Assignment 1: Discussion—General Electric
Sustained profits come from building a competitive advantage. This advantage can be accomplished not only through good financial return on a specific process but also through the correct capacity decisions that must be integrated into the organization’s mission and strategy.
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric (GE), understood this better than anyone else. Although GE was a profitable and respected company when Welch took over, its financial results during the1970s were troubling to both its investors and senior management. Welch immediately made changes to the company’s structure and management practices. From the beginning, he stressed the importance of being one of the top players in the industry. He told his colleagues that GE should always be number one or number two in all its businesses; if it was not, then their only options would be to fix, sell, or shut down.
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Because of this strategic direction, GE today usually dominates the markets in which it participates; and if it does not, then it divests. A major part of GE’s strategy is to be the first or second in every market. As you review the module readings for this week, consider the complexity of GE’s products and its emphasis on vertical integration and capacity planning.
Using the module readings, University online library resources, and the Internet, respond to the following:
- How does GE’s framework give it the opportunity to be at the forefront of the markets in which it participates?
- Examine your own firm or a firm you would like to work for in the light of GE’s framework and respond to the following:
- Does this firm have the means to execute like GE?
- Which type of resources would the firm require?
- How could GE’s lessons be applied to this firm?
Write your initial response in 2 pages . Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
Assignment 2: LASA 1—IKEA Analysis Report
What is values-based service? How can a company create value for customers and other stakeholders?
Values-based service is defined as service that is firmly based on the core company values as well as social and environmental responsibility. When the core company values and the social and environmental values are in accordance with the values of customers and other stakeholders, resonance (rather than dissonance) occurs. To be successful, a values-based service business must seek resonance with its customers and other stakeholders in terms of values and avoid any suggestion of dissonance. Companies, such as IKEA, nurture and communicate values in their customer relationships.
Read the article “Values-Based Service Brands: Narratives from IKEA” by Edvardsson from the readings for this module. Using IKEA as the company in point, conduct research, using the University online library and the Internet, to better understand the “IKEA environment.”
Based on your research, write a report addressing the following points:
- IKEA’s Marketing (1 page)
Corporate strategy begins with marketing and understanding the key elements of the marketing plan. For IKEA, describe the following elements of its marketing strategy:
- How do IKEA’s products, services, and related attributes satisfy the wants and needs known as its value proposition?
- How does IKEA create a well-defined market position that appeals to customer wants and needs and differentiates its offering from competitive offerings in a process known as positioning and differentiation?
- Assess IKEA’s strategy using the criteria listed below:
- Value Chain (1 page)
Analyze the three sources of value (economic, social, and environmental) in IKEA’s value chain.
- Explain sources of value as they relate to the wants and needs of IKEA’s core customer.
- Explain how IKEA’s supply chain supports its value proposition.
- Explain how IKEA’s focus on customer value (economic, social, and environmental) is reflected in its supply chain.
- Intangible Products (1 page)
- Explain IKEA’s intangible products and benefits.
- Explain how other firms employ this concept of intangibles to erect barriers to entry for competitors.
- Explain how the concept of intangible benefits is used to increase profits.
- Customers (1 page)
IKEA considers the customer to be a critical stakeholder. The IKEA message is directed to the majority of people and what they can afford, and its pricing is dependent on the economic values that serve a majority of its customers.
- Explain how this approach may or may not maximize profits for IKEA.
- Explain if this premise is at odds with supply and demand economics. Give reasons for your answer.
- Performance Measures (1 page)
Suppose you are a vice-president of manufacturing for IKEA and are responsible for establishing operating performance measures.
- For all of the performance factors other than quality and cost, create a set of 4–6 performance measures for evaluating your managers that integrates IKEA’s values (economic, social, and environmental) as discussed in the article written by Edvardsson.
- For each performance measure, identify one specific process measure that demonstrates how well these values are being upheld in the manufacturing activities including suppliers of the company.
- Recommend how you would develop the workforce to live these values in the workplace. Suggest types of hiring, training, and performance management criteria that you will apply to the workforce.
- Write a 5–6-page paper in Word format. Please use 3–7 scholarly articles in your research. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
- From the textbook, Operations management: Creating value along the supply chain (7th ed.), read the following chapters:
- From the University online library resources, read:
- Edvardsson, B., Enquist, B., & Hay, M. (2006). Values-based service brands: Narratives from IKEA. Managing Service Quality, 16(3), 230–246. (ProQuest Document ID: 198052745) http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/198052745?accountid=34899
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