IN 2005, A START-UP company from California called ET Water Systems decided to move its manufacturing operations to China. At the time there was a general exodus to Asia in search of lower costs, recalls Mark Coopersmith, the firm’s chief executive. ET Water Systems, which builds sophisticated irrigation devices for businesses, quickly started losing money, not least because it had so much capital tied up in big shipments of goods which took weeks to cross the oceans. Innovation suffered from the distance between manufacturing and design, and quality became a problem too.
Ben Worthen, Anupreeta Das
Dell Inc.'s journey from computer king to buyout candidate reflects the difficulty of abandoning what propelled it to prominence: a finely tuned supply chain that could quickly assemble and deliver custom-ordered computers at a lower cost than the competition. Now the question is whether going private would present the best way for Michael Dell, the company's founder and CEO, to move the company forward with a focus on corporate customers, rather than consumers.
An interview with Michael E. Porter, Lawrence University Professor, and Jan W. Rivkin, Rauner professor of business administration and head of HBS’s strategy unit. Read the complete article, Can America Compete?
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Jan W. Rivkin
Division of Faculty & Research
Harvard Business SchoolSoldiers Field
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