Read Chapter 9 and write an analysis using the tools in the chapter that can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages a particular company might face when choosing to operate globally, and I’ll expect to see you use that material from the chapter 9 (whichever of the tools you think are best for gaining insight into Ice Fili situation) in your analyses. Make absolutely sure you fully understand the mechanisms behind what’s going on before you make any recommendations. Ask “why”, and “how”, and question the methodology that leads to the conclusions.
One quick note. Often when people talk about “outsourcing” (which is the opposite of “vertical integration”) they implicitly add “overseas”. In other words when a manufacturing company, for example, considers outsourcing a component or a production process, the assumption is often made that that means “to China” or elsewhere. I want you to recognize that those are two related and yet very distinct decisions. You can think of it first as a decision to do it yourself or let someone else do it, based on the analyses we talked about for vertical integration. Once that decision is made, whichever way it goes, then there’s a decision to be made about “where?”. If you decide to integrate the operation you can do it domestically, or you can locate it elsewhere. If you decide to outsource, you can outsource to domestic suppliers or international ones. There’s no automatic answer, and which combination of decisions makes the most sense will depend on the specifics of the context you’re operating in.
Some general guidelines for writing the executive briefings:
• You should especially focus on the material from the chapter
• Dig down to the most important elements. It is not easy to get a rigorous analysis and recommendations into a two page executive briefing. Ignore irrelevant or marginal information in order to make a concise, convincing analysis.
• Approach the case as consultants. You have been hired by these companies to analyze their situation and make logical, well-argued, and implementable recommendations. Think about whom your client is and what he/she would like to see in your report. Keep in mind that your recommendations must make sense given the conditions in the case, and your arguments for them must be logical and convincing. Also consider the importance of challenging the assumptions of the companies for which you consult.
• Avoid laundry lists. Focus and organize your analysis. Look for a framework from the readings or class that helps you organize and present your analysis.
• Don’t summarize the case. The audience (your client) is very familiar with the situation and needs you to analyze, not summarize.
These assignments will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
1. Have you used the right tools from the class and the textbook, and applied them appropriately and to the fullest extent?
2. Are the recommendations well supported by the logic and analysis presented in the briefing? (That is, do the recommendations represent natural extensions of the analysis in the briefing or do they seem “out of the blue”?)
3. Does the briefing recognize organizational realities that may act as barriers to certain strategies (e.g., politics, culture, existing reward systems, available resources, etc.)?
4. Does the briefing demonstrate a new and deeper understanding of the case? (That is, does it add significant value or is it just re-hash of the case facts?)
5. Does the briefing reflect a full, balanced, and objective analysis of case material? Is the briefing clearly presented? Is it well organized and free of mistakes?
Each briefing should be no longer than two single-spaced pages
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