Caterpillar Case Study Answers

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One is the continual increase in customer expectations. At the markets today, the customer is now more demanding and more sophisticated than he or she has been in previous years. The other factor is the slow but inevitable transition towards commodity type of markets. Increasingly, the power of the brand is reducing as technologies of competing products converge, making product differentiation difficult to be noticed by the average buyer. Product availability is now overriding product price and image in today’s market. The customer wants to know whether he or she can have the product now or not, otherwise he or she will go ahead to buy another product of the same kind but produced by a competitor.
The evidence sourced from across a wide range of markets suggest that the critical determinant of whether orders are won or lost and hence the basis for becoming a preferred supplier is customer service. Time has become a very important component in the competitive process. Customers in most markets want
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Caterpillar has focused and developed its customer support systems and responsiveness in addition to its manufacturing capabilities and innovations. Underpinning these initiatives has been a continuous emphasis on creating a superior and effective logistics and supply chain management capabilities. Caterpillar’s customer support is world-class. It guarantees 48-hour availability of spare parts even for customers at remote locations. In industries where Caterpillar’s equipment is used, the cost of down-time is significant, hence the importance of a responsive service. Through close partnerships with its worldwide network of dealers and distributors and through advanced inventory and information management systems, Caterpillar offers its clients the level of customer support and thus, customer value that few companies in any industry can
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