Microsoft Undergoes Digital Transformation in Vehicle Fleet Management Process

by: Prakash Sathe

Publication Date: January 31, 2022
Length: 16 pages
Product ID#: 9-974-796

Core Disciplines: Economics, Information - Technology & Management, Operations Management/Supply Chain

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Teaching Note

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This case describes the Microsoft Corporation Puget Sound region vehicle fleet management process and explores strategies for improving overall effectiveness. The case employs a systems integration approach to standardizing operations between sub-systems and leverages economies of scale to optimize processes and improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Microsoft contracted with an  intern team from the University of Michigan’s Tauber Institute for Global Operations to assist in improving its fleet management process. The team focused on optimizing the region’s asset management system, reducing shuttle passenger travel costs, creating synergies across the fleet management operation’s four functional areas, and standardizing data collection.

This case is appropriate for undergraduate/graduate level business courses in operations management dealing with economic/financial modeling or buy/lease decisions, cloud-based computing technology, or optimum resource allocation.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Use a holistic approach to analyze complex operational issues.
  • Identify issues affecting an organization’s different functional areas.
  • Recognize unreliable logistics in operational areas.
  • Identify independent operational polices and a lack of resource pooling across an organization.
  • Recognize non-standardized data collection policies across organizational areas.
  • Implement discrete event simulation software.
  • Use a linear programming model.
  • Determine the cost savings associated with operational improvements and use the data to convince management to make changes.