Solar Feeder

Essay by psych772003A, January 2005

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Bo Haeberle, with his friends invented an innovative bird feeder that worked on solar power. The feeder used a small solar panel in its roof to build an electric charge. The Solar feeder's purpose is to use the mild electric shock it generates to repel the squirrels, preventing them from stealing the bird seed or damaging the feeder itself. In a typical product-driven approach, Bo and his friends started SDI, Inc. to produce and promote the solar feeder without having done any marketing plan. After several years of perseverance and some recognition & rewards, however the company finds itself running out of money. And the company also realizes the need to develop a marketing plan in order to attack the $843 million market for bird feeders, baths and nesting boxes.

Although there are numerous problems in this case, the case revolves around the basic requirements that are must for the survival of a company but which are absent in case of SDI; such issues include company's vision, mission, business/ marketing plan, financial/ strategic objectives etc.

Without these, SDI had failed to sustain and is losing its market position. Though it has the most advantageous position of being the innovator, it has not been able to embrace its opportunities but is lost somewhere without any motive and direction.

Identification of problems:

Manufacturing & Production: The cost of production of the solar feeders is high and the process is quite time consuming. Though orders are accumulating, SDI is unable to fulfill these orders. The prices of solar feeder are not competitive as compared to the rivals. The Cost of Production is too high; it needs some re-engineering to be done.

Marketing: The little market research done was not enough for such a potential market of bird feeders. SDI has still to develop...