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Case Studies by Andre Calmon

4 case studies

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published: 18 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case explores leadership and professionalization issues at Fibbie Cornuda, an Italian manufacturer of ski boot buckles and automotive parts that utilize metal cold-forming technology. The founder’s daughter has worked in the finance department, but left to do an MBA. Although potentially his successor, she urges Pino to hire professional management for the successful but somewhat disorganized firm, which has been run “from the top down”. Approaching retirement, Pino has unrivalled know-how, charisma, and pride in having built an industry leader in his own image. But with competition rising, the business needs a more formal structure if it is to stay ahead after the succession. Given Pino’s commercial knowledge, strong personality and opinions, there is a risk he’ll interfere in management once he retires. Georgia has her father’s ear, but what exactly should she recommend?

Pedagogical Objectives:
How to build organizational routines and structure in a company where things work well but not well enough to survive a power transition and ensure future growth. How to effectively routinize highly technical knowledge that is possessed by a single (senior) person. How to handle delicate family business successions and transition to a professional CEO. How to manage an organization marked by the founder’s values and traditions to the point where employees may not thrive if the founder is replaced by an outsider. A complementary case entitled “Fibbie Cornuda: Operations and Supply Chain Management” has been written by the authors with entirely different pedagogical objectives. (Note: names have been changed at the request of the family).

Keywords:
Formalizing Organizations, Organizational Structure, Family Business, Leadership, Founder Transition, Organizational Behaviour, Organizational Culture, Organizational Change, Professionalization, Cold-Forming, Metallurgy, Ski-Boot Buckles, Automotive Parts, Italy

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published: 18 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Operations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Fibbie Cornuda is an Italian company that uses metal cold-forming technology to manufacture ski boot buckles and components for carmakers. Managing production of automotive components at Fibbie Cornuda is easy: demand is predictable and there are few SKU varieties. Conversely, for ski boot buckles it manages a catalogue of thousands of SKUs that changes every year, with widely varying demand. To match supply and demand, the founder of the company has set up a plant in Romania and implemented operations strategies such as mass customization and delayed differentiation. But there is a downside: leadership has to manage two plants instead of one, and plant managers are constantly fire-fighting. The case provides a backdrop for the analysis of several operations strategies, such as reactive production capacity, delayed differentiation, outsourcing, and mass customization.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To examine the benefits and drawbacks of production outsourcing. To analyze the value of postponement and delayed differentiation in manufacturing. To appraise the implementation of a mass-customization initiative. (Note 1: The names of the company and people have been disguised at the request of the family owners, but nothing else has been changed. Note 2: This case complements an organizational behavior case study of the same company, by the same authors, entitled “Fibbie Cornuda: Manufacturing to Stay Fit”, with different pedagogical objectives).

Keywords:
Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Ski-Boot Buckles, Automotive Components, Skus, Cold-Forming, Make to Order, Lead Time, Family Business, Components, Forecasting, Sourcing, Strategy, Erp

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published: 19 Dec 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case focuses on the contribution of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an American trade organization based on an industry-wide collaboration and a multi-stakeholder approach, to the fashion industry. The Higg Index is a self-assessment tool that aims to measure and reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel supply chains. While the SAC’s initiative is succeeding as far as the global scenario is concerned (measured by the number of member companies and adoption of the Higg Index), the challenge is changing. New strategically relevant issues force SAC to re-evaluate its approach to future expansion.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case was designed for MBA and EMBA sessions on sustainability and social innovation to help students: • analyse the value of self-regulation through an example of self-regulation in the apparel and textile industry (see background on social self-regulation mechanisms in this note); • analyse the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and its self-assessment tool, the Higg Index, and evaluate conditions under which the SAC can be successful; • examine how competitors in the market come together when a common strategic issue such as sustainability emerges; • discuss how collaboration can enable companies to focus on product and process innovation; • critically analyse the pros and cons of the SAC’s operations strategy; • identify the risks of self-regulation (for companies and for SAC); • discuss the nature of “wicked problems” and their relevance for managers.

Keywords:
Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Textile Industry, Self-Regulation, Higg Index, Patagonia, Wal-Mart, Fast Fashion, Sustainable Fashion, Jason Kibbey, Rick Ridgeway, Apparel Industry, Wicked Problems, Pilot Washing, Self-Assessment

published: 31 May 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility

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Abstract:
The global population is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, of which 70% will be living in cities. Over the past 40 years, however, 30% of the world's arable land has become unproductive. Given the scarcity of land and rising demand for food, there is an urgent need for solutions that require less land and labour yet produce higher yields. Vertical farming uses three-dimensional space to achieve more than a hundred-fold increase in crop production over traditional agriculture. However, such farms involve extremely high capital and operating costs. The case study reviews the the technologies on which vertical farms depend and the conditions under which they can become economically viable.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. To discuss the challenge of feeding the fast-growing world population. . To review the technologies involved in the vertical farming ecosystem. . To assess conditions under which such technologies become viable.

Keywords:
Farming, Sustainability, Vertical Farms, Urban Farms, Agriculture

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