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Erie Corporation has been founded in 2011 with the mission is to provide both reliable products for low-technology customers including Traditional and Low End segments; and premium- technology oriented customers including High End, Performance and Size segments. This business plan is written so as to provide the board of directors a detailed picture about the company’s strategies as well as the direction how we can implement these strategies. The plan consists of three parts.

The first part is about the corporate objectives and strategy. In detail, at the end of year three, Erie aims to be one of the two leading companies in the market with a net profit of $10,000,000 and 25% of market shares of the whole industry. In addition, the company’s management expects to gain at least 30% of contribution margin for each product, to reduce 60% to 70% of total labor costs and 11. 8% of total material costs. Erie’s strategies are niche cost leadership and niche differentiation.

In particular, while products in Traditional and Low End are oriented to operate under the niche cost leader, products in three remaining segments including High End, Performance and Size are aimed to follow the niche differentiator strategy. This is because while price is the most considerable criterion of customers in Traditional and Low End segments, this does not matter to the other three segments’ consumers as long as the products offered are premium-technology.

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To implement this strategy effectively, Erie should operate under the direction like this, besides revising products to meet customers’ expectation; the company set up a relatively low price for products in Traditional and Low End segments and vice versa for products in the three remaining segments. Simultaneously, the company will invest on capacity and automation gradually for all segments. This will bring to Erie a competitive advantage over other competitors in terms of long-term cost savings.

In addition, maximum second shift capacity may be run as much as possible and a significant amount of money will also be spent on promotion and sales budgets so as to capture the highest possible percentage of market shares. Furthermore, Erie is willing to make losses at least in the first two years because in the remaining years of the simulation, when higher capacity and automation are ready as well as Human Resources and Total Quality Management functions are applied, Erie will become more competitive in the market and hence can make profit as the production costs will be minimized.

Secondly, specific objectives, key performance indicators and strategy which are followed strictly the corporate objectives of all departments including R&D, Marketing, Production, Human Resources and Total Quality Management will be also set out. Finally, a back-up plan which might be utilized when there is trouble in the operation of the company’s products is also prepared. Under this plan, the failed product will be remained for two years instead of stopping its operation immediately so as to sell its remaining inventory and wait for the new product to be finished and could be sold to the market.

Introduction Sensor industry is more likely an oligopoly because the products are high technological including cameras, biometric devices and labs-on-a-chip. In addition, there are only six firms dominating the market and the total demand for the whole industry remains stable which means that new firms cannot enter into the market. Furthermore, year after year, while customers’ expectations are becoming higher and higher, the products are getting older and price ranges are stricter.

This indicates such a challenge for all companies in the market. A critical successful factor which can assist all companies to overcome this difficulty is that each company should choose an appropriate strategy to follow so as to succeed and become more competitive in the market. Recognizing this fact, Erie has chosen two strategies including niche cost leadership and niche differentiation that are appropriate for each types of segments. In this business plan, these strategies will be examined in depth and detailed actions of all Erie’s departments which are followed these strategies are also sketched out.

Corporation Strategies According to customers’ buying criteria of Traditional and Low End segments, prices are deemed to be the most considerable factor.

In fact, respectively, the price ranges of Traditional and Low End take up approximately 23% and 53% over other criteria such as position and reliability. In other words, customers are willing to purchase low-tech products as long as their prices are relatively low. As a result, Niche Cost Leadership seems to be the most appropriate strategy for these two segments. On the other hand, prices are the most insignificant buying criterion in High End, Performance and Size segments. No matter how high the prices are, customers in these segments are more preferable to high-tech product.

In particular, for the High End and Size segments, ideal position occupies 43% and products’ ideal age is 29%. Furthermore, reliability is the most important consideration to customers in Performance segment. Hence, Niche Differentiation is a proper alternative for these three segments.

The marketing strategies are ‘fully implemented during the introduction and should be tightly integrated with the company’s competitive advantages and strategic focus’ (Ferrell & Hartline, p210, 2008). Therefore, during the first three years, in light of cost leadership strategy, Traditional and Low End segments will be followed the penetration pricing approach, which is setting relatively low initial prices, so as to maximize sales, gain widespread market acceptance, and capture large market shares quickly.

It means that, in order to comply with the low cost strategy, the prices of the segments are set below the average of their price ranges. In particular, the price of Eat, which dominates Traditional segment, is established at $21. 5 per unit compared to $25 of the average price, whereas the one of Ebb, which takes up majority of sales of Low End segment, is set at $18 compared to $20. This approach is suitable for these two segments because of two main reasons.

The first reason is that the segments’ customers are price sensitive since prices outweigh such other elements as ideal position and reliability. The other one is due to the fact that R&D expenses are relatively low as customers do not pay much attention on the segments’ characteristics.

The rationale behind price skimming is to intentionally set high prices relative to competitors, thereby skimming the profits of the top of the market, recovering the high R&D and marketing expenses associated with developing new products. In other words, the prices of these three segments will be set above the average of price ranges and should be, at least, obtain the contribution margins of 30%.

In detail, the prices of Echo, Edge and Egg is respectively set at $39, $34. 5 and $34. 5 for High End, Performance and Size segments compared to the average prices of $35, $30 and $30 of each price ranges. Promotion and Sales Strategies Percentage of products’ awareness and accessibility, which reflect the number of customers who know the existence of a company’s products, and who can easily interact with the company, are determined respectively by each product’s promotion and sales budgets. In order to increase demand up to 10%, our company, therefore, initially invests $3,000,000 in promotion budgets during the first two year, and $2,200,000 in sales budget of Eat and Ebb during three years because customer accessibility requires long time investment to achieve 100%.

Since year 3, when customer awareness achieves over 100%, the investment in the promotion budgets will be scaled back to $1,500,000. For Echo, Edge and Egg, since they will be launched in the second year, there are only $1,500,000 invested in promotion budgets, and around $1,100,000 to $1,500,000 spent in sales budgets in the first year. However, when they are ready for sales, their promotion budgets will be increased up to $3,000,000, whereas their sales budgets will be invested up to $2,200,000 in the second year so as to encourage customers’ demand.

Even though the costs of automation are high, this is such a short-term aspect. In long-term, the improvement in automation will bring a greater benefit because costs spent on automation just incurred once while the reduction in labor costs is annual.

Using an efficient amount of capacity can help the company to achieve economic of scale as well as to be consistent with the pricing strategy as set out by Marketing department. Furthermore, in order to satisfy higher demands as well as to follow sales forecasts of Marketing department, production manager plans to buy 600 units for Ebb; 300 units for each of Edge and Egg in year two. After that, in year three, 500 units of capacity will be purchased for Eat and Ebb.

The employee turnover rate is lower which can help Erie to keep talent workers and reduces future recruiting costs. Relying on second shift workers, Erie will also achieve its goal which is to keep overtime ratio at 0%. 5% turnover rate is unavoidable annually because of retirement, relocation and weeding out poor workers.

For each initiative, Erie is planning to invest $1,500,000 in a 3 year cycle. In particular, in year 3, 4, 6 and 7, $1,500,000 will be invested in each initiative; while in year 5 and 8, there is only $1,000,000 budgeted for each initiative. The firm chooses an investment of $1,500,000 because expenditures beyond $ 4 million over 2 or 3 years in each initiative will lead to the diminishing returns.

Emergency loan: In order to finance the maximum investment in the capacity and automation of the first three years, the highest amount of stocks and bonds will be issued in year 1 and continue to be considered issuing since year 2 in case of cash shortage.

In addition, to sustain the loss in the first two years for capturing the market shares, a maximum amount of current debt will be borrowed in the first year. This in turn could avoid a 7. 5% of penalty for the emergency loan. After that, our company will continue to borrow a sufficient amount of current debt with the purpose to maintain our cash position at around 12,000,000 to $15,000,000. Besides, the credit for account receivable is set at 30 days so as to have a sufficient amount of cash to avoid emergency loan.

The purpose of maintaining the leverage ratio is not to use too much retain earnings for funding the growth and avoiding a high amount of debt which can lead our company to a financial risk because of a significant amount of interest expense. In order to keep an appropriate leverage ratio, the total amount of debt will only be considered in the worst case. However, if the leverage is too high, the production investment needs to be scaled back. c. Cumulative profit So as to achieve the above expected cumulative profit, firstly, the day of working capital needs concerning and maintaining from 30 to 90 days.

This in turn can protect our company from a risky position if problems occur as well as help us achieve a higher productive rate. Secondly, the expenditure for HR and TQM will be carefully calculated. Finally, the account payable policy is set at 30 days which will minimize significantly suppliers’ material withholding. Hence, our company’s profit can be improved in case of stock out because of lacking materials. X. Back-up plan Most companies have to confront with several unexpected and difficult situations during operating period.

One of these difficulties could be that some companies might collapse as losing their ability to continue to compete with other competitors in some products. The reason for this would be that they no longer make enough sales to cover costs which lead to a decrease in market shares and an extreme financial loss as well. Therefore, in order to avoid this situation, Erie has developed a back-up plan in case that one of our products suffers serious loss. According to the BCG matrix, it is believed that Traditional and Low End segments might be in the ‘harvest’ stage since year 5.

This is because these two segments have dominated a large proportion of market shares. Moreover, their growth rates start to decrease significantly for a long time of being operated in the sensor market. As a result, our company intends to adopt the exiting strategies when these segments begin to make relatively small profits or suffer serious loss. Instead, our company decides to develop and launch a new product which will be followed the differentiation strategy like High End and Performance segment since these segments are just in the ‘hold’ stage at that time, hence can catch up with other competitors’ products.

In conclusion, relying on the application of such strategy, Erie’s products will be high-recognized in the market as they are revised regularly and efficiently. In addition, through the advantage of an initially significant investment, the company could become more competitive in the market as its production costs are minimized. Furthermore, by accepting a little bit of risky at about the first two years, Erie will gain a competitive advantage over other competitors in terms of long-term cost savings and hence could provide cheaper products and increase sales in later years.


  1. Ferrel. O. C. & Hartline. D. M. 2008, Marketing Strategy 4e, South- Western Cengage Learning, the USA.

Related Questions

on Erie Corporation’s Business Plan for Low and High-Tech Customers

How To Calculate Recruiting Cost In Capsim?

To calculate recruiting cost in Capsim, you need to multiply the number of new hires by the cost per hire. This cost per hire can be found in the HR section of the decision menu.

How To Improve Plant Utilization In Capsim?

To improve plant utilization in Capsim, you can increase demand for your products by investing in marketing and sales efforts, and you can also optimize your production processes by reducing setup times and improving efficiency.

How To Increase Employee Turnover Rate In Capsim?

There are a few ways to increase employee turnover rate in Capsim: -Offer higher wages: One way to increase employee turnover rate is to offer higher wages. This will make employees more likely to leave their current position and look for a new job. -Increase training: Another way to increase employee turnover rate is to increase training. This will make employees more likely to leave their current position and look for a new job. -Decrease benefits: Another way to increase employee turnover rate is to decrease benefits. This will make employees more likely to leave their current position and look for a new job.

How To Calculate Automation Cost In Capsim?

To calculate the automation cost in Capsim, you will need to first determine the production volume for your products. You will then need to calculate the cost of the machines and the labor required to operate them. Finally, you will need to add the two together to get the total automation cost.

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Erie Corporation’s Business Plan for Low and High-Tech Customers. (2017, Dec 14). Retrieved from

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