Herman Miller Case Analysis

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Summary of Current Strategy Herman Miller Inc. is an innovator in office furniture, equipment and home furnishings. The company is operating in a mid to high-end furniture manufacturing, primarily concentrated in the business and institutional market. Based on the information provided, Herman Miller appears to be currently executing a broad differentiation strategy; based on HMI’s careful analysis of its buyers needs and behaviors, the company has come to understand what its consumers value and thus, what products and features are needed to set itself apart from its competitors. Through the years, HMI has earned a reputation as a manufacturer of high quality, innovative products that continue to be award-winning and relevant. Therefore, because of its brand and inventive products-line, HMI can command a premium price for its products, increase its unit sales, and ultimately, gain buyer loyalty to its brand as buyers become strongly attracted to HMI’s differentiating features. Through this strategy, HMI emphasizes its uniqueness drivers—which are effective in creating HMI’s differentiation from its competitors—which include the company’s commitment to innovation, product research and development, strong customer service provided through a dealer network, and high customization of products. These aspects of HMI made the company’s name and brand well known to large customers such as corporations, architect firms, and governments, yet falls short in terms of the broader end-user consumer base. Financial Analysis HMI’s market position and strategy as a provider of high-end institutional furniture, in conjunction with the company’s restructuring and acquisition initiatives, has enabled it to generate strong financial performan... ... middle of paper ... ...omic recessions. HMI has already seen significant success through its forward vertical integration and operational intelligence, such as integrating its core competence of design and lean manufacturing. Therefore, backward vertical integration may also be necessary to ensure future success. Currently, HMI has little to no control over its raw materials and the company relies heavily on suppliers to ensure inventory is fully stocked. In controlling more of HMI’s inputs, the company would have greater control over maintaining its exceptional brand name, image, corporate culture, and social responsibility. This strategy of backward integration would also benefit HMI by lowering the cost of inputs, especially as the prices of such raw materials are in constant fluctuation. It could give HMI more power over its suppliers and could open up new avenues of business.
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