Suggested Assignment Questions ?Industrie Pininfarina -What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a niche manufacturer? How has the competitive environment of niche auto manufacturers been changing over the past few years? What factors are affecting the competitiveness of niche manufacturers such as Pininfarina compared to the volume manufacturers? -As Renato Bertrandi, what do you see as the most significant challenges facing Pininfarina over the next five years? What are Pininfarina’s options for the future? -Should Bertrandi accept the Mitsubishi business?
If yes, what are the changes Pininfarina has to go through? If no, what can he do? How should Pininfarina position itself to compete in the future? •Virginia Mason Medical Center -What is Gary Kaplan trying to achieve? -How does TPS fit into his strategy? -What is your opinion about “people not cars” debate? -Is Kaplan’s approach transferable to other US hospitals? ?Solagen – Process Improvement in the manufacture of Gelatin -How is Kodak currently achieving quality? Is the movement from art to science inevitable? Really desirable? Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the Solagen process from the point of view of Alex Blanchard (CEO of Kodak); of Bolten (plant manager); of Carson (Head of Chemical Processing and Engineering). -What should Bolten do? -How should the new technology be evaluated? Who should set specifications that define success or failure? •Innovation at Progressive (A): Pay-as-you-go Insurance -How does Progressive’s performance as an auto insurer compare to that of typical insurance companies? How has its performance changed over time? What explains the difference in performance? -Customers of auto insurers are very price-sensitive.
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How problematic is it to Progressive that customers almost always select the insurer that offers the best price? -Assess the viability of the Autograph system. What level of consumer acceptance will it take to make Autograph successful? What are the barriers of consumer acceptance? Should Autograph be expanded nationwide? ?Fresh Connections -What are the most important operating and strategic issues facing Fresh Connections? -Which segment(s) of the prepared foods business do you think is the most attractive for Fresh Connections? -What choices must Fresh Connections make in developing an operations strategy?
What is the effect of complexity on Fresh Connections’s operations? -How will growth impact Fresh Connections’ operations? -What capabilities should Fresh Connections emphasize in its strategy? •New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. -How has New Balance positioned itself in the athletic shoes and apparel industry? Why? – How has it configured its operations to achieve success in the industry? -How does its firm culture influence the firm’s operations and strategy implementation? -Given your assessment of New Balance’s position, do you feel that NB2E will be successful? Why? What areas of the firm’s operations do you feel New Balance must focus on if it wishes to implement its target of 100% delivery within 24 hours? -What tradeoffs would the firm have to make to realize this strategy? -How will the current trends of consolidation in the industry affect the firm’s operations strategy/decisions? •Nucleon Inc. -What are your recommendations regarding the manufacturing of CPR-1 for Phase I and Phase II clinical trials? What are your recommendations regarding manufacturing for Phase III clinical trials and commercialization? -How would you justify your recommendation to would-be investors in the company? What is your recommendation regarding Nucleon’s long-term manufacturing strategy? What should this company look like in 10 years (e. g. , an R&D boutique, an R&D boutique with pilot scale manufacturing capabilities, or an integrated manufacturing enterprise)? ?Zara: IT for Fast Fashion -How would you advise Salgado to proceed on the issue of upgrading the POS terminals? Should he upgrade to a modern operating system? Should the POS application be re-written to include any additional functionality? -In your opinion what are the most important aspects of Zara’s approach to IT as an enabler for effective supply chain management?
Are there approaches applicable and appropriate anywhere? -What benefits does Inditex/Zara get from its supply chain infrastructure? How difficult would it be for a competitor to acquire these same benefits? -What current/potential weakness (if any) do you see in Zara’s infrastructure, supply chain and IT strategy? ?Vandelay Industries Inc. -Why has R/3 been so successful in the US? Why does it appear to be so far ahead of its competitors? -Why have so many re-engineering efforts been failures? Will ‘ technology-enabled’ change management help improve the success rate? -Why are consultants so often a part of ERP implementations? Is the total budget for the project reasonable? -What are the major drawbacks that you see from implementing an ERP implementation? -If you were Elaine Kramer, what would your greatest worries be as you started this implementation? What about if you were the Vandelay CEO? -What competititve requirement does R/3 fulfill for Vandelay? •Toyota Demand Chain Management -How does the Toyota demand chain operate? How is it different than its competitors’ demand chains? -What types of systems (IT and/or operational) allow Toyota to manage its operations and supply and demand chains so efficiently? What challenges did the development and launch of the Prius create for Toyota? -Do you feel that the internet based ordering system Toyota initially used is viable as a permanent ordering method? Why or why not? -Do you have any recommendations for improvement of Toyota’s demand chain management? •Southwest Airlines – 2002: An Industry Under Siege -How does this company make money even when other airlines don’t? What are the most important contributors to its financial success? -How should management respond to the fact that S/W has fallen to the next-to-last among major airlines in on-time performance as of September 2002? Once operations are fully stabilized, would you recommend to the management of the airline that it resume its historic growth rate from 10%-15% per year? How? -Should you recommend an expanded network? Should you recommend a greater proportion of long-haul flights (over 3 hours)? Why or why not? -If you would not recommend a resumption of previous growth rates, how would you suggest dealing with the consequences of reduced growth? -What are the implications for S/W of the actual or threatened bankruptcies of other major US airlines? -How important is short turnaround time for S/W? Evolution of the X-Box Supply Chain 2) -What supply chain changes did Microsoft make between the Xbox and the Xbox 360? What the motivation for these changes? -Previous videogame launches had been characterized by initial demand exceeding supply, even though launches had been regional, with many months separating each geographic expansion. What are the risks and benefits of the global launch planned for the Xbox 360? -M/soft planned to use 3 EMS firms for the Xbox 360, all in China. What were the benefits and limitations of this approach? How should M/soft coordinate these suppliers? Flextronics International Ltd -What factors account for the dramatic growth of the EMS industry during the 1990s? How would you rate Flextronics’ performance during this period? -Does the economic or strategic rational for the outsourcing of electronics manufacturing differ from that of the outsourcing of design? If so, what is different? -Do you believe that moving into the ODM market is a good idea for Flextronics? If yes, explain your rationale and decide whether you would grant an exclusive relationship for Phone 4. If not, what alternate strategy would you recommend? Ford Motor Company – Supply Chain Strategy (Individual case) -Consider (from a consumer standpoint) the differences between buying a car and a computer (especially buying computer online like for Dell). What are the differences and what explains these differences? -What advantage does Dell derive from virtual integration? How important are these advantages in the auto business? -What challenges does Ford face that are not faced by Dell? How should Ford deal these challenges? -If you were Teri Takai, what would you recommend to senior executives? To what degree should Ford emulate Dell’s business model?