the subject is strategic management.


the subject strategic management>………………………………………………….

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
the subject is strategic management.
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Pathway Bellows’ Strategic Positioning

Pathway Bellows, a division of Dover Corporation, designed and manufactured metal industrial expansion joints (devices that allow pipes to expand or contract as they heat and cool in use). Many of the bellows-type expansion joints Pathways produced fit huge pipes (up to 30 feet in diameter) found in very harsh environments, such as chemical processing or steam generation plants. Pathways’ competitive strength lay in bellows design and fabrication, but over 20 years, various competitors developed comparable expertise. Competition came to rely more on price-cutting, and profit margins eroded. Pathway sought new ways to develop strengths relative to its competitors.

Pathway’s analysis uncovered customers’ needs for quicker replacement part delivery. When an expansion joint at a chemical or steam plant failed, it very often shut down the operation, and millions of dollars in plant and equipment would sit idle, waiting for a new expansion joint. Pathway reasoned (thought) that customers would pay a premium price in return for shorter downtimes. As Pathway’s delivery times were no better than it’s rivals, the management team focused on developing speed as a competitive strength. The plan focused on inventories, cycle-time reduction, and on-site services.

Historically, Pathway held very low inventories and considered their high inventory turnover ratios a measure of success. However, they learned that customers would happily pay huge premiums for simple replacement parts (up to 400%) if it meant a plant could come back on line (in full operation) sooner. Of course, such premiums would more than pay for the inventory-carrying cost (the cost of keeping parts in stock) of the needed part, so Pathway developed a policy of carrying the industry’s largest inventory of the most commonly needed replacement parts.

But many parts (especially larger parts) were custom made (to customers’ specifications) and consequently could not be held in inventory easily. Pathway had to completely rethink its design, fabrication, and delivery approaches to speed them up. Previously, each work order progressed through a series of departments as each completed its work in turn. Delays and bottlenecks often interrupted this sequence, and discoveries made late in the process often required that earlier steps be repeated. Pathway reengineered (redesigned) this work so that a call for new bellows came in to a cross-functional team that stayed with the order until it was filled (fully processed) and, thus, they no longer needed time-consuming “handoffs” (processing an order by one person or department after another). With this process change, Pathway was able to establish a competitive advantage in quick response to custom bellows fabrication (made to customers’ specifications).

What if the fastest way to get a customer’s plant (industrial unit) back on line (in full operation) was to repair a bellows, rather than replace it? Pathway had never considered repairing bellows because of its historical strength in selling them. However, with that strength now matched by rivals, Pathway thought that repairs might be a viable new source of revenues. Consequently, it began training employees to repair in the field. This required a combination of sound practical engineering skills and world-class welding and metal fabrication skills. The company was so successful in developing these organizational capabilities that it developed a totally different approach to replacing/repairing bellows. Its field service crews learned how to build new expansion joints, often even while a plant remained in operation. Pathway offered to have a crew anywhere in the world within 24 hours, and crews developed unique skills such as rebuilding fire-damaged bellows even as internal fires continued to burn. This unique set of production processes led to the creation of a new business unit, which established a strong competitive advantage over rivals and helped Pathway achieve record profit levels.

Case Questions:

1.     Discuss how the strategic position of Pathway Bellows evolved over time.

2.     What are the resource strengths of Pathway Bellows and how does it dynamically manage them?

3.     Describe the approach of Pathway Bellows in dealing with its external environment.

4.     How sustainable is the Pathway Bellows competitive advantage? Explain.


Source link

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more

Order your essay today and save 15% with the discount code BANANA