TerraCog Global Positioning Systems:
Conflict and Communication on Project Aerial
To: Richard Fiero, President
Tony Barren, Director of Production
Ed Pryor, VP - Sales
Allen Roth, Director of Design & Development
Becky Timmons, CFO
From: Emma Richardson
Date: 14th March 2008
Sub: Decision to be taken for the project Aerial
It’s high time that we have to take the decision regarding the project Aerial. If we further delay the decision about launching the product, there are chances that we may lose our valuable customers and the market share. So I have made the decision to launch the product as per the schedules. Please go through the report carefully and feel free to give suggestions.
TerraCog was specialized in high quality Global Positioning System equipment. The company had to decide whether to immediately launch our product Aerial or not. Because of the departmental issues and personal conflicts, we were unable to reach a conclusion. Either we had to launch the product with current specifications or had to extent the date of launch with cost reductions. If we delay the launch, we might lose our customers as well as market share. If we fail to deliver quality product, our reputation would also go down. To compete in the market, we should launch the product with better quality than the competitors and with affordable pricing.
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TerraCog was a privately held company specializing in high-quality Global Positioning System and fishing sonar equipment. The company had an exceptional product design and functionality. We always took care of our customers and their preferences. The company was not always first to the market. But when we finally launch the products, it was always better than the competitors. So by delivering high quality products, we had a very high reputation among the customers.
During the 2006 Outdoor Retailer Show, TerraCog’s competitor, Posthaste, had unveiled a GPS prototype called ‘BirdsI’. The imagery given by BirdsI was crisp and had a certain visual appeal. But we didn’t care about the project very much. We believed that the product couldn’t be able to compete with our products. According to us, the product lagged TerraCog’s product in both accuracy and reception quality. But BirdsI received a very good reception from the market. We felt that it was only hype due to the holiday shopping season. We were confident that our core customers were discerning purchasers who would value durability and performance. As time progressed our customers demanded a similar product. We were in a situation to launch a better product than BirdsI. As a result project Aerial was in place.
TerraCog’s president, Richard Fiero, decided to launch the new product. To launch the product as quickly as possible and to minimize the cost, the company decided to redesign the existing GPS platform. For the same purpose a meeting was called consisting of Pryor (VP Sales), Allen Roth (Director- Design & Development), Cory Wu (Manager- Software & Firmware Design) and Gorga (Manager- Hardware Design). The discussion was mainly regarding the quality and the pricing issues of the product. Nobody had difference in opinion about the quality of the product, but there were concerns about the pricing of the product. In the meeting we decided to launch the product by 2008. The decision was not welcomed greatly by the product development team. The team was currently employed in certain projects and they felt the redesign of the total platform could extent time to market by another 6 months.
By January 2008, a pilot run was conducted and estimation of costs was done. I was handed over the charge of launch of the product. I had to finalize the decisions on costs, pricing and initial production volume. For the same purpose a pre-launch meeting...