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CSCI case study - Crime Scene Cleaners Inc Opportunity and...

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Crime Scene Cleaners Inc.: Opportunity and Threat By W. Trexler Proffitt Jr. for BSAD 184 This case addresses strategic analysis of external threats and opportunities. It examines a small firm within a growing segment of the waste management industry. This case is meant to stimulate class discussion, not illustrate good or bad management practice. Triggering eye-catching headlines, the gruesome business of crime scene clean up is a small, fast-growing industry that can’t seem to keep up with demand. Gripping headlines fascinate and repel observers: Cleaning Up the Dead: Blood? Brains? A piece of scalp? It's all in a day's work for Nathan Randall ( Salt Lake City Weekly , 2002) Cleaning up on crime: Neil Smither's brash approach to death is bringing in plenty of clients ( CNN Money , 2001) The specialty crime scene cleanup industry started and grew as the implications of AIDS and other serious blood-borne diseases translated into U.S. organizational behavior in the 1990s. Managers and employees in many societal sectors unfamiliar with handling hazardous waste all of a sudden had to deal with the potential of handling it. These organizations, such as hospitals or hotels, never considered themselves primarily in the waste management business—they hired housekeepers and janitors for routine scrubbing and polishing and taking out the trash. Suddenly, they were dealing with “red bags” and contagion, and did what they could to adapt to the new regulations. In the words of one news story about the problem: In the early 1990s, over growing concern about infectious disease and blood borne pathogens, the federal government issued new regulations for the disposal of blood and bodily fluids. For companies and government agencies, such as police and fire departments, cleanup of crime scenes became an issue of legal liability (CNN, 2001). Accompanying the rise of hazardous material handling regulations, a niche cleaning market arose for the most extreme situations. As concern and regulation swept the country, the existing waste disposal and cleaning services industries were slow to react. While puzzling, this slow response by the incumbent firms created a window of opportunity for entrepreneurs. Accordingly, new entrants took advantage of the opportunity. These new entrants take a particularly vivid form in crime scene and related clean-ups. Crime Scene Cleaners Inc. (CSCI) provides a specialized cleaning service that addresses these concerns.
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A 2003 search for CSCI and similar organizations reveals that this niche consists mostly of smaller firms http://ca.dir.yahoo.com/business_and_economy/business_to_business/cleaning/services/tr auma_and_crime_scene/ This industry structure corresponds with the competitive advantage of local responsiveness, long relationships with institutional clients, and small volume to ensure high quality. The companies in the industry, according to Yahoo! include: AA Trauma Cleaning Service, Inc. - trauma and crime scence cleaning service serving Florida.
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