Case Essay

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Case 1: Spanning the Globe By: Allen D. Engle, Sr. Eric Christopher, Associate Director for Global HR Development at Tex-Mark, was sitting in his car in an early-morning traffic jam. He had thought that by leaving his home at 7:00 a.m. he would have been ahead of the heavy commuter traffic into San Antonio’s city center. The explanation for the long queue was announced by the radio traffic service. A large, portable crane, used to set up concrete barriers around road works, had overturned, and inbound and outbound traffic would be at a dead stop for at least an hour. Eric had ended up at Tex-Mark, a computer input-output manufacturer and supplier, through an indirect career route. Brought up in the Hill Country Village district of San…show more content…
Tex-Mark had started out as a ‘spin off’ firm from IME Computers in the late 1970s. Patents combined with an excellence in engineering, an outstanding institutional sales staff, cost-sensitive production and pricing, all combined to make Tex-Mark a major force in the printer and optical scanner industry. Tex-Mark inherited a production facility in San Antonio from IME, but the company also had international production facilities operating in three countries: Monterrey, Mexico, Leith, Scotland, and more recently in Jaipur, India. A major new facility going was planned to start production in Wuhu, China late next year. Research and new product development activities were split between the home offices in San Antonio, a printer center in Durham, North Carolina and an optical research ‘center of excellence’ in Edinburgh, Scotland. Major sales, distribution and customer service centers had recently expanded into Asia and are now located in Rheims in France; in Memphis, Tennessee; in Sydney, Australia; in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; in Hong Kong and in Tel Aviv, Israel. Faced with the long delay, Eric turned the radio volume down, turned up the air conditioning, and telephoned his office on his hands-free car phone to advise them of his situation. Fortunately, his personal assistant was already at work so Eric was able to rearrange his schedule. He asked that the 10:30 meeting with Fred Banks, a Plant Engineer recently repatriated from Jaipur, be pushed back an hour.

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