A case study is given of International Distillers & Vintners (UK) Limited (IDV (UK)) and an assessment made of the viability of translating theory into practice in the real world – the importance of having a strategy, of strategic planning, and having a success factor as a key component of an organisation′s competitive advantage. Following the appointment of a new managing director at IDV (UK) in 1982, three goals were established: (1) to more than double profits within five years; (2) to increase return on capital employed by almost 50 per cent within five years; and (3) to be the outstanding wine and spirit company in the UK. A sound strategy was required to achieve these goals. The historic background of the organisation is given and the strategic position of IDV (UK) in relation to its competitors and market share is described. A review of the state of the market is given and possible areas for expansion discussed. The quality and pedigree of certain brands and the quality and strength of leadership are proposed as the success factors upon which IDV (UK) could build. Details are given of how the organisation built upon these factors to achieve strategic success; the lessons learned; and the level of achievement and success in the marketplace.
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