Ford Supply Chain Strategy Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Integrating the Dell supply chain integration model to fullest

This will require the creation of a virtually integrated supply chain based on Dell's model and will also require information sharing amongst the Ford’s management and the supplier base in order to co-ordinate flow of material as well as information; which will enable the suppliers in assessing the need of units based on the information provided by Ford’s production unit. The replication of Dell’s model calls for integrating in forward chain which involves the tackling of customer orders through designed portals.


The level of customization is highest in this system as the customers are generating orders on portals; hence declining the needs of densely present retail units which will result in significant costs saving.


The system requires total restructuring as the retail networks need to re-designed and the customer services will be more complicated due to lack of physical presence of customers as well as sales representatives. The time and resources required to efficiently introduce the model will not be financially feasible as the change will encompass various levels in entire supply chain. Also, the magnitude of operations of Ford as an automaker is extensive than that of Dell; therefore limitations and possible risks involved is high.

Customized virtual integration with offline mechanism

It calls for implementing a mix of online and offline operating mechanism that will enable the management to reap benefits of both the medium as well as strike a balance in optimizing the Dell’s model through customizing it in order to suit the highly complex automaker industry. The model suggests that Ford invest into information sharing across both the ends that will enable the suppliers in providing feedback to the processes being conducted as well as serving to the production needs. The investment accounts for the futuristic need to further incorporate customization in customer preferences that can be communicated to the suppliers, which can be later on shared with the retail network to conduct measures in transporting the vehicle in lesser time and in an efficient manner. This integration will rectify any information bottleneck as well as provide an insight to retailers and suppliers regarding customer preferences and hence increase the worth of consumer satisfaction for suppliers and retailers.


Customization to clients is the core benefit that can be reaped by implementing this model. Suppliers and retailers are synced with the market knowledge and hence provide better services for efficient performance delivery.


It requires collaboration from all members of the supply chain and hence timeline of implementation will be lengthy. The internal process will also need to evolve in order to cope with this model as the production commodities, tier 1 suppliers and the manufacturing sites are extensive in nature which poses serious issues for management (corporate ford, 2012).


Upon evaluation of both the option, it is recommended that management opt for the customized model rather than replicating the Dell’s model as the problem lies in identifying the need of virtual integration; therefore the proposed option fulfils the need of virtual integration of various levels of supply chain in an effective manner. The first option lacks to provide complete solution as the generation of customers’ orders through portal will increase complexity because car remains a high-value commodity as compared to computers and therefore physical presence remains a top priority. Another loophole is the absence of scheduled production of vehicles which makes up a credible portion of production in Ford’s management.

The proposed model accounts for the changes that need to be implemented in terms of bringing the various partners in supply chain together in order to share information which is the backbone of the model. The information availability will also serve as a pull-based mechanism in internal operations as the information from retailers will be accessible to the end suppliers and hence providing them means to fulfill the demands. It will also enable these suppliers and retailers to assess the market knowledge that will enable them to provide better services and hence re-inforcing Ford’s position in market................................

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