CASE STUDY ON TRILOGY SOFTWARE INC AND THE BONNEAU COMPANY
CASE STUDIES ASSIGNMENT
TRILOGY SOFTWARE INC
THE BONNEAU COMPANY
Group # 6
MA’AM UZMA RASOOL
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CASE 1: TRILOGY SOFTWARE, INC
BACKGROUND OF THE CASE………………………….………...2
CRITICAL PART OF THE CASE…………………………..…….….2-3
ANALYSIS OF THE CASE…………………………………………...3-4
CASE 2: THE BONNEAU COMPANY
CRITICAL PART OF THE CASE………………………………………..6
ANALYSIS OF THE CASE………………………………………………6-7
CASE STUDY 1
TRILOGY SOFTWARE, INC.
Trilogy Software, Inc. provides analytical tools for
the automotive industry. It also offers solutions for
brokerages and insurers, such as distribution
channel management solutions to manage
producers from on boarding through compensation.
The company also provides Smart Spend for
quantifying future producer performance to provide
a normalized view of future winners and losers. In addition, it offers technology, telecom,
and media solutions. Trilogy Software, Inc. was formerly known as Trilogy Development
Group and changed its name to Trilogy Software, Inc. in August 1998. The company was
founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas with additional offices in Bangalore,
India; and Hangzhou, China.
Mr. Joseph A. Liemandt, Joe, worked as the Chief Executive
Officer of Trilogy Enterprises, Inc. He founded Trilogy Software
Inc. in 1989 and has been its Chairman since 1989 and served
as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Liemandt
holds other management and board positions in various
privately held Trilogy Software, Inc. controlled entities. He has
guided Trilogy Software, Inc.'s growth since its inceptiondefining products and target markets, and building long-term
relationships with customers. Mr. Liemandt is the Chief
Executive Officer and Founder at Trilogy VC. From July 1994 to
June 1996, he was the President of pcOrder. Mr. Liemandt is a Director of Artemis
International Solutions Corp. since June 16, 2004 and InfoVista SA since December 16, 2010.
He is an Executive Director of Trilogy Software, Inc. since 1989. He is a Director of VMLogix,
Inc. Mr. Liemandt was a Director of pcOrder.com, Inc. since 1994. He has also innovated in
the area of organization development and culture, recruiting and training a world-class
team through unorthodox approaches highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and
Business week. His industry-leading approach to customer success has been featured in
Newsweek, Fortune Magazine, Harvard Business Review, and on CNN. Mr. Liemandt
attended Stanford University, where he majored in Economics.
BACKGROUND OF THE CASE
As a student at Stanford University, Joe Liemandt did part-time consulting jobs for various
Palo Alto computer companies. On these consulting jobs he noticed that computer
companies were very inefficient in selling and delivering their products. "He was surprised at
how primitive the process was. Much of it was handwritten, using cumbersome inventory
manuals and often requiring lengthy consultation between the company's salespeople and
its engineers." Intrigued by this order-processing (or sales configuration) problem, Liemandt
began to work on a software idea that would become the foundation of his software
Liemandt saw opportunity stamped all over the sales configuration problem. His research on
the problem revealed that other companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard were working on
it as well. With this kind of competition he worried that his window of opportunity was
closing. So a few months before graduation in 1990, 21 year-old Joe Liemandt dropped out
of Stanford to start Trilogy Software. He convinced four classmates to join him, three of
whom juggled classes and work until they graduated.
Soon other big customers purchased Trilogy's software. Called Selling Chain, the software
enabled companies to "use computers to configure orders for a range of products from
airplanes to shoes to telephone switches, and to perform other complex tasks." Boeing, for
instance, used Selling Chain to cut the cost of processing aircraft orders. A Boeing 747
contains more than six million parts and customers can select from hundred of options.
Without Trilogy's software the sales configuration process required a salesperson to make
numerous customer visits. The salesperson also had to spend considerable time working
with Boeing engineers "to make sure all the chosen pieces fit together, renegotiating the
price at every step." However, use of the Selling Chain software enabled the salesperson to
make a single visit to a customer, and using a laptop computer, to configure the 747
complete with a price quote. This was possible because Selling Chain knew "which parts go
together and! How much they cost."
Trilogy's business grew rapidly. For more than 10 years now, the company has provided
sales configuration technology and tools to the largest companies in the computer
equipment manufacturing industry, including enterprise server and storage manufacturers
such as Hewlett-Packard, NCR, Motorola and SGI. Trilogy also provides guided selling
applications to the computer industry. These applications help "manufacturers market and
sell products and services online and across all sales channels, with solution discovery and
customization, customer-specific pricing, order management and more."
CRITICAL PART OF THE CASE
Liemandt says, "Starting Trilogy was the easy part. Keeping it going in the early years
wasn't." Venture capitalists were not interested in investing in Trilogy. To keep the firm
financially afloat, Liemandt took consulting jobs and leveraged one credit card against
another, having 22 credit cards outstanding at one point. After moving the company to
Austin, Texas in 1991, Hewlett-Packard signed a $3.5 million contract with Trilogy for sales
configuration software and support services. Hewlett-Packard in effect abandoned its own
effort to develop sales configuration software.
What is the secret to Trilogy's astounding growth and success?
ANALYSIS OF THE CASE
A detail analysis of this case is discussed below:
Q1. joe liemandt appears to be hiring only people similar to himself for his company. So
far, this has worked well, but do you perceive any potential problems in continuing this
I don’t perceive that trilogy company facing any potential problems in continuing this policy
because the company policy highly depend on a secret and The secret of their success is
that to the type of people the company hires and how they are treated most of the trilogy
‘new employees come from computer science departments at top flight schools such as
MIT, Harvard, Carnegie-mellon, rice, stanford and berkely.
The computer software industry is rapidly advancing, Things change very quickly, especially
in computer science, Trilogy is a software company that’s why it hire employees who are
highly knowledgeable about computer software and they are specialize in a particular field
, they can give their best and use their all the ability to complete their task. And they have
the latest skills related to the new technology; they can improve company logical reasoning.
Now the trilogy has become one of the largest privately owned enterprise software
companies, to continuing the policy of hiring employees related to computer science.
Q2. Do you think that the policy of “giving people more responsibility than they think they
can possible handle” is a good one? Could it possibly generate problem for the company?
Trilogy attracts top talent by giving employees a lot of responsibility right away. One of the
22 year-old employee, describe the attraction of working for Trilogy, says the company gives
people more responsibility than they think they can possibly handle and then lets them go
do the job. According to Liemandt, "What matters is the ability to learn, adapt and figure
out what the answer is. You've got to be willing to get in over your head and struggle to
make things happen.
I don’t think it would create problem for Trilogy Company because employees are satisfied
to have greater responsibility. Liemandt puts Trilogy's college recruits through a rigorous
three-month long corporate boot camp known as Trilogy University. During the first month
training sessions last from 8:00 a.m. until midnight. In the second week new hires are
divided into teams and given three weeks to complete difficult projects. The objective of
Trilogy University is "to develop creative people who work well in teams, adapt to swift
changes in customer demands-and take chances." Liemandt maintains that nothing "brings
a group of people together like risk."
I think it is a good policy of giving people more responsibility because the company wants to
have best employees so it is safe to assume that job satisfaction at Trilogy is high due to the
high level of challenge each employee is encouraged to take.
Only the truly dedicated would wish to remain in such an environment (otherwise they
wouldn’t survive). Since Trilogy puts massive effort to attract “the best of the best” in the
first place, boot camp and other training programs would reaffirm the company’s
satisfaction only for the highest performers
Employees wouldn’t want to remain in a setting where innovation isn’t valued as much as
the bottom line. Obviously, when the company’s employees are motivated to increase and
improve performance, the company’s offerings will most likely be better
"By hiring great people and giving them mission-critical responsibilities from the first day on
the job," Trilogy is better able to respond to competitive challenges and achieve its goals.
Q3. If everyone in the company is expected to demonstrate leadership, can this lead to
confusion over specific roles-who is supposed to do what?
If everyone in the company is expected to demonstrate leadership it can create confusion
over specific roles because everyone does not have leadership skills and capabilities to hold
such responsibility there would be lack of coordination between employees moreover there
would be difficulty in making decisions every leader would want that his decisions should be
implemented. Moreover if everyone become leader employees those are working face
difficulty as to whose decision they would accept.
It is impossible that everyone get the same skills and capabilities that a leader must possess.
If everyone has leadership then there would be no motivation for growth because of having
same position and everyone would able to take decision in their own way which would
become problematic because employees obviously will demonstrate leadership in the light
of their own skills and workplace performance, employees with having lack of leadership
skills would become lenient and employees with having professional skills of leadership
would become the most hardworking ones so there would be a conflict over specific roles or
to define those roles. Well if it happens then higher authorities should have to define the
roles, responsibilities and job description of every sub-ordinate. There should have an
access for sub-ordinates to share their issues with higher authorities.
Trilogy company provided sales configuration technology and tools to the largest companies
in the computer equipment manufacturing industry, including enterprise server and storage
manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, NCR,etc. Trilogy also provided guided selling
applications to the computer industry which helped manufacturers market and sell products
and services online and across all sales channel. Trilogy company didn’t faced any potential
problems in continuing the policy of hiring people similar to joe liemandt because the
company policy highly depend on a secret and The secret of their success is that to the type
of people the company hires and how they are treated. Moreover it was a good policy of
giving people more responsibility because the company wants to have best employees so it
is safe to assume that job satisfaction at Trilogy is high due to the high level of challenge
each employee is encouraged to take. If everyone in the company is expected to
demonstrate leadership it can create confusion over specific roles because everyone does
not have leadership skills and capabilities to hold such responsibility there would be lack of
coordination between employees.
1. It is a good policy that joe liemandt appears to be hiring only people similar to
himself for his company, because as they having success they don’t need to change
this policy, so we think company should continuing this policy.
2. His policy of “giving people more responsibility than they think they can possible
handle” is a good one because firstly, the employees are highly satisfied with this
policy and encourage this. Secondly the company used to select the employee that
brings good result while giving them more responsibility so company should
continue this policy.
3. We think the problem is may be in the leadership policy if everyone has leadership
then there would be no motivation for growth because of having same position and
everyone would able to take decision in their own way which would become
problematic so company should change this policy.
"By hiring great people and giving them mission-critical responsibilities from
the first day on the job," Trilogy is better able to respond to competitive
challenges and achieve its goals.
THE BONNEAU COMPANY
Bonneau Company, formerly Bonneau Dye Corporation, has a long tradition of
manufacturing top quality dyestuffs to a wide variety of industries including the industrial
laundry, linen, chemical, hotel/resort, and leak detection industries. They have a broad line
of products and colors to match customer’s specific needs. Plus, they have the capability to
ship customers order at lightning fast speed, typically within 24 hours of receipt.
CRITICAL PART OF THE CASE:
The critical part of the case is that Bonneau Company hit a dip with a major account, so it
decreased his profits a bit. He then came back with a much lower offering price. His
company also experienced a downturn for whatever reason.
ANALYSIS OF THE CASE:
Q1. Consider the steps entrepreneurs can take their company attractive to outside
purchasers. Which of these did Ed Bonneau take? In view of these steps, do you think he
sold at the right time?
There are some of these steps by which entrepreneurs make their company attractive to
Name that business.
Check out the competition.
Protect your idea
Understand your future customer.
Get Help and Training
Reduce Your Expenses
He took negotiation step because he was fed up after that problem & that’s why he did not
involve any agent and directly link with buyers. Yes, he sold at the right time. He achieved
his goals. He was satisfied that the time was right for him. He needed to get out and do
something else. Their business had become very difficult and was not nearly as much fun as
when they started. The subsequent events confirmed that the time was right.
Q2- What method was used to value the company? Who did the valuing? Do you think the
way this crucial part of the process was handled adversely affected the results achieved by
In this case study they are discussing three methods IPO, harvesting & negotiation. Bonneau
used a negotiation method. Benson Eyecare contacted Ed Bonneau about a possible sale. He
said he was interested if they were willing to look at the company & consider the bad year
an aberration (to look at the firm’s value without the loss) method used by the Bonneau to
value the company.
Benson Eyecare did the valuing. They were the one doing the valuation. Ed Bonneau was
just looking at the offer & negotiating with them in terms of what he thought the value of
the company should be. He didn’t actually use a method to value the business. He handled
the negotiation through somebody else, & he did not talk to them. He worked through the
numbers & only when they came back with their first offer he start thinking in terms of what
it should be. I start negotiation after the first offer. He thought the first offer was good but
they increased it a couple million dollars. He was pleased with the value received. However,
the value was bittersweet to him. He thought he was fortunate to get that amount of
money for the firm. He knew that there was a previous point in time when the company was
worth considerably more, but he was past that point thus, the bittersweet. In looking what
had happened to the company, he thought he was fortunate to get what he did.
Q3. Why do you think Bonneau did not consider other options aside from an outright sale
of the company? What option would you have considered if you were in his place?
Bonneau was considered other option for existing besides selling, because he did not know
whom he was selling to and that is always full of surprise also that was certainly an
emotional toll that took place during this process. Managing the business while at the same
time trying to sell the company created a lot of stress and not an easy task for Bonneau. The
secondly he had other option, he had some investment bankers come and look at their
company to talk about going public, for one thing he want some money out of the company,
He have got stuck in here. Going for public is good but on other hand the disadvantage of
going public is been competitor they are So, I will suggest that it was good for going public
and getting some profit from public by harvesting process.
Ed Bonneau was an experienced person & the owner of the firm for 30 years. He took a very
good step for saving his money. He achieved his goals .he was satisfied that the time was
right for me. He needed to get out & do something else. Entrepreneurs are risk taker. They
face all challenges of life.
An entrepreneur is a person who relentlessly pursues an Opportunity, in either a new
or an existing enterprise, to create value, while assuming both the risk and the reward
for his or her efforts.
An entrepreneur thinks differently about how to use resources than do employeemanagers.
Entrepreneurs do not give up easily. In fact, on most days they are confident of their
ability to meet the challenges confronting them.
1. Bonneau have entrepreneurial company, when company feels it would be hunker
down and operate a bad situation then company should nee to harvesting their
2. If company have bit investment then he will suggested company should go for
public. It will be good direction when company is in loss it create good opportunity
to overcome the loss and generate money, get profit for the entrepreneur’s
3. After going for public other option is to sell the company. If buyer will negotiate with
Bonneau. Determine the value and likelihood of your company receiving it will
decrease the distraction.
4. When he sold their company it decreased his profit a bit, because he has not at the
age to run another business and had no experience of other side.
5. Finally Bonneau recommended that it should not sell their existing business, it
required a transactional or reform change, because bonneau have entrepreneurial
and experience of the company for some 30 years after that some change get the
bittersweet and profitable turn.