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Ibm Case Study Analysis

2313 words - 9 pages

Introduction:In 2000 the Microelectronics division of IBM found itself struggling as an unexpected rapid rise of demand overwhelmed the company's capacity. Chris King and her team had put a lot of effort and time into making the Network Technology Unit into what it had become. King and her team had started out by setting very bold targets (a BHAG if you will) of achieving growth levels that were unimaginable at the time and most importantly of becoming a leader in the business of microchip technology. In order to accomplish this, the team started the planning process by conducting a thorough analysis of the external environment, scanning for potential clients and competitors, as well as looking internally for highly motivated and skilled staff. King put great emphasis on finding out and understanding their clients' needs, which added to their early success. Therefore prior to the crisis, there was smooth sailing with a clear direction, but it's always good to have some lifejackets onboard, something that King seemed to have forgotten.Nevertheless, King wasn't at fault for the turn of events, as she found herself in a very difficult and challenging situation of having to manage the increasingly rapid growth of demand. Managing growth is never an easy task, thus implementing solid strategic plans is a very useful tool in facilitating the process. By "solid" meaning that they're all encompassing, taking into consideration the impact of the external environment and Porter's five forces on the company, a SWOT analysis, review of the internal situation, construction of clear mission and vision, a contingency plan, etc. All these aspects help formulate a coherent and thorough plan, which should enable the company to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage with room for long term growth.In King's case the absence of any form of contingency plan, unfortunate circumstances in the market with the bursting of the internet bubble and insufficient preparedness in terms of production - all accounted for the critical situation. Managing such rapid growth, especially when it's unexpected, is even more difficult than failure. When one fails, they can learn from their mistakes and try again, whereas experiencing unaccounted for growth puts a strain on multiple aspects: the resources, the personnel, client-company relations, and the future of the company. Moreover, the source of this rapid growth is always external therefore can't be controlled, which only allows the company to try and adjust. There is time pressure and a lack of resources, which acts as a chokehold for the company. Thus it's clear that without proper planning unsustainable growth of a given company can be highly detrimental. In IBMs case however, due to the dedication of its employees and the ability to mobilize resources the unit managed to not fall victim to this.Managing GrowthKing and her team seemed to do everything right from the very beginning, when they set out their targets and...

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