Msci 432 Assignment 1

1989 words - 8 pages

Q1

a) The competitive advantage of a firm is a quality that the organization has that is not duplicated by another organization. This quality is what gives the firm the lead or differentiates the firm from others within the market or industry. After reading “Russia’s Factories Gear up for Efficiency” the competitive advantage cane be identified as offering new products specifically new components for railways and the oil industry. This is Chelyabinsk Forge-and-Press’s competitive advantage as no other firm is ale to offer these new products to these emerging industries. Another competitive advantage can be identified as a large quantity of parts offered. The article states, “The most ...view middle of the document...

The issue stemmed from the employees being instructed to “make as many pieces as they could at each operation, but not work as a whole”. This recommendation ties in with a) above.

c) Gartung’s prediction that “Some companies are chronically incapable of making quality products….. sooner or later, they’ll exit the market”. This statement is correct if the customer is looking for top-notch quality for their parts. Most customers do have this requirement however many other customers are just looking for the part to get the job done, as quick as possible and cheap as possible. Most of the time quality is synonymous with high price therefore the competitors may not be exiting the market as soon as he thinks as other competitors may be able to provide the product at a cheaper price and faster turnaround.

Q2
a) The key ideas behind the firms success is not the fact that they sell diapers but how the firm is able to sell diapers and attract loyal customers. These loyal customers then go on to buy other higher margin items from the website. This is how the firm is successful. The firm is also successful with the speed in which they are able to ship the items. Since customers value quick shipping, diapers.com is able to attract even more loyal customers that contribute to the firm’s success. Also the article states the firm offers 50,000 different products to its customers such as brand name baby wipes, shampoos and baby formula. Due to this scale, diapers.com is able to provide a number of different products, further attracting loyal customers and building firm success. Another practice that contributes to the firm’s success is the software developed by the company. The firm has designed a program that knows the dimensions of each product ordered and calculated the area that is needed for shipment. This saves the company on costs associated with shipped large boxes.

b) The process of Quidsi from a customer interface standpoint is a customer goes to diapers.com and orders from a wide range of products from the website. Once the order is placed, the packing slip is sent to the warehouse where the picker will pick the items from the warehouse and package them. Once the items are packaged, they are shipped to the customer.

c) Calculating the economic order quantity is a difficult task in itself. It is difficult to balance and calculate the level of demand that is expected for the product. Once the demand has been estimated, it is appropriate to balance the costs of holding that product in inventory with the level of demand. Figuring out the appropriate peak demand time and having enough inventory to satisfy this level of demand is the tradeoff. If there is a miscalculation or a timing issue, Quidsi will be faced with large amounts of inventory and no sales causing a loss.

d) One competition strategy that Amazon can implement in response to the competition by Quidsi is to offer free shipping on specific items that Quidsi is currently...

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