IntroductionHerman Miller is a highly performing manufacturing company whose origin is in United States. It later expanded its operations to Europe, Australia, Japan, and other parts of the world (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson 2011, pp. 184-195). Its award-winning and outstanding nature results from the appropriate strategic plan and development (Hill & Jones 2009, pp. 1-20). Moreover, the company has a sustainable competitive advantage resulting from its organizational values and beliefs, effective human resource management, favorable marketing strategies, efficient financial management, and sustainable productions and operations. It is also clear that the firm has an ability for reinvention and renewal evident in its past performances and strategies.
Reasons for its outstanding and award winning natureOne of the reasons to become an award winning and ordinary firm was its innovativeness. This means that the company had an ability to create and invent new designs and ideas regarding its business. These inventions and new creations mostly originate from the external designers who present their ideas to the company for consideration. For instance, in 1930s, a New York based designer called Gilbert Rhode, approached De Pree, and requested a chance to create a bedroom design worth $1,000, an idea to which De Pree negatively reacted.
Later, when the designer proposed another mode of payment, 3% royalty, the president agreed. The designs by Rhode boosted the company’s performance, as by 1942, it manufactured its first office chairs, which was the Executive Office Group. In fact, Rhode was instrumental in the company’s change of business line by advising the firm to move from traditional bedroom suites to office furniture that was suitable to clients’ way of life.
This implies that Herman Miller’s success and uniqueness resulted in the ability to offer products that meet customer needs (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson 2011, pp. 184-195). Additionally, Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson (2011, pp. 184-195) show that Herman Miller’ uniqueness resulted from the employment of competent design leaders that would direct all furniture designs in the company. This move by the firm’s president was crucial in that it led to the production of well-designed products that attracted and retained many customers in the company. For example, upon Rhode’s death, De Pree hired new design director, Charles Eames whose designs featured in the New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Notably, the Eames’ designs are still in the museum’s long-lasting compilation. Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson (2011, pp. 184-195) say that the president’s ability to listen to advise and follow guidance by experts also resulted in the business’s high performance. In 1950s, the firm, with the help of Dr. Carl Frost, implemented a Scanlon Plan. This move was influential in promoting justice and equity among company workers. This was critical in that it indicated that the company cared for employees’ welfare, in terms of justice and equity.
Besides, the execution of the plan was beneficial in that advocated for use of a particular structure during the distribution of increased profitability, as well as using committees in the sharing of ideas necessary for performance improvements. Moreover, the association between the firm and Frost, which lasted for almost four decades, helped a lot in the effectiveness of its operations.