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Selected Case

published: 18 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Operations
  • Region: Europe

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).

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