1. If you were a small chemical company, what concerns would you have about joining Elemica?
Funding would be my biggest concern. Normally you look for joint ventures or partnerships with partners that can hold their own and/or provide financial support when you’re providing the goods and/or services. Then there’s the technical aspect and whether they have already invested into the infrastructure to support your business or if your company will have to finance everything yourself.
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?
This is common in some larger industries and works in their favor because it allows them to stay consistent in the market when it comes to price and quality. If one company was to lower their prices dramatically, the rest of the industry, in theory, can do the same.
3. How does the purchase of Elemica by Thomas Bravo, a private equity firm, change how Elemica fits into the B2B framework illustrated in Figure 12.10?
Ever heard of “too many cooks in the kitchen?” When there are many people in control over a platform like Elemica, it’s harder to make meaningful changes in their strategy or decision-making process. With one firm in charge to oversee everything, they can make decisions faster, but that’s not always a good, especially if there is a disconnect.
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.
Buying from an exchange would be the cheaper route, in theory, if you’re buying in bulk and are able to manufacture your products at a low cost and would able to sell the products with decent margins.
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
Cloud base B2B would help clean up this process, making it more streamline when it comes to processing orders and invoicing and would be great for networking with other manufacturers. This could get the company in touch with another business if another fails to deliver on their obligation.