Bailey Controls

fin Ohio-headquartered. S3A0-mil ion-a-year manufacturer of conUpl systems lor b q factories. Bailey Controls teals some el its suppliers as if Ihcy were depalmcnls within Baitcy. The company recently plugged 1w of its suppliers directly into its inventory management sysleu. Every week Bsitey electronically sends Montreal-based Future Electronics its latest torecasls of the materials it will need ¡or the next si>: monihs. Whenever a bin ol pons falls below a desig naied level, a Bai ley employee passes a laser scanns i over ihe b: n's har code, arerii ng Fulure lo sand the parts <it once. Although arrangements like tins shift inventory costs to the suppliers, 1!ie suppliers expect Hjosp costs to be mere (fen offset by !he gain in vc'ume. It is a ivin-vj in partnership.

Core Competencies

To carry out its cote business processes, a company needs resources—labor power, materials, machines, information, $fld energy. Traditionally, companies owned a nil controlled most of lite resources ill at entered their businesses, but this situation is changing. Many companies tod;iy outsource less critical resources ifthejf can be obtained at better quality or lower cost. I;rct|nen(ly. outsourced resources include cleaning services, landscaping, and auto fleet management. Kodak even turned over the management of its data processing department to lb M, the key, then, is to owil and tin tin re (he resources a nil competencies dm moke up the essence of the business. Nike, for example, does not me tut facture its own shoes, because certain Asian manufacturers are more competent in this task; [Mike nurtures its superiority in shoe design and shoe merchandising, its two core competencies. We can say thai a cure competency has three characteristics*, ti) it ii a source ttf compétitive advantage in thai it mokes a significant contribution to perceived customer benefits. (21 it iras applications in a Wide variety of markets, and (3) it is difficult for competitors to imitate.11

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