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Panasonic Case Study

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  • June 2008
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Panasonic operates under the umbrella of the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd, a conglomerate consisting of firms, businesses and production centers all over the world. Due its immense size the company found that its product and consumer data were often incomplete, duplicated or inconsistent. Furthermore different parts of the company were using different data to other parts of the company. The implications were costly and a signified operational inefficiency. In order to rectify this issue Panasonic decided to pursuer a “single version of the truth”, which replace its current “pull” model of data dissemination with a “push” model. This would create a centralized data bank that would send information to whoever needed it at the same time, and thus ensure uniformity. To realize this objective Panasonic brought in master-data-management (MDM) software from IBM’s WebSphere line. The implementation of this software saved Panasonic millions euros but it was not without problems.

Question 1
As illustrated above the Porter’s Five Forces model was applied in order to evaluate Panasonic’s business strategy. Figure 1: Porter's Five Forces on the Electronics Industry

The Value Chain framework of Michael Porter is a model that helps to analyze specific activities through which firms can create value and competitive advantage. From a Management point of view, the Value Chain Framework helps to build a relative competitive advantage, together with Porter's Competitive Advantage thinking. The Value Chain Framework can be seen as helping to maximize corporate value creation.

Figure 2: Michael Porters Value Chain Model.

Six Business Functions of the Value Chain: Research and Development, Design of Products, Services, or Processes, Production, Marketing, Distribution, Customer Service.

The case reveals several critical business areas within Panasonic’s value chain. •Problems with data integration.
Different data pools which were inconsistent...