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Case Study on Boise Automation Canada Ltd.: The Lost Order at Northern Paper

The core of this case study involves Rob Allison, the senior account manager at Boise Automation Canada Ltd., losing a crucial chance to sell an automated control system to Northern Paper Inc., a paper mill found in Rocky Falls, Ontario. Michael (2012) suggests that designing, providing, and installing an automated control system worth $1.2 million for Northern’s wood-chip handling operation represented a priceless opportunity for the company. However, despite offering a highly technical and affordable product, Boise still needs to win the order. Thus, Rob Allison tried to investigate the reasons behind the unfortunate event and find alternative strategies.

What Went Right

Integration of Marketing Theories and Process Development

The combined effort of integrating marketing concepts and methodology is visible in various elements of the situation. First, Boise’s focus on unique products and market leadership is notable since it dedicated efforts to design a cutting-edge product with features such as high-resolution graphics, on-screen help functions, and advanced sensor technology. Michael (2012) opines that the distinctive nature of Boise’s products allowed them to establish a competitive edge and become a top choice for high-calibre automation solutions among consumers. The company’s customer-centric approach stands out as another significant achievement. According to Michael (2012), understanding client wants and desires was crucial to the company’s exceptional standing for consumer satisfaction. Equally, the proposed approach converges with widely accepted marketing concepts emphasizing personalized solutions that align neatly with client needs (Otto et al., 2020). As a direct result, Boise established enduring connections with customers, thereby augmenting their market influence.

Additionally, the carefully organized sales process pursued by Boise contributed significantly to its achievements. Through meticulous client analysis and early conceptualization, Boise developed customized solutions to meet their patrons’ demands. Otto et al. (2020) opine that this method aligns with successful marketing tactics that emphasize providing customers with valuable offers tailored to their requirements while maximizing their profits and securing business opportunities. Also, the strategic market positioning implemented by Boise greatly influenced its accomplishments. Michael (2012) opines that they successfully carved out a distinct identity in the market by positioning themselves as providers of comprehensive turnkey automation solutions with specialized industry knowledge, particularly within the paper-making sector. In addition to addressing the individual needs of diverse customer groups, this method demonstrated the company’s prowess in tailoring customized responses.

Marketing and Operations Strategies for Value-Creation

Boise’s streamlined workflow enabled it to develop an effective profit-generating system. The collaboration between marketing and operations divisions facilitated the company’s remarkable growth and market superiority (Michael 2012). First, Boise prioritizing inventing new offerings underscores the seamless departmental alliance, while implementing innovative tools highlighted their determination to keep up with the latest industry requirements. Otto et al. (2020) suggest that an organization’s concerted effort to align product creation with customer preferences both underscore its capacity to predict market needs and reinforce its industrial standing. Furthermore, the concentration on quality and consistency underscores how marketing and operations are intimately linked in creating worth. Boise’s commitment to using premium materials and guaranteeing system stability in challenging industrial settings appealed to clients seeking trustworthy robotization arrangements (Michael 2012). Thus, the harmonious convergence of marketing intuition and operational execution illustrates how value propositions are crafted to resonate with the intended consumer base.

Additionally, Boise’s focus on catering to clients demonstrates an excellent model for how marketing and operational teams may collaborate to develop a worth-generating mechanism. Michael (2012) suggests prioritizing customer connections and comprehending individualized needs allowed Boise to surpass customer satisfaction. Beyond merely strengthening client allegiance, the result offered possibilities for repeated trade, underscoring the persevering impact of combining marketing strategies with operational proficiency.

What Went Wrong and What Could Be Improved

Certain elements pan out differently than anticipated, providing growth opportunities. According to Michael (2012), early participation could have been much better during the initial stages of the opportunity, with Rob Allison’s decision to wait for the specification to be mailed. Notably, the accounts manager could have taken a proactive approach to inquire about the origins of the request. Rehman & Iqbal (2020) state that poor communication can hinder organizations from being anticipatory and responsive to stakeholders’ needs. Thus, an open-minded perspective might have enabled Boise to fully comprehend the project’s scope and adjust its strategy accordingly. Equally, a notable gap between communication channels became apparent during the opportunity’s evaluation phase. Michael (2012) opines that inefficient communication with Northern Paper led to missed opportunities to propose a more appealing price. This mistake hindered Boise’s capacity to demonstrate its dedication to providing worth, which could impede its ranking in the competitive bid process.

Equally, a challenge arose during the internal deliberation at Boise regarding finding the perfect blend of premium prices and securely booked orders. The contradiction between cutting-edge technology and affordable prices underscores the difficulties of establishing fair pricing. Rehman & Iqbal (2020) opine that harmonized strategies that effectively position products, considering their innovative features and competitive pricing, are crucial. Hence, this initiative could have been developed to align Boise’s offerings with market demands and customer expectations more strategically.

Comparing Marketing Models and Identifying Appropriate Strategy

The case highlights an illustrative instance of a customer-centred marketing strategy adjoining the relationship marketing framework. Michael (2012) claims that Boise’s focus on comprehending client requirements, crafting customized responses, and nurturing partnerships align perfectly with this framework. Despite any reservations about pricing, the internal discussion tends to support the transactional marketing strategy, which prioritizes expedient sales over developing long-term client connections. According to Rehman & Iqbal (2020), organizations should harmonize various marketing models to achieve greater success by emphasizing customer-centred pricing methods. Additionally, the paper production sector’s international marketplace presents opportunities for varied client choices, necessities, and geographic profiles (Michael 2012). However, organizations may improve customer engagement by developing regionalized marketing approaches considering cultural differences and industry standards (Otto et al., 2020). Hence, providing personalized alternatives can broaden the appeal of Boise’s products in multiple sectors.

Theories and Strategies for Continual Improvement

The investigation pinpoints areas that may be enhanced through continued lean production practices. First, Boise may implement efficient manufacturing concepts to eradicate unnecessary expenditures and optimize production workflows through automation system development. According to Alvarado-Ramírez et al. (2018), when organizations practice this strategy, they experience expedited delivery times, diminished expenses, and increased client fulfilment. Likewise, Boise should sustain its commitment to R&D to maintain a leadership position in technology. Alvarado-Ramírez et al. (2018) opine that companies can maintain their edge over rivals while satisfying evolving consumer demands when they focus on agile decision-making and advanced technology. Furthermore, maintaining a responsive feedback channel with clients can enable Boise to collect valuable data for refining its products and creating new innovations.

In conclusion, the case study emphasizes Boise Automation Canada Ltd.’s proficiency in the automation market, displaying both successful integration of marketing concepts and avenues for enhancement. The company’s concentric efforts toward product innovation, customer satisfaction, and organized sales tactics contributed to its unique edge in the market. However, despite initial success, persistent issues with communication, budgetary matters, and neglected prospects signified challenges and potential for growth. Thus, through contrasting marketing methods, accommodating varying customer preferences, and establishing continuous improvement processes, Boise can elevate its competitive posture and prevent future disappointments.


Alvarado-Ramírez, K. M., Pumisacho-Álvaro, V. H., Miguel-Davila, J. Á., & Suárez Barraza, M. F. (2018). Kaizen, a continuous improvement practice in organizations: A comparative study in companies from Mexico and Ecuador. The TQM Journal30(4), 255–268.

Michael, T. (2012). Boise Automation Canada Ltd.: The Lost Order at Northern Paper.

Otto, A. S., Szymanski, D. M., & Varadarajan, R. (2020). Customer satisfaction and firm performance: Insights from over a quarter century of empirical research. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science48, 543–564.

Rehman, U. U., & Iqbal, A. (2020). Nexus of knowledge-oriented leadership, knowledge management, innovation and organizational performance in higher education. Business Process Management Journal26(6), 1731–1758.


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