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Corwin Corporation

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Corwin made some major mistakes in its handling of the Peters project. The first mistake was in its project selection process. New product development does not fit within Corwin’s conservative, risk-adverse market expansion focus. Although Corwin had a product selection policy in place, they did not formally evaluate the request from Peters against the policy. Instead, management at Corwin allows the 5-year profit sharing incentive to influence negatively its decision making process. If Corwin had of followed its policy and process, the project might never have been accepted.

Corwin agreed to a fixed price contract. In a fixed price contract, the vendor takes on the majority of the financial risk. Fixed price contracts work well in situations where the requirements are clear and the vendor is confident that they can meet the requirements for the agreed price. However, the Peters project did not fit the criteria for a fixed price contract. Peters was only able to provide a rough draft of product specifications. Incomplete specifications are at high risk for change. Changes to product specifications can affect the cost, which can negatively affect Corwin in a fixed price contract. In addition, the contracts manager at Corwin was unfamiliar with fixed price contracts resulting in his inability to watch out for the best interests of the organization. If Corwin had followed its normal pricing process, they might have proposed a might higher cost for the project and Peters might never have accepted the proposal.

Senior management failed to engage in and support the project. Three of the four decisions makers were out of town during the proposal process. Due to the short turnaround requirements for the proposal presentation, senior management was unable to participate in the proposal process. In addition, senior management stayed at arm’s length during execution and…...

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