1. Based on Herman Miller's external opportunities and threats, what

1. Based on Herman Miller's external opportunities and threats, what strategic actions might they take? Review Herman Miller in relation to the competitive forces model and determine what strategic actions might be viable.

2. What impact does the industry life-cycle have upon the future of Herman Miller?

3. Examine Herman Miller for its strengths and weaknesses including its core competencies, resources, and capabilities. What implications do they have for Herman Miller and its strategic direction?

4. If Herman Miller should take on a new strategy, how would they approach changing their business model?

5. What global and industry characteristics must Herman Miller consider when aligning a new business model?

6. What role does outsourcing play presently and in the future for Herman Miller's continued success?

This case emphasizes Herman Miller's ability to transition and renew itself, at necessary times, for continued success. The main focus of the case in on the strategic actions Herman Miller has taken to become known for its innovation in products and processes. From 1905 to the present, Herman Miller's commitment to all workers as individuals of special talent and potential and its design philosophy that furniture should reflect a way of life have been fundamental to its direction. Organizational values of curiosity and exploration, engagement, performance, inclusiveness, design, foundation, a better world, and transparency help to guide Herman Miller's actions regarding employee benefits, furniture, teams, leadership, new market segments, and production. Herman Miller's resiliency can be attributed to specific functional practices taken in Managerial Leadership, Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing, and Production/Operations. Employee involvement, shared leadership through "talking up and down the ladder, environmental quality teams, product offerings, unique advertising, the Herman Miller Production System, and demand driven cost control all contribute to the company's ability to reach record profits and sales, overcome the burst of the dot.com bubble, handle massive downsizing, readjust financial performance, and rebound from recessions. While, to date, Herman Miller's 100-year strategy is representative of sustainability, environmental trends call to question whether a new business model will be appropriate for current and future success in the industry?


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