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Sustainability Challenges for an SME in an Artisanal Sector: Casavant Frères Pipe Organs

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CASE STUDY. The case deals with the sustainability of a very old SME in an artisanal sector.

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Sustainability Challenges for an SME in an Artisanal Sector: Casavant Frères Pipe Organs: Abstract

Sustainability Challenges for an SME in an Artisanal Sector: Casavant Frères Pipe Organs is a case study by Jean-Willy Kunz and Serge Poisson-de Haro.

One fall afternoon in 2018, Bertin Nadeau, chair of the board and owner of Casavant Frères, was wondering how to ensure the sustainability of his company. Since its 1879 founding in Saint-Hyacinthe (Quebec, Canada), this world leader in the manufacture, delivery, and installation of new pipe organs had built more than 3,900 organs for churches, concert halls, music schools, and private homes on all five continents. The firm was also active in the restoration, renovation, maintenance, tuning, and moving of organs.

Despite this international success, Casavant Frères could not rest on its laurels. Its national and international business environment had changed dramatically over the years, requiring strategic positioning to ensure its survival. Several opportunities had already been exploited, explored, or studied. Students will be asked to consider Nadeau’s various possible options based on the company’s current situation, its history, its objectives, and the international organ market. They will have to understand the key success factors for an SME facing sustainability challenges in a cutting-edge sector with a strong artisanal component.

Teaching objectives

After studying this case, students will be able to do the following:

  • Identify and understand the challenges facing SMEs in a changing artisanal sector.
  • Make a strategic diagnosis highlighting the internal and external dimensions of the analysis (competition, markets, mode of operation, etc.).
  • Identify and explore potential solutions, taking into account existing and required resources and skills, using the available information, and selecting the most relevant data.

Main themes covered

  • Strategic diagnosis

Concepts & theories related to the case

  • Strategic diagnosis

Additional information

Also available in French.

Teaching notes are available for teachers only. Please contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre.

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