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Optical distortion Inc A Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2507 2151 Words (8 Pages) Randall E. Wise Harvard Business School : 575072
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

The ODI lenses were invented in 1965 by Robert Garrison a chicken farm owner. The lenses were able to reduce the vision of chickens when applied, which resulted in a notable improvement in the behaviour observed by farmers as the hierarchical structure of chickens was sabotaged. The product concept attracted interest from local businessman James Arnold in 1966 who invested $5000 in the project. To sell this unique product, Daniel Garrison Ronald Olson, and James formed Optical Distortion Inc at the end of 1966. Despite technical problems related to the earlier prototypes of the lenses including their retention and the consequent irritation suffered by the chickens, the team was able to overcome these obstacles by 1968 and received a US patent in 1969.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. What characteristics of the ODI contact lens are likely to make it appealing or unappealing to different types of chicken farmers? 

  2. In what geographic areas should ODI focus its efforts?

  3. On what market segments (in addition to geographic) should ODI focus its effort?

  4. What pricing policy should ODI adopt?

  5. What level of marketing efforts should ODI is considering? In particular, what information, incentives, and technical assistance will be required to induce (a) trial and (b) repurchase?

  6. What's a realistic goal for ODI by 1978?

Case Study Questions Answers

Following the initiation of the firm, geographical locations for expansion had to be decided based on the availability of large chicken farms. On the other hand, the lenses had to compete with the traditional debeaking method of regulating the behaviour of chickens at farms. Optical Distortion Inc also had to decide on the pricing policy to be adopted for realizing maximum returns. additionally, the corporation had to decide the marketing strategies to be adopted, and how they would facilitate future trials and repurchase decisions. Optical Distortion Inc must also identify realistic goals that can be achieved by the year 1978.

1. What characteristics of the Optical Distortion Inc contact lens are likely to make it appealing or unappealing to different types of chicken farmers? 

Optical Distortion Inc contact lenses are suitable for reducing the vision of chickens at poultry farms. Consequently, chickens start consuming less feed and behave a lot better than they did initially making them easier to manage for farmers. Additionally, chickens similar to humans developed social structures with a self-selected ranking of chickens after they reach the age of 8 to 10 weeks. This hierarchical structure of chickens is determined via pecking and fighting, with submissive chickens being victims of cannibalism at the hands of more dominant chickens. This process of cannibalism reduces the consumption of submissive birds significantly and limits their egg production. Furthermore, dominant birds often kill submissive birds to maintain their social status. These factors contribute to financial losses for chicken farmers, particularly the ones that own farms with highly dense populations of chickens placed within confined cages. 

The integration of Optical Distortion Inc lenses within chicken farms reduces rates of cannibalism to just 4.5%, boosting the profit margins for farmers. Optical Distortion Inc lenses restrict vision and reduced the depth perception of chickens, making them unable to view each other’s combs and forcing them to keep their beaks low. Also, these red-tinted lenses reduced the rates of cannibalism. Due to the absence of these visual cues, the formation of a pecking order is avoided, and chickens behave better with each other. The Optical Distortion Inc lenses will also help farmers with reducing their feed costs by allowing farmers to reduce the depth of feed-in troughs by 3/8”. 

Also, chickens will be less likely to start billing (throwing feed outside the tray with their beaks) and drooling within the feed as compared to debeaked chickens. Considering feed costs amount to $158 per ton in the United States of America, this would mean substantial annual savings for the chicken farmers. These qualities of Optical Distortion Inc lenses made them an attractive investment for farmers. A problem that the farmers availing Optical Distortion Inc lenses will have to encounter is that they cannot be reused as they are harder to take out than to put on. Moreover, they will also have to arrange for a trained crew of workers for the installation of Optical Distortion Inc lenses 

2. In what geographic areas should Optical Distortion Inc focus its efforts?

Optical Distortion Inc should ideally plan to cement itself within California initially. This is because the company’s headquarters are based in California and operating in that region will be easier due to familiar circumstances. Additionally, California contains 16.3% of America’s chicken population, which makes the likelihood of obtaining buyers notably higher. Southern California in particular offers two counties consisting of 20 farms within which 21 million chickens are situated. This presents Optical Distortion Inc with a great business opportunity of penetrating Californian poultry farms as its lenses are unique and a superior alternative to the traditional debeaking processes practiced within chicken farms in the region, especially in the densely populated farms of Southern California where cannibalism is rampant and highly limits the profitability of chicken farms.

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