Case study

Students will resolve case studies from each chapter (depending on the number of students enrolled in the class), which will be analyzed and solved in groups in a corresponding report and presented in a Group Project Recording using ADOBE CONNECT.  The objective of this assignment is to apply concepts in the chapter to real life situations/companies; because of this, neither the report nor the presentation should be about explaining or reviewing the concepts in the chapter, the focus MUST be on how concepts and METHODS in the chapter are applied and make a difference in practice for the company on which the case study is about.
A group report on the case studies should be presented by each group in a Group Project Recording documenting, resolving and adding value to the case.  These group reports should not exceed 2 pages (ONLY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION AT THE BOTTOM)  and will be graded based on contents (academic rigor and innovative thinking, for example: tying-in relevant concepts from other business classes, including sustainability considerations or applying concepts to students’ work experience, etc.) and structure(introduction with background, case description, thesis, additional material analyzed, solution, conclusions, references, etc.).   The presentations MUST allude to all the material discussed in the group report and will be graded based on contents (presentations should not contain any material that is not alluded to or explained in the group report) and delivery (appearance, use of technology, eloquence and clarity)
Reports and Group Project Recordings must convey the fact that each group knows how to apply concepts and METHODS in the chapter by solving the case study, and that the group has considered, analyzed and demonstrated how these concepts could also apply to their day to day lives; critically, these reports and presentations should ADD VALUE to what is already being presented/asked in the case and book chapter, and evidence that the group is World’s Ahead!

“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 its website at and see for yourself. Each bag is custom designed by the customer on its 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 can be 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 does it do this?
This San Francisco–based company is known for producing high-quality custom and classic messenger bags according to the customer’s personally customized order, using a team of approximately 25 hardworking cutters and sewers. Over the years, it has fine-tuned its plant’s 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 long-standing 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 still 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. It argues 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. Timbuk2 visits the China factory every four to eight weeks to ensure superior quality standards and working conditions are met.
On the Timbuk2 website, the company argues it has the same hardworking group of bag fanatics designing and making great bags, and supporting the local community and the increasingly competitive global market. Page 41The 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 it to hire more people in all departments at the San Francisco headquarters, creating even more jobs locally.

Operations and Supply Chain Management
Richard Chase, F. Robert Jacobs
McGraw-Hill Education, 15th edition, 2017

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? Is its competitive priorities different for the new laptop bags sourced in China?

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