Abstract for: Grain Processing Strategic Growth Model & Tool for the Board of Directors

This project grew from the need of the board of directors to better provide oversight on strategic operations, with a specific desire to obtain a deeper understanding of the problem of company growth. Strategically, one chronic limit to growth for a sustainability-oriented, organic producer, is the supply of raw material. That is, the total number of acres for organic rice is limited and is not expected to expand as quickly as the demand for organic rice products. This paper provides an overview of our investigation of the causes of limits to growth in the supply of organic rice, and how the limit in supply in turn dynamically affects planning for the internal process of the company as it attempts to balance processing rates to meet the marketing & sales plan for the various product lines with a raw material supply system that replenishes only annually (at harvest). From this investigation, a dynamic model was developed for use by the board to better understand and respond to these strategic issues of growth.