Student Robert Pimentel

By Martin Barnes,2014-06-17 02:52
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Student Robert Pimentel ...

    Student: Robert Pimentel, Martha Rodriguez, Joe Bryan

    Instructor: Dr. Carlos Esteva

    Course: MCIS 6307

    Purpose: In-class exercise #2 (Case Study 2-1)

    Date: 2/1/2007

    1) What is the strategic advantage afforded to Lear from virtual reality? How

    does this technology help it compete?

    It allows Lear to complete the development process more quickly than any other competitors, 1? years as opposed to 3 years. Additionally, the methodology it uses

    helps reduce the actual costs associated with the development. Lastly, it facilitates a

    greater level of collaboration across traditional physical boundaries.

    In short, this technology helps Lear to compete because competitors are currently unable to match these advantages (E.g. speed of development, flexibility), as

    evidenced by the lucrative contract awarded to them by General Motors (as per the

    case study).

    In addition to using the new technology, Lear also acquired smaller auto parts companies, which allowed them to provide GM with a single vendor offering.

2) How long is Lear’s window of opportunity for the strategic advantage given

    by the virtual reality system? That is, do you think competitors will follow

    suit and implement a similar system? If yes, when?

    If history is any indicator, then competitors will follow suit and attempt to use the same approach, or a revised approach, which they hope will provide them with a

    competitive advantage over Lear. I expect the process would occur sooner, rather than


    For example, Lear’s competitors would likely purchase the same virtual reality

    package from Alias/Wavefront and Silicon Graphics. In spite of this, Lear would hold

    its advantage until these competitors are able to fully integrate the new technology

    into their development process, or develop new processes altogether.

    3) Do you think the CAD system offers Lear strategic advantages? Explain.

Yes. CAD offers Lear a strategic advantage primarily because it was the first

    company to leverage the technology and establish a new, more efficient development

    process. It should be noted that this strategic advantage will be short-lived. CAD,

    along with the virtual reality solution is not a scarce resource…any competitor can

    acquire it.

4) Apply the value chain to demonstrate how the virtual reality system adds

    value for Lear and for General Motors.

Primary value chain activities: Lear General Motors

    Inbound Logistics: the receiving Converting customer’s ideas into Converting ideas into reality and warehousing of raw reality specifically for product(s) allows automaker to deliver materials, and their distribution when and how it’s desired. product to customer quickly

    to manufacturing as they are leading to better projection for required. production delivery dates. Operations: the processes of VR reduces development time; transforming inputs into increases productivity and reduces finished products and services. cost.

     - Environment that fosters - Manufacturing start-up dates of

    collaboration such as the design product excelled

    studio stereoscopic “cave” to be

    able to simulate being in a car.

     - Vehicle design schedule initial - Reducing development time by

    concept and product-ready cut to digitizing much of the design

    1-1/2 years. process; less iterations to review

     - Creating a virtual workplace that before approval

    allows people to work together

    from all around the world.

     - Communication enhanced by - Communication enhanced

    extending Internet in its work between supplier and customer


    Outbound Logistics: the Can go from concept to product Efficiency in prototype warehousing and distribution of and then quickly to contract to development from supplier finished goods. product within a year; prototype in would improve increase the

    30 days number of new products to

    manufacture (timing of market

    entry) Marketing & Sales: the Allows a better way to satisfy Allows a better way to satisfy identification of customer needs customer needs; analysis of customer needs sooner before and the generation of sales. customer needs can lead to new competitors

    product development Service: the support of Shortens customer’s waiting time Allows better service for target customers after the products and to receive prototype; changes to market services are sold to them. original prototype would be easier

    to make

    Support value change activities: Lear General Motors

    Organization (infrastructure) VR can provide data to help VR can provide data to help

    Lear plan on trends in its supplier plan on trends in its

    target market target market

    Human Resource Management Designers/developers Manufacturing resources

    collaboration via the Net (personnel) may need to be

    would reduce expenses in increased depending on

    travel and increase response number of new products

    time and accessibility. ready for production.

    Technology Development VR can provide data for Lear can provide information

    market research to assist GM in market


    Purchasing Lear could retain and capture GM could gain a big share of

    new customers with digitizing the market share due -

    process reduction in product


5) What other types of competitive advantages might Lear executives seek from

    IS in general?

    IS competitive advantages:

    Lear could capture the value of knowledge created (E.g. sharing processes

    and creating organizational memory) by employees to reduce the impact of

    mobile employees leaving with knowledge.

    Lear could also provide intellectual property protection, such as patents,

    trade secrets, and trademarks. A trademark offers a way to capture the brand

    equity of a company or a product.

    Finally, Lear should consider using a Customer Relationship Management

    (CRM) system in co-operation with GM, in order to better understand the needs

    of the customers they both serve.

6) What hardware, software applications are involved?

    The CAD system and virtual reality system. The hardware was purchased from

    Alias/Wavefront, a subsidiary of Silicon Graphics. The internet was used to

    exchange information between GM and Lear.

7) What is the business need and impact?

    The business need was to shorten the timeline of concept to product delivery of auto

    interiors. It allowed them to do product development iterations quicker. They needed

    to have a significant impact to the industry.

8) What data is manipulated?

    CAD drawings and VR videos. All design documents and specifications.

9) What procedures?

    New procedures and processes had to be totally re-developed to move from designing auto interiors by clay to designing by CAD and VR. Procedures for safety guidelines should also be developed.

10) What people are involved?

    Designers, sculptors, graphic artists, IT support personnel, network support personnel, executives, essentially every employee.

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