1. In an article on competitive advantage through better use of information, strategy guru Michael Porter and his co-author Victor Miller presented the following 2x2 matrix. The implication of the matrix is that you can improve your performance by increasing the intensity of information in your value chain (i.e., business processes) and products/services.
In which quadrant would you place Cemex? Why?
2. How has Cemex built its information capabilities (including its e-business initiatives) at each stage of its growth? How did such information capabilities help Cemex grow into one of the largest cement companies in the world? Do you feel that large competitors like Lafarge can easily mimic the information capabilities of Cemex? Justify your response.
3. If Lafarge could operate with the same efficiency as Cemex in inventory and receivables management, what would be the financial benefits? How does IT contribute toward better inventory and receivables management at Cemex? Use 2006 or 2007 financial data from www.morningstar.com to answer the first part of this question. Also use 40% for inventory holding cost rate and 10% as the cost of debt.
4. Much has happened by way of innovation since the Cemex case was written. Recently Cemex was one of the winners of the Harvard Business Review/McKinsey award for Management 2.0 Innovation Challenge. Here is a description of what Cemex did: http://www.managementexchange.com/story/shift-changes-way-cemex-works
Speculate how such initiatives will help Cemex become more competitive. What are some key performance indicators that are likely to improve as a result of this initiative? Cemex Case Study Guidelines
To answer the questions involving how IT has helped Cemex, the following two articles are a good complement to the information in the case. Here are the links:...