This is a mini-case from one of the corporations that I managed as CEO in the 1983-1990 time frame. I know that it is difficult for some of you to relate to things that were taking place at that time, so let me give you a little background
• There was no GPS for civilian use. In fact the first satellites for GPS for military use were not launched until the late 80’s, and then there was a time frame (5 years??) before the civilian applications started to develop.
There were no drones for surveillance nor military use.
There was unrest in the Middle East. The Kurds were a problem in Iraq and to Turkey.
The protection of oil fields/military bases against terrorists and para-military groups were a problem. Government installations had been destroyed with many loss of lives.
Someone was always hunting the bad guys.
No cell phones/texting/apps & whatever. If I sound out-of-touch with this terminology then that is because I have never texted. I do have a cell phone, and I use that for making calls. I do not use the cell phone for taking pictures---it is for communication.
This is the first time that I have used this business experience as a mini-case, but I think that it can be a good lesson in strategy development and analytical thinking.
The parent company, CDC, had $150 million in sales revenue company with three operating groups.
The Industrial Group.
One division manufactured industrial boilers and heat exchangers.
Another division manufactured transmissions and gearing for the growing windmill trade, and industrial gearing/drive trains.
The third division manufactured machine tools.
The Outdoor Electric Sign Group. #3 in $$ volume in the US.
One division designed and manufactured outdoor electric signs for Mobile Oil, Wendy’s and other retail outlets.
Another division manufactured signs for theme parks, airports (Tampa, FL) and hotels.
A third division manufactured signs for industrial facilities, maintained parking garages/parking lots and retail outlets.
The Defense Electronic Group.
Vega Precision. Transponders, command & control of unmanned fighter planes for the armed forces. The planes were out-of-date planes that were used for target practice, and were flown by pilots stationed in a van on the ground. Transponders, radar, and telemetry were used in the flying of the un-piloted planes. They were drones.
A Division in Rockville. Telemetry, sophisticated electronics for the US Military. The USN and NSA were major customers. Provided personnel for Black Programs conducted through the intelligence agency.
A Division in San Diego. Radio direction finding (RDF) equipment. The equipment was used almost exclusively by the CIA and the armed services intelligence units. The RDF equipment was capable of being carried by three team members in rough country. We developed the first man-pack RDF equipment, 24#, for use by the South Korean Military. Tracking units for police departments, and on dolphins.
Vega UK. Initially a licensee, but acquired in 1985 as part of our strategic plan, which you will comment on.
ANI was an acquisition which pioneered land based tracking systems based on LORAN. The leading provider of LORAN based tracking systems for land based vehicles. LowJack was a competitor, but ANI had the most precise tracking software. +/- 25 yard differential on a vehicle entering a McDonalds off of I-80 in the Midwest.
Every aircraft has a transponder. The transponder sends out an identification number (each aircraft has a transponder ID # which is specific to that aircraft). VPT makes transponders which send back a signal for every missal that is test fired and for tracking unmanned aircraft (such as drones used for target practice). VPT does not manufacture transponders used for commercial aircraft or combat military aircraft.
Radio Direction Finders
RDF’s are used to track radio signals. The RDF’s manufactured by VPT are used by the CIA and intelligence agencies to track and locate radio