Case | HBS Case Collection | April 1998

Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (C)

by H. Kent Bowen and Barbara Feinberg


Jim Sharpe, president of Extrusion Technology, describes the first five years at the aluminum extrusion company he purchased. He begins with day one as he introduced himself to the employees in 1987 and assured them of the company's continuity. Over the next two years, his efforts to make the company profitable included cost cutting, decertifying the union, and developing relationships with suppliers. Sharpe learned from mistakes in forecasting aluminum inventory and purchasing capital equipment for a new product line whose market never developed. At the end of five years, Extrusion Technology was profitable and well poised for growth. Jim Sharpe, 11 years after receiving his MBA from Harvard and working for others, has finally become his own boss and 100% owner of a manufacturer of aluminum extrusions. After 10 months of an unfunded search, he acquires the business in an LBO and prepares to face his employees on the first day.

Keywords: Acquisition; Forecasting and Prediction; Cost Management; Profit; Innovation Strategy; Marketing Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Mining Industry;


Bowen, H. Kent, and Barbara Feinberg. "Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (C)." Harvard Business School Case 698-096, April 1998.