Feed R&D - or Farm It Out? - Case Analysis

Feed R&D- or Farm It Away?--Case Analysis

Review the Strategic Issues provided in the Case

Many Proper issues are offered in the event "Feed R&D-or Farm it Out" which are interwoven.

This case talks about the RLK press and the managerial problems it is facing. The major debate in cases like this is the outsourcing decision and its impact on different departments like R&D, HR, marketing and overall procedure for the decision making.

  • The exterior environment of the company it changed and it is affecting its internal buildings and the operations. The competition having its competitors has greatly increased.
  • A major part of the management considers that outsourcing is the perfect need of that time period and it'll be great for controlling time and the cost. All of those other managerial portion suggests that the manpower should be increased and strengthened in the study and management section.
  • It has been mentioned that there surely is a decrease in the margins of gains and sales and competition is greatly increasing. This problem is also associated with an important strategic concern.
  • The market value of brand is good. All of the stakeholders and shareholders contacts the RLK with superior quality and high profiled design. But simply a high brand collateral is not enough to inspire the clients to make purchases.
  • The reduction in sales is one of the major issues for the Chairman of the business, as well as for the CEO development is the sole strategic tool.
  • Different companies are making a style to outsource different services for most operations of the company. Outsourcing offers an opening to reduce the cost by cutting functional costs and set costs. Most of the competitors want to outsource their R & D services from different companies in Asia. Since it will be more costly if super star engineers are hired from America. Though Lars doesn't choose the idea of outsourcing, however the conditions and present scenarios, like limited time and fund and drive from the Chairman of the organization, has compelled him to think about outsourcing. (Outsource Or In Source R&D, 2011)
  • Lars has put himself into a very hard situation. The survival of RLK is determined by the success of their sole product plus they do not have adequate skills to develop that, it appears.
  • The two main conditions that have to be taken proper care of are, Organization's patterns and its own Marketing. In the current situation, the company is in a critical situation and any wrong decision can result in a disaster.
  • Inside the company, there are obvious variances between employees in top managerial positions. These dissimilarities are benefits of insufficient similar goals and communication gaps.
  • There are questions about customer action, organizational culture, and social dissimilarities of both organizations that are of concern. Also, there is a difference in culture of countries.
  • And pushing the employees to work with similar goals or interest is an issue.
  • There is another major concern to carry the ability and skills in the business.

The Chief Executive Officer of RLK advertising, is fronting one such crossways. The profits which are received from the current products aren't being sustained to R&D by RLK press. The company will not have broad opportunity, and it must slender its opportunity if the CEO is not able to develop a business strategy that helps inner improvement, production, advancement and the sales

The inner environment of the organization is being firmly affected by the exterior situations which have extremely improved from the past. Absent contact with the customers who are buying their products. And there is merely one significant product which appears to be in the pipelines.

There can be an increase in competition. The firms like Japanese giants are contending with the company. And the rivals are offering quite sensible and good charges for similar products. (Nohria N. , 2005)

There are numerous further strategic problems that happen to be presented in the event such as:

  1. There should become more purchases in the R&D section in RLK
  1. If the CEO is deciding to capitalize approx. $6 million additional in the R&D division, it will be very much risky because the survival of the company is mainly dependent on the successful launch of its new product.
  2. Most of the customers feel that RLK is having relationship with top quality video recording design, so forcing money into Research and Development will improve the brand equity as well as the expectations of the customers of highly impressive products will be attained.
  3. Yet, the opponents of RLK are laying off and outsourcing Research and Development and exploiting on the cost benefits. If the business thinks of spending more money in Research and Development and kick off the new product they can be in a danger of slipping bankrupt.
  • To focus on a new product, cooperation with Inova
  • The software skills needed from Inova for the development of the iVid can be produced by the company for 1/5th of the price they need if indeed they do it in the us. There will be a huge cost conserving and it would be quite beneficial for RLK.
  • Ray can be considered a possible hurdle in outsourcing who have always repelled outside the house contribution in Research and Development. He may not be happy with ideas, via an exterior source, which can be competing with his ideas and hence decline to utilize Inova.
  • Organizational culture of both companies is quite different. It will not be easy to cooperate because of huge ethnic difference. Furthermore, the difference with time zones and huge distance may also be a difficulty.
  • Investment in the marketing section for creating a brand image and brand equity and to meet the needs of the consumers.
  • It is suggested by Keith that there must be more investment in the marketing to know more about the clients and to learn about customers' needs and wants. Though, it's not the key problem and the problems would not be just fixed by marketing.
  • The issue is whether the brand value of RLK should be exploited, since it is known because of its creativity and improvements. However, it will also be taken under consideration that outsourcing is not the sole solution. They need to look to get more detailed possibilities. (Nohria N. , 2005)

The CEO of the RLK Company, Lars Inman believes that advancement is a way to recovery for the company. The Chairman considers that gratifying consumer's needs can be the possible solution. Within their framework, both are right. In place of requesting a question like, "To obtain a competitive advantage do we have to outsource to get iVid?" Lars is within a need to think that, "What exactly are the actual needs in our customers, what do they desire, and what are our competitive strengths.

Eventually, the strategy of Lars must be able to attach what's the necessity of that time period with what's possible in enough time. Definitely, the brand equity should be exploited by the company as a trend setter and innovator. And the functions, is possessed, to innovate should be utilized. But the thing is Lars should give up, completely, the idea that what's possible in the time can be supplied by the scientist Ray, whether they outsource or not.

The world should be asked in by starting the advancement process of the company. The ideas should be implored aggressively exactly where there exists any need. Within an inventor's laboratory, the near future offerings of RLK may are present in a condition of prototypes, they could be having a gathering with a VC in Silicon Valley, or they may be with a rival.

For a company like RLK, going out in this design may appear such as a tall order, but it must be observed how it functioned for P&G.

Most of the Western executives face many dangers when they estimate offshore outsourcing options and Lars problems, dipping into such snare. Mostly, they do not think broadly of outsourcing as a method to do cost benefits and other such operating results. In its place, they must compute this choice from a strategic point of view: Lars must examine this thing that whether outsourcing R&D will help the company to increase the building of its unique competencies. (Nohria N. , 2005)

And it should be determined by him whether mutually both the parties will succeed in mounting deeper ability, if the connection coatings once this project is completed, they would have experienced they preferred other associates or never worked together. An incentive is established by the aptitude of great joint profit to keep a relationship. Which decision on common advantage also reduces leave costs.

So it's the time Lars should decide where you will see a competitive edge for RLK in the future and he should make an outsourcing romance with all these things in mind.

For attaining the competitive advantage in product creativity, focusing on the merchandise design and seeking high-class talents in a software anatomist form outside the house, can be one option.

Developing a distinctive potential in software design can be another option in which Lars finally would like to introduce the talent of software executive. In both of these options there a wide range of good reasons for outsourcing to a software firm. Like the company such as Inova for the job of iVid.

An outsourced relationship can help RLK in many ways. It will give RLK a knowledge about different software abilities needed. RLK will also involve in collective learning by outsourcing. It isn't a simple process, but it offers a large potential and production.

A careful and proper management is needed to change a destructive friction into a force that eventually gives rise to innovation. Several features are shared when different well-managed clubs working with advanced of creative friction. Traits like a common and clear goal, competitive performance. Activities are taken up to resolve the disagreements.

When teams work together, there's a common basis for problem dealing with and communication. There is relevant, proper, enough and equivalent expertise. And mutual esteem among members occurs.

In the collaboration between Inova and RLK, many components for the creative friction seem to be to maintain place. The clubs will be helped by the iVid prototype in design negotiations and engineering. With all the deadline for releasing the product there's a distinct goal and also the implied action points are clear. Both teams have the necessary skills and an equal level of skill-though the CEO of RLK will be attempting to do more because of attentiveness related to the functions of Inova, as he'll require to be very convincing in advertising them to his own Research and Development team. If the mutual esteem required by the fruitful friction can be accumulated by these dissimilar teams, is uncertain. The Inova team phone calls this relationship as a give and take connection, and this thing is encouraging. If the same methodology is followed by RLK, even then they will get successful friction.

Though, the two clubs are possessing skill units that are top notch, but the dynamics of skills is different. Also the national cultures, work styles and environment differs. And they're located at a wide geographic distance. The geographic distance can be reduced by latest systems, but the rest of the issues stay because they are. A common surface and trust are necessary for continuing this relationship and Lars should make sure that both the groups spend plenty of time together to develop the trust. Even the timetable seems to be aggressive, both the teams need to remain slow first. And this can help them go much faster in the arriving future.

Because of the challenges and risks of the partnership and to bring both the teams collectively, the CEO and the senior customers of his Research and Development team have to have a plan to give much time travelling to India, especially in the starting of the job. (Oshri & Kotlarsky, 2010)

  1. To be prosperous in the business, RLK needs to manage its innovative skills and brand value. Farming out, united with the sources of Inova and RLK, will be beneficial for the competitive benefit of RLK. As there are ethnic difference, this is a need of the firm to put the gigantic changes, for encouraging the farming away, in the mentality of:
  2. Corporates
  3. Leadership
  4. Execution
  5. RLK must create a attitude of its employees to be adaptable enough to simply accept external ideas. Plus they should most probably to innovation. Midsection managers have a very important role in guaranteeing this thing. (Midsection Level Management, 2009)
  6. Moreover, the professionals of RLK should make techniques to entail a collective learning.
  7. Management must connect and enhance with the outsourced knowledge.
  8. Middle professionals should be focusing on visible leadership and proper execution of purchases and instructions.
  1. The management must change the performance metrics, like rewarding people not for being innovative but also for giving a success to RLK products in the market.
  2. For the sustainability of Research and development of RLK, just outsourcing will never be helpful, however the way of thinking of the employees will also donate to it.
  3. Same is the case with long term strategies, they require the contribution of middle professionals.
  4. This isn't only a connection of proper alliance, but also RLK will face changes in operations and constructions. And for this, the employees need to be more available minded.
  5. Hence, your choice to farm out should be taken seriously in presenting the business and the professionals a new course. It must not be just considered as a cost conserving short-term strategy. (Ramanathan, 2009)
  6. To make outsourcing successful, middle management has a vital role. Within the global business collaboration like this, middle management acts as a glue that supports the firms mutually.
  7. In the companies that are making such relationship, the middle managers are incredibly important because they're the one who are in charge of coping with the suppliers and customers externally, and with the mature managers internally.
  8. The middle managers need to have a decent mixture of skills. They must be able to make virtual groups, for RLK and Inova, across the boundaries of RLK, country and culture.
  9. They require a higher level of experience to be able to perform their responsibilities well. And they must do as required.
  10. A good midsection managers are need of outsourcing to deliver proper business services and to fulfil the requirements of RLK.
  11. The middle professionals of RLK should be held informed so that they are able to talk properly to Inova. (Overby, Outsourcing Problems? Midsection Management COULD BE to Blame, 2010)

There are six positive traits that RLK's middle managers must have so as to show great results in outsourcing it is R&D. These features are:

  • Watching and Shielding: To manage the risks and agreements comprehensively.
  • Simplification and Problem Solving: To make certain that things are happening properly and also to simplify the hurdles.
  • Shaping by Planning Procedures: To keep the proper documents, to audit the trials.
  • Bond Development: To provide respect, assist in the interpersonal connection and build trust.
  • Entrepreneurship: For being impressive, to find better ways of getting things done and influencing long-term potential.
  • Looking over: To become well linked. (Overby, Outsourcing Problems? Middle Management COULD BE to Blame, 2010)

Recommendations: I recommend that Lars needs to hire even more software engineers to provide strength to the Research and Development of RLK and in the meantime, hand over a few of his market leaders in Research and Development to Gurgaon to get trained in Inova. Lars should suggest Ray a two-way Research and Development model that needs to be acceptable so that he comes to an contract to make partnership with Inova. Once this is performed, both RLK and Inova will be able to get cost advantages of RLK by working collectively. And also to launch its new product i. e. iVid.


Middle Level Management. (2009, July 03). Retrieved May 07, 2014, from www. boundless. com: https://www. boundless. com/management/introduction-to-management/management-levels-and-types/middle-level-management/

Nohria, N. (2005, July). Feed R&D or Plantation it Out. Retrieved May 07, 2014

Nohria, N. (2005, July). Feed R&D or Plantation it out? 17-28. Retrieved May 07, 2014

Oshri, I. , & Kotlarsky, J. (2010). Global Sourcing of Information Technology and Business Operations. Zermatt, Switzerland. Retrieved May 07, 2014

Outsource Or In Source R&D. (2011, 05). Retrieved May 07, 2014, from researchomatic: http://www. researchomatic. com/Outsource-Or-In-Source-RAndD-72647. html

Overby, S. (2010, January 28). Outsourcing Problems? Midsection Management May Be to Blame. Retrieved May 07, 2014, from www. computerworld. com: http://www. computerworld. com/s/article/9149931/Outsourcing_Problems_Middle_Management_May_Be_to_Blame

Overby, S. (2010, February 04). Outsourcing Problems? Midsection Management May Be at fault. Retrieved May 07, 2014, from www. cio. com. au: http://www. cio. com. au/article/334385/outsourcing_problems_middle_management_may_blame/

Ramanathan, T. R. (2009). The Role of Organisational Change Management in Offshore Outsourcing of IT Services. Universal-Publishers. Retrieved May 07, 2014, from http://books. yahoo. com. pk/catalogs?id=luZd6PF6i0IC&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=middle+professionals+in+outsourcing&source=bl&ots=HQf1FFVOJf&sig=pFNafKCPe0XsIuzEtXOsaWd9Do8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Lj9rU9CYEoK8Od6sgdgL&ved=0CHQQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=middle professionals in outsourc

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