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Laura Ashley

In: Business and Management

Submitted By gutif12
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Laura Ashley Case Study

1. Summarize of the situation

Laura Ashley (LA) is a British company that sells clothing and home furnishing products throughout the world. In 1990 Laura Ashley operated 481 retail stores, but they had many difficulties in managing the company with an inappropriate structure. Laura Ashley was having problems such as overdependence on in-house manufacturing, ineffective logistics, 20% of stock out, extended lead times, outdated systems, etc. These and many other internal problems lagged the growth and profits of the company. When Jim Maxmin arrived as CEO of LA introduced new strategic and organizational initiatives to provide retail shops with better information flows and transparency among the company. The principal objective was to transform the customer service, improve reliability and frequency of deliveries. In the search of Jim Maxmin to transform the company the strategic alliance resulted as the solution to their problems. This alliance was going to be made with Business Logistics Service (BLS), which is a division of Federal Express that provides specialized logistics services throughout the world.

2. Questions
a. Evaluate the decision to enter a strategic alliance from the perspective of both Laura Ashley and Federal Express. What are the real opportunities and risks of this approach? Explain the value added of the arrangement, including the role of IT. LA BLS

Opportunities • Transform customer service.
• Improve reliability.
• Speed.
• Frequency of deliveries.
• More effective.
• Lower cost distribution.
• Facilitate and transform business at a retail level.
• New systems.
• Use resources effectively.
• Reduce inventories.
• Expand product lines. • Use all of its capabilities on a global basis.
• Refining its skills.
• Open new large potential markets. (Clothing business, Europe, etc.)
• Creative...

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