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From start-up to expansion: Vittrium Building Products

Charles Krusekopf (School of Business, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)
Alice de Koning (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
Rebecca Frances Wilson-Mah (School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)

The CASE Journal

ISSN: 1544-9106

Publication date: 12 November 2018



After three years in business together, Des Carpenter and Kees Schaddelee had a decision to make – should they double the size of their location, based on the opportunities and competitive threats they perceived? The startup phase took longer than expected and access to distribution channels was more difficult than expected. Nonetheless, the business gained traction with online sales that proved the concept of custom-made counters using EnvironiteTM technology was viable. As they prepared to expand the business, the owner-managers needed to decide on a growth strategy that would let them leverage their strengths. In analyzing their successes so far, they needed to evaluate their business model including their product line, target markets, marketing strategy (including the pricing strategy, product lines, and channels of distribution) and operations.

Research methodology

Data were collected through interviews with business owners and a review of company documents, production processes and the company website.

Relevant courses and levels

This case exercise will suit strategy and entrepreneurship students at both the senior undergraduate level and graduate level. The case discussion will ask students to consider operations, supply chain management, marketing and other issues, all through the lens of a holistic vision for the company. This case may be taught as an example of a growth strategy or a business model in a capstone business strategy course or higher level entrepreneurship course. It is appropriate for both undergraduate seniors and graduate students.

Theoretical bases

This case may be taught as an example of a growth strategy or a business model in a capstone business strategy course or higher-level entrepreneurship course. The case may be used to help students understand external and internal analysis, identifying the sources of value creation and competitive advantage, and creating an appropriate strategy for growth. It provides a rich context to discuss and apply the following conceptual tools: the application of a value chain analysis and the application of a business model canvas (key partners, key activities, key resources, value propositions, customer relationships, distribution channels, customer segments, cost structure and revenue streams). The case may also be used to reinforce the applications of growth phases in a young firm that are part of the entrepreneurial setting, for example, value proposition, ideal customer, revenue streams and key performance indicators.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The authors may have disguised names; financial, and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Krusekopf, C., de Koning, A. and Wilson-Mah, R.F. (2018), "From start-up to expansion: Vittrium Building Products", The CASE Journal, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 672-693.



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