Cisco Case Study

2650 Words Oct 9th, 2011 11 Pages
1. Study the networked supply chain concept as implemented by Cisco. What are its strengths and weaknesses?
Cisco Systems, Inc. is an IT company that specializes in the selling of networking and communication products and services. It is a B2B company where they sell its products primarily to large enterprises and telecommunications service providers, but it also markets products designed for small businesses and consumers such as routers, modems, and home network management software. The products and services aim to transport data, voice and video communication within buildings and campuses as well as around the globe. The services include routing, switching, home networking internet protocol telephony, optical networking, security,
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Would you agree that Cisco’s problems were largely caused by inherent defects in the company’s systems? Or possibly was it just because they had failed to forecast a market downturn? Give reasons to justify your stand.

Cisco not only failed to forecast a market downturn and also reportedly its problems were largely caused by inherent defects in the company systems. Below are some of the reasons why Cisco landed in financial trouble in early 2001. There were several factors that play a part for Cisco’s crisis in early 2001. But the main culprit was the misalignment of Cisco’s interest with this of its contract manufacturers which leaded to communication breakdown in the overall supply chain process. Stanley et al., (p.10, 2007) mentioned that “a supply chain is made up of a series of linked company-level value chains where communication up and down the supply chain can help build processes that enable the entire chain to make and deliver winning products and services”.

Cisco’s Supply Chain Structure
Reportedly, analysts mentioned that Cisco’s supply chain structured like a pyramid. Based on Figure 2 below, there were quite a number of contract manufacturers on the second tier who were responsible for final assembly and they were dependent on large sub-tier companies for components such as processor chips and optical gear. And in turn, those companies were dependent on an even larger base of commodity

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