1. Analyze Boeing and its business strategy using the value chain and competitive forces models.
Boeing has done a good job of outsourcing various design projects to other companies who have more competence and can give more value for their money. Boeing’s move was to focus on their specialization and devolve all other parts of the production process where other companies with comparative advantage will be able to do a better job and in turn cost less in the long run for Boeing. With the integrated software systems, Boeing was able to link up the processes with foreign companies that otherwise will prove to be too expensive for it to handle alone given its recent financial setbacks. By doing so, Boeing created more value and gained a competitive edge, with its increased efficiency and flexibility.
2. What is the relationship of knowledge management to Boeing’s business strategy? How is Boeing using knowledge management systems to execute its business model and business strategy?
Knowledge management plays a key role in Boeing’s business strategy and model. It used to be an arduous process to design and produce a plane model, but by integrating software to enable information and design processing easier and more efficient across departments and later across the different companies all over the globe, Boeing was able to save time and money by investing in developing their database systems and software. Moreover, in the same way that Boeing believes in the spokes model, they have adopted the same method themselves. Boeing delegated other processes to specialized groups to handle, and mainly serve as the major hub where all the work from the smaller firms will converge.
3. Evaluate Boeing’s new strategy. What management, organization, and technology issues will Boeing face as it attempts to implement the strategy? What role will knowledge management play in this strategy? How successful will Boeing be in pursuing that strategy?
Boeing’s new strategy might face several setbacks in the form of miscommunication and the probability of the systems crashing down. As long as work descriptions, goals, and pipelines are clearly defined, then there should be little problem in integrating the outputs of different firms. Knowledge management is the key because everyone will be depending on the information shared via pipeline, and a single mistake can have a ripple effect. However, Boeing can be very successful using this strategy because it offers efficiency in terms of resource costs, workload, sharing, and time-consumption and cuts opportunities for mistakes. Boeing only needs to update and upgrade the system as compared to the time- and paper-consuming process of before. Boeing is likely to be successful using the knowledge management; large scale projects have already been divided into tasks and devolved to different companies before, especially in the case of million dollar films. Perhaps the one thing that Boeing needs to be careful about is leakage; with work assigned to different specialized groups, somebody might spill the information. Thus, encrypting data and ensuring the security of classified files are of utmost importance.
4. Using the facts presented in the case, what role has knowledge management played in Airbus’ business strategy and business performance?
It seems that Airbus has consolidated the work, or labor, under one wing instead of consolidating the information and skills needed. Knowledge management did not play the center stage in Airbus’ strategy – they were not able to fully prepare themselves for the changes and specification of clients, and were slow to resolve issues about wiring and perceiving probable shortcomings on design. Because of this, Boeing was able to sidetrack Airbus and capture the market.