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Chopra/Meindl 4/e CHAPTER TWO Discussion Questions 1. How would you characterize the competitive strategy of a high-end department store chain such as Nordstrom? What are the key customer needs that Nordstrom aims to fill? The Nordstrom web site states the following. Over the years, the Nordstrom family of employees built a thriving business on the principles of quality, value, selection, and service. Today, Nordstrom is one of the nations leading fashion retailers, offering a wide variety of high-quality apparel, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and children at stores across the country. We remain committed to the simple idea our company was founded on, earning our customers trust one at a time. Nordstrom fills customer needs for high quality fashion merchandise and outstanding levels of customer service. Price is no object for the typical Nordstrom shopper. 2. Where would you place the demand faced by Nordstrom on the implied demand uncertainty spectrum? Why? Implied demand uncertainty is demand uncertainty due to the portion of demand that the supply chain is targeting , not the entire demand. A high-end department store chain such as Nordstrom falls on the high end of the implied demand uncertainty scale. The fashion items that Nordstrom stocks have extremely high product margin, high forecast errors and stockout rates, and once the season is over, these items are sold at deep discounts at their Nordstrom Rack outlet stores. 3. What level of responsiveness would be most appropriate for Nordstroms supply chain? What should the supply chain be able to do particularly well? Supply chain responsiveness takes many forms, including the ability to respond to a wide range of quantities, meet short lead times, handle a large variety of products, build innovative products, meet a high service level, and handle supply uncertainty. The Nordstrom supply chain must be highly responsive in the areas of handling highly innovative fashion products, customer response, and service level; they are effective in supplying well-heeled customers with merchandise and their return policy is legendary in the Pacific Northwest. 4. How can Nordstrom expand the scope of the strategic fit across the supply chain? Scope of strategic fit refers to the functions within the firm and stages across the supply chain that devise an integrated strategy with a shared objective. By adopting an intercompany interfunctional scope strategy, Nordstrom will maximize supply chain surplus. Nordstrom can move in this direction by working Chopra/Meindl 4/e with their suppliers as if they are actually owned by Nordstrom. Rather than viewing the supply chain as a zero-sum game of inventory cost minimization and ... View Full Document

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