Since practicality is the virtue, this book is awash with real life case studies and examples to help you relate, understand and identify the concepts used. You may recognise the big names, the industries, the types of outsourcing contract or resonate with the final outcomes of the project, whether good or bad. Here are some snippets to get the ball rolling:
Boeing and the 787 Dreamliner project
To understand its full potential, as well as the barrage of debate surrounding outsourcing in the modern business networks, let us look at Boeing as a brief case study. Its 787 Dreamliner has been one of the most innovative and costliest projects on Earth today. From the beginning it was apparent that to keep up with Airbus and to create the next generation of airplanes, Boeing would need extensive cooperation of the best in the world.
The story of production of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is a poetry in motion and a true global supply chain in action.
Deepwater Horizon oil spill – an outsourcing catastrophe
On 20 April 2010, Deepwater Horizon became front page news on nearly every newspaper on Earth.
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11, caused the largest oil spill in US history and entailed high-profile lawsuits, the proceedings of which will fill up a book many times the size of the one you are holding.
Chrysler’s early attempt at modular manufacturing
Modularisation appears to be very useful in the car industry. Modular units can be added or taken away with the same flexibility as a Lego game. This strategy enabled Chrysler to outperform General Motors during the 1990s.
First, modularisation reduced the unit cost and investment needed to manufacture new products rapidly. Besides, Chrysler could utilise their scarce capital to gain a competitive advantage. Soon, Ford and GM also emulated the modularisation strategy to compete successfully against “imports”.
Red Bull’s story and the power of network
There was a time in early 1980s when Red Bull’s co-creator and celebrated face – Dietrich Mateschitz – grappled with seemingly insurmountable problems within his entrepreneurial venture.
Dietrich built a network of loyal fans, drinkers, marketers, logisticians and distributors. By far the strongest network that Dietrich created was of raving fan customers. An equally strong and loyal network was created in distribution, sales and logistics areas.
This allowed the distributors to focus on the unique ingredients of Red Bull’s distribution success and be part of the action
FoxMeyer’s disaster shows the importance of preparation
In 1996, in the US, FoxMeyer was the second largest wholesale drug distributor with sales over $5 billion.
It all started with an ambitious attempt to revamp the company’s IT systems and distribution facilities. Because of a poor preparation, they did not understand nor configure the systems correctly.
Problems began to sprout up with the ordering and automation systems. Soon enough, there were huge sale losses, increased costs and ultimately bankruptcy and bitter lawsuits against FoxMeyer’s various technology consulting suppliers.
Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart show the way
This is an example about how integration and shared information between manufacturer P&G and retailer Wal-Mart can be an effective lever that leads to the successful development of a channel partnership.
The two companies jointly developed a data highway to link all their data together, in order to reduce the costs of data warehousing and also be aware of the consumer’s needs.
Japanese shipbuilding as a perfect example of Results-focused Outsourcing and Modularisation
Reigning for around 3 decades after WWII, Japan adopted and adapted innovative principles of both business and shipbuilding realms, thanks to great masters such as Elmer Hann, Edwards Deming and Peter Drucker.
Specifically, Japanese shipbuilders embraced Results-focused Outsourcing and Modularisation, which enabled them to achieve high productivity, economy of scale, superior quality, low weight, reduced professional fees, reduced site labour, safer construction and environmental consideration.