How do you account for BRL Hardy’s remarkable post-merger success? Prior to the BRL and Hardy merger both companies were rivals with diverse views of the wine industry. Due to the varying views both companies had different organizational structures and approaches.
Hardy was a family owned business focused on producing great wine. In 1853 Thomas Hardy acquired land near, Adelaide which is in South Australia. Thomas used the land to plant vines, by 1857 he produced his first vintage, and two hogsheads were exported to England.By 1882 hardy won his first international gold medal at Bordeaux. At the time of Thomas’ death in 1912, Hardy was the largest winemaker in Australia. Hardy became known for award-winning, quality wines, and the company focused on global external brand awareness. BRL on the other hand focused on commercial exporting, the cooperative was referred to as “the oil refinery of the wine industry”, and the company was more concerned with quantity rather than quality.
Brl Hardy Essay Example
BRL specialized in fortified, bulk, and value wines and it was the second largest crush in Australia.Both BRL and Hardy were respected in the wine market, unfortunately both companies were suffering financial losses and the merger of both companies was the best alternative. According to an ex-BRL manager, “we had access to fruit, funds, and disciplines management; Hardy brought marketing expertise, brands and winemaking know-how”. The above mentioned characteristics added to the success of the BRL Hardy merger. The newly formed company focused on client retention, branding and cost savings.Steve Miller, CEO of the newly merged company focused on his first task, the financial situation. Since both companies performed poorly the previous year, Miller wanted to protect its share of the bulk cask business and concentrate on branded bottle sales growth.
Another aspect that added to the success of the merger was Miller’s awareness of the differences in culture and management style. Miller’s objective was to create a decentralized approach while keeping management accountable. With the delegation of small tasks, Miller wanted to create a “have a go” mentality.The objective was to have the company try 20 things and getting 80% right instead of doing two big things that needed to be 100% right. Determined to “earn his stripes” David Woods was able to integrate the two sales teams which resulted in impressive results. Both domestic bottle market share and profitability increased significantly in the first two years of BRLH’s operation. What is the source of the tension between Stephen Davies and Christopher Carson? How effectively has Steve Millar handled their differences?There are a few sources that contributed to the tension between Davies and Carson; there were conflicts in leadership, power struggles, and organizational dysfunctions.
The BRL dominated headquarters management supported delegation, but only for those that “earned their stripes”, even though Carson had a good track record, his past performance he was treated as a new comer by the new management structure. Within the Hardy built European company there were questions about whether their bulk-wine-oriented BRL colleagues understood international marketing.Due to the differences in views there was a feeling of “Us vs. Them” (UK Subsidiary vs. Headquarters). Carson did not think Davies and the Headquarters were credible and legitimate when it came to marketing. The largest dispute came from marketing strategies, specifically branding and labeling issues.
Carson felt that the image of the Hardy brands eroded in the United Kingdom and they needed to be relabeled, repositioned and re-launched. There was difficulty convincing the home office of his strategy, since Australia controlled all aspects of the brand Carson felt like he was on a tight leash.Initially Millar handled the tension between Carson and Davies effectively, Millar acknowledged the expertise and potential the two managers brought to the company; his intention was to get them to collaborate. Unfortunately I think Millar made some errors in how he handled the delicate situation. There was no clear reporting structure, Davies reported directly to Millar, on the other hand Carson reported to Millar regarding the U. K. Company’s profit performance, and reported to Davies for marketing and branding strategies.
In essence, Carson had direct access to Davies boss.Millar’s approach was flawed because he did not want to be pulled into resolving disputes, but hoped for negotiation. Hoping for negotiation is not a solution, it’s like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, Millar was focused on growth and he did not encourage Carson and Davies to work things out. Should Millar approve Carson’s proposal to launch “D’Istinto”? Why or why not? Carson wanted to launch a new wine D’istinto because he felt it would have a unique image built around Mediterranean lifestyle; passionate, warm, romantic and relaxed.Carson wanted to target everyday wine consumers that enjoyed wine, but were not knowledgeable about it; he also knew that women represented 60% of the supermarket wine buyers. With D’istinto buyers would be encouraged to write to receive free recipes. Carson wanted to create a database of wine and food loving consumers that would receive future promotions through the mail.
The D’istinto line would help build BRLH Europe in size, impact and reputation. In addition to the positive impact on BRLH’s financials, D’istinto would help Carson become more influential.Millar was not convinced that launching D’istinto was a good move for BRLH, there was too much risk involved with competing on the same market with Stamps and Nottage Hill. I think Millar should allow Carson to launch D’istinto since Stamps and Nottage Hill were not doing well in the markets. A new sophisticated Italian wine would be the key in elevating the BRLH brand. What recommendation would you make to the organization concerning the conflicting proposals for “Kelly’s Revenge” and “Banrock Station”? What would you decide to do as Carson?As Millar? After struggling to manage things on his own, Carson hired an Australian marketing manager, he needed someone to come into the organization and take charge and get things done. The new hire, Paul Browne was an eight year veteran eager to capitalize on an opportunity to create a Hardy brand at the ? 3.
99 price point, but be able to promote it at ? 3. 49. Browne felt the market was ready for a fun brand that would appeal to a younger market. He came up with Kelly’s Revenge, with the support of the U. K. ales management Browne pursued the new product, creating colorful labels and preparing a detailed marketing plan. During this time BRLH in Australia was also creating a new product targeted at a similar price point.
The Banrock Station brand was launched in Australia in 1996, its motto was “Good Earth, Fine Wine”. Banrock Station became an immediate success in Australia and New Zealand. With this success it was difficult for Browne to find a place for Kelly’s Revenge since both wines had the same price point in the U.K. My recommendation would be to produce Banrock Station since it was doing well in the market and Kelly’s Revenge was not well received when surveyed by consumers. In business there are tough decisions that need to be made, but I think the wise choice is going with the product that shows better potential. I think Carson and Millar were back to the dilemma they had regarding D’istinto.
How would you compare the management style of Millar to Shackleton and Schulman?Millar, Shackleton, and Schulman were able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals that worked for them. I think Schulman and Shackleton were similar in their leadership style because they were not selfish when it came to the success of their team. I think Shackleton was a bit stubborn and this caused him to get in his own way. Overall they possess great leadership skills which helped them to be successful in different ways. Even though Shackleton has passed, his legacy lives on because he did not allow rejection or an iceberg to stop him from his endeavor.The same goes for Schulman she could have played the victim, but she decided to have a voice and inspired others to be great. Millar on the other hand could have learned a few things from Schulman and Shackleton; I think he tried to separate himself from situations too much.
He was focused on profits and he needed to put more emphasis on making sure teams meshed well. One example was the dissention between Carson and Davies. Millar could have been a better leader in handling the situation, putting each person in their respective “corner” does not solve the problem.