Replacements, Ltd.:Replacing The Irreplaceable

Essay by flyingangelUniversity, Master's July 2006

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Bob Page worked as an auditor and hated it. As a hobby, he started visiting flea markets and collecting china. Friends asked him to look for replacement pieces for them. By 1980, Bob had revenues of $53,000 from his hobby and decided to quit his job to start Replacements, Ltd. By 1997, Bob's hobby had grown into a business with almost $60 million in revenue and 500 employees. Bob was proud that he had been successful without a business plan, a marketing strategy, budgets, and many of the things that business schools teach a company must have to be successful.

Replacement Ltd. has a strong network of suppliers that supply the company each week with pieces of china, crystal and silver that they locate from estate sales, auctions, flea markets and antique stores. Replacements provides its suppliers the current price the company is willing to pay for a particular piece.

The problem faced at Replacements was its lack of a strategic business strategy that incorporates a strong inventory system is limiting is ability to sustain its current growth rate as well as threatening its position as the dominant leader in providing a source of china, crystal, silver and other collectable items to the public.

This company has experienced phenomenal growth, but the management style and drive to implement good customer service have resulted in rapid employee burnout and high turnover despite above average pay and incentives. Inventory management poses another big problem.

Strategic mission and vision

Replacements, Ltd. will be the dominant leader in providing replacement pieces in china, crystal and silver. It will do so by providing quality items with superior customer service from knowledgeable employees.

SWOT Analysis of Replacements


- Dominant leader in a unique business with $60 million in sales in 1997

- Large inventory...