Balanced Score Card

Anthony’s Orchard is an apple producing orchard situated at Wenatchee valley in Washington. The orchard extends up to 6,000 acres.

Its mission to continually increase customer awareness of its products has been achieved after a number of years. Nevertheless, Anthony’s Orchard Company experiences a number of challenges that hinder it to achieve its objectives fully. Therefore, strategic plan for the company using a balanced score card is vital for its success. This writing shall prepare a score card based on the financial records of Anthony’s Orchard between the year 2010 and 2011 (Anthony Orchard, 2011). The analysis shall also be used to draw conclusive remarks which shall state whether the target of sales revenue worth $25 million shall be achievable or not. Therefore the essay shall base on the four key areas including finance, customers, internal business process and learning and growth.

In the financial area, the highest expenditure in Anthony’s orchard is on the production costs of the apples. The labour cost of producing prepared apple products was $1,039,632 in 2010 while in 2011, it slightly reduced to $908,010. The reduction percentage is only 12.3% meaning the company was making a steady progress in eliminating the labour cost so that the revenue from sales can be maximised. According to Coin, Shawn and Edward (2010), a firm has a progressive financial record when its rate of reducing labour costs is more than 9% (Coyne, Shawn & Coyne, 2010). This indicates that a firm incurs little expenditure thus increasing per capita income.
In customer area, the Anthony’s Orchard Company should be concerned with the likelihood of a customer coming back to buy more apples. This also called “Likelihood to return”. When the financial records are examined, direct costs of prepared apple products declined from $3,665,600 to $3,520, 309 in the year 2010 and 2011 respectively. The percentage decrease was 11%. Since sales rely on the number of customers, this indicates that the number of returning customers was on the negative trend between the period 2010 and 2011. In this case, the company is likely to lose a number of returning customers in future. Therefore when a future projection is made sales of prepared apple products is likely to reduce in the year 2015. On the other hand, Pick Your Own Apple products had increased its direct material costs from $1, 726,300 to $2, 635, 076 in the year 2010 and 2011 respectively. The percentage increase was 16%. This shows that the rates of customer retention were quite high. Similarly, in community events, no costs of direct materials were incurred in 2010. The cost rose to $1,462, 708 in 2011. This means the likelihood of retention of customers is high by 39%. Based on this performance indicator, the most profitable activity is community event since it has the highest positive gross margin of 39%. Therefore, the firm should collaborate with more customers in order to boost its sales in Prepared Apple products and Pick Your Own Apple products so that it can maximise its profits.
In internal business process area, most of the business documents are out of date. For instance the accounting records of the business on the website have not been updated since 2011. In other words, new customers and collaborators who may be thinking of joining the firm may be discouraged since there are no proper indicators of the progress of the firm. A focussed firm updates its documents regularly and in case such processes are tedious, the company can automate its reporting services so that reports are produced instantly whenever they are required (Ketchum, 2015). This enables the firm to focus on important issues easily and gives a progressive report based on current situation of the firm.
In learning and growth area, Anthony’s Orchard should majorly focus on training its staff and adopt some of the technological production methods to increase quantity and improve quality of the apple products. Even though the company is trying to invest in technology, through canning, saucing and dicing, the amount allocated for such methods are 0.12, 0.02 and 0.08 respectively. the amount is too low compared to the recommended average of 0.15. In such a case, the company is likely to obtain less profit on the preparation methods of the apples. Therefore, to obtain a target of $25million sales revenue by 2015, the company needs to increase budgeted costs of production technology. The rate of employee turnover is relatively low since most of the employees in the firm have not moved out of the firm since 2010. The rate per hour in 2010 was $8.80 while in 2011 it rose to $8.85. This means that the employees are unlikely to go to other firms seeking for better opportunities (Ritosa, 2014). Another indicator of high employee retention is the number of cases between 2010 and 2011. In 2010, the number of labour cases was 179, 000 and in 2011, the number increased to 190,000. This means many employees are satisfied with the wages in the firm. According to Boushey, H and Glynn (2012), it is only significant to replace an employee when newer production methods are introduced which are efficient and fast ( Boushey and Glynn, 2012). Since Anthony’s Orchard Company is not ready to introduce technological methods, retaining the current workforce and adding more will work better for it rather than replacing the current workforce. Therefore, the target sales revenue worth $25 million is achievable when the current employees are trained to improve the quality of produced apple products (Kaplan & Norton, 1996).