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According to the case study, The Tao of Timbuk2, the Timbuk2 bag is indestructible and it is common for it to outlive jobs, personal relationships, etc. The website allows the customer to design the bag exactly how the customer would like it. Timbuk2 awards their customers a lifetime warranty on all their products. If there is a defect in the materials or workmanship, Timbuk2 will repair or replace the bag. A key competitive dimensions driving sales for Timbuk2 is that Timbuk2 evaluates the performance and durability of their materials by testing their tensile strength, seam slippage, water column, tear abrasion, ball burst, colorfastness, etc. They pride themselves with only using materials that meet and pass an arduous test of durability. Their messenger bags are made with this durability and are popular because Timbuk2 allows their customer to visit their website and customize their bags from size, colors, logos, pockets, to straps. The bag is handmade in San Francisco and the customer receives it in 2 days. For the level of quality that Timbuk2 offers their customers, the pricing of the messenger bag is reasonable.
The competitive priorities of the new laptop bags made in China are not different. Timbuk2 promises their customers when it comes to the new laptop bags that they are designed in San Francisco ant that they will provide the best features possible, quality, value, and reasonable prices. Timbuk2’s reasoning for having them manufactured in China is because of their complexity and if they were made in San Francisco, it would drive the prices to increase. In addition, the jobs created in China will create good jobs with good wages with a quality-working environment for a team of hardworking people in China. If you compare the assembly line in San Francisco to the assembly line in China, they are more than likely very similar. Volume and rate of production is the number of products produced during a specific amount of time or the amount of time it takes to produce one unit of product.
The volume and rate of production in San Francisco is more than likely the same in China; the ratio of employee to production is probably the same in both places. The level of automation is more than likely balanced when it concerns human and equipment involvement in the production process. When it concerns raw materials and finished goods, China probably has more because they more than likely produce more bags there due to the cost for the company being less there. If I were to chart or diagram the supply chain for products made in San Francisco and China, I believe that it would be close to the following: San Francisco
Raw materials arrive at the plant→ customer order their customized product→ materials are bundled or assembled for customized product→ materials are sewn to make customized bag→ finished product is tagged and packed→ distribution inventory→ product sent to distribution center→ product delivered to customer China
Raw materials arrive at the plant→ customer order their customized product→ materials are bundled or assembled for customized product→ materials are sewn to make customized bag→ finished product is tagged and packed→ distribution inventory→ product sent to mode of delivery, such as cargo ship, shipment company→ product delivered to customer Timbuk2 should also consider labor costs as well of manufacturing costs. It will probably be in their best interest to have as many bags as possible made in China, just as long as China can uphold the “Timbuk2” product standard. If China failed to maintain the same level of quality, then Timbuk2 needs to consider the loss of customer and referral costs also.
Jacobs, F., & Chase, R. (2011). Operations and supply chain management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Messenger Bag. (n.d.). Retrieved from Timbuk2: http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/