Week 2 Discussion
Please refer to the Discussion Grading Rubric for details regarding how your performance will be assessed. NOTE: Please be certain to read the entire discussion assignment since, in some cases, there is more than one question to discuss, respond to, or address. Be sure that you have answered the entire question!
This week’s discussion continues with the Smithfield Custom Furniture case. Your posting should answer the questions posed using this week’s course materials to support your answers. It is important to write concisely and to follow the detailed instructions provided below. Include in-text citations and references in a reference list. For APA citation examples, follow the link to the Library under Resources on the homepage.
Smithfield Custom Furniture (Part 2)
As a result of its consultants’ wonderful guidance in 1901, Smithfield Custom Furniture has continued to do extremely well financially. It is now 1987, and the company has been headed by the founder’s grandson, Jonas Smithfield III. He has run the company for the past twenty years.
The company now has 247 retail stores. 220 stores are spread throughout the 50 states, and 27 stores are located in England, France, and Germany. Each country has 9 stores. In total, the company employs 13,000 people. Approximately 40% are manufacturing, distribution, quality control, design, delivery, administrative, and back-office work. Approximately 60% of the employees are in retail stores.
It has been Smithfield Custom Furniture’s mission to target the wealthiest segments of the market. The company does all its manufacturing in the United States at six facilities, recently modernized with the latest equipment. They use the finest and most exotic woods to make distinctive furniture for their clientele. Much of their work is limited edition, and they try to ensure demand is slightly higher than supply for each product they make.
For the past 20 years, Jonas Smithfield III has been aware of the financial growth in a large segment of the workforce, primarily due to more women in the workforce holding full-time and professional occupations. He knows too that families are moving more often and may not need or desire the exclusivity of his furniture. His last concern is that his plants may not be working as efficiently as they could. In other words, he realizes his plants could produce less of the high-end furniture if the company developed a line of products that was still upscale—aimed at mid-career professional households.
Your Task for Your Initial Post
In your role as a consultant to Smithfield Custom Furniture, Jonas Smithfield III has requested you, using this week’s assigned reading, to provide to him the following information:
An explanation of what a mission statement requires plus a mission statement for the new furniture line. Use in-text citations and list references from course readings as required.
An explanation of what a vision statement requires plus a vision statement for the new brand. Use in-text citations and list references from course readings as required.
An analysis of how Michael Porter’s competitive advantage (low cost versus exclusivity) or competitive strategy (Five Forces Model) applies to both Smithfield’s exclusive product line and the newly conceived, more reasonably priced product line. Use in-text citations and list references from course readings as required.
A list from this week’s course readings, placed in priority order, of the 3 next steps Jonas Smithfield III should take to enhance his chances for success if he moves ahead with the new product line. Justify the selection of your 3 priority steps by writing a 2-3 sentence rationale for each. Use in-text citations and list references from course readings as required.
Format for Your Initial Post
You must use the following numbers and headings for each part of your response to a particular issue. You will also use, as required, in-text citations and a reference list to support your answers.
1. Explanation of Mission Statement Requirements
2. A Mission Statement for Smithfield Custom Furniture’s New Product Line
3. Explanation of Vision Statement Requirements
4. Vision statement for Smithfield Custom Furniture’s Product Line
5. Application of either of Michael Porter’s two strategies — Competitive Advantage (low cost versus exclusivity) or Competitive Strategy (Five Forces Model)
6. Priority Order/Justification Smithfield’s 3 Next Steps
Two Options for Your Required Replies to Classmates
Option 1 is to find an issue of the classmate to whom you respond with which you disagree. You must state why you believe there is a better manner to address a particular issue that differs from your classmate’s response. You must state the major idea associated with your choice and why that idea applies to the issue more appropriately. You must support your reply with course materials, in-text citations, and references.
Option 2 occurs if you agree with all of a particular classmate’s initial posting responses. In that case, you must expand on one issue that your classmate presented. Your enhancement will provide more depth or other related factors that your classmate should consider. Your reply must be supported with course materials, in-text citations, and references.
You may use either Option 1 or Option 2 for each different classmate to whom you respond.
Initial Post and Classmate Reply Deadlines
Your initial post is due by Saturday at 11:59 PM. Your replies to your classmates are due by Tuesday at 11:59 PM (see below about how to reply). You are required to respond to a minimum of 2 classmates by the Tuesday 11:59 PM EST deadline.
How Many Replies to Classmates?
Read the grading rubric carefully. The rubric points out the major criteria, including response frequency and timeliness, that will be used to grade this assignment. Note that you cannot earn maximum grades for the frequency of posting by responding to only 2 classmates. Two is the minimum number of replies to receive a passing grade. You are required to respond substantively to 4 classmates to maximize your grade in this area. (See the explanation below and the grading rubric regarding the meaning of “respond substantively.”)
How Often Should I Reply to Classmates?
Read the grading rubric carefully. The maximum credit is given for replies to four (4) classmates across three (3) different class weekdays. Less credit is earned for responses on two (2) different days, and the least amount of passing credit for the number of replies is granted for making all responses to classmates on the same day.
Instructions for Responses to Classmates’ Posts
After creating your initial post, look over your classmates’ discussion posts and give at least two responses to different classmates (one per classmate) as outlined in the Discussion Grading Rubric.
A response posting should be a minimum of one short paragraph. Word totals for these posts should be in the 75–150-word range. Your response posts’ goal is to extend discussions already taking place or pose new possibilities or ideas not previously voiced. Your goal should be to motivate the group discussion and present a creative approach to the topic. Do not merely agree or disagree, repeating what a classmate stated or what you have already stated. Explain the ‘why or how’ with supporting evidence and concepts from the course material. Include in-text citations and associated references within a reference list.