LSM 330 Online Mid-Term Exam

Read the case study provided. Address the following points:• Provide a summary of the case.• What are the most important points of the case? Why?• Relate the case to the material we have addressed so far in class and answer the questions provided. Please be thorough and specific. I will be looking for your ability to logically and critically support your answers. Broad statements without sufficient support are not acceptable.EverPower Battery, the premier battery manufacturer and service provider in South Africa looked back on the development of its marketing strategy in four stages. Each had been signaled by advancing the concepts of quality of service. Stage 1 had been the basic product: a sealed lead-acid battery for use in mining applications. Batteries were regarded by customers as a mature product and as a “grudge-buy”. Each year, the basic product was under heavy downward price pressure. Stage 2 had been the industry reaction to customer service: the addition of warranty replacement of defective products, of quality assurance (QA) audits of a supplier’s design and manufacturing processes, and of parts service provision.Stage 3 ha recognized the need to go much further in terms of customer service. A whole raft of additional services had been conceived with a view to adding value. Breakdowns were fixed at short notice by means of field service engineers. EverPower products could now be delivered and installed at customer premises. Price lists were simplified by including peripheral equipment, such as contactors, that had to be added to a battery rack in order to make it work. Advice and tips were added to help customers warm to EverPower products. In a proactive move, EverPower introduced charts and advice about the application of battery products in general, and the resulting tables became an industry standard. Parts and service in the field were upgraded to a “24-hour, no-nonsense back-up service”. And customer training built on EverPower’s position as an industry leader. Rather than sales seminars, EverPower’s were customer training seminars, where the company spoke on behalf of the industry rather than as a supplier.In spite of having reached the pre-eminent position in mining power supply, EverPower recognized that the center of Figure 1 was in effect a “black hole”.Figure 1Each year, competitors added more services to their basic products too. In effect, the second, and to some extent the third circles were being absorbed into the “commodity” category, and customer expectations increased all the time. A new 4-stage strategy was conceived to take EverPower into a position that competitors would find even more difficult to follow. The new strategy was coined “Batman”: battery management for life. The aim was nothing less than a total, customer-oriented product management service that provides “power for life”. The supplier takes over the task of managing the customer’s assets, including problem identification, training and managing cash flow. The objective of “Batman” is to look at the product the way the customer does, performing best at what the customer values most rather than at what the supplier values most.A. Has EverPower reached the end of the line in terms of its quality of service strategy?B. As a competitor to EverPower, what would be your options in response to EverPower’s latest moves?Hint: A large part of our discussion this semester has been concerning how logistics / supply chain management can provide value for the customer

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