Joshua Hogan

Chapter 12 Assignment

Case Study Questions

1)      If you were a small chemical company, what concerns would you have about joining Elemica?

-          The biggest challenge with small companies is the issue of competition and barriers of entry in an industry dominated by large companies. So it is paramount to have a fair platform. Which is why I would want to join this giant company if I had a small chemical business. But, there are a few concerns that I would have joining Elemica. I would be worried about complications that it might have with big orders, since it basically just acts as a middle man to connect companies through the cloud. It would also be tough to get accustomed to the type of network that connects my small company to the others through Enterprise Resource Planning, as stated in the article.

2)      Elemica provides a community for participants where they can transact, coordinate, and cooperate to produce products for less. Yet these firms also compete with one another when they sell chemicals to end-user firms in the automobile, airline, and manufacturing industries. How is this possible?

-          Elemica does this on an fair platform for the different companies to compete with one another through sharing knowledge on production from the inputs. All these companies and traders benefit through a reduced cost of serving customers, which that companies overhead costs are reduced allowing them to profit more. The most beneficial thing this platform does is ensures these companies have smoother operations and improved customer service. The public bidding pool for these services is limited making it impossible for just one company to provide for everybody which makes this platform useful to everybody.

3)      How does the purchase of Elemica by Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm, change how Elemica fits into the B2B framework illustrated in Figure 12.10?

-          Thoma Bravoís has a very good record and is an expert in this field. He will make it so Elemica will gain even further growth and profitability. He will positively impact the business and even has the possibility to expand it. He will attract new customers all by maintaining the leadership of the Elemica.

Projects

3)      Assume you are a procurement officer for an office furniture manufacturer of steel office equipment. You have a single factory located in the Midwest with 2,000 employees. You sell about 40% of your office furniture to retail-oriented catalog outlets such as Quill in response to specific customer orders, and the remainder of your output is sold to resellers under long-term contracts. You have a choice of purchasing raw steel inputs-mostly cold-rolled sheet steel-from an exchange and/or from an industry consortium. Which alternative would you choose and why? Prepare a presentation for management supporting your position.

-          If I was going to buy these products, I would do what most businesses do, I would by the cheaper product in order to save money. I would by the cheapest product I could until I found out that it wasnít sufficient enough to sustain my profitability. If I found out that it wasnít doing what it is supposed to do, or isnít up to satisfactory, I would then start buying the more expensive product because it is probably better. The bast way to make this decision is to test both products before buying and choose the best one because sometimes, just because you pay more money for it, doesnít mean that it is better quality.

4)      You are involved in logistics management for your company, a national retailer of office furniture. In the last year the company has experienced a number of disruptions in its supply chain as vendors failed to deliver products on time, and the business has lost customers as a result. Your firm only has a limited IT department, and you would like to propose a cloud-based solution. Go to the website of GT Nexus. Explore the Why GT Nexus tab, and the Solutions By Industry/Retail tab. Read several case studies on the site. Write a report to senior management why you believe that a cloud based B2B solution is best for your firm.

-          With the growing technology, businesses are would benefit to move their network infrastructure from on premises to cloud-based platform. Cloud is being enhanced day by day and the services they provide cannot be achievable under such low cost. Because of the advantages cloud-based service provides, it is really a profit for the business to migrate to the cloud-based infrastructure. If the business deals with customer data, we need an infrastructure that should have zero downtime, which the cloud offers since it is always upgrading and being maintained. Scalability is one such feature that is being provided by the cloud service provider which is attracting businesses to move their infrastructure to the cloud. This ensures high availability infrastructure and our application will certainly face zero downtime. We can easily handle the number of traffic entering or trying to access our infrastructure.