Herman Miller Case
Your report should contain: 1) an executive summary outlining the key problems and recommendations, and 2) a brief discussion of the analysis upon which the recommendations are based. The case facts should not be restated. Key grading criteria are the clarity of exposition, rigor of the analysis, and creativity of approach.
The Case Grading Guidelines have four dimensions that define the level of performance required to obtain a given score. The core of the written submission is in the analysis and concise answers to the questions in the particular case. (Remember, while an analysis must support a conclusion, the analysis can be based upon sound reasoning as opposed to more quantitative analysis.) Creativity as listed in the guidelines means a novel or insightful interpretation, recommendation or analysis of the situation in the case. Clarity and Quality of the report is improved and will be assessed by the use of sub-section sections (For example: Executive Summary, Introduction or Background, Analysis Elements, Conclusions and Recommendation) and short concise paragraphs and sentences.
The case study has 2 parts, an executive summary and discussion. The executive summary is basically what an upper manager would read to tell her/him the key outcomes. Assume they know the facts of the case. They only want to know your recommendations and how that will impact the bottom line. The discussion, being so short should only summarize those facts in the case and your analysis that supports your recommendations. Everything else should be in the appendix. Be specific, not general. Don’t insult your “client” by stating general business truisms, et.
Role of student: You have been hired by Herman Miller as an outside consultant to advise them on the design of the chair and in particular how they are to implement sustainability into their products.
Submission: You have been asked to submit to Herman Miller management, in writing, your recommendation with a supporting analysis for their new chair design in light of their sustainability and profitability goals.
Submission: You have been asked to submit, in writing, your recommendation with a supporting analysis.
Audience: Your report is to be addressed to upper management of the Company, who are thoroughly familiar with the facts and considerations as described in the case. While
the facts, design, business choices, and consequences are known to senior management, this information (embedded in the case) needs to be extracted and assembled in a form or analysis tool so that conclusions can be drawn and ultimately your recommendation can be supported. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is an analysis tool. Another is a weighted-scoring matrix, or simply a pro and con chart. Just listing the items under categories of strengths or pros is insufficient—you have to use your judgment and indicate the relative importance of each entry in the tool and then form a conclusion and finally your recommendation. High risks need to have a risk mitigation plan (that is described) that lowers the risk, weakness, or con to an acceptable level, if it is part of your recommendation.
Your recommendation does not have to be limited to a simple binary choice of do X, but could be a blend of consistent choices.
1. Should Herman Miller use PVC or TPU in the Mirra Chair arm pad?
2. What is your assessment of how Herman Miller implemented the C2C protocol?
3. Why did Herman Miller undertake this strategic environmental initiative?
Embed or incorporate the answer to these case questions directly into the discussion of the several strategic issues raised in the case for the new model chair design.
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