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Columbia DBA 8475 Unit I Case Study




Question;Timbuk2 is more than a bag. It's more than a brand. Timbuk2;is a bond. To its owner, a Timbuk2 bag is a dependable, everyday companion. We;see fierce, emotional attachments form between Timbuk2 customers and their bags;all the time. A well-worn Timbuk2 bag has a certain patina-- the stains and;scars of everyday urban adventures. Many Timbuk2 bags are worn daily for a;decade, or more, accompanying the owner through all sorts of defining life;events. True to our legend of "indestructibility", it's not uncommon;for a Timbuk2 bag to outlive jobs, personal relationships, even pets. This is;the Tao of Timbuk2.;What makes Timbuk2 so unique? Visit their Website at; and see for yourself. Each bag is custom designed by the;customer on their Website. After the customer selects the basic bag;configuration and size, colors for each of the various panels are presented;various lines, logos, pockets, and straps are selected so that the bag is;tailored to the exact specifications of the customer. A quick click of the;mouse and the bag is delivered directly to the customer in only two days. How;do they do this?;This San Francisco-based company is known for producing high;quality custom and classic messenger bags direct to customer order. They have a;team of approximately 25 hardworking cutters and sewers in their San Francisco;plant. Over the years, they have fine-tuned their production line to make it as;efficient as possible while producing the highest-quality messenger bags;available.;The local manufacturing is focused on the custom messenger;bag. For these bags, orders are taken over the Internet. The customers are;given many configuration, size, color, pocket, and strap options. The bag is;tailored to the exact specifications of the customer on the Timbuk2 assembly;line in San Francisco and sent via overnight delivery directly to the customer.;Recently, Timbuk2 has begun making some of its new products;in China, which is a concern to some of its longstanding customers. The company;argues that it has designed its new products to provide the best possible;features, quality, and value at reasonable prices and stresses that these new;products are designed in San Francisco. Timbuk2 argues that the new bags are;much more complex to build and require substantially more labor and a variety;of very expensive machines to produce. They argue that the San Francisco;factory labor cost alone would make the retail price absurdly high. After;researching a dozen factories in China, Timbuk2 found one that it thinks is up;to the task of producing these new bags. Much as in San Francisco, the China;factory employs a team of hardworking craftspeople who earn good wages and an;honest living. Timbuk2 visits the China factory every four to eight weeks to;ensure superior quality standards and working conditions.;On the Timbuk2 Website, the company argues they are the same;hardworking group of bag fanatics designing and making great bags, and supporting;our local community and increasingly competitive global market. The company;reports that demand is still strong for the custom messenger bags made in San;Francisco and that the new laptop bags sourced from China are receiving rave;reviews. The additional business is allowing them to hire more people in all;departments at the San Francisco headquarters-creating even more jobs locally.;QUESTIONS;1. Identify the problems identified in the case. Evaluate;the options of possible solutions presented by the authors.;2. Consider the two categories of products that Timbuk2;makes and sells. For the custom messenger bag, what are the key competitive;dimensions that are driving sales? Are their competitive priorities different;for the new laptop bags sourced in China?;3. Compare the assembly line in China to that in San;Francisco along the following dimensions: (1) volume or rate of production, (2);required skill of the workers, (3) level of automation, and (4) amount of raw;materials and finished goods inventory.;3. Draw two diagrams, one depicting the supply chain for;those products sourced in China and the other depicting the bags produced in;San Francisco. Show all the major steps, including raw material, manufacturing;finished goods, distribution inventory, and transportation. Other than;manufacturing cost, what other costs should Timbuk2 consider when making the;sourcing decision?


Paper#62087 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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