Uncovering causes of stagnating product sales of a healthy snack: A system dynamics group model building project in a food processing company

Horvat, Andrijana, Bartelet, Henry Antoine, Andersen, David F., Behdani, Behzad, and Luning, Pieternel A. (2022) Uncovering causes of stagnating product sales of a healthy snack: A system dynamics group model building project in a food processing company. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 73 (8). pp. 1667-1681.

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Product life cycle (PLC) analysis studies patterns of sales over time and the reasons behind those patterns. Such analysis can be challenging because of the interconnected effect of technical product characteristics, marketing mix elements, and the environment (e.g. competition, consumers). Moreover, employees from different functions have different backgrounds and perceptions about the origins of patterns, which constrains mutual understanding and hampers decision-making. The group model building (GMB) approach can be an effective method to support teams in solving complex dynamic problems, such as a PLC analysis of product sales. This study uses a GMB approach and presents a system dynamics model, which supported cross-functional collaboration in analysing causes of stagnating product sales in the PLC of a healthy snack product in a food processing company. Through multiple GMB sessions with the company team, a system dynamics model was developed, and several strategies were analysed. The model has proven useful in explaining the reasons behind the sales stagnation and in studying possible interventions. Moreover, GMB was successful in increasing participants’ insight into the causes of the problem, improving communication, and creating a shared vision about the problem.

Item ID: 73432
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1476-9360
Copyright Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2022 01:23
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3006 Food sciences > 300699 Food sciences not elsewhere classified @ 20%
49 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 4901 Applied mathematics > 490104 Complex systems @ 80%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280101 Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences @ 100%
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