Invisalign Case study – What is (are) the main issue(s) facing the organization?

Invisalign Case study – What is (are) the main issue(s) facing the organization?

Need to have the questions s below addressed with the attached case file on Invisalign.

1. What is (are) the main issue(s) facing the organization?
2. What are the options available to the organization?
3. What is your recommendation? Provide a justification for your choice.
4. What can we learn from the case as it relates to Marketing Management and Marketing strategy in general? What are the key takeaways of the case?

Invisalign: Orthodontics Unwired

Zia Chishti, CEO of Align Technology Inc., looked at his third-quarter 2001 sales figures

with yet another sigh. He called his vice president of corporate strategy, Beth Collins, into his

office. “Beth, our shareholders aren’t going to like our third-quarter sales results. With our

aggressive growth plans, we’re incurring much higher costs than last year, but we’re just not

turning sufficient revenues to support our future cost growth.” (See Exhibit 1 for Align’s

financial statements.)

“I know,” Collins replied. “For some reason, orthodontists simply aren’t adopting our system.

My team found that out of the approximately 8,000 calls that we get per week requesting basic

information, 80 percent are referred to Invisalign-trained orthodontists. Of those, 55 to 60 percent

follow up with a call to a referred orthodontist, but only 3 percent end up trying Invisalign.”

“I just don’t understand it,” said Chishti. “This is such an incredible and advanced system for

invisibly straightening adult teeth, you would think orthodontists would be eager to expand their

patient base. We need to increase those conversion rates, and fast.”


Align Technology Inc. of Santa Clara, California, designed, manufactured, and marketed the

Invisalign System, a proprietary method for treating malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth.

The system corrected adult and teen malocclusion using a series of clear, removable “aligners”

that gently moved teeth to the desired final position. The aligners were molded in a sophisticated

process that utilized three-dimensional computer imaging graphics to forecast teeth movement in

sequential stages. Because it did not rely on the use of metal or ceramic brackets and wires, the

system significantly reduced the aesthetic and other drawbacks usually associated with corrective

orthodontic treatment.

The company was founded in 1997 by Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth while they were students

at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. The idea for the product grew from

happenstance. Just prior to business school, Chishti had worn braces while working in investment

banking for Morgan Stanley. He felt the experience was awkward, embarrassing, and

professionally stunting. When his braces were removed, he wore a clear plastic retainer. Chishti

noticed that when he neglected to wear the retainer for several days, his teeth would shift back

slightly. Upon reinsertion, the retainer would return his teeth to their final, straightened state,

indicating that a single clear plastic retainer was capable of moving teeth.


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