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Student: James R Williams
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In 1990 he named the business Timbuk2 and received his first wholesale order from the Bike Gallery in Portland, Oregon and by 1991 his company’s logo the famous swirl was created on the back of a cocktail napkin. Yet the future of the company looked grim from the rippling effects of the dot-com bust and when Marc Dwight purchased the company in 2002 it was said that the company was in survival mode. Dwight had a somewhat different vision for Timbuk2, one that went beyond just creating jobs for the locals and though he was committed to keeping the San Francisco factory open for as long as it was economically feasible, he still immediately started manufacturing a new line of products in China.
During that time there were several conflicts that was tearing at the heart of the company. Could they still be consider local or made in the USA if they outsource their product to China? How should they market their product? Bike shops? Specialty Stores or strictly over the internet? At the time the company was being pulled apart, certain factions didn’t want to abandon the traditional channels of selling to retail outlets while others wanted to expand to the Internet with the possibility of becoming purely consumer direct. Sadly people left the company without that ever being resolved and Dwight made it clear that retail was vital to the company and would remain a part of the business model and that the company would not be able to build their brand solely on the Internet.
Also the economic winds were blowing and it was becoming increasing harder to maintain a competitive edge manufacturing in America. Cost of labor was steadily on the increase and there was an increasing number of manufacturing jobs that had already left the United States. Outsourcing was the thing everyone seemed to be doing! Right or wrong it seemed to hold the key to maintaining the competitive edge in a global market. Or could the make/buy decision be better served by a deeper look into product and process redesign. This report will investigate the decision made by Timbuk2 to outsource to China and the effect it will or has had on the key competitive dimensions of quality , delivery, cost, flexibility, new product development/innovation (Gray, Roth, & Tomlin, 2009).
Manufacturing quality of a product is an issue that requires constant looking after and Timbuk2 has spent time and monies fine tuning their production line in there San Francisco plant, making it lean and as perfect as possible in order that it may yield the highest quality of messenger bags available (Michael, 2010).
One key advantage of Timbuk2’s outline ordering system is its ability to manufacture its products rapidly, in some cases as little as 12 to 15 minutes (Sarkar, Pia, 2004). Giving them the ability to have the product shipped to the consumer within 2 or 3 days and for a custom product that phenomenal.
Timbuk2 seeks a low-cost positon...