Party Continues for Fiesta China

Party Continues for Fiesta China

November 9, 2019

The Homer Laughlin China Company (HLC) of Newell, West Virginia, navigates a tough business environment to maintain its iconic Fiesta brand as the last large commercial pottery maker in the U.S..

Despite strong competition from China, Mexico, and India, affordable pricing, and a heavily manual manufacturing process, HLC has diversified its business into 60% consumer market and 40% food service industry.

The company also started its own online sales 10 years ago.

As a result, HLC is able to remain competitive with its top quality Fiesta China carrying the made-in-America credentials since 1871.


Video Spotlight: How Fiesta Dinnerware Is Made


This post is based on the Forbes article, The Family-Owned Company That Makes FiestaWare Counts On Diversification And Online Sales For Growth, by Jim Vinoski, October 24, 2019, and the YouTube video, How Fiesta Dinnerware Is Made, by Insider, September 9, 2018. Image source: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges of the commercial pottery industry in the U.S.?

Guidance: The challenges include strong foreign competitors from China, Mexico, and India on labor costs, strong local competitions with 30+ pottery makers, price competition, and a heavily manual manufacturing process.

2. How did Homer Laughlin Continue reading

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Table Delivery at Chick-fil-A

Table Delivery at Chick-fil-A

November 3, 2019

Chick-fil-A is making dine-in easier.

It’s customary at Chick-fil-A to deliver a dine-in customer’s order to their table. However, the company is upping its game with a mobile app that allows you to order from your table.  As a result, customers can bypass standing in line.

Simply place your order through the app, tap your table number, and your meal will be delivered table-side.

Chick-fil-A plans to continue its high level of service.  The new app is an additional tactic to ensure a good experience when you decide to dine in the restaurant.


Video Spotlight: Former Chick-fil-A exec explains how core values bring success


This post is based on the Forbes article, Chick-fil-A Removes the Need to Wait In Line, by Alicia Kelso, October 18, 2019, and the YouTube video, Former Chick-fil-A exec explains how core values bring success, by Fox Business, October 2, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Goran Bogicevic

Discussion Questions:

1. How does this impact Chick-fil-A’s service process?

Guidance: The company is actually removing one step from its service process.  For people ordering with the app, Chick-fil-A will no longer need to take the order from the customer at the Continue reading

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CostCo Vertically Integrates to Manage Rotisserie Chicken

CostCo Vertically Integrates to Manage Rotisserie Chicken

October 24, 2019

Costco is planning to vertically integrate by owning production of 40% of its rotisserie chicken supply chain.

Vertical integration is an effort to keep the price at $4.99 to attract customers.  The issue is that the main chicken suppliers are producing fewer whole birds, down from 50% of the supply in the 1980s to just around 15% of the supply today.

Bird size has also increased as the demand for chicken has increased.  Most whole chickens today are too big to fit on the Costco rotisserie production equipment.  Costco needs 6 pound birds and the typical whole chicken is now 7-8 pounds from suppliers.

Costco can control the size of the bird and plans to cut costs per bird by 35 cents by developing their own poultry complex.


Video Spotlight: This Is Why Costco Only Charges $5 For A Rotisserie Chicken


This post is based on the CNN article, Five things to know about Costco’s $4.99 rotisserie chickens, by Nathaniel Meyersohn, October 14, 2019, and the YouTube video, This Is Why Costco Only Charges $5 For A Rotisserie Chicken, by Mashed, February 5, 2019. Image source: Uwe Starke/Image Source

Discussion Questions:

1. After reading Continue reading

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