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Case Studies by Baptiste Lebreton

2 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 31 Jan 2009

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Textile
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This case describes how Wendler Einlagen GmbH & Co became the world’s largest shirt interlining provider: in 2007 it had a 40% market share in Europe and the US combined. Wendler produced interlinings for both the high and low value markets – from Hugo Boss to Aldi – with manufacturing operations in Germany and China and a warehouse in Hong Kong. German competitors, who made interlinings for other products, had higher sales volume but Wendler remained market leader for shirt interlinings with a worldwide market share of 20% in 2007. Despite intense competition, a German production base and stagnating demand in Europe and the US, growth averaged 9% per year.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To show the link between a successful business strategy and its implementation throughout the life-cycle of the customer. The case offers the opportunity to map the relation between strategy and operational elements, demonstrating that you can succeed with commodity products if you provide a service that is recognised as superior. Supply chain flexibility and technical services play a vital role in this strategic differentiation. Students should also identify the risk facing a mono-product company in the long term: if a groundbreaking innovation replaced the classic shirt interlining, Wendler could see its experience and market share vanish overnight.

Keywords:
Operations Strategy Focus, Service Deployment Around a Commodity, Supply Chain Management, Textiles, Shirt Interlinings

published: 18 Sep 2008

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Trimmings (textile, garment)
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes how AMF Snaps, a supplier of fastenings for the premium clothes market, has risen to become one of Europe's leading and most innovative snaps companies. From the first collection in 1996, designed by founder Andreas Faerber with the help of some friends using simple computer graphic tools, by 2007 the workforce had increased from four people to 70, with annual sales of 50 million snaps. Unwavering in his belief that the relationship with the customer is key to success, in 2007 Faerber was faced with a dilemma. Survey results revealed a gap between what employees perceived to be the company’s strong points and what its clients considered them to be. It also uncovered a weak point in the snap supplying process: the outsourced manufacturing of the snaps. .

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case considers the trade-off between operating with a network of subcontractors and acquiring non-core assets to improve supply chain integration. Having no constraints on the manufacturing side has allowed the company to be more creative than its competitors, which fashionmakers value highly. But the unreliability of the electroplating part of the production network may jeopardise its position as a key supplier to Europe?s big fashion brands. Students analyse the options available to improve the reliability and responsiveness of the whole value chain (acquisition, joint-venture, long-term collaboration) and justify the strategy chosen taking into account the elements that have historically made AMF so successful.

Keywords:
Innovation, Textile Industry, Supply Chain, Vertical Integration, Design

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