The November 2019 MCS case study is based around a sportswear company called GSC, it specially designs, markets and sells high performance sportswear in a country with a highly developed economy.
Remember, MCS students, your role is similar to finance manager and you will be reporting directly to the Finance Controller of GSC.
I have looked through the pre-seen and applied the porters five forces model to GSC.
CIMA released the pre-seen materials for November 2019 MCS case study, you can find the official pre seen document from CIMA here.
*note you will need to be logged into CIMA connect to access the pre-seen materials.
Porter’s Five Forces
Analysing and understanding the industry conditions GSC operations will aid the strategic decision making process, so I’d thought I would look at these five forces in the context and GSC and how it can potentially be applied on exam day.
I wrote about this E2 model some time ago on the blog, you can read more about it here.
Competitive Rivalry – HIGH
It’s clear the competitive rivalry in the sportswear industry is high, there are hundreds of brands to compete with and an ever changing consumer preference on the sportswear they want to wear.
This makes the increased revenue growth year-on-year that GSC has shown since 2015 very impressive and paints a picture of a well run and ambitious company.
An important point to note from the pre-seen is that;
……. GSC positions itself as a differentiated, high-quality and high-performance sportswear provider and, therefore, considers primarily the activities of other organisations that position themselves similarly, when performing competitor analysis, rather than focusing on the activities of the low-price, fashion-orientated retailers…..
Threat of New Entrants – HIGH
It’s relatively easy for a new competitor to enter the market, there are no high barriers to entry and the competition can range far and high. Whether it’s a specialist sports footwear company that is starting or a new clothing range. The threat will always be high and this can be illustrated by the sheer volume on competitors on GSC’s plate.
Nevertheless, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as the constant threat of competition can encourage innovation and will act as catalyst to keep pushing GSC and the other market leaders forward.
Buyer Power – MEDIUM
I was tempted to put high here, as in reality is there nothing fundamentally to stop consumers switching from GSC to other brands. However, in terms of my own buyer habits I tend to find I am quite loyal to these kind of brands and it appears that GSC already have a strong repuatation with the 18-35 year olds and are developing their presence on social media to also establish there connection with the 13-17 year old range as well.
So I believe there is an element of customer loyalty here that will keep alot GSC customers coming back to the brand.
Supplier Power – LOW
GSC require specialist fabric materials for their sportswear and this is mainly sourced from Asia and Latin America, but the fact GSC have 6 main suppliers mean that the power they wield is relatively low (in my opinion).
If one supplier decides to up their prices for fabric, then GSC will have alternative providers they look towards to negate this potential increase in cost.
…..In 2019, nearly 75% of the fabric used in GSC’s products was sourced from six specialist fabric suppliers…..
Substitute Products – LOW
As GSC have pursued the strategy of differentiation, then there will be very few products that can be considered a substitute for these high performance sportswear items.
If the consumer needs a durable, high performance sports/footwear then the products that GSC produce will be in demand without the threat of a potential substitute product.
All in all, the main industry challenges that GSC will face will be competition from other brands and companies and the fact anyone can start a sportswear company without significant barriers. They also need to maintain consumer loyalty and the fact they are looking towards the 13-17 year old market through social media is a great way to attract customers and get them buying into the brand at a young age.
As I mentioned, the high competition can be used as positive as it will keep GSC on their toes and make sure they keep bringing innovative products to market.
Astranti Case Study Course
The Astranti MCS course for the GSC case study is packed full of videos and analysis on the pre-seen materials and what might come up on exam day, but the mock exams with detailed and honest feedback will be a great help in passing the MCS exam.
Here is what you can expect;
- Complete pre-seen pack of videos
- 3 x Full tuition videos
- 2 x Study texts
- 2 x Live Masterclasses
- 3 x Full Mock Exams
- Detailed marking and feedback
- Ethics Pack
- Pass Guarantee