Case 5: Panera Bread Company
1. What is Panera Bread’s strategy? Which of the four generic competitive strategies discussed in Chapter 3 most closely fit the competitive approach that Panera Bread is taking? What specific kind of competitive advantage is Panera bread trying to achieve? 2. What does a SWOT analysis of Panera Bread reveal about the overall attractiveness of its situation? Does the company have any core competencies or distinctive competencies? 3. What is your appraisal of Panera Bread’s financial performance based on the data contained in case Exhibits 1-2, and 8? How well is the company doing financially? 4. What strategic issues and problems does Panera Bread management need to address? 5. What actions would you recommend that Panera Bread management take to strengthen its competitive position and business prospects vis-à-vis other restaurant chain rivals? eToys Case – On Blackboard
1. What is your evaluation of eToys’ financial condition? What does eToys’ financial pulse tell us? What problems do you see? 2. What direction does Toby Lenk want to take this company? What are his goals? 3. What is eToys’ business strategy? How well is it working? 4. How does a strategy differ for e-commerce vs. traditional firms? 5. What is your assessment of the competitive pressures confronting eToys.com and other providers of children’s products on the Internet? Which of there are strongest? Weakest? 6. What does your SWOT analysis reveal about eToys.com’s situation? Is the company in good shape? Why or why not? 7. Based on the preceding evaluation of eToys’ situation, what problems and issues do you think eToys’ top management team needs to address? 8. What actions do you recommend that eToys.com’s management team take to improve the company’s strategy and profit prospects? 9. What exit strategies are possible for eToys.com?
10. Is there anything that management team could have done to make the company survive?
Amazon.com Case – On Blackboard
1. What is your evaluation of Amazon’s financial condition? 2. What are the key elements of Amazon’s business model? What are its main competitive advantages as an online retailer? 3. What are the main elements of Amazon’s business strategy? 4. What are Amazon’s generic business strategy? How well was it working? 5. Who are the stakeholders of Amazon’s zShops, and how did zShops add value to the stakeholders? 6. Evaluate online retailing industry using Porter’s five forces of model. 7. What problems and issues do you think Amazon’s management needs to address? What is more critical? 8. What recommendations would you make to Amazon to get the company on the road to profitability? Case 7: Nucor Corporation
1. What are the primary competitive forces impacting U.S. steel producers in general and the producers like Nucor that make new steel products via recycling scrap stel in particular? What does a five-forces analysis reveal about competition in the U.S. steel industry? 2. What driving forces do you see at work in this industry? Are they likely to impact the industry’s competitive structure favorably or unfavorably? 3. How attractive are the prospects for future profitability of U.S. steelmakers? Should Nucor consider expanding in this type of industry environment? Why or why not? 4. What type of strategy has Nucor followed? Which of the four generic strategies discussed in Chapter 3 is Nucor employing? Is there any reason to believe that Nucor has achieved a sustainable competitive advantage over many of its steel industry rivals? If so, what type of competitive advantage does Nucor enjoy? 5. What are the specific policies and operating practices that Nucor has employed to implement and execute its chosen strategy? 6. What specific factors account for why Nucor has been so successful over the past several decade? Do these factors have more...