PlanetFactory: Competing Under Rapid Technological Change

PlanetFactory: Competing Under Rapid Technological Change

José A. Corral-Marfil (University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Spain), Núria Arimany Serrat (University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Spain), Xavier Ferràs (University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Spain) and Petra A. Nylund (University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Spain)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/JCIT.2015040101
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Abstract

This teaching case considers the situation of a small Catalan company without the support of a local cluster, which is competing in a dynamic global industry characterized by rapid technological change. The company faces the challenge of creating and commercializing a breakthrough innovation for digital education, with educational content for teachers and easy-to-use authoring tools for modifying this content. The case analysis includes an internal and external analysis of the company and the industry, and introduces concepts associated to rapidly changing markets such as lead-user innovation, first-mover advantage, and transient advantage. The case is therefore adequate for courses on technology management, innovation, competitive strategy, or marketing management.
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Organization Background

PlanetFactory was established on January 1, 2000, in the garage of Bernat Casanovas in Cabrianes. The company specialized in creating educational applications and experienced very rapid initial growth. In 2007, the global financial crisis brought with it cost cuts in Spanish public administration. These cuts were especially hard on PlanetFactory, which relied on the public sector for 90 percent of its turnover. In an extremely critical moment, Bernat and his team decided to transform the company to minimize its exposure to fluctuations in the demand of intermediaries that they had suffered as a service company. They wanted to be able to reach the end user directly, and therefore planned to create a competitive proprietary product. Hence, the first objective they set was to develop an innovative product based on internal R&D. Once they had developed the product, the second objective would be to internationalize the company. The financial situation of the company is summarized in Table 1, Table 2, and Figure 1.

Table 1.
Balance sheet of PlanetFactory 2007-2012
Assets201220112010200920082007
A) Assets (non-current)603.656447.723460.878475.121484.79956.344
B) Assets (current)322.366317.160279.912372.671364.091473.875
Total assets926.022764.883740.790847.792848.890530.219
Liabilities and Owners’ Equity201220112010200920082007
A) Owner’s Equity562.261456.920439.094400.394322.897172.741
B) Liabilities (non-current)291.246196.697207.433221.443232.46011.463
C) Liabilities (current)72.514111.26694.264225.956293.533346.015
Total Liabilities and Owners’ Equity926.022764.883740.790847.792848.890530.219

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