Question

1. Write a brief report that outlines the reasons (both internal and external) for Burgmaster’s demise, and whether operations management played a significant role in the demise.
2. Do you think that inadequate strategic planning was a factor that resulted in the company’s asking for trade protection?
3. Can you think of a strategy that could have increased Burgmaster’s chance of survival? Explain why you think that strategy would have been effective.

The Rust Belt is back. So say bullish observers as U.S. exports surge, long- moribund industries glow with newfound profits, and unemployment dips to lows not seen in a decade. But in the smokestack citadels, there’s disquiet. Too many machine-tool and auto parts factories are silent; too many U. S. industries still can’t hold their own. What went wrong since the heyday of the 1960s? That’s the issue Max Holland, a contributing editor of The Nation, takes up in his nutsyboltsy but fascinating study, When the Machine Stopped.* The focus of the story is Burgmaster Corp., a Los Angeles–area machine-tool maker founded in 1944 by Czechoslovakian immigrant Fred Burg. Holland’s father worked there for 29 years, and the author interviewed 22 former employees. His shop- floor view of this small company is a refreshing change from academic treatises on why America can’t compete.



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  • CreatedDecember 30, 2014
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