Successful Use of Optimization Planning for Distribution Networks


Case study assignment, among other things, will get you used to identifying resources, capabilities, and core competencies.  It will also introduce you to the art of writing Findings of Fact.  Many students are their own worst enemy when it comes to identifying and writing findings of fact, i.e., they often write too much and still don’t identify what the problem and/or issue is.

Findings of Fact don’t have to be long, but they do have to identify an issue or problem the company needs to work on.  For example, you might say the company has operations in 20 different countries.  That might be a true fact, but “what is the issue or problem”?  Having operations in 20 different countries could be a good thing, or a bad thing.  You should say something like:  The company has operations in 20 different countries, but their staffing model and infrastructure can’t support operations of that magnitude.  The first example is a true statement, but the second example identifies a problem (or potential problem) the company needs to address if they want to continue operating in 20 countries, or maybe even expand to more countries.  Also, the Finding of Fact should stand on its own.  By that I mean someone shouldn’t have to read the case study or the full justification and recommendation comments to figure out what the problem is.  Like my example above, just by reading the brief Finding of Fact you can tell what the problem is (insufficient staffing model and infrastructure for a very large international operation) without reading the much longer and in-depth justification and recommendation section. (Note:  You are not required to provide justification/recommendations for this week’s homework, but you will for future assignments.)

In addition to the above, you will also do a S.W.O.T. and PESTEL analysis.  You have probably done S.W.O.T. analyses in other classes, so this shouldn’t be something new.  Just remember, the strengths & weaknesses come from the “internal” environment, and the opportunities and threats come from the “external” environment.  The PESTEL analysis all comes from the “external” environment.

Under Armour was one of the cases we used with an old textbook, so the “Wheelen” cites won’t really mean anything to you since you have a different textbook, but I wanted to give credit where credit is due.  I hope this example helps you with your list of resources and capabilities.

Under Armour

Resources- (Rothaermel, 108, 132)

·         Brand Name (Wheelen et al, 20-3)

·         Athletic Team endorsements (Wheelen et al, 20-4)

·         200 stores (Wheelen et al, 20-8)

·         College teams (Wheelen et al, 20-7)

·         Sports Specialty Stores (Wheelen et al, 20-2)

·         Product placement (Wheelen et al, 20-4)

·         High quality products (Wheelen et al, 20-5)

·         Clothing apparel Technology (Wheelen et al, 20-5)

·         UA culture (Wheelen et al, 20-8)

·         Distribution Facilities (Wheelen et al, 20-6)

Capabilities- (108, 132)

·         International Market (Wheelen et al, 20-7)

·         Proven Research & Development (Wheelen et al, 20-5)

·         Successful Use of Optimization Planning for Distribution Networks (Wheelen et al, 20-6)

·         Strategic and Operational Manufacturers Worldwide (Wheelen et al, 20-2)

·         Brand Recognition (Wheelen et al, 20-3)

·         High quality products (Wheelen et al, 20-5)

·         UA culture (Wheelen et al, 20-8)

·         Success At Garnering Team Endorsements (Wheelen et al, 20-7)

·         Successful Use of Optimization Planning for Distribution Facilities (Wheelen et al, 20-6)

·         Tier 1 Customer Desired Performance Apparel Segment (Wheelen et al, 20-5)

Explanation:  From an upstart company in 1996 by a gentleman named Michael Plank, Under Armour (UA) has grown to be valued somewhere between $16B and $28B USD depending on the analysts one chooses to consider. This is unprecedented; and, even more surprising is this fact considering that the entry barriers (Rothaermel, 76) were plentiful. But if there were no other metric within the vein of looking at a firm from a Balanced Scorecard framework (156-159), one comes quickly to the conclusion (absent illegal, immoral or unethical behaviors) UA has found and continues to find how to view the value of their Resources and Capabilities in an iterative manner to constantly reassess each’s value or the need to develop others within the examination of the internal and external environment via the use of SWOT analysis (107).

Work(s) Cited-

Rothaermel, Frank T., Strategic Management, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2017

Wheelen, Thomas L., J. David Hunger, Alan N. Hoffman, and Charles E. Bamford. Strategic Management and Business Policy. 14th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2015.



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