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Introduction

Duque Papetiers Gros, a small business involved in wholesale of stationery products in Northern France, is owned and managed by Doland Duque.  Duque Papetiers Gros specializes in the wholesale of printer cartridges, general office supplies, low-cost printers, office furniture, shredders, paper-based supplies and writing/drawing materials. Due to the high-quality of its products and its reliability as a partner, Duque Papetiers Gros has cultivated a brand image of high value and credibility among buyers of Duque Papetiers Gros.  Yet, Duque Papetiers Gros only operates in Franc and is amenable to the idea of expansion in EU.

Donald Duque, the owner, and manager of Duque Papetiers Gros does not have business analytics yet understand the value of complementing decision-making with business data. The aim of this report is analyzing data relating to Duque sales, per capita spending on stationery in other countries to assess whether or not it is viable for Duque Papetiers Gros to expand into other EU markets.

Task 1

The presence of world-leading stationery brands such as Faber-Castell, Montblanc, Staedler, Stabilo, and Lamy testify to the strong position of the stationery market in Germany.  These and other stationery brands are world-famous and have loyal consumer bases around the globe. Moreover, the presence of 5500 specialist retailers in Germany has come to be a key part of the stationery industry in Germany. Below presented is data regarding the revenue and trend within the German stationery industry.

The revenue of wholesale of stationery products in Germany totals to more or less €15 billion annually. The Association of German Stationery Brands notes that the total revenue in the stationery industry is Germany experienced a conspicuous growth of 3.5% in 2015 in concert with the increased consumer demand in Germany, which grew by 2.5%, and increased consumer demand abroad, which grew by about 5%. These and other figures provided give precedence to the robust stationery market in Germany and can be substantiated by how 70% of most German stationery companies have experiences increases in turnovers in 2015. The per capita spending on stationery products in Germany constitutes €182 each year. On writing and drawing stationery products only, Germans spend around €35 annually, ranking Germany second in EU when it comes to the expenditure on stationery products (Schmidt, 2016).

Like in other markets, the trends in the wholesale stationery market have been marked with contrasting development and changes. For instance, the turnover sale of document folders and other paper products is declining Germany, largely due to how iPads and other digital devices have come to obviate the need for writing things on paper and paper products. On the other hand, categories of stationery such pens, pencils, office suppliers have experienced a growth rate of about 5% in 2015.

Even though most stationery brands in Germany have robust sales, there are currently 2200 wholesalers of stationery products in Germany. The success of German wholesalers of stationery products can be substantiated by how almost 50% of these wholesalers have at least €500 000 in net revenue.

Most of these wholesalers of stationery directly sell to their consumers, without the involvement of third-party retailers. Furthermore, most of these German wholesalers sell their products such as paper, office supplies and writing instruments in sales channels such as business-to-business (B2B). In addition to that, most German wholesalers have been amenable to selling their products on e-commerce websites and try to broaden their market, having generated around 30% of their sales online.  Even though most retailers have robust sales, the number of the wholesaler of stationery in Germany has been constant, due to the high barriers to entry and mergers (and acquisitions). Germany is the largest exporter of stationery products to EU, accounting for over 19.5% of sales in EU in 2017.

The above analysis into the German stationery market is a testament to how strong the current market is and how German companies have been receptive to innovating and developing the new product as today’s consumers become more and more empowered. Overall, the Germ stationery market gradually increased in tandem (concert) with the increased application of stationery products in the number of industries such as education, business and etc.

Task 2

There are a number of indicators of a profitable industry in a country, with per capita spending being one of them. Therefore, individual spending on writing and drawing products can be one of the key determinants of profitability and viability of in wholesale stationery business as well and be conducive to determining which EU markets Donald Duque should penetrate first.

The bar chart above provides data regarding individual spending on writing and drawing products in 12 EU markets.  According to the bar chart above, per capita spending on writing and drawing products in countries such as Switzerland, Germany, and Austria are over €35, while individual spending on writing and drawing materials in Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland, Spain, Hungary, and Slovakia remain under €10.  On the other hand, per capita spending on writing and drawing materials in France constituted €28.3, ranking France number four among the 12 EU countries for which data is forthcoming. These figures provide key insights into which markets should Donald Duque should first expand into (i.e. penetrate).  As individual spending on writing and drawing materials in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany is over €35, it makes sense for Donald Duque to consider expanding in these markets before it expands in countries such as Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Croatia and the Czech Republic.

Task 3

a)

Below is an updated sales table of Duque Papetiers Gros with an appended Total Sales row:

Product item 2015 Sales (€) 2016 Sales (€) 2017 Sales (€)
 Printer cartridges 25000 26000 22000
General office supplies 25000 27000 23000
Low-cost printers 15000 18000 18000
Office furniture 25000 25000 27000
Shredders 25000 29000 29000
Paper-based supplies 25000 27000 27000
Writing/drawing materials 25000 30000 32000
Sales by year 165000 182000 178000
Total sales 525000

b)

c)

 

Product item   2016 2017 Total sales by product
Printer cartridges 25000 26000 22000 73000
General office supplies 25000 27000 23000 75000
Low-cost printers 15000 18000 18000 51000
Office furniture 25000 25000 27000 77000
Shredders 25000 29000 29000 83000
Paper-based supplies 25000 27000 27000 79000
Writing/Drawing materials 25000 30000 32000 87000
Sales by year 165000 182000 178000 525000
Total sales 525000
Correlation by year 0.911966649 0.975623028 0.918781746

Task 4

a)

Should I expand my business to Germany?
Pros Score/10 Cons Score/10
 More sales  9  Regulatory problems  10
Bigger individual spending (over €35)  8  Cut-throat competition 9
 Raising brand awareness 5 Problems with business registration  4
 Selling online  8 Investment to expand  8
Learning about the new market  3 Learning new language 4
 New products for a new audience  3 Adapting to new business culture  4
       
Total Pros  6 Total Cons 6
Average Pros  6 Average Cons 6.6
  1. b)

Duque Papetiers Gros will be subject to more regulations and standards in concert with expansion into German and other EU markets. The most important standards, which Duque Papetiers Gros is required to comply are ISO regulations.  Below are presented are ISO regulations and their applications for Duque Papetiers Gros products.

Unlike other product categories such electronics, products such as writing and drawing instruments are not subject to stringent standards and Donald Duque can ensure compliance with these ISO regulations by not spending more energy or time.
ISO 12756:2016 sets down the terms that are applicable to the production of writing instruments such as ballpoint pens and gel ink pens. On the other hand, ISO 9180:1988 provides a number of standards for wood-cased pencils, which Duque Papetiers Gros wholesales.  The ISO standards and regulations applicable to Duque Papetiers Gros are not limited to these two standards, as there is a large number of ISO standards for stationery products. Therefore, prior to expanding, Duque Papetiers Gros has to consider the implication of complying with a number of ISO regulations and have systems in place to ensure that the products it exports to Germany are in compliance with all existing regulations and standards.

Task 5

The expansion of  Duque Papetiers Gros requires new facilities to accommodate new demand and pressure. Therefore, Donald Duque needs to purchase a new facility closer to headquarters. Donald Duque is amenable to repayment mortgages and is going to purchase a new facility for €200,000. Below presented are the calculations regarding the monthly payment for a repayment mortgage at 10% annually for over 30 years. The details are as follows. The amount of mortgage is considered €200,000, and 10% interest over 12 months for over 30 years. The following has been calculated.

FV annuity due=

= 1696.35

Calculating the mean value of orders and their standards deviations is conducive to the generation of financial data that can complement decision-making. The standard deviation. The standard deviation, or SD, is concerned with precision or random error and gives an indication of the spread of control results.

Ha=240

Ha≠240

The formula used for calculating the above:

Z==1.64

Therefore, we fail to reject the null hypothesis at 95% and with 5% significance level. Thus, the random variation levels should not be a cause of concert for Donald Duque and the standard deviation suggest that the random error of sampling is small and the calculations are correct.

Task 7

a)

ID CUST_SERV QUAL_P&S SALES_STAFF PRICE_VALUE
1 3 3 3 3
2 3 3 3 2
3 4 4 4 2
4 4 3 4 1
5 2 3 2 2
6 4 4 4 2
7 4 3 4 2
8 4 3 4 2
9 2 3 2 2
10 4 3 4 1
11 4 3 4 2
12 4 3 4 2
13 4 3 4 2
14 4 3 4 1
15 2 3 2 2
16 4 3 4 2
17 4 4 4 2
18 3 3 3 3
19 4 3 4 2
20 3 3 2 2
Mean 3.5 3.15 3.45 1.95
Standard deviation 0.76088591 0.366347549 0.825577947 0.510417786
DATA KEY
ID 01 … 99: ANONYMISING IDENTIFIER
CUST_SERV 1 … 4: RATING
QUAL_P&S 1 … 4: RATING
SALES_STAFF 1 … 4: RATING
PRICE_VALUE 1 … 4: RATING

Standard deviations and mean scores for each of these components such as customer service, quality P&S, sales and staff, price value indicate key insights into how consumers view the products of Duque Papetiers Gros. The mean scores for price value were the lowest, at 1.95. and clearly suggested that consumers do consider the products of Duque Papetiers Gros as having the right value for their price. Considering this data, Donald Duque might adopt a different pricing strategy or work on the quality of the products if it intends to adopt a price differentiation strategy. The mean scores for customer service were high, at 3.5, and demonstrates that the consumers of Duque Papetiers Gros consider the service Duque Papetiers Gros offers as satisfying. Sales and staff had similar mean scores, testifying to how effective they are in helping consumers of Duque Papetiers Gros.

b)

Even though Donald Duque emailed questionnaires to customers every December, the response rates have been unprecedentedly low. Below is presented tips on how to improve the response rates to Donald Duque’s questionnaires.

  • The current questionnaire format should be simplified with a view to ensuring that more consumers respond to them. Simplicity is conducive to more people responding to answers and it has been cited as the most important determiner of whether or not a questionnaire gets a response (Michaelidou and Dibb, 2006). For instance, the third question on the current questionnaire is complex, and most consumers tend to avoid answering the complex question due to a burden of time.
  • There are overlaps in the first and second questions on the current questionnaire as its options are ‘within last month’, ‘Between 1 month and 3 months’, ‘Between 3 and 6 months’, ‘Between 6 months and 1 year’. These and other areas of overlapping is conducive to the customers getting perplexed. Therefore, Donald Duque is advised to make changes to the current questions to mitigate areas where there is an overlap as it can reduce the number of responses.
  • Recalling certain events in the past can be taxing for some customers. Therefore, Donald Duque is advised to avoid asking questions which require customers to recall events or the number of visits they have made to the store.

Overall, these changes, if implemented, can help Donald Duque improve the response rate to his customer questionnaire.

Task 8

This part summarizes the findings above and makes final conclusions on Donald Duque’s company, Duque Papetiers Gros. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are considered the most viable markets for Donald Duque to penetrate as individual spending on writing and writing materials in all three countries is bigger than in France.  There are a number of problems with expansion as delineated in Task 4 such as cut-throat competition. Nevertheless, if Donald Duque can penetrate the market and cultivate a reputable brand image, then he can gain some market share in Germany and Switzerland.  There are a number of ISO regulations Duque Donald is required to comply with if it intends to start the expansion.  The sales of Duque Papetiers Gros are projected to experience a sustained increase in France and reach €195 000 in 2019 if the current trends are in operation till 2019.

Reference

  • Association of German Stationery Brands/Verband der PBS- Markenindustrie.
  • Schmidt, T. (2016) Germany – A Potential Stationery Market, MGCC Perspectives
  • Michaelidou, N. and Dibb, S. (2009). Using email questionnaires for research: Good practice in tackling non-response. Journal of Targeting, Measurement, and Analysis for Marketing. Vol. 14. Issue. 1
  • ISO 12756:2016
  • ISO 9180:1988

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