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Duck Head Apparel Company  

The Duck Head brand has existed since 1865, when O'Brian Brothers brought out a line of work clothes under the Duck Head label. Headquartered in Winder, Georgia, the Duck Head Apparel Company was formed in 1988 as a subsidiary of Delta Woodside to carry on this southern tradition of kaki pants and other casual apparel. In 1992, with sales concentrated mainly in the southeast, management made a strategic decision to widen its market. IMS Quantum was engaged to support management in the areas of market planning and budget development.

First a market model of each state was developed to show the relationships between demographics and sales, allowing management to infer several critical relationships for which data was unavailable. The model gave management the tool to assess market potential by state.

IMS Quantum then initiated a geographic information system to evaluate the regional distribution of sales. Metropolitan Statistical Areas were used to evaluate certain critical variables used in the market model. This approach was also used to evaluate the advantages to the company of proposals submitted by potential new retail outlets.

IMS Quantum then developed an Integrated Revenue Model used for establishing the annual revenue budget. The model showed the relationship between sales levels in a given retail chain of stores and the factors that influence those levels. The advantage of the methodology was that subjective as well as quantified objective information could be included. While the model was not exhaustive in showing the ways these factors interact to yield a given result, it was effective in pointing out areas of potential improvement in merchandising and operations. The revenue projections were consistent with the information available. Direct benefits to the budgeting process included the revision of earlier targets that were not in line with the potential of a given retail chain to increase sales.

The models could be seen as a place to reflect a picture that was based on the collaborative knowledge of sales, operations, and administrative personnel. Each result could be justified as the synthesis of a wide range of reasoning and data. The state-by-state analysis, the geographic information system, and the Integrated Revenue Model are examples of how a set of models can inform the strategic decision-making process in a national retail manufacturing company.

 
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