Case | HBS Case Collection | December 1991 (Revised February 1992)

Dayton Electric Corp.

by Steven C. Wheelwright


Concerns a product redesign decision for one of the company's most successful motor products, its rectified power, medium D-C motor, the RPM. A one-year redesign program has proposed a design that comes close to meeting its stated cost and performance goals, but at the expense of abandoning the unique square configuration that gave the RPM motor a technical lead over its competitors. The head of R&D wants to reject the proposal and go back to the drawing board for a three-month crash program. The case discusses Dayton's approach to strategic planning as a company and the motor division's attempts to carry out technical planning in this context. It also covers the technical outlook for AC and DC motors.

Keywords: Product Design; Strategic Planning; Research and Development; Business Divisions; Decisions; Forecasting and Prediction; Product Development; Technological Innovation; Machinery and Machining; Manufacturing Industry; Ohio;


Wheelwright, Steven C. "Dayton Electric Corp." Harvard Business School Case 692-071, December 1991. (Revised February 1992.)