Case Study: Caterpillar Inc. Essay

Case Study: Caterpillar Inc. Essay

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1. Why was Caterpillar able to meet Japanese competition and succeed where other major US manufacturers failed?
Due the leadership of Glen Barton, who was with Caterpillar from 1964 to 2004? "Barton began his direction of Caterpillar at a time when there was weakened demand for its products in many markets around the world. By quickly redirecting its efforts into areas that showed more demand (such as smaller machines and truck engines), the company substantially outperformed its stiff competition. In 1999 Caterpillar was able to return a respectable profit to its stockholders, even though many industries served by Caterpillar were in the middle of or emerging from recession. Barton proceeded to lead the company to an improved relationship with the union, giving much of the credit for the company's financial success during his reign to the excellent support provided by all of its employees." (Caterpillar 2009).
This information is significant as Barton saw an issue and reinvented the company's focus to focus on different areas of the business. When one portion of the business is faltering or lagging, a good manager will look at the company's strengths and focus on those strengths as he or she restructures the faltering portion of the business. That is exactly what Barton did and the success he has had in his tenure is impressive.
2. What did Caterpillar do that the big three US automakers have not done?
The Washington Post has stated, "Caterpillar has come up with the model for how a big American manufacturing company can not only survive, but prosper, in a highly competitive global economy." (Pierlson 2006) While others failed, Caterpillar has had excellent leadership. Leadership that looked at corporate American g...

... middle of paper ...

... back to work. The problem with Unions is they were implemented to protect the worker. Today's Unions are all about greed. I applaud Caterpillar in not bowing down.

Works Cited

AG Power Magazine (2008) Caterpillar Posts Revenue Increase, retrieved from the worldwide
web on February 3, 2009 from articles.php?articleid=1946
Caterpillar (2009) retrieved from the worldwide web on February 3, 2009 from
Komatsu (2009) Komatsu Corporate Website retrieved from the worldwide web on February 3,
2009 from
Pearlstein, Steven (2006) After Caterpillar's Turnaround, A Chance to Reinvent Globalization, Wednesday, April 19, 2006, retrieved from the worldwide web on February 3, 2009 from

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