dreaded amazon effect happened anywayamazon undercuts casper W r i t i n g
5-7 page minimum for each part (double-spaced, normal font).
10-15 pages total.
What is a strategy? -Porter (1996)
How Information Gives You a Competitive Advantage- Porter (1985) Porter and Millar.
Operations management -Nolan and McFarland (2005)
IT Doesn’t matter -Nicholas Carr
Part 1 (Reflection):
Select three frameworks or papers that resonate with you. Summarize, compare, and critique each one, being sure to address the final question of how each the author(s) suggest their framework can be applied to achieving a competitive advantage. Be sure to articulate what role IT has to each and how business and IT strategy can complement each other. As with our discussions, the synthesis, where you bring the frameworks together is important and could be enhanced through the use of examples.
Synthesize these readings into a combined narrative of how you, as supported by your analysis of the frameworks, believe strategy and IT together can lead to a competitive advantage. This unique, combined strategy, is what you will test in the application section.
Part 2 (Application):
In my personal experience – buying a mattress is hard. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a good experience shopping for one in a store. A key module this semester has been looking at disruptive change because of innovations in technology. Just like companies such as Uber, Tesla, and Amazon have turned entire industries on their heads, the mattress market is due for change. The following readings are a starting point for our case analysis. You will need to do additional research on the topic – I recommend at least 3-4 more articles for your works cited page.
Traditional mattress companies in trouble
- How Casper drove Mattress Firm into bankruptcy (Links to an external site.)
- Mattress stores want to rip you off. Here’s how to fight back (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
- Why Are There So Many Mattress Stores in America? (Links to an external site.)
- Dozens Of Upstart Companies Are Upending The $15-Billion Mattress Market (Links to an external site.)
- Why there are so many online mattress-in-a-box companies (Links to an external site.)
The dark side of affiliate marketing – questionable models?
Some tried to work with Amazon
The dreaded Amazon effect happened anyway
- Amazon undercuts Casper with its own new mattresses (Links to an external site.)
- Mattress industry caught napping as Amazon makes stealth move into its market (Links to an external site.)
- The Retail Lesson Of The Last Decade: Disrupt Or Be Disrupted (Links to an external site.)
- Serta Simmons to merge with Tuft & Needle (Links to an external site.)
- It’s not all gold in them hills! (Links to an external site
Select ONE of question 1 or 2 to answer, and ONE of question 3 or 4 to answer.
- Analyze what is occurring in the mattress industry today. How are mattress sold traditionally? What makes this industry so ripe for disruptive change? What challenges do traditional companies like the Mattress Firm face? How did they find themselves in the situation they are in and what is their prognosis looking forward? Using your strategy from the reflection portion and we have learned in class, what would you recommend Mattress Firm should do strategically and why? Doing a little additional research, compare the European (or another continent) retail industry for mattresses and would your recommendations change across cultures.
- Analyze the new business model by online mattress companies such as Casper. What is the role of IT in this new business model? What competitive strategies are online mattress companies using and do you believe they are effective, why or why not? If you were looking to create a mattress startup, using what we have learned in class, outline a strategy supported by your reflection portion, by which you think your startup could achieve a competitive advantage. Remember, your strategies should have firm bases in the frameworks we have learned. How would you reconcile your strategy and feasibility with additional link #3? Consider (
- Critically compare your recommendation in #1 or #2 by explaining if yourself, as a consumer, would purchase a mattress based on the outcome of the strategy you championed. Why or why not? Analyze the Sleeopolis lawsuit as a consumer and as a mattress startup. What are the reasons for and against continuing with this strategy and what would you recommend from either perspective?
- How does Amazon entering the mattress market affect things? What do both B&M (Brick & Mortar, i.e. traditional storefronts) and the new B2C (Business to Consumer, i.e. e-commerce) mattress firms have to worry about? Evaluate what you recommended in question #1 or #2 – will your recommendations hold up, why or why not? What should their plans be? What changes could be made?