The pre-seen materials for the May 2019 OCS were released some days ago, you can find the official document from CIMA here.
*please note this blog post has been updated 3rd April to include a 33 minute video of a Q&A session on this case study! Can be found at the bottom of this post.
May 2019 OCS: VitaMine Astranti Course
I’ve used Astranti to great effect when passing the OCS and MCS CIMA exams, below is a an idea of the pre-seen videos for the VitaMine case study.
The full Astranti OCS course comes with a pass guarantee too!
- Complete pre-seen pack (pre-seen, strategic, industry analysis and top 10 issues)
- 3 x Full tuition videos
- 2 x Study text
- 2 x Live Masterclasses (the keys to passing and revision masterclass)
- 3 x Full Mock Exams (based on Nov 18 scenario)
- Detailed marking and feedback
- Ethics Pack
- Pass Guarantee
SWOT Analysis – VitaMine
I’m aware the blog posts for the case studies need a fresh idea, so I’ve decided to run through the pre-seen materials in more detail and draw up my own SWOT analysis.
As the OCS will be your first taste of a CIMA case study, you may be wondering where and how to start your work?
Well, a SWOT analysis of VitaMine should be your first task.
Strong Reputation of Excellent Quality
Right from the outset, the pre-seen materials tell us that VitaMine have a strong reputation in the industry, which is a key reason why they have grown rapidly over the last three years – revenue has doubled from 16,662 to 31,884 in that period.
VitaMine’s reputation will not only serve them well when generating sales, but it will also benefit them in the hunt for the best talent when looking to increase the workforce.
Board of Directors
All four of the board of directors hold an equal share in VitaMine and all have an excellent profile for a growing company in a thriving industry. They will all be pulling in the same direction and have a good mixture of experience and skills.
HR and Staffing
It is mentioned various times in the pre-seen materials that VitaMine are facing challenges with their staff and putting in place their infrastructure. Although this is a not a criticism of how the company is managed and led but more a consequence of the rapid growth
“It has been recognised that there is a need to build new processes for human resource management to ensure the well-being of both existing and new staff”
I’d imagine there would be a question on HR management in the exam given what we know in the pre-seen materials – of course this is just my opinion!
The Finance department appears to be well run but I’d imagine there is a need for a freshen up with staff and modernizing how the department is run. The pre-seen materials tell us the finance department has barely changed since 2002.
I’d also question whether annual incremental budgeting is the right approach for the business – at least VitaMine should be using forecast data on a monthly/quarterly basis – and I’d suggest given functional managers some responsibility in the finances of their department rather than leaving the onus on the directors for the annual budgets.
You might be exhausted by the time you reach page 22 of the 23 pre-seen materials, but there is a nugget of pure gold on the press article from “Your Health Monthly”
“A recent study revealed that growth in health related product sales is often driven by internet orders. We should add though that our favourite search engines might not point us to the best products, just those companies most willing to spend on digital marketing.”
Meanwhile, the pre-seen materials (future outlook) also point to the fact internet sales have experienced significant growth over the last decade.
If I was sitting this exam in May I would definitely be reading up on how digital marketing can apply to VitaMine and the benefits it will bring.
I was tempted to put this under threats, but after careful consideration I believe it can be better used as an opportunity. Eastland government is expected to tighten regulations around manufacturing and product safety.
But if VitaMine can react quickly to this and work with the local government and ensure they are the market leaders when it comes to using the right vitamins and ensuring the packaging is clear and compliant with any new legislation then it can only enhance VitaMine’s reputation and bottom line.
The Real Benefits of Vitamins?
The press article at the end of the pre-seen from “Health Food Weekly” is a kick in the teeth to VitaMine. Hock Tan from the National Health Institute is quoted as saying;
“Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided”
Such negative press on the industry will have an impact on consumer confidence. How does VitaMine combat this?
They will need to turn on the PR taps and prove their products are well the customers hard earned money.
The vitamin, mineral and supplements industry has a wide range of manufactures according to page 12 of the pre-seen materials.
“The leading manufacturer maintains only 7 per cent market share of total sales value to end-consumers. The top five branded manufacturers together hold less than 25 per cent market share”
And with that consumers seem to have a lack of loyalty to any one brand. This means that VitaMine will need to work extra hard to keep their current customers happy and reach new ones.
Hopefully my SWOT analysis above has given you a kick start in the right direction for your preparation for the May OCS exam. Meanwhile, the Astranti video below on the pre-seen analysis should really add some more depth to your notes.
Good Luck with your OCS Studies!
May OCS 2019 Astranti Tutor Q&A
Below is a bonus video I found from Astranti, 33 minutes of Q&A session between students taking the VitaMine case study and a Astranti tutor.
Well worth a watch!