A&D High Tech: Managing Projects for Success Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

A&D High Tech: Managing Projects for Success Case Solution


A&D High Tech is an IT related firm that sells computer accessories, products, and services to consumers and small business. The company is located in Lincoln, Nebraska. The CEO and Chairman of A&D High Tech, Ted Walter,opened the first store in Lincoln in 1988. A&D Company was the first to introduce made -to-order products in the personal computer industry, which were highly innovative at that time. Walter’s main focus was friendly customer service which was highly appreciable by the customers, and it also served as a competitive advantage for A&D. Walter’s friendly customer service was deeply embedded in the culture of Midwestern heartland where he had his entire life.

a&d high tech case solution

a&d high tech case solution

The revenues of A&D grew consistently for almost 10 years and reached about $400 million in year 2000. The company was mainly a local player, where most if its sales were coming from the customers in Midwestern. However, Walter was strategically looking for increasing themarket share through increasing its distribution countrywide.

Most of the sales of A&D had come primarily through retail outlets in shopping malls across the Midwestern state. A&D was also providing sales services by taking orders via phone that were handled through its call center situated in Lincoln. A&D’s call center comprises of fifty employees that were highly professional and provided friendly services. However, A&D was lacking efficiency to handle orders resulting in delayed shipment because at that time, A&D hadno efficient system to handle orders. The company took sales order at the call center which were written on paper and then passed to order-entry clerks. This contributed time to order entry, and resulted overdue shipment and poor accuracy. As a result, sales representatives mostly had to contact the customers to correct the errors or sometimesthey evenhadto contact customers to suggest different options due to the shortage of industry. Approximately, 30% of A&D’s orders required customer callbacks compared to only 5% at A&D’s primary competitors.

In 1999, A&D executed its first enterprise resource planning system (ERP) by using the software from J.D. Edwards. A&D decided to use that software primarily due to the reason that it could be customized to handle the thousands of parts which wereused in production. This implementation required many outside consultants to build and design the system. However,soon after the system was implemented, difficulties in maintaining the system arose. Despite that, the project was considered as successful and as after ERP was operated, customers’ callbacks were decreased to less than 1% of orders.

In 2001, after the successful implementation of ERP system, A&D decided to invest further to improve its system in managing the supply chain, customer relationship management, order management,  and payment process. A series of technology projects was introduced in order to bring continuous improvement in its system. A&D has witnessedinstant benefits in reduced costs, as well as a considerable return on investment on its data warehousing and supply chain projects.


The management of A&D is concerned about the decrease in sales and the intense competition which could lead the company towards competitive disadvantage, therefore in order to overcome this issue, the management proposed an online store. However, there is need to identify that it is possible to implement the proposed online store plan within the given resources and the given time frame.

Key Problems

The management of the company is facing certain problems with respect to future strategies and future course of actions as the number of competitors are increasing continuously and they are getting greater market share by establishing online stores. The management of the company is currently following the friendly customer services for the sales of its good.Moreover,providing friendly customer service on the internet is a key challenge for the company as shifting from one process to other requires drastic changes....................

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