Business Management Capstone

Executive Summary

Company Identification

The name of the start-up company is Wash Detergents Ltd, and it will basically focus on the sale of a new liquid detergent called SENSATIONAL. It is worth noting that washing is part of peoples’ everyday life, and the new liquid detergent by the company would be brought to the market with the view of improving the washing experience of individuals across America. The company will be located in Buffalo, N.Y.

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Mission of the Company

The mission of the company will be, “Wash Detergents Ltd aims at providing each of our clients with a memorable washing experience at the most affordable cost possible.” The mission directly means that the company is focused on satisfying consumers with its new product, SENSATIONAL, which is a liquid washing detergent. Moreover, the mission means that the company aims to offer the most affordable prices possible in the market, thereby ensuring all consumers have the opportunity to enjoy SENSATIONAL. In light of the company’s mission, the key goal here is to ensure that the product is readily available and affordable to all consumers craving to use it for their respective laundry purposes.

Business Goals

The first relevant business goal in support of the company’s mission is to have first-class customer service. In the mission, it is clearly stated that customers will need to enjoy a memorable washing experience. According to Burrow and Kleindl (2013), this can only be achieved by providing exceptional customer service at the company. In tandem with this goal, the company will have a highly qualified customer service staff responsible for informing customers on the best use of the product, addressing their concerns, and handling any form of complaints that might arise in the course of using SENSATIONAL in their laundry activities. Thus, this will be a critical business goal because it will go a long way toward retaining these customers.

The second business goal to support the company’s mission is the profitability goal. The main objective of any given company is to generate profits in the course of its operations. Therefore, the profitability goal supports the mission in the sense that it emphasizes the need to offer the best services to customers at affordable prices. Williams (2015) opines that this will mean that they purchase at higher levels, thereby leaving the company in a better position in terms of the levels of profitability generated.

Keys to Success

The first key to success for the business is a product that satisfies the needs of consumers in the best way possible. It is worth noting that the liquid detergent SENSATIONAL will be designed in a manner that will effectively meet the needs of all consumers and ensure their washing problems are solved in the most satisfactory manner possible.

The second key to success for the company is to have a good relationship with customers. The company will be aimed at maintaining cordial relationships with all customers by listening to their needs and meeting their desires in the most satisfactory manner that would keep them pleased. Chaston (2015) affirms that prioritizing customers will play an instrumental role in making them feel appreciated and valued, thereby leading to their loyalty and repeat purchases that will help the company outdo competitors.

The third relevant key to success for the company will be highly motivated employees. Due to the fact that employees are best described as the primary stakeholders of the company, it would be instrumental to keep them motivated. Therefore, the company will use the initiative to remunerate employees well, while at the same time appraising them to ensure they are motivated for the success of the company.

Company Summary

Industry History

The history of the liquid detergent industry originates in Germany, 1916 when the first synthetic detergent was developed. It is worth noting that the detergent was developed in response to a shortage of soap-making fats during the First World War. The development of detergents was motivated by the need for a cleaning agent that unlike soap would not entail the combination of mineral salts in water to form an insoluble substance referred to as soap curd. Euromonitor International indicates that the production of detergents in America began in the early 1930s but stalled due to the upcoming World War II (“Laundry care in the US,” 2015).

Accordingly, the U.S. resumed the manufacture of detergents after World War II. The first detergents were basically used for hand washing and fine fabric laundering. Nevertheless, 1946 was a defining year because this was the time when all-purpose detergents were developed. In the year 1953, detergents became more popular among consumers in the U.S. compared to soap (“Laundry care in the US,” 2015). The detergents were used for different purposes, including household cleaning, laundering, and dishwashing. The 1970s were characterized by liquid hand soaps, combined wash/fabric softeners, and in-wash fabric softeners. The 1980s witnessed the development of detergents for cooler water washing and concentrated laundry powders. The 1990s played an instrumental role in the emergence of liquid detergents and ultra-concentrated powders (“Laundry care in the US,” 2015).

Legal Form of Ownership

The business will take the legal form of a limited liability company (LLC). The decision to establish the business as a limited liability company is anchored in the different advantages it offers. Firstly, a limited liability form has been preferred because it ensures that assets are effectively protected. Burrow and Kleindl (2013) indicate that this emanates from the fact that owners have limited liability and in case of a problem, the owners would not be required to spend their personal assets to cover the liability. Accordingly, this means that their assets will be properly protected under this form of ownership. Secondly, it is preferred due to its heightened level of credibility with potential customers, vendors, and employees owing to the formal nature of the business. Thirdly, it has limited compliance requirements, thereby ensuring that it is easily formed by owners.

Location and Facilities

The company will be located in Buffalo, N.Y. The location is deemed vital because it is strategic in nature and would make it easier for the company to access the large and ready market in New York City before expanding into all other parts of America. The advantage of this location is that it will also make it easier for the company to access and transport its raw materials to the production plant. Chaston (2015) agrees that the ease of accessing and transporting raw materials to the company will play a vital role in reducing the overall costs, thereby leading to the minimization of costs incurred in the production process.

Moreover, it is an effective location in the sense that it has ready labor for the functioning of the company. Therefore, it will be easier to hire employees and ensure they are working toward the success of the company at all given times. Readily available labor would make it easier for the organization to succeed.

The specific facilities that would be needed by the company are presented in the table below;

  1. Caustic Soda Tank.
  2. Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulphonic Acid (LABSA) Tank.
  3. Booster Tank.
  4. Mixing Tank.
  5. Liquid Detergent Tank.
  6. Pump.
  7. Weighing Balance.
  8. Packing Machine.
  9. Water Tank.
  10. Colorant.
  11. Perfume.

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Management Structure

The management structure plays an instrumental role in the success of the organization. The lack of a clearly defined organizational structure is likely to affect the process of decision-making and the performance of responsibilities within the organization. Wash Detergents Ltd will basically use the functional organizational structure that is basically focused on the job functions of individuals within the organization. In tandem with the views of Williams (2015), this is deemed an appropriate management structure for the organization because it leads to the aspect of specialization and the performance of relevant duties aimed at achieving the success of the organization.

Moreover, the focus on duties ensures that responsibilities are performed with full confidence and understanding by all members of the organization. Another advantage of this organizational structure is that it will make it easier for the delegation process and allocation of responsibilities in instances when there is excess work in the organization.

The Chief Executive Officer/President will be the topmost position in the management structure. The specific responsibilities of the CEO will include overseeing the overall running of the company in the course of its performance. The CEO will be the overall leader of the organization and might be at times the final decision-making organ after effective consultations have been done with everyone in the organization. Moreover, the CEO will have the specific responsibility of chairing every meeting in the company.

The second key position in the company will be the Chief Finance Officer. The CFO will have diverse responsibilities focused on the success of the organization. For instance, the CFO will perform specific duties, including the preparation of budgets, development of financial policies that will boost operational efficiency, conduct periodic financial analysis, resolve any present issues, and facilitate the preparation of all financial statements required by the organization.

The third relevant position in the management structure will be the Operations Manager. The specific responsibilities of the Operations Manager will entail overseeing the production of the liquid detergent, paying attention to the interests and preferences of customers in the production process, planning and controlling any form of change that might occur in the organization, facilitating research into new production technologies, and supervising the distribution of the product to the target market.

The fourth key position will be Marketing Manager. The Marketing Manager will have specific responsibilities, including the promotion of market research to understand the needs and preferences of consumers in terms of what they want in a product, ensuring the products are supplied in the required sizes and at the right prices prevailing in the market and ensuring the demand is appropriately met. The manager could also address the concerns of customers with respect to the quality of the product offered by the organization.

The last relevant position will be the Human Resources Manager. The Human Resource Manager will perform specific functions, including hiring, placement, training, firing, and ensuring that employees are motivated through appropriate payment packages.

Products and Services

The key product that will be offered by the company is SENSATIONAL, which is a liquid detergent that will be basically used for laundry purposes. The target audience will be the whole population with the understanding that everyone engages in-home laundry. The product is focused on solving the washing problems of consumers who have been trying to find the best solution to their washing problem. Therefore, it will be packaged in different quantities that would make it easier for them to purchase and use them for their washing purposes. In essence, the company will be basically product-based, meaning that it will not focus on the provision of services to consumers.

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Market Analysis

Target Market

Wash Detergent Ltd has realized the significance of market segmentation and has thus developed several products in the single category of detergents. After conducting thorough research on the market, the company found that people required a range of benefits for the products they purchase. For products such as detergents, consumers require a mix of benefits apart from the obvious need to clean clothes. Other needs that people want a detergent to fulfill for them include saving them money, providing bleaching power, fabric softening, fresh smells, and mildness. This is the reason why the company’s target market for its products and services is diverse in nature.

The first category of the company’s target market for its products and services comprises young and trendy people who value style. As explained by Doyle (2009), the company has decided to attract this target market because it is more adept in fashion, and thus many of its representatives tend to have the need to value the preservation of their clothes. Thus, to appeal to this target market, the company has sought to make use of the latest social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in order to increase interaction with it. These will be significant in helping the company determine the target market’s preferences and needs. This target market can be found in urban centers. The age group is between 18 and 30 years with an average monthly income of $2500.

The company’s second target market is the big size family. This target market is significant for the company because it tends to do load cleaning using the same amount of fluid. As a result, this has driven the company to develop a product that meets the needs of this target market. In this case, the character of the product is the one that will enable this target market to spend less and still be able to do a large load cleaning. This target market can be found in the suburban area and also in the countryside. The reason is that the dwellers of these two places tend to be large families or nuclear families, unlike urban dwellers who in most cases are individuals living alone.

In this same respect, this target market can be described as housewives and homemakers who take care of large families (Ramaswamy, & Namakumari, 2013). Thus, when developing a product to appeal to this target market, the company takes into consideration a demographic which is composed of female consumers between the ages of 25 to 40 as this is the age bracket within which many women are taking care of their families. Furthermore, the company takes into consideration the income of an average of $2500 a month.

Industry Analysis

The liquid laundry detergent market involves the manufacture of soaps, zeolites, builders, bleaches, and softeners. The main markets of this industry are commercial and domestic end-users. The demand for liquid laundry detergents is driven by its ease in application. In addition, the fact that it has less wastage as compared to other forms of detergents has also been a promoting factor in its use. Currently, North America holds the dominant position relating to liquid detergent demand. On the other hand, Asia Pacific is believed to be the largest manufacturer of liquid detergent.

According to Euromonitor International, interesting statistics of the industry include those involving the industry’s leading liquid detergent brands and sales share of the leading 7 liquid detergent brands (“Laundry care in the US,” 2015).

SWOT Analysis

S (Strengths)

  1. Variety of business segments
  2. High investing in research and development
  3. Renowned reputation in the market

W (Weaknesses)

  1. Limited export market
  2. Placing too much focus on women
  3. Inability to appeal to high-end consumers

O (Opportunities)

  1. Development of social media platforms
  2. Changing lifestyles requiring cheap products but of good quality
  3. Rural market

T (Threats)

  1. Strong competitors
  2. Increased regulations and legislation
  3. A large number of substitute products

The above SWOT analysis can be explained in the bottom line.

Strengths

The first strength of Wash Detergent Ltd is its variety of business segments. Ramaswamy and Namakumari (2013) reiterate that this is significant in helping it capture and appeal to the varied nature of consumers. To facilitate these diverse business segments, the company manufactures a variety of products that are meant to meet the needs of each market segment it has developed. In fact, this has been essential in increasing its revenue and overall income.

The company’s second strength is its high investment in research and development. To fulfill its goal, the company has developed a research and development department which is meant to conduct a continuous market and industry research. Hence, this has been essential in helping the company remain innovative and comfortably adapt to market trends.

The company’s good market reputation is also another strength it has managed to acquire. Apparently, this has been built from its excellent customer service which entails meeting the needs of the customers and attending to their queries. By making the customer feel valued, the company has built a good reputation in the market.

Weaknesses

The first weakness of Wash Detergent Ltd is its inability to expand into the international market. The limited export market has caused it to lag behind its competitors in terms of sales. Furthermore, it has caused it to place more focus on the domestic market in order to survive, which is a factor that has undesirable consequences given that the domestic market is saturated with other players.

The second weakness of the liquid detergent market is that it is placing too much focus on female consumers. The impact of this is the neglect of the male market segment. Consequently, the company is losing sales. In addition, it is leaving a gap for its competitors to pursue, and this will have an impact on the overall market position.

The third weakness that Wash Detergent Ltd is facing is the inability to appeal to a high-end customer base. In the views of Chaston (2015), the reason is that the company is placing too much focus on the middle-class consumer. For this reason, very little time and resources are left to develop products to appeal to the high-end consumer segment.

Opportunities

The first opportunity of Wash Detergent Ltd is the rise in popularity of social media. It is worth mentioning that this has been essential in facilitating the company’s marketing approach. Euromonitor International affirms that it has been beneficial as it has enabled the company to reach a large number of potential customers while less money as compared to making use of traditional marketing platforms such as televisions and newspapers (“Laundry care in the US,” 2015).

The second opportunity that the company has is the changing lifestyle of people. Currently, people have started abandoning powder and solid detergents in their cleaning activities and are using liquid detergents. In fact, this is beneficial for the company as its main product is liquid detergent.

The third opportunity that the liquid detergent company has is the rural market which is rising at a high rate as people in this market start utilizing liquid detergents. Therefore, this has provided the company with a brand new market for its product.

Threats

Wash Detergent Ltd faces a number of threats that are undermining its position in the market. The first threat is the increased level of competition in the market. The company is facing competition from market giants such as P&G and Unilever. As a consequence, it has been unable to enhance its current position in the market.

The second threat the company is facing is increased government regulations and legislation that are meant to regulate the liquid detergent industry. Burrow and Kleindl (2013) emphasize that some of these regulations are preventing the company from exploring other areas of the market and introducing new products in the market.

The third threat to the company is an increased level of substitute products in the market. In addition, these substitute products are also equally cheaper compared to the company’s, making it lose sales.

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Market Strategy

4Ps

The company’s four Ps have been essential in helping it market SENSATIONAL at the right price, right place, and through an excellent promotion strategy. Wash Detergent Ltd four Ps of marketing as they relate to its product named SENSATIONAL are as follows.

Product

Wash Detergent Ltd product is a liquid detergent SENSATIONAL. The company’s brand name for the product has already been decided to be SENSATIONAL. The company has made plans to determine SENSATIONAL’s trade name and trademark which will act to protect it in the market. Other decisions to be made about the product including its packaging. Accordingly, this will be done in a manner that best appeals to the customer so as to increase sales.

Price

The company’s pricing decision will be influenced by factors such as its need to maximize profits and its market share. The specific pricing strategy that will be used is volume pricing and penetration pricing since the product will be new in the market. In particular, the company will sell its product according to the quantity packaged. Apart from the quantity packaged, the company will analyze the prices that are offered by competitors such as Proctor and Gamble to ensure that its prices are in tandem with the market demand and supply. Thus, this will give it the opportunity to compete with the rest of the companies appropriately, thereby achieving the desired levels of the target profit.

Place

The company has already determined the places where it will make SENSATIONAL available to its customers. Wash Detergent Ltd will aim to sell its product in places such as mom and pop stores, department stores, and supermarkets. It has already established its channels of distribution. The company will make use of retailers and wholesalers for the distribution of its goods. The specific marketing channel is the use of intensive distribution. In fact, this will be used due to its convenience.

Promotion

The company has devised various ways of communicating with its customers about its products. Thus, it has developed a promotion strategy and saved sufficient funds for this purpose. In fact, this will involve following an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). Thus, the company’s promotion activities will encompass the use of a coordinated promotion mix to communicate with customers about its product.

Price List

The company’s main product is a liquid detergent SENSATIONAL. The pricing of the product will be grounded on its quantity. For this reason, the company will manufacture different quantities of liquid. The company plans to have 5 categories of the product relating to quantity. The five categories will be in the range of 250ml, 500ml, 1L, 2L, and 5L.

Promotional Strategy

The company’s promotional strategy will comprise four main tasks which will be essential in the promotion of SENSATIONAL to consumers. According to Ramaswamy and Namakumari (2013), the four main tasks that will be undertaken include product advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and public relations activities. In the first task of advertising, the company will make use of comparative advertising in which it will aim to make a comparison of its product with others in the market with the aim of showing the advantage of its product. It will use advertising platforms such as television, social media, and newspapers. In personal selling as a form of promotional strategy, the company will employ a team of salespeople who will talk to people at the market about the product as they sell to them.

Chaston (2015) asserts that in sales promotion, the company will devise various sales promotional activities in the places where it will sell its product in order to increase awareness of it. Thus, the company will include giving discounts. The final promotional strategy which involves public relations will encompass having in place a team of customer care representatives that will attend to customer queries and complaints. As a result, this will help to paint a more positive picture of the company.

Sales Forecast

The specific monthly sales forecast for the first year of operations has been done in the company’s financial plan (see Attachment 2).

The expected market conditions for the first year of operation are as follows. Firstly, it is expected that the business will face intense competition from businesses that are already established in the market. This competition will complicate the development of the business in the beginning. Another expected market condition the business will face will entail market regulations set by the government. In the beginning, it will be difficult for the company to comply with them due to unfamiliar nature.

Implementation Strategy

Overall Strategy

Launch of the business will require developing a strategy that will ensure successful entry into the market. The following is a strategy that the company can use to launch itself in the market. The strategy will be realized in a number of stages.

The First Stage

The first stage in implementing the strategy necessary for launching the business is to evaluate the objectives of the strategy. Williams (2015) states that this will be significant in ensuring the objectives are achievable and establishing the necessary resources that will be used to realize these objectives. Furthermore, this will be essential in prioritizing the objectives in order to ensure the most vital and urgent are accomplished first.

The Second Stage

The second stage of the strategy will encompass making the product available to important influencers. The company will conduct research and identify vital influencers of its product such as friendly customers and perhaps bloggers. In fact, this is significant given the current impact that social media has on the success of a company’s product. The company will facilitate the use of the new product by these influencers and gauge their response.

The Third Stage

The third stage of implementing the strategy necessary for launching the business is communicating information about it to the business’ stakeholders. Williams (2015) affirms that this includes the company disseminating information about the launch of the business to its stakeholders such as shareholders, employees, and the rest of its potential clients. Accordingly, this includes direct clients such as customers that will be purchasing SENSATIONAL and others such as suppliers and distributors.

The Final Stage

The final stage of implementing the strategy that will be used in launching the business is to organize the finances necessary for the launch. In fact, this will involve making an assessment of the company’s finances and developing a budget that will be used to cover the launch. The significance of doing this ahead of time is that it will enable the company to note in good time any budget deficit and thus find ways of fixing it.

Following the accomplishment of the above stages of strategy implementation, the product will now be ready for launch. The following will be conducted during the actual launch of the product. At first, the company will make an inventory that is significant in ensuring that the product will be sufficient once it is placed on the shelves for purchase. A compilation of inventory will also include the launch assets. In this case, the company will ensure that there are enough launch assets such as email lists, joint ventures and partner lists, audio and video equipment needed for the launch, and other vital assets that will be needed for the launch.

Another important activity that should be accomplished during the launch of the product is crafting an offer. In fact, this will encompass working on an outline of the features of the product's prospects. Taking into account the suggestions by Verweire (2014), they will in particular include useful information for customers like reasons for buying the product, guarantee being offered, and where it will be sold. Thus, the company will brainstorm solutions to the problems the product will solve and use those solutions as prospect features for the product.

The final activity will encompass developing the team that will handle the launch. For the effective launch, there will be a need to create a team that will oversee the process. Significant members of this team will include individuals such as web developers, graphic designers, marketing members, public relations members, and a social media coordinator. Therefore, the combined efforts of these people will be essential in controlling the launch and making it a success.

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Target Dates for Implementation.

It will also include the company’s goals for implementation. The goals for the implementations of the strategy for launching the product are as follows. The first goal for implementation is the acquisition of new customers. The company wants to use the new business and product to attract a new customer. The second goal is to maximize profit. Apparently, this is a significant goal for the overall survival of the business. Therefore, the company must have measures in place that ensure that sales are kept high for this purpose. Verweire (2014) holds that the third goal for the implementation is to ensure the market becomes a market leader with its new product. There should, therefore, be plans to facilitate this. The said plans will involve taking part in active marketing activities that will be essential in helping the company gain a competitive advantage.

Monitoring Plan

Following the implementation of the plan for launching the business, it will be significant for the company to develop a post-launch monitoring plan. The plan will be essential in assessing the success of the company in meeting milestones. The plan will entail the following components.

Post-Launch Monitoring Plan

Financial Impact

Monitoring the financial impact is significant for the business as it will indicate its success after the launch. To monitor the financial impact of the business, the company can use financial ratios. Accordingly, this will enable it to know the exact performance of the business. The company can also track its numbers through the use of financial tools such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. It is worth noting that this should be prepared regularly such as quarterly. Overall documents should be prepared at the end of the year.

Quality Control

Monitoring the quality control of the product once it has been launched is vital to ensure that its standards are well maintained. The process of monitoring quality control involves the following steps. First, the company should develop clear product criteria that should be used for its entire product (Doyle, 2009). Any product that fails to meet the set criteria will be identified as not meeting quality standards. Secondly, the company should conduct a thorough inspection of its products. In fact, this should be done during the manufacturing process. It can involve aspects such as conducting tests.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is equally significant in the process of the monitoring plan. Thus, this can be accomplished through the following methods. The company should use surveys to assess customer satisfaction, which can be done during the purchase of the product. Chaston (2015) recommends that the company may also use its social media platform to perform the surveys. Assessing customer loyalty is also another way for the company to determine their satisfaction. Therefore, this can be achieved by assessing the behavior of repeat customers as well as those who perform reviews for the company.

Monitoring Schedule

The monitoring schedule for the post-launch plan will encompass the above components of the monitoring plan.

Financial Statements and Projections

Suggested length of 3–5 pages

Note: Develop projected financial statements for the first year of business. You are required to use the Business Plan Financials Template.

Forecasted Profit and Loss Statement

Develop a month-by-month forecasted profit and loss statement using an estimate of revenues and operating costs based on the sales forecast.

Forecasted Balance Sheet

Develop a forecasted balance sheet for the end of year one.

Financial Report

Financial Projections

In line with the developed month by month forecasted profit and loss statement, it has been estimated that the level of sales will start with a lower figure of $1,950,000 from the first-month operations and will end with $5,200,800 by the twelfth month. The assumption, in this case, is that this is a new product that consumers might not be aware of in its first stage of development. However, the sales will gradually increase as they get to understand it and its significance for their own usage in the consumption process.

Moreover, this will lead to a significant rise in the level of profits. It is also assumed that the level of advertising costs will decrease across the months due to the increasing level of awareness among consumers. Therefore, the ultimate level of annual profits will stand at $16,367,130. In the balance sheet, it is projected that the company will have some cash in the bank of $1,200,000, which will act as its savings. It is assumed that the company will also have property as reflected in the long-term assets. The assets will basically comprise the plant and equipment used for the production process.

Financial Position

The company’s financial position at the end of the year will stand at $32,298,500 for both assets and the liabilities with the owner’s equity. The overall position of the company will stand at $32,298,500 due to the key assets that the company would have accumulated by the end of the first year. For example, the company will have its plant and machinery in place, premises, and fixtures and fittings that will play an instrumental role in boosting the position. Despite the long-term liability of the long-term bank loan of $10,000,000 acquired for the establishment of the company, the owners of the business also have investments in common stock, and there are also retained earnings that will balance everything at the end of the year.

Therefore, the financial position of the company at the end of the first year could be said to be healthy owing to the key assets that it possess, thereby securing it and leading to better performance. More investments in assets would be instrumental in the future to ensure that the financial ability of the company is boosted and that it is operating at the desirable level of efficiency in the course of its business.

Estimated Capital/Investment Needs

The company’s initial capital investments included the $10,000,000 bank loan that was basically dedicated to the establishment of the plant for the production of SENSATIONAL and the purchase of different elements such as furniture. The owners of the company had at least $15,000 as part of the initial startup amount to ensure the company is ready for operations. In essence, the initial capital requirements were mostly focused on the purchase of equipment and ensuring that the company is at the best operational level of efficiency in the course of its business. Nevertheless, future capital investments will be focused on the further development of the plant for production purposes.

The investment will be mainly focused on technological advancements and inclusion in the production process to make SENSATIONAL a more outstanding product in the market. The estimated capital for the expansion and application of technology in the production process will be $12,000,000. The aim is to be on par with the increasing level of competition, while at the same time reflecting the commitment of the company toward the satisfaction of customers. Technological capital investments would also be reflective of the company’s dedication to the minimization of costs while increasing the level of profitability in its performance.

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