storming was taking place. After learning about the other stages, we were wondering whether forming and hopefully performing would occur. We then found that clarity of purpose increases but plenty of uncertainties persist, which resulted in cliques and factions form and there was power struggles. Our team needed to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues and compromises were required to enable progress.
After realising that storming was occurring in the team, we thought that the next stage that may happen would be forming. This meant that agreement and consensus was largely formed among our team, who responded well to facilitation by leader. We now found that roles and responsibilities were clear and accepted and big decisions were made by group agreement while smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. We found that the group had found a higher ground on decision making and the commitment and unity was strong.
The team then engaged in fun and social activities making the working environment less tense while discussions and developments with its processes and working style were made. There was now general respect for the leader and some of leadership is more shared by the team. Again we thought that performing would occur because the team seemed to be making more progress which made our team more strategically aware and our team knew clearly why it is doing what it is doing. My group members and i now had a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader.
This means the other questions could be answered more individually making our group having a high degree of autonomy. Disagreements occurred but now they were resolved within the team positively and necessary changes to processes and structures were made by the team. My group was able to work towards achieving the goal, and also to attend to relationship, style and process issues along the way. The team required delegated tasks (in the form of separate questions) and projects from the leader meaning the group does not need to be instructed or assisted.