Cortland Manufacturing Company Case Study Solution & Analysis (2023)

Introduction to case study solution

EMBA Pro case study solution for Cortland Manufacturing Company case study

At EMBA PRO, we provide corporate level professional case study solution. Cortland Manufacturing Company case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by David W. Young. The Cortland Manufacturing Company (referred as “Cortland Manufacturing” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Finance & Accounting. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Pricing.

Our immersive learning methodology from – case study discussions to simulations tools help MBA and EMBA professionals to - gain new insight, deepen their knowledge of the Finance & Accounting field, and broaden their skill set.

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Case Description of Cortland Manufacturing Company Case Study

This is a relatively simple ABC case designed to assist students to master the concept. The company is manufacturing computers and needs to determine prices for different models

Case Authors : David W. Young

Topic : Finance & Accounting

Related Areas : Pricing

What is the Case Study Method ? How can you use it to write case solution for Cortland Manufacturing Company case study?

Almost all of the case studies contain well defined situations. MBA and EMBA professional can take advantage of these situations to - apply theoretical framework, recommend new processes, and use quantitative methods to suggest course of action.

Awareness of the common situations can help MBA & EMBA professionals read the case study more efficiently, discuss it more effectively among the team members, narrow down the options, and write cogently.

Case Study Solution Approaches

Three Step Approach to Cortland Manufacturing Company Case Study Solution

The three step case study solution approach comprises –

Conclusions – MBA & EMBA professionals should state their conclusions at the very start. It helps in communicating the points directly and the direction one took.

Reasons – At the second stage provide the reasons for the conclusions. Why you choose one course of action over the other. For example why the change effort failed in the case and what can be done to rectify it. Or how the marketing budget can be better spent using social media rather than traditional media.

Evidences – Finally you should provide evidences to support your reasons. It has to come from the data provided within the case study rather than data from outside world. Evidences should be both compelling and consistent. In case study method there is ‘no right’ answer, just how effectively you analyzed the situation based on incomplete information and multiple scenarios.

Case Study Solution of Cortland Manufacturing Company

We write Cortland Manufacturing Company case study solution using Harvard Business Review case writing framework & HBR Finance & Accounting learning notes. We try to cover all the bases in the field of Finance & Accounting, Pricing and other related areas.

Objectives of using various frameworks in Cortland Manufacturing Company case study solution

By using the above frameworks for Cortland Manufacturing Company case study solutions, you can clearly draw conclusions on the following areas –

What are the strength and weaknesses of Cortland Manufacturing (SWOT Analysis)

What are external factors that are impacting the business environment (PESTEL Analysis)

Should Cortland Manufacturing enter new market or launch new product (Opportunities & Threats from SWOT Analysis)

(Video) Cortland Manufacturing Case Discussion

What will be the expected profitability of the new products or services (Porter Five Forces Analysis)

How it can improve the profitability in a given industry (Porter Value Chain Analysis)

What are the resources needed to increase profitability (VRIO Analysis)

Finally which business to continue, where to invest further and from which to get out (BCG Growth Share Analysis)

SWOT Analysis of Cortland Manufacturing Company

SWOT analysis stands for – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are result of Cortland Manufacturing internal factors, while opportunities and threats arise from developments in external environment in which Cortland Manufacturing operates. SWOT analysis will help us in not only getting a better insight into Cortland Manufacturing present competitive advantage but also help us in how things have to evolve to maintain and consolidate the competitive advantage.


- Experienced and successful leadership team – Cortland Manufacturing management team has been a success over last decade by successfully predicting trends in the industry.

- High customer loyalty & repeat purchase among existing customers – Cortland Manufacturing old customers are still loyal to the firm even though it has limited success with millennial. I believe that Cortland Manufacturing can make a transition even by keeping these people on board.


- Cortland Manufacturing business model can be easily replicated by competitors – According to David W. Young , the business model of Cortland Manufacturing can be easily replicated by players in the industry.

- Little experience of international market – Even though it is a major player in local market, Cortland Manufacturing has little experience in international market. According to David W. Young , Cortland Manufacturing needs international talent to penetrate into developing markets.


- E-Commerce and Social Media Oriented Business Models – E-commerce business model can help Cortland Manufacturing to tie up with local suppliers and logistics provider in international market. Social media growth can help Cortland Manufacturing to reduce the cost of entering new market and reaching to customers at a significantly lower marketing budget.

- Developments in Artificial Intelligence – Cortland Manufacturing can use developments in artificial intelligence to better predict consumer demand, cater to niche segments, and make better recommendation engines.


- Home market marketing technique won’t work in new markets such as India and China where scale is prized over profitability.

- Growing dominance of digital players such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft etc can reduce the manoeuvring space for Cortland Manufacturing and put upward pressure on marketing budget.

Once all the factors mentioned in the Cortland Manufacturing Company case study are organized based on SWOT analysis, just remove the non essential factors. This will help you in building a weighted SWOT analysis which reflects the real importance of factors rather than just tabulation of all the factors mentioned in the case.

What is PESTEL Analysis

PESTEL /PEST / STEP Analysis of Cortland Manufacturing Company Case Study

PESTEL stands for – Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal factors that impact the macro environment in which Cortland Manufacturing operates in. David W. Young provides extensive information about PESTEL factors in Cortland Manufacturing Company case study.

Political Factors

- Little dangers of armed conflict – Based on the research done by international foreign policy institutions, it is safe to conclude that there is very little probability of country entering into an armed conflict with another state.

- Political consensus among various parties regarding taxation rate and investment policies. Over the years the country has progressively worked to lower the entry of barrier and streamline the tax structure.

(Video) Manufacturing case study

Economic Factors

- According to David W. Young . Cortland Manufacturing should closely monitor consumer disposable income level, household debt level, and level of efficiency of local financial markets.

- Foreign Exchange movement is also an indicator of economic stability. Cortland Manufacturing should closely consider the forex inflow and outflow. A number of Cortland Manufacturing competitors have lost money in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela due to volatile forex market.

Social Factors

- Consumer buying behavior and consumer buying process – Cortland Manufacturing should closely follow the dynamics of why and how the consumers are buying the products both in existing categories and in segments that Cortland Manufacturing wants to enter.

- Demographic shifts in the economy are also a good social indicator for Cortland Manufacturing to predict not only overall trend in market but also demand for Cortland Manufacturing product among its core customer segments.

Technological Factors

- Artificial intelligence and machine learning will give rise to importance of speed over planning. Cortland Manufacturing needs to build strategies to operate in such an environment.

- 5G has potential to transform the business environment especially in terms of marketing and promotion for Cortland Manufacturing.

Environmental Factors

- Environmental regulations can impact the cost structure of Cortland Manufacturing. It can further impact the cost of doing business in certain markets.

- Consumer activism is significantly impacting Cortland Manufacturing branding, marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Legal Factors

- Intellectual property rights are one area where Cortland Manufacturing can face legal threats in some of the markets it is operating in.

- Health and safety norms in number of markets that Cortland Manufacturing operates in are lax thus impact the competition playing field.

What are Porter Five Forces

Porter Five Forces Analysis of Cortland Manufacturing Company

You can use Porter Five Forces to analyze the industry in which Cortland Manufacturing operates in and what are the levers of profitability in those segments – differentiation, Pricing. Michael Porter Five Forces of Strategy are –

Competition among existing players,

Bargaining power of suppliers,

Bargaining power of buyers,

Threat of new entrants, and

Threat of substitutes

Porter Five Forces can help in answering following questions for writing case study solution for Cortland Manufacturing Company -

How attractive is the industry described in the Cortland Manufacturing Company?

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Are some segments more attractive than others? Why? Identify, analyze, and evaluate the strategy of the Cortland Manufacturing featured in the Cortland Manufacturing Company case study.

What are the pros and Cons of each strategy? What impact Cortland Manufacturing actions will have on industry and economy on whole?

What is VRIO Analysis

VRIO Analysis of Cortland Manufacturing Company

VRIO stands for – Value of the resource that Cortland Manufacturing possess, Rareness of those resource, Imitation Risk that competitors pose, and Organizational Competence of Cortland Manufacturing. VRIO and VRIN analysis can help the firm.

ResourcesValueRareImitationOrganizationCompetitive Advantage
Position among Retailers and Wholesalers – companyname retail strategyYes, firm has strong relationship with retailers and wholesalersYes, it has dedicated channel partnersDifficult to imitate though not impossibleYes, over the years company has used it successfullySustainable Competitive Advantage
Customer CommunityYes, as customers are co-creating productsYes, the firm has able to build a special relationship with its customersIt is very difficult to imitate the culture and community dedicationGoing by the data, there is still a lot of upsideProviding Strong Competitive Advantage
Opportunities in the E-Commerce Space using Present IT CapabilitiesYes, the e-commerce space is rapidly growing and firm can leverage the opportunities No, most of the competitors are investing in IT to enter the spaceThe AI and inhouse analytics can be difficult to imitate It is just the start for the organizationIn the long run it can provide sustainable competitive advantage

What is Porter Value Chain

Porter Value Chain Analysis of Cortland Manufacturing Company

As the name suggests Value Chain framework is developed by Michael Porter in 1980’s and it is primarily used for analyzing Cortland Manufacturing relative cost and value structure. Managers can use Porter Value Chain framework to disaggregate various processes and their relative costs in the Cortland Manufacturing.

This will help in answering – the related costs and various sources of competitive advantages of Cortland Manufacturing in the markets it operates in. The process can also be done to competitors to understand their competitive advantages and competitive strategies.

According to Michael Porter – Competitive Advantage is a relative term and has to be understood in the context of rivalry within an industry. So Value Chain competitive benchmarking should be done based on industry structure and bottlenecks.

What is BCG Growth Share Matrix

BCG Growth Share Matrix of Cortland Manufacturing Company

BCG Growth Share Matrix is very valuable tool to analyze Cortland Manufacturing strategic positioning in various sectors that it operates in and strategic options that are available to it.

Product Market segmentation in BCG Growth Share matrix should be done with great care as there can be a scenario where Cortland Manufacturing can be market leader in the industry without being a dominant player or segment leader in any of the segment.

BCG analysis should comprise not only growth share of industry & Cortland Manufacturing business unit but also Cortland Manufacturing - overall profitability, level of debt, debt paying capacity, growth potential, expansion expertise, dividend requirements from shareholders, and overall competitive strength.

Two key considerations while using BCG Growth Share Matrix for Cortland Manufacturing Company case study solution -

How to calculate Weighted Average Market Share using BCG Growth Share Matrix

Relative Weighted Average Market Share Vs Largest Competitor

5C Marketing Analysis of Cortland Manufacturing Company

4P Marketing Analysis of Cortland Manufacturing Company

Porter Five Forces Analysis and Solution of Cortland Manufacturing Company

Porter Value Chain Analysis and Solution of Cortland Manufacturing Company

Blue Ocean Analysis and Solution of Cortland Manufacturing Company

Marketing Strategy and Analysis Cortland Manufacturing Company

PESTEL / STEP / PEST Analysis of Cortland Manufacturing Company

Case Study Solution of Cortland Manufacturing Company

SWOT Analysis and Solution of Cortland Manufacturing Company
References & Further Readings

David W. Young (2018), "Cortland Manufacturing Company Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.

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