. On the eve of leaving her alma mater, Stacy Engineer remembers the encouraging words of the commencement speaker: “Graduation is the happy beginning of an exciting life ahead.” She is, of course, excited about her new master of engineering degree that she received with honor. But she is also a bit concerned about what to do now to make her new life exciting and filled with happiness. Apparently, what she needs is a road map into the future. How can you help her?

2. The company has always been focused on the high-quality and high-price end of the market. Now, market intelligence indicates that some competitors are planning to enter the low-price and low-quality end of the market. What should the company do?

3. Mission and value statements are indicative of the direction in which a company is headed. What are typically included in the statements of mission and values of well-known companies in the United States? Please comment.

4. What are included in the typical operational guidelines some industrial companies have developed? Please comment.

5. There are always risks (risks of failure) associated with the experimentation of a new manufacturing process or with entry into a new global market. How should one decide to proceed or not to proceed with a risky venture? What is the proper level of risk for a company to take?

6. The marketing director needs to submit a strategic plan for entering a new market. She knows she needs long periods of uninterrupted time. She considers two options: (1) staying at home to do the plan or (2) delegating some parts of the plan to her subordinates. What are the factors the director needs to consider when she chooses the best way to come up with this plan?

7. XYZ Company has been a one-product company focused on developing and marketing a package of innovative enterprise resource planning (ERP) software specialized for law firms and operated in computers running on a proprietary operating system software developed by the company. Customers must purchase both the hardware and software as a bundled package from XYZ Company.

The company also provides around-the-clock services to ensure that the combined hardware and software system performs reliably, as lawyers are known to be typically disinterested in troubleshooting computer systems. This product-bundling strategy works out well for the company, and the sales revenue of XYZ increases dramatically during its first three years in business. However, market intelligence shows that new ERP software products are now being introduced by competitors. These new ERP software products are quite capable of performing all of the data processing functions typically required by law firms. Furthermore, these new ERP software products can run on any com-puter using its existing operating system, thus eliminating the need for customers to purchase dedicated computers. The president of XYZ Company recognizes the potential threat imposed by these new ERP software products. He wants to know the best counterstrategy he should plan and implement. Design and explain this counterstrategy.

8. Sandy Smith is about to graduate from the University at Buffalo with a master’s degree in engineering and a GPA of about 3.8. She wants to find a good job that allows her to best utilize her strengths and capabilities. Her short-term goal is to become an operations manager in a manufacturing enterprise in 10 years. Modeled after Example 2.4, how should she plan to achieve this specific goal?

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