Valley Systems (A)
In Part A, Valley Systems, a computer hardware company which manufactures high performance internetworking systems, was six months post-IPO and struggling to make their quarterly earnings. Matt Tucker, the company’s CEO, was very concerned about the negative impacts of missing their numbers (especially so closely following their IPO) and evaluated the option of swapping some larger deliveries in the next quarter with smaller deliveries in the current quarter to achieve their target revenues. The students are asked to determine what they would do in Tucker’s situation and discuss the implications of their decision on the business, investors and employees. Part B reveals that Tucker and his team did decide to adjust their delivery schedule to meet their numbers. Now, two quarters later, the company is in the same predicament—they were almost certain to miss their numbers resulting in low employee morale and high investor anxiety. Once again, Tucker is faced with the question of how to best manage the situation. He considers the option of optimizing the product delivery schedule based on product mix and profit margin. Students are asked to decide whether this “schedule optimization” strategy is good business or revenue manipulation as well as to consider the implications on sales reps and the overall health of the business. Also see E385B Valley Systems (B).