Case study 2
Scenario Tom Harkness, your company’s CEO, is at the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group Leaders’ Roundtable meeting in Washington, DC. He emails his executive team saying he wants a meeting at 5 p.m. today and he will attend via Zoom. Thank you all for being punctual. I’ve called this special management meeting because we need to make some big changes. Fast. We have all known the tough decisions are upon us, but the figures I saw this morning—presented by an economist in the research team at MSIG—along with the conversations I have had with others at this meeting in DC has convinced me we can’t delay. We all know unemployment numbers are rising and two more quarters of negative growth will put us in recession. The severity of the impact of this downturn, however, is something—well, to be honest, something I was hoping not to have to confront. Some of our major customers are in real trouble and others seem to be hanging on by their fingernails. We’re going to seriously feel the pinch—but I’m determined our business is going to survive this. We need to start planning and implementing changes immediately. Electronic sensors aren’t going away, and I’m confident that demand will pick up again, but the company that emerges from this downturn may be different than the company we have now. We should not be afraid of the change, but we cannot wait for changes to happen to us. I want us to evaluate selling off one of our lines as a first step. And I need a unanimous recommendation from you all on which one. What are the marketing implications? Which product can we liquidate with the least damage? Given inventories, staffing, production investment, and so forth, which line can we lose with the least disruption and loss of revenue? Give me the numbers and the rationale. This first step must be done now. We’ll take the pain as quickly as possible. There will be repercussions from this—the lost jobs, most importantly—and I want you to make recommendations about how we communicate that to the community as part of the planning process. Any questions?
Your Assignment You are part of the executive team. You need to look at your production lines and choose one to liquidate. Using all the information available to you in the Capstone Courier, your understanding of the current market, and your company strategy, select the production line that would be most appropriate for closure. In addition, propose how the CEO could deliver the bad news of job losses to the community in the best way and what his key message should be.
Please provide a narrative of no less than 750 and no more than 1,250 words (3-5 pages) where you report out to management regarding the preceding issues/questions. Take the perspective/retrospective of either your current year in the simulation or what you may perceive as a critical past year. You may include supporting material in an appendix, however this will not be graded.