- Research Feature
- Read Time: 31 min
How Allen Bradley Canada and its suppliers collaborated and learned from each other through shared resources and experiences.
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Commitment and competence are embedded in how each employee thinks about and does his or her work and in how a company is organized to accomplish work. This intellectual capital is, according to the author, a firm’s only appreciable asset. He outlines three ways to build employee commitment and five tools for increasing competence in a firm, site, business and plant.
Microsoft’s approach to software product development allows teams to be creative and retain the autonomy of small groups by frequently synchronizing and stabilizing continuous design changes.
Three forces are changing the customary rules of distribution channel management: proliferating customer needs, shifts in the balance of power in channels and changing strategic priorities. The authors propose a strategic approach to planning for future channel configurations, control of the channel and resource commitment.
How can a company successfully attack an established market leader? How can it find new ways to compete that everyone else has missed? By breaking the rules of the game in its industry to find new sources of innovation, says this author. In a study of thirty successful attackers, he identified five ways that they think about and develop a new game plan.
The failure to integrate a product strategy, a well-planned portfolio, and a facilitating organization structure with clearly identified customer needs, a well-defined product concept, and a project plan can severely hamper new product development. An examination of eleven companies aims at improving the effectiveness of the front-end process.
To shift toward high-quality service strategies, managers must adopt training and recruiting policies that compensate for institutional barriers to human resource investment.
A revolution is now underway. Most innovation occurs first in software.1 And software is the primary element in all aspects of innovation from basic research through product introduction:Software provides the critical mechanism through which managers can lower the costs, compress the time cycles, and increase the value of innovations.
A firm decided to redesign its research and development process. Because the effort was critical to its success, the firm applied two parallel approaches to the process. One was a classical reengineering effort in which a small group of managers and consultants designed a radically different way to do research.
“This is not Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs [i.e., the Bell operating companies] here. Rather, it is a market of a thousand niches served by tens of thousands of firms, each offering dozens, if not hundreds, of different products.&
Positioning products in a complex market is one of a company’s hardest decisions. In determining whether to combine or maintain separate product lines, Hewlett-Packard used strategic market modeling (SMM) to design “what if” scenarios and run simulations forecasting market behavior. SMM combines demographics, user needs and competitive-perception data into a database for testing alternative positioning strategies. The author describes SMM’s development and the lessons learned.
In the mid-1980s, I purchased my first car (a Honda Civic) and my first personal computer (an IBM PC AT) at about the same time and for about the same price ($6,000 to $7,000; the price of the computer included a monitor and a printer).
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. We can apply this Newtonian principle to the vertical supply chain: for every part outsourced by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), there is an equal and opposite opportunity for a parts supplier to furnish that part.
Much has been written in recent years about flexible factories and flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), but the literature has been largely theoretical; managers who are interested in making their factories more flexible have little empirical research on which to base their decisions.
ALTHOUGH RETURNS POLICIES HAVE BEEN WIDELY USED FOR MANY YEARS, THEY CONTINUE TO BE A SOURCE OF CONTROVERSY. THE AUTHORS present a framework that explains when and how to adopt returns policies. They analyze the benefits and costs of accepting returns from distributors, and also compare returns policies to alternative ways of coordinating the distribution channel.
Breezy Services Company, a medium-sized service provider, was in trouble.1 New entrants threatened its domination of particular market segments, and competitors attacked its customer base.
Marketing was easier when the economy was expanding and consumer disposable income was growing. For three decades after World War II, marketing strategies generally were built around the development of growth markets.
Gray market goods — brand name products sold through unauthorized channels — are an increasing threat to multinational companies. The authors present a framework to help select the right approach to coordinating price-setting decisions on the basis of a subsidiary’s local resources and the complexity of a product’s market. Examples of price coordination methods are provided.
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