Background Sony Corporation is one of the best-known names in consumer electronics andranks second worldwide in electronics behind Matsushita Electric Corporation. Since itwas established shortly after World War II, Sony has introduced a stream of revolutionary products, including the transistor radio, the Trinitron television, theBetamax VCR, the CD player, the Walkman portable cassette player, and thePlayStation game console. The company’s electronics segment–which includes audioand video products, televisions, personal computers, monitors, computer peripherals,telecommunications devices, and electronic components (such as semiconductors).
When Dr. Toshi T. Doi took charge of the project to develop a new computer in 1984, herecruited 11 top-flight engineers to form the team. Doi established three basicguidelines for the development: • (1) the computer should be 32 bit; • (2) it should be multipurpose; and • (3) the project should be completed as soon as possible. The engineers, however, decided that they wanted to design a machine (an engineeringworkstation) that would help them in their own engineering work rather than amultipurpose machine. Doi approved their plan, but he required that it be finished in sixmonths.
SAPADAPA ANALYSIS:I. Situational Analysis Dr. Toshi T. Doi was the general manager of Sony’s workstation division(WD) and was not keen on changing Sony’s product development process,which was efficient and successful. The WD’s workstation “NEWS” launchedin October 1986 at the Tokyo Data Show had generated over 1000 inquiries;they recovered investments in few months and saw a double in salesannually. Its new product development (NPD) process for the 1550 series workstationhad three stages: basic architecture specification • product design • first lot production
One side effect of Sony’s preoccupation with the video business was that itscomputer business. Although Sony had some success in the computer gamemarket, its first entrants in the computer market were 8-bit machines. TheSMC-70 and SMC-777 are 8-bit machines were introduced in 1982 and 1984,respectively, which failed quickly in competition with 16-bit MS-DOS systems(e. g. , the IBM PC). Sony considered developing a 16-bit microcomputer but itsoon abandoned the idea. II. Problem Analysis The development required too much effort from hardware design engineers.
Engineers in small teams were required to handle all issues from logic design tomanufacturability, requiring a breadth of knowledge, which many did not have. These engineers had to put-in 60 to 70 hours a week and much more during acrisis, rendering them overworked. With all these extra efforts put in, the designswere still not optimized to be manufactured Man/Engineers ? Too much was required from thehardware design engineers. Small teams were more efficient but they requiredthat each engineer be able to handle the completerange of design tasks, from high-level architecturedown to minor details.
Thus the engineer’s skills andknowledge had to be both broad and deep. Method ? With the current procedure, the designswere not optimized for manufacturability. Because hardware design engineers were unfamiliarwith all of the manufacturing concerns, they oftenmissed simple redesigns that could makemanufacturing far more efficient. Inthe current process, it is very difficult to separatetechnology into neat steps and for this reason ittakes time to transfer technology. The workstationmarket is so competitive that there is no time to dothis transfer. SpecializationDesign engineering does ot have enough expertiseto support manufacturing properly, especially as theproduct line and the number of development projectscontinue to growWorking TimeHardware engineers typically work 60-70 hours aweek And even more during a crises. SWOT ANALYSIS A. Strengths • Recovered Investments and doubled the annual sales since the launch of “NEWS” • Project Manager often a Senior Engineer B. Weaknesses • Small project teams • Very limited design engineers • Lack of traditional management tasks • Marketing power is insufficientC. Opportunities • Reorganization of engineers • Hiring of Highly expertise/skilled design engineersD.
Threats • Marketing power of competitors during this time IV. Potential Problem Analysis • Additional cost in hiring highly expertise or skilled design engineers. • Possible loss of market if other competitors will win the competition duringthat time when the marketing power is still insufficient. • Small project teams that may require them to add manpower and its costs. • Engineers will continue to work too much time that could result to burn-out. • Possible decrease in the annual sales of the Sony Company. • Loss of precisions in the product lines if the needed expertise will not
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