Plant Location Puzzle
In this fictional case study, Ann Reardon, CEO of the Eldora Co. (EDC), has led her organization to become the largest and most profitable bicycle maker in the U.S. market. When her competition was moving its operations overseas because of lower labor costs, she chose to keep EDC's plant on the same campus as corporate headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. She believes that decision has been the primary reason for EDC's success. With the marketing, engineering, and manufacturing staff having easy access to one another, the company has been able to take advantage of the latest technical and stylistic innovations and deliver a more timely product to the retailers. Now, however, the U.S. market is reaching saturation, and the Asian market is nearly doubling annually. EDC's vice president of manufacturing wants Ann to build a new plant in China, but the marketing vice president wants to put a direct sales operation in Asia and outsource production on either a short- or a long-term basis. Manufacturing experts give their views.