Well written and concise but it is boarding on being to concise, i.e. lacking information/explanation.

I need my professor’s comments to be incorporated into the paper. Each of the comments are broken up by Milestones. The comments are under individual feedback and the body of that milestone follows. There are 3 milestones. Attached is my final paper as well as the Milestone Rubrics

Milstone 1

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Comments 

Individual Feedback

QSO 690 Milestone One Rubric feedback: Natalie

Well written and concise but it is boarding on being to concise, i.e. lacking information/explanation.

NOTE;

Although you may have earned “Proficient” for some and/or all of the requirements of each milestones/ assignments, “Proficient” does not translate into “Exemplary” which is an added grading criterion for the Final Project in week nine. To earn “Exemplary” you have to expand/elaborate/ add more depth on all of the requirements of all of the Milestone to meet the following grading criteria,

Exemplary (core requirement)

“Meets “Proficient” criteria, and assessment is exceptionally clear, detailed, and contextualized, demonstrating a nuanced understanding….”.

Simply: an abundance of information that  is logically organized, written so anyone  whether they are familiar with the subject matter or  not can easily understand what you are talking about, which also discusses the subtle fine points of each of requirements of all of the Milestone and Final Project.

FOR PAPER BELOW:

Aligning Resources to Market Opportunities

Internal Capabilities and Limitations

            Nike’s strength lies in its brand name and reputation for a high-quality products and innovation (Essays, UK, 2018).  Sports icons such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods helped Nike gain worldwide recognition thanks to their high-quality products, innovative marketing and internal capabilities. Nike Inc.’s organizational culture supports business resilience and capability. Organizational culture is the combination of traditions, habits, values, and behavioral expectations among employees. Nike’s workers are given a set of instructions, rules and expectations on how to do their jobs, with consideration for their relations with customers and other employees. This approach ensures that the company maintains its corporate culture, which partly contributes to the success of the business

            Nike’s limitations involve not embracing the culture of diversity. The company’s revenue mostly comes from and depends on the sport wear market share which leaves them at risk to the quickly changing market. During the 1990’s they faced major criticism over concerns of unsafe labor conditions in countries such as Pakistan which was damaging to Nike’s image. Managerial efficiency is another limitation that Nike faces, due to their organizational structure. Increased employee involvement increases the workload and responsibilities of their management.

Business Development Opportunities

            Nike’s good reputation and global recognition opens Nike up for new ventures in different markets. Developing other sports related products such as sunglasses, jewelry and sportswear could increase profits and revenue. Another opportunity Is marketing Nike as a fashion brand. Owners consistently defend that Nike is not a fashion brand however, many of their consumers by their product for reasons other than sports, this presents an opportunity for Nike to rebrand. The business could also be developed internationally building upon its strong global brand recognition. For example, countries such as China and India offer a new wave of customers. Opportunities to market their brand through events such as the Olympics and the World Cup are also possible.

Cost-Savings Opportunities

            Nike’s dedication to innovation opens opportunity for cost-savings. These innovation processes are a core factor to how they create cutting-edge footwear. One example is the new Flyknit technology. Flyknit is a material that fits like socks and it reduces labor costs for Nike dramatically. According to Peterson, H. 2014, “The Flyknit technology reduces labor costs by up to 50% and cuts material usage by up to 20%, resulting in .25% higher margins”. Another cost-saving opportunity Nike can take advantage of is being ISO-9001:2015 certified. Using lean quality control processes under ISO 9001 guidelines ensures that Nike’s operations are functioning in the best way possible.

External Threat Factors

            The current external threats Nike is facing are economic and currency fluctuations. It is challenging for Nike for its products to reach price standardization in the global economic environment because many regions because of their economic instabilities, this reduces Nike’s overall profit margins. Another threat Nike must consider is the Adidas-Reebok merger. By signing contracts with the NFL and NHL for appeal business places Adidas-Reebok in a position to takeover the competitive advantage that Nike current has. Finally, Nike needs to be attentive to how they are pricing their products as the retail industry has become increasing competitive. Rival companies are reducing their prices to attract a larger customer base, this poses a threat to Nike as it can lower their profitability.

Managing the Quality Imperative for Global Competition

Total Quality Management (TQM)

            According to Essays, UK (2018), “In order to implement the Total quality Management, eight important aspects must be given due consideration, which includes: Principles, Integrity, Trust, Training, Recognition, Teamwork, Leadership and Communication. Nike incorporates the TQM practices used by Toyota which is based on the quality measures focused on active participation of every employee in the quality-based practices to achieve long term success”. Focusing on improving labor relation and factory conditions and improving quality measures should be a priority for Nike. For TQM to be successful at Nike, from top management down to employees must be fully committed to executing TQM practices. There should be a level of accountability that all employees must adhere to ensure the successful implementation of TQM systems.

 ISO 9000 Series

            ISO 9000 is a ‘family’ of standards that relate to quality management systems. Companies can apply for certification to be become “ISO 9001 certified”. ISO 9001 is a certification that certain formal processes are being used within a company for their management of Quality Control. This includes monitoring processes, maintaining complete and accurate records, checking for defective output, acting to correct defects, and continual internal reviews for effectiveness (Swenson,P. 2017). In September 2018, Nike received the Certification of compliance to ISO 9001:2015 standard for the following fields related to ICT services (Nikeconsulting.com, n.d.):

·         Design, Production, Delivery, Support and Maintenance of Software Products, IT Systems and Portals

·         Design, Production and Support Services Delivery to the users for using Software Products

·         Technique and Operation Management of IT Systems and Networks

·         Provision of specialized IT consulting services

·         Design and Provision of Professional Training Courses

Having the ISO 9001 certification provides Nike with a set of benchmarks to compare itself to their competitors. It also provides their customers and clients the confidence that Nike are implementing the proper quality control processes.

Global Best Practices

            In response to the criticisms from Nike’s labor practices in their factories overseas in the 1990’s, Nike took responsibility and developed a Code of Conduct for their manufacturing partners as well as forming a CR (Corporate Responsibility) committee as a part of the Board of Directors. The CR Committee has oversight of environmental impact and sustainability issues, labor practices and corporate responsibility issues in major business decisions including sharing information about what is expected, disclosing all factory locations and shows their dedication in upholding progress against strict operational guidelines (Vogel,L., Garcia, A.R., 2012).

Milestone 2

Comments

Individual Feedback

Articulation of Response: Natalie

Turnitin report as this paper at 47% similarity with 25% of it to another paper submitted to SNHU, and yes it is properly cited which means that almost 50% of this paper is not your own work as required by the assignment. In addition  this is about the how and why of the concepts and not our own assessment and /or recommendation correlated to the current operational strategies as required.

FOR PAPER BELOW:

Introduction

            Nike requires a lot of mobility at the production and marketing levels of the company, mainly because they outsource 100% of their production of footwear. Maximum value is created by concentrating on pre and post postproduction activities by using an on-site program that organizes their foreign-based suppliers. Nike’s general strategy for competitive advantage is based on Porter’s Model and focuses on product mix diversity, cost leadership and differentiation strategy. Nike maintains cost leadership because of their outsourcing strategy. Outsourcing allows Nike to sell their products at a lower price from their competitors. Nike’s competitive advantage also comes from the differentiation of their products, they are unique, and their brand strength stands out.

            Nike’s inventory management has run into a few challenges in terms of forecasting. Accurate demand forecasting is pivotal to efficient inventory management. Nike bases their forecasts on historical data and market growth estimates. To ensure forecasts become more accurate with time, constant monitoring is necessary of optimal inventory levels and market trends and readjustments if necessary.

.           “Sustainability at Nike means being laser-focused on evolving our business model to deliver profitable growth while leveraging the efficiencies of lean manufacturing, minimizing our environmental effect and using the tools available to us to bring about positive change across our entire supply chain,” Nike CEO and President Mark Parker said in a statement (The Lean Accountants, n.d.). Nike’s ongoing goal is to become more sustainable. They have been exploring reimaging waste and renewable energy solutions. Nike also plans on using innovation to create a new generation of products that are more environmentally friendly while keeping the competitive advantage. According to Meyers, K. (2016), Nike has shared the following goals to be in place by 2020:

•                     To source 100% of products from contract factories meeting the company’s definition of sustainable.

•                     To have zero waste from contracted footwear manufacturing sent to landfill or incineration without energy recovery.

•                     To create products that deliver maximum performance with minimum impact, seeking a 10% reduction in the average environmental footprint and an increased use of more sustainable materials overall.

•                     To reach 100% renewable energy in owned or operated facilities by the end of 2025.

Lean Techniques

            Nike Inc. implements a culture of improvement that engages in ongoing continuous improvement (CI) as a method of lean management. Employing CI offers the opportunity for Nike to deliver high-quality products, timely at a low cost. According to Industry Week the three types of standardized CI are:

•                     Quality award programs: useful for providing a set of criteria and motivating employees for CI; focused on project-based quality.

•                     Institute improvement programs: training focused on lean and Six Sigma to provide employees with the skills they need to integrate continuous improvement.

•                     External benchmarking programs: provide an objective comparison for identifying improvement opportunities, pinpointing internal best practices, and establishing a performance-focused culture (How Nike Does Lean, 2015).

Being that employees at Nike are so important in the success of lean manufacturing, Human Resource Management (HRM) plays a vital role. HRM handles consistent gathering of information and employee views thru surveys on key issues they are experiencing. Using this data Nike can seek opportunities for positive change by using CI practices. Nike also uses Score Cards to analyze and measure current lean practices. Having over 1 million employees manufacturing their products, to ensure that everyone is performing according to Nike’s standards the company implements a scoring system at their contracted factories. According to How Nike Does Lean (2015), “The Manufacturing Index (MI) they utilize scores each factory in terms of lean, labor, health and safety, energy and carbon, and sustainability. This allows NIKE, Inc. to determine where they need to spend more attention and resources and where they can allow factories to operate autonomously”. As an incentive to strive for the best score, if any factory scores under the bronze level they are responsible for paying for their next 3rd-party audit. If the score is higher, then Nike pays for the audit.

      By implementing lean manufacturing techniques, Nike’s material waste and productivity times have been reduced and their Supply Chain is able to run more efficiently. Some of Nike’s lean manufacturing milestones are illustrated in FY10-11 Sustainable Business Performance Summary. According to the report, Nike’s contracted factories that are using lean is seen a decrease of defects by 50%, new product release time was reduced by 30%, factory productivity increased by 10%, and delivery lead times were reported 40% shorter.

Just-In-Time (JIT) Practices

            The main goal of JIT is to make the most out of a company’s Return on Investment (ROI) by reducing unnecessary costs. JIT lowers inventory costs, increases efficiency, cuts down on wastes by ordering inventory on an as-needed basis. To use JIT efficiently, forecasts need to be as accurate as possible to prevent over or under stocking of inventory. To streamline operations and cut costs, Nike began a global centralization project that combines their ERP, supply chain, and CRM software systems with the focus on lean inventory strategies and JIT. Nike saw great improvement in their operations. According to How Different Industries Use Just-In-Time Inventory Management for Success. (n.d.), “The company’s approach has had impressive results: lead times were reduced 40%, productivity increased by up to 20%, and new model introductions are 30% faster”.

Optimized Production Technology (OPT) and Theory of Constraints (TOC) Principles

            Optimized Production Technology (OPT) is a production system that takes account of capacity constraints in the production process and does not attempt to continuously operate at full capacity. The aim is not to produce as many units as possible, but to raise throughput while keeping inventory and production costs low, thereby achieving an efficient, continuous workflow (The Law Dictionary, n.d.). The Theory of Constraints is a methodology for identifying the most important limiting factor (i.e. constraint) that stands in the way of achieving a goal and then systematically improving that constraint until it is no longer the limiting factor. In manufacturing, the constraint is often referred to as a bottleneck (Lean Production, n.d.). Both TOC and OPT cater to having a seamless production process and they have helped Nike improve their production processes and reduced production costs. Nike’s cost has been reported to be being the lowest in their market thus making it even more evident that the lean methods and practices has been the best strategy for Nike.

Milestone 3

Comments

Individual Feedback

Technology for Competitive Differentiation: Current Business Operations: Natalie

What you submitted is good but you just identified gaps but the assignment was to identify a performance gap, i.e. the desired results/goals and what they are  currently achieving and what is the difference (performance gap analysis).

Goal/desired performance – actual/current performance = performance gap

Handle 10 calls per hour – 7 calls per hour = 3 calls per hour gapTechnology for Competitive Differentiation: Technology Enhancement: Is not based on identified performance gapsTechnology for Competitive Differentiation: Performance Gap: Is not based on identified performance gaps

FOR PAPER BELOW:

. Technology for Competitive Differentiation

Competitive differentiation is a principle normally used by companies to set them apart from competitors through the specific elements in the specific company. (Martin, 2014). This helps a consumers and customers to differentiate company products from those of competitors in the market. Differentiation is what makes a company stand out against its competitors through that unique aspect that the competitors do not have. Technology has played a significant role in the differentiation of companies making them have a competitive edge over their competitors.

Current business Operations 

            Nike Inc. has continuously used technology to differentiate its products and services from those of its competitors such as Adidas. Examples of technological application by Nike Inc. to differentiate it in the competitive market is innovation of products and the marketing strategies. Innovation of new and more comfortable sporting products have enabled Nike to have an advantage over its competitors. Although the introduction of a new product in the market is costly in terms of research and production, it results in a good payoff because the customers flock to be among the first to get the new product. Innovation always looks forward to bridging the gap in the market and satisfy the upcoming customer needs in a better and advanced manner. For instance, Nike Inc. has continually embraced new technologies for its brand like the development of the Hyper Adapt 1.0 a shoe that auto-laces itself once it is put on the heel. (Danziger, 2017). The international company has been constantly innovative with the development of their shoes which are always aimed to satisfy the upcoming needs and the achievement of better comfort by the players. Also, back in 2006 the company developed a shoe that could connect to an I-pod and track the pace and the distance covered by the walker or the runner. (Ballard, 2019).

            Nike Inc. has also used technology for its vibrant marketing strategy which gives it a competitive advantage over others. For a business to excel, the marketing strategies must be fine enough to create awareness of the products and services to attract customers. Since its foundation, the brand has always focused on the innovation of new designs to get a big market share. Technology have significantly helped in reaching a wider target market through online sales and marketing strategies. Its advertising strategy also makes it achieve an edge using celebrity endorsements and sports personalities. The company is also making the digital shopping experience a lifestyle on its own. There is the membership program which helps create more personalized connection with customers as well as rewarding loyal and active customers. Data analytics is utilized for the development of advanced algorithms to utilize demand-sensing technology which ensures availability of products upon demand. More tailored experiences through mobile phones have enabled the company to create more sales from the tailored customer experiences and products.

Performance Gaps

            The objective of Nike Inc. is to satisfy its customer needs through information accuracy and product delivery. Nike products are produced based on the orders in the factories and after finishing they are supplied to the customer through the Nike customer service centers. In this segment of the company, there are performance gaps that should be addressed to increase production, reduce costs and also increase the efficiency of the delivery of the products and services to the customers.

            In the supply and chain management, there occurs pile up of stock and at times shortage where the demand is higher than the supply. This normally occurs when the management of the demand and supply are not fully implemented. Such a case was occurred when the company had implemented a software that could keep track of the demand and supply by mapping out the production of the products at the manufacturing units. However, this i2 software failed and led to pile up of low selling products and shortage of highly selling products. This saw the company get less sales compared to previous years blaming the failure on the implementation of the software. The products resulted to overproduction of some products and under production of fast-moving products which led to chaos in the company.

            In the supply sector, Nike has a gap in the delivery of products in time to their customers. (Nike Inc., 2019). The competitors utilize their weakness and supply their products in time to the customers. Nike tends to keep low stock of its products to create room for innovations and the advanced products to their customer. Although customers may want to test new products, the old stock which has already captured its market share gets inadequate in the market, yet the demand is still high. At this point, the company may make less income because more funds are used in research and the production of new products rather than first supplying the already established and developed product.

            Another gap in the supply of the Nike products is the diversification of the products to meet the needs of the different customer needs in all different countries. The rule of ‘one size fits all’ do not apply when the market is global. The expectations of consumers differ based on their global location. There is need for customization of the products for customer satisfaction. There is also complexity in production which makes the retailing customers run out of stock which creates some conflict between cost and flexibility. (Ballard, 2019).

Opportunities that Would Benefits from Technological Enhancements

            Technological enhancements can be of benefit to a company in utilizing the available business opportunities. Technology in most cases makes work easier, reduces the cost of production and improves the efficiency of the production and delivery of products. Wearable technology can be of benefit to the Nike Inc. in terms of the market share and product variety. Through innovation in the sportswear production industry the emerging markets can be utilized. There is gradual flourishing of sports in different countries which establishments of the sportswear suppliers have not been established. By having varieties of the products serving different needs of athletes and players, the market can be utilized because the customers are always yearning for products that will enhance their outcome in the field. Research and innovation in the wearable technology builds more opportunities due to the changing customer needs. (Shorten, 1999). When the primary company identifies the emerging markets, manufacturing stations can be established in the new countries where the products can be made from the country under the control of the company headquarter. This will ensure a low production cost because the transportation cost will be cut off. Also, the efficiency of the delivery of the products will be well addressed. Customers can get customized products at their convenience and in good time due to the reduced geographical distance.

            The combination of technology and sport wear is not fully explored, and the wearable technology ensures that a variety of products are developed. The technology that monitors physical activity rather than doing it manually like distance calculation and the time taken makes it more convenient for players and athletes to keep track of the physical activities they undertake. Although Nike Inc. has been in the frontline in the integration of technology and athletic wear, there technology is not yet fully explored and therefore there are still more chances for the development of new products. Though this integration, the cost of production may rise initially due to the development cost but after making sales, the payout can be as well good. The new products also tend to be of more quality because it is normally the enhancement of an already existing product through value addition or adding more features. 

How technology can be used to mitigate performance gap

            Technology plays a vital role in reducing the performance gaps in most organizations where technology can be incorporated. The establishment of manufacturing centers in different countries where there are emerging markets, the utilization rate can be high. This will ensure that there is significant stock of finished products so that the supply gets along with the demand of the products. (Keller, 2018). Although innovation also plays an important role in a business, it should balance with the sales of already established products which ensures a steady flow of finished products.

            The innovation technology may also help in the reduction of the performance gap through customization of the products according to the customer needs. (Keller, 2018).The fact that different customers have different expectations can be addressed because a manufacturing unit in a country will have to do some research on the market needs so as to understand how to customize the products for customer satisfaction and in return more sales. (Buchanan & Cruz, 2009). This reduces the production cost in that what is produced will be suitable for the customers other than availing already manufactured products which may not get a market since the specifications are not in line with the needs of the customers present.

            Technological enhancements can enable Nike Inc. to manage customer data though point of sale systems which lowers the uncertainty of supply and demand which boost the revenue. For customer satisfaction, there is need to collaborate with the manufacturers, distributors and logistics. With technology in place, most of the performance gaps can be easily mitigated. The differentiation is also achieved by the Nike Inc. through integration of athletic wear and technology.

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