Vermont Teddy Bear Co.

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1. Introduction

In 1981, John Sorinto began selling hand sewn teddy bears out of a cart in Burlington, Vermont. He began doing this after playing with his son and noticing that the majority of stuffed animals were manufactured in other countries. He figured that teddy bears were an American tradition, and therefore, some quality teddy bears should be made in the United States. This was how the Vermont Teddy Bear Company was founded ().

During the first fourteen years, Vermont Teddy Bear experienced continued growth and success. However, in 1995, they began to have some troubles as they experienced changes in leadership and an identity crisis. One of the things that drove the success of Vermont Teddy Bear in the earlier years was its Bear-Gram service. Customers could call a toll-free telephone number and place a special order for a bear similar to how people might send someone flowers for a special occasion. Additionally, Vermont Teddy Bear had used only quality American materials and craftsmanship in their bears. Vermont Teddy Bear¡¦s main focus had been ¡§to design, manufacture, and direct market the best teddy bears made in America using quality American materials and labor¡¨ (). But, in 1996, the new leadership at Vermont Teddy Bear decided that it would be cost-effective to use some foreign materials in their bears, and they also began to move towards retail sales and limit their focus on the Bear-Grams ().

2. Organizational Environment

In order to plan for future success of the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, we need to be able to analyze the external and internal environmental trends of the organization. These trends might include customer service, human resources, production and manufacturing, financial resources, product quality and craftsmanship, stakeholders opinions and the organizations culture. By categorizing and placing values on these factors allows us to rank them to show company performance, probability of success, and market potential.

3. Strategic Management Process

In most corporations, top management must initiate and manage the strategic management process. To do this, they often request that the different divisions within the organization propose their own strategic plans (Wheelen, et al. p. 36). This allows top management to compile and evaluate these proposals in order to create an overall corporate strategy. When considering the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, it seems that the most appropriate scenario would be for a top-down approach to strategy planning.
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