BoldFlash: Cross-Functional Challenges in the Mobile Division Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

BoldFlash: Cross-Functional Challenges in the Mobile Division Case Solution


This case was published by Harvard Business Review in 2012.This case is about Bold Flash, which is storage devices company. In this case study, Roger Chill has been selected as Vice President of the BoldFlash Mobile Division for less than a year. Bold Flash was also known as Bold Disk,which was founded by two computer science professors in 1982.  Its headquarters is located in Waltham, Massachusetts. The company manufactures flash memory components for electronic device such as mp3 players, floppy disk and Smartphones. The company now focuses on flash memory and has a significant market share in both direct-to-consumer markets and OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Flash memory is a solid-state drive that keeps data storage without moving parts. It is commonly used in cameras, mobile phones, tablets, and MP3 players.

Near 2012, the BoldFlash has expanded globally and it has largest plant in Shanghai, and U.S. Its smaller plant was located in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. BoldFlash operates its own plants, and it does not have any joint venture and neither doessubcontract agreements with competitors. In 2011, its overall revenue generated was 3.9 billion and the Smartphone manufacturer groups were its largest customers. BoldFlash primarily focuses on organic growth.

The major issue in this case study is to manage the BoldFlash Mobile Division as well as to increase growth. Currently, both market share and growth rate are declining due to various problems within the organizations. Roger Cahill had introduced new NAND flash technology and he also tried to resolve the problem to remain competitive.


When Cahill came in position when BoldFlash was lacking behind its competitors and due to this he found it difficult to continue his role. The company on one hand, was facing pressure on prices while on the other hand, it was experiencing high demand on the ability to manufacture new products in the market.

There were conflicts arising between the employees particularly in the products development process. There waslack of team work and co-ordination among employees. The product development process was badly disturbed due to frequent request to trial new products. BoldFlash was unable to introduce new innovative products in the market. Marketing specialists found it difficult to work on new products for which they were responsible for introducing. They found it complex to get people in Product development, manufacturing and sales to fulfill the commitments.


Porters Five Forces:


This sector is highly competitive and the demand is also expected to grow significantly. The reason behind the constant growth of demand is to reduce the pricing pressure. This has led BoldFlash to expand its business outside the U.S. However, customers and competitors both recognized BoldFlash in terms of quality therefore,it is not so difficult for BoldFlash to sustain the market share. The company had a strong commitment to R&D which also serves as a competitive advantage. The company also held 600 patents.

Customer’s Power:

Customers’ power was high due to the inability of the company to satisfy its customers. The company lacks in new innovative products due to which customers’ demand for new and improved product increased however,the company was capable of fulfilling customers’ demands. Rapid change in the customers’ preferences has pressurized the company to introduce new innovations rapidly.

Suppliers Power:

Suppliers’ power is high as the company had operated its own manufacturing plants and had no joint venture. The industry has shortage of suppliers because of critical manufacturing practices involved.

Threat of new market entrants:

New market entrants pose a high threat on BoldFlash’s business. Due to its declining growth and inability to meet the customers’ requirement, it has increased the competition. Demand of new technology also prevents the rivals to enter in the market.

 Threat of Substitute:

There is high threat of substitutes due to the emerging new technology. New market entrants have advantage as second mover to bring more enhanced and innovative substitute products.....................

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