Strategic Planning

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Strategic Planning

1. Appraise the formal planning efforts at the Copley Company for the period 1981 to 1984.


Copley Manufacturing Company was primarily a manufacturer of a wide line of cutting tools and related parts and supplies. Late in 1980, Mr. Sagan, director of corporate development and Mr. Albert, executive vice president agreed that regular formal planning should become part of management’s way of life at Copley.


In 1981, Copley Manufacturing Company had begun formal corporatewide planning. The formalized planning was ingrained into life at Copley through a series of visits by corporate groups, planning review meetings, as well as planning response meetings.

However in 1982, the planning system was modified where the planning committee separated the formal planning cycle into three phases – Strategy Development phase, Quantitative phase and Action phase.

In 1983, the planning process was largely influenced and administered by Mr. Tyler, the executive vice president.

For recent development in 1984, the actual responsibility for planning has been placed directly on the executive vice president, group vice presidents and also division managers.


In February 1981, Mr. Albert formed a corporate planning committee as the first step to move toward a regular formal planning process. In the discussion held, the planning committee decided on the process of ingraining the formalized planning into the life at Copley.

On 21st March 1981, Mr. Albert requested the division general managers to sketch out a plan for regular formal planning and schedule for starting such an effort. The main objective of that effort is to issue guidelines for the preparation of divisional “provisional plans” (Brethauer 1999).

On 6th June 1981, the corporate groups, which always included Mr. Albert and Mr. Sagan, had visited to the divisions constantly as an initial concept of formal planning activities. In the introductory meetings, Mr. Albert explained the importance of the planning effort, and Mr. Sagan explained the details. On 1st October 1981, the divisions, as well as the corporate staff groups, were asked to produce and submit the five-year plans.

In November and December 1981, planning review meetings were held to review the divisional plans. On 28th December 1981, th...

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...981 and modified in later years, leading Copley to attain success.M The top management had been continuously putting effort in making planning a way of life for Copley.

Weaknesses M The 1982 changes in top management were temporarily disruptive to the planning effort.M Considerable effort was required to assimilate the acquired company and work out the split-up of Cutting Tool Division.M Division managers had been planning largely to satisfy the requirements but had failed to commit to the plans.

Opportunities M The 10-year look indicated that Copley’s profit was sensitive to cyclical swings, and large cash flow could be expected.M Copley was mainly concerned in achieving future outgrowth through acquisition and merger.M Copley is expected to reach a minimum annual profit growth of 10 percent and a return on equity of 12.5 percent.

Threats M The depressed market conditions might result in Copley’s extensive loss.M It was fearful that Copley would revert to a short-term orientation if it continued along the present path.M There is a great tendency in American business to over manage, over plan, over staff, and over organize.

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