Miguel owns a Mexican restaurant. He has well-established relationships with local suppliers and has fresh produce delivered daily. Carefully trained cooks craft authentic Mexican food in state-of-the-art kitchen using a well-refined and systematic process. They interact seamlessly with fast, friendly wait staff who typically deliver food in fifteen minutes or less to hungry customers. Customers come in large numbers for good food at a good price. Miguel carefully tracks customer preferences to alter menus and offer specials.
Despite being a small business, Miguel has successfully coordinated various internal activities and established external relationships in ways that create value for his customers.
A well-functioning work team carefully assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, assigning activities to leverage their individual strengths. However, team members also carefully coordinate tasks to ensure they combine their individual efforts in effective ways. Effective organizations do the same by carefully selecting a strategy that maximizes the strengths in performing various activities. They exploit relationships between internal activities to create a chain of activities that maximizes the value of their product or service for customers. Companies large and small can derive additional benefit from combining a strong internal value chain with those of external partners to establish a value system.
To prepare, select a company with which you are very familiar or for which you can easily obtain information. You may wish to use the organization you are thinking of proposing for the Sustainable Solutions Paper (SSP), which you will complete throughout the course. This would allow you to repurpose information from the Discussion for a portion of your SSP. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, please review the SSP template located in this week’s Learning Resources to ensure the organization you choose for this Discussion also satisfies the SSP requirements. Review this week’s Learning Resources, particularly Exhibit 1 in Porter and Millar’s article “How Information Gives You Competitive Advantage.” You can use this chart to guide your value chain analysis for this post.
By Day 4 of Week 1, post a 3–4 paragraph response. Briefly describe the organization you selected and the industry in which it is located. Explain the concept of value chain and its impact on business strategy. Next, explain how technology impacts a value chain. Apply Value Chain Analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses in areas of the value chain for the organization you selected. Describe the linkages (relationships) between the areas, and explain the strategic significance of the organization’s value chain in terms of the larger value system.
Extend the conversation by identifying implications for practice or research, as well as for your own research agenda, where appropriate. Be sure to integrate one or two new related and engaging questions that will extend the discussion about your post in constructive ways. Try to think of a question(s) that will engage your peers in critical analysis and thinking about your organization, which may provide insight for your use as you continue preparing your sections of the major Weeks 4 and 7 Sustainable Solutions Paper (SSP) due in this course.