What are the 3 best alternative solutions in order of recommendation?

Case Study Questions:What is the Major Problem identified in case (this is critical to the completion of the case)?
What external issues affect the case?
What are the 3 best alternative solutions in order of recommendation?
Advantages and disadvantages for each solution?
CASE STUDY TEXT:
The executives who lead Voici Brands various businesses own their bottom lines. Now the CEO wants to centralize supply chain operations. The businesses may save money — but the executives will lose control. How should this battle be fought?
HBRs cases, which are fictional, present common managerial dilemmas and offer concrete solutions from experts.
WHEN JACK EMMONS, CEO of Voici Brands, stepped into the vast, brightly lit production area of the “supply chain city” in Shanghai, his jaw dropped. An ocean of uniformly kerchiefed and aproned Chinese women bowed over their sewing. There must have been a thousand of them.
“Each workstation is limited to a six-inch stack of material,” Xao Li, the sales representative, pointed out in skillful English. “This floor is divided into three sections, one for each client. As you can see, our employees work under the best conditions. NGOs have nothing to complain about.”
Li led Jack and Robert Dodds, Voicis CFO and Jacks sidekick on this trip, along a glistening green aisle, past row upon row of busy workers. Jack watched, fascinated, as the workers deftly pulled thread and material through the machines. In the distance, Robert caught sight of a Caucasian woman wandering the aisles in one section of the production floor.
“Who is that over there?” Robert asked.
“Ah,” said Li, peering knowingly over his designer glasses at Robert, then at Jack. “I believe she is an inspector for Marquise. Her presence here ensures the high and consistent quality that Marquise expects.”
The reference to Voici Brands major competitor was hardly lost on Jack. Two years earlier, Marquise had consolidated its supply chain operations by outsourcing all its product lines to the supply chain city. In doing so, Marquise had shrunk the time from fashion design to products arrival in its retail stores from 50 weeks to 60 days, boosting its bottom line by 20%. Only a small part of the increase in profits was due to lower Chinese labor costs. Most of it was due to the faster time to market, which allowed Marquise to respond more quickly to the whims of its fashion-conscious customers.
As Jack and Robert followed their host out of the cavernous facility, Jack realized that the sewing operation was only the tip of the iceberg. Adjacent buildings housed every other stage of apparel production, such as weaving and fabric dyeing. In one dazzling, Silicon Valley-style office building, Chinese and Western engineers and designers worked side by side at large LCD screens.
“Our professionals can help you with every stage of production, in all your lines,” said Li. “We take care of everything right here, from design through delivery. This way, you gain significant economies of scale. We can move from concept to production and distribution faster than anybody, so you speed your time to market and increase the level of service across all your brands. And as a large customer, you can be assured of dedicated attention. All you need to worry about is just selling clothes.”
Jack laughed. “You make it sound so simple.”
In fact, he had been increasingly worried about “just selling clothes.” Over the past five years, Los Angeles-based Voici Brands had widened distribution from department stores in the United States to locations in Canada, Mexico, and Great Britain, as well as through catalogs and the Internet. But in the past two years, the company had started losing money. Competitors were outselling Voici because supply problems had affected sales.
On the drive back to the hotel, Jack frowned, recalling what had happened the previous holiday season with the Jacquie line of teen clothing. A particularly “hot” leather-trimmed miniskirt, modeled by pop star Jeni James in a Jacquie TV commercial, sold out almost immediately, but resupplies didnt make it to stores in time for Christmas. A local television station even aired a segment showing teens fighting over the skirts. Margie Rosen, the senior vice president in charge of Jacquie, took immediate steps to secure backup suppliers. She hired additional personnel to monitor these suppliers; even so, some batches had to be reworked. After the holidays, teens lost interest in the skirts. Inventory levels climbed. The remaining skirts were sold at a heavy discount. Meanwhile, a well-known industry analyst pointedly criticized the company for failing to shore up its operations, and Voicis stock took a hit. Being the professional she was, Margie assumed full responsibility, but Jack realized that it was not really a problem unique to her operation. The long time from design to market made accurate forecasting impossible. When supplier troubles resulted in stock-outs with Harry and Sally, Voicis line of childrens clothing, Jack knew he had to take a good, hard look at the companys operations across the board.
As the car pulled into the long driveway of the hotel, Jack yawned. “Oh, my,” he said. “Im absolutely beat.” He shut his eyes and rested his head against the buttery leather upholstery of the Mercedes C320. “I wonder what time it is in Los Angeles.”
Li, who was riding beside the chauffeur, checked his watch. “Its 3:02 PM, yesterday,” he said. The car pulled up to the curb, and a valet opened the door. Jack, Robert, and their host climbed out. “It was a pleasure to have you with us,” said Li, bowing deeply. “I wish you a very smooth journey home.”
A Cozy Relationship
“Damn,” Jack muttered as he nicked his neck with his razor. The white shaving cream bloomed red. He rinsed his face with water from the tiny spigot on the Air China Boeing 777 and dabbed at the wound with some tissue paper.
Since hed boarded the plane, Jack had been struggling with the realization that negotiating with the Chinese supply chain city was not even an option for him. Voici was just too decentralized.
Founded in 1970, Voici Brands had begun with one line of clothing, acquiring four more brands over the next 35 years. Each business was like a subsidiary — complete with its own legacy, its own management, its own set of suppliers. Margie was typical of the lines managers. Her knowledge of the fashion world, retailing, and the fine details of procurement commanded universal respect in the company. Truth be told, Jack even felt a little intimidated by her.
Like all the other lines business heads, Margie had, over the years, forged stable and reliable contracts with suppliers — from textile mills to production houses, from customs brokers to warehouses, from technology consultants to transportation firms. Her employees worked with these suppliers, followed the units unique procedures, and trained on its systems.
Jack remembered how uncomfortable he was when hed had to ask Margie about the leather shortage. It turned out that her main supplier, a firm in Australia, had been hit with a labor strike.
“Isnt that the same company that had management trouble a few years back?” Jack asked.
“Yes, it is,” said Margie. “They were having some problems. They changed management, and everything has been fine until now.”
“Well, whats the problem now?” asked Jack tersely. “And why are we still using these guys?”
“They use a specialized process that produces the very soft leather we like,” Margie replied. “Our relationship with them goes back decades. Until the strike, they had always been reliable in terms of delivery.”
Having been a unit manager himself, Jack understood the close relationships Margie and the other vice presidents had developed over the years with their suppliers. If anyone had tried to pull one of his critical suppliers — and still hold him responsible for bottom-line performance — he would have said, “Over my dead body.”
Jack pulled the plug in the planes miniscule sink and watched the shaving water spiral downward. “I cant shove consolidation down their throats,” he thought. “Margie might get fed up and leave.” Some of the other unit heads would feel resentful, too. They might act out and do some serious behind-the-scenes politicking. The consolidation initiative would be a big failure, and in three years time, theyd be dancing on its grave. (And maybe his.)
He toweled his face, opened the folding door, and walked back to his seat, thinking again of the shiny production floor at the supply chain city, the hundreds of sewing machines, the intensely focused women in their kerchiefs — and Marquise, which was beginning to put the squeeze on Voicis market. “Change or die,” he thought. “Change it is. But how?”

“Get 15% discount on your first 3 orders with us” Use the following coupon FIRST15

Posted in Uncategorized