Why was it profitable for GM and Ford to integrate backward into component-parts manufacturing in the past, and why are both companies now trying to buy more of their parts from outside suppliers?
Under what conditions might horizontal integration be inconsistent with the goal of maximizing profitability?
What value creation activities should a company outsource to independent suppliers? What are the risks involved in outsourcing these activities?
What steps would you recommend that a company take to build long-term cooperative relationships with its suppliers that are mutually beneficial?