Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | January 5, 2012

Day 32: The Atlantic Ocean plc

Background: The Columbus Route Division (also trading as the Canaries to Caribbean Route) of the Atlantic Ocean plc, is a long-established organisation which has been serving its clients for over 500 years. Its core competency and strategic focus hitherto has been the facilitation of boats crossing the Atlantic from East to West. It does this through a combination of predictable wave patterns and currents, also relying heavily on a strategic partnership with The Wind Company Ltd.

Until about 32 days ago, it had a thriving and well-respected business, which came out well when tested with a Poseidon’s Five Forces analysis:
– Threat of New Entrants – low, as there’s no room for another ocean in its geographic market.
– Threat of substitution – Whilst nothing moves to windward like a Boeing 747, loss of some customers to the air market has been compensated by the rise in leisure sailing.
– Competitive Rivalry – none as it has a market monopoly.
– Buyer Power – none – they can have any colour they want so long as it’s bluey-grey.
– Supplier power – the Atlantic Company is a vertically integrated organisation , so supplies all of its own raw materials apart from those supplied by the Wind Company Ltd, who have little power because their salesmen just talk hot air.

However, recently some consultants have been brought into the company and appear to be disrupting its smooth operation for no strategically wise reason. Until now, the key functions were delivery logistics, wave amplitude generation, and the WR (Wave Resources) department which ensured that new staff were constantly entering the company in Africa, as old ones retired in the US. These departments worked together, supporting the company’s sole aim.

However, the independent consultants, who lacked an understanding of the DEEP-seated integration between divisions, have set up rapid deployment groups, tempting previously function-based staff to their teams, which skim the surface of the company’s operating environment, dashing out “quick winds” which appear to be at right angles with the organisation’s main strategic direction. They mutter about penetrating new markets, however, their ideas seem likely only to deliver boats to the norse latitudes, a market of questionable value. These rapid deployment groups make a lot of noise, but industry observers are unsure what they’re really contributing apart from confusion and frustration on the part of the company’s existing clients who feel they are not getting the service and attention they had been promised.

One senior executive, who asked not to be named, but had white hair, said “Who will rid us of this troublous counter wave-form?”

Many thanks to all those who told us how much a crown was. Sooty – I don’t know what you’re saying about how old you think I am, but I was 4 when decimalisation came in and therefore had no clue about crowns and half crowns! Next LSD question for the same puzzle everyone – was there something called “half a (k)nicker” and if so how much was it?

Great to hear from you Tyleys (I am quite certain Lisa put you on to what we were up to) – looking forward to reading Huw’s Christmas letter when we get home! Do you think the Dog in the night time reflects reality accurately?

Helena C – what a fab goal to have! H has been one of the skiff marshalls at it for the last couple of years and no doubt will be again this year. Hard to recognise swimming caps, though!

JV – well done for pulling in your drogue and getting back on the ergo!

Thanks for the limerick, Tonbridge!

Philip – haven’t you worked out by now that that cat lies through her teeth regularly, so I’m sure all of the plates are in tact (and if not, great opportunity to buy some new china). Good luck with finishing your essays – make sure you run to the post box with them to ensure the ink dries.

Cath – great to have your service back online – Baz, the other main sender of awful jokes, is skiing this week, so we’re relying on you!

And finally, R says hi to all his colleagues in the KGS maths department who will be locked in a room tomorrow afternoon and only let out once they’ve marked all of the entrance papers being sat in the morning! Did Phil C manage to sneak in a question related to our voyage as Will D predicted?

Weather not much better here than yesterday, but forecast really IS looking promising with Land Team Chris suggesting that Sunday and Monday could be flat calm. Which could be useful as we’re a wee bit (not too bad) fringed with barnacles.

H had Mountain House Oatmeal with Raspberries for breakfast – quite nice but it looked like porridge that had measles as the rasp bits were tiny!

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