Case study: IKEA
For our case study we talked to “Martyn Brache”, store manager at IKEA Amsterdam.
In our case study we talked about possible crisis situations that might occur within the IKEA company and their strategy and ability to predict them. The interview showed that, on a local level, IKEA did not have a clear strategy on crisis prediction. Rather, IKEA tries to create an innovative environment to deal with crisis situations. By staying in touch with their customers, they try to create innovative products to keep their business going. The rule of thumb in IKEA is that "To prevent is better than cure"
One of the risk factors to the IKEA business is the logistic challenges to supply all their stores around the world.
- "Now we want to decentralize our supply system to different regions. For example, when we worked in Japan, it took nine weeks to transfer "BELLY" bookcases from our production facility in Germany to Japan. This lead to a situation in which we had to order around 450 bookcases every time, just to see me through the 9 week period. With the creation of production facilities in China we were able to drop delivery times significantly therefore solving some logistic problems before they grew out of hand'"'
Another risk factor that could jeopardize IKEA's business is the growth and globalisation of IKEA. In our case study we also asked "Martyn Brache" about this possible risk.
- "It is important to make sure that you don’t lose your market and control over your business. This is the reason why IKEA invests in small localized stores all over the world. It’s important to ask yourself while you're growing, how you can stay close to the the same core-values as when IKEA started. "
Our case study did not reveal a clear monitoring and predicting strategy applied by IKEA. On a localized level IKEA watches market aspects that matter most to them. They try to grow and evolve with their customers, by closely watching the customers' preferences and habits. From this case study came forward that logistics, globalisation, and customer wishes are aspects that IKEA uses on a localized level to identity possible threats and opportunities for the business.
This is a semi-structured interview, prepared after the first analysis of the subject, that was sent to our interviewee before the meeting. Martyn read the questions prior to the meeting.
1. Is your company in crisis?
- 1.1 Did you try to predict it?
- 1.2 Could you predict it?
- 1.3 Do you think you could have done something else to predict it better (and what)?
2. Do you have a department that does market research?
- 2.1 What is their contribution in predicting a crisis?
- 2.2 Have they been helpful avoiding a crisis?
- 2.3 Do you think there is unused potential for using information/resources in predicting a crisis?
3. What have you done to overcome the crisis?
- 3.1 Were you prepared for it? What were the actions taken?
- 3.2 Was the market research particularly useful?
- 3.3 Did you prepare for a specific crisis? Or did you prepare for general crisis?