May 10, 2015
Case Study: Timbuk 2
Timbuk2 ‘s custom messenger bag has quality, which configures as a competitive dimension that drives sales. The fact that the bags are very durable makes it even more appealing to the customers, which makes the company gain comparative advantage over competition. The process of quality relates to the ability of the company to provide such reliable products. Moreover, Timbuk2 has a quality design that is very appealing for customers as they are custom-made, making it this way even more personalized and exclusive to each one of their clients. The other competitive dimension is their delivery speed, as they sent via overnight delivery to their customers.
With the need to be competitive, the company needed to acknowledge the cost for bags. By doing so, the company designs in San Francisco and manufactures their products in China, which had them the possibility of maintaining their prices, which gives them the ability to be at a competitive level. However this move has had an impact on the company’s image when it comes to being loyal to their American customers.
The differences between the assembly line in China and the one in San Francisco according to the following dimensions:
1) Volume or rate of production:
Timbuk2 ‘s factory in China require more assembly which makes the number of Chinese workers to increase and the necessity for more specialized machinery. Compared to the one in San Francisco, the factory in China has more capacity to produce bags. In addition they are easily adaptable to the market demand for laptops bags. On the other side, the assembly line in San Francisco appears to be more custom manufactured since their machinery is less specialized. This way the amount of production is based on the volume of the orders.
2) Required skill of the workers:
Due to the fact that the assembly line in China is larger, it requires a much larger division of labor. Workers there are divided into groups that have their own specified tasks, where technical skills are required. The custom design bags in San Francisco require more technical skills as their work requires more than one task because the workers here are at a much shorter number than in China.
3) Level of Automation:
The machines in China are more specialized and industrial. There a much particular product is produced and expensive machines are set up to run larger productions. In San Francisco the