Polar Sports Case Study

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9-913-513 AUGUST 20, 2012 W. CARL KESTER WEI WANG Polar Sports, Inc. In early January 2012, Richard Weir, president of Polar Sports, Inc., sat down with Thomas Johnson, vice president of operations, to discuss Johnson’s proposal that Polar institute level monthly production for 2012. Since joining the company less than a year earlier, Johnson had become concerned about the many problems arising from its highly seasonal production scheduling, which reflected the seasonality of sales of skiwear and accessories. Weir understood the cost savings and improved production efficiency that could result from level production, but he was uncertain what the impact on other aspects of the business would be. Polar Sports, a fashion skiwear …show more content…

The skiwear production process, though not complex, was nevertheless labor intensive. It required designers to constantly come up with new styles to stay ahead of competing products. The designers worked closely with raw-materials suppliers in developing new fabrics. Focusing on both the technical and the fashion aspects of their products, Polar’s designers helped create a high-tech temperature-control fabric for the base and middle layers, providing both breathability and waterproofing. The production technology required skilled labor, and the process was primarily manual, which ensured that stitching was accurate and jackets and pants were properly insulated. Company Financials The popularity of skiing and snowboarding had grown tremendously over the past two decades. According to a National Sporting Goods Association survey, at the end of 2010 more than 15 million Americans over seven years of age participated in skiing or snowboarding. The skiwear manufacturing industry experienced fast growth in the 2000s with the rising popularity of winter extreme sports such as snow kiting and heli-boarding. Polar achieved progressive market share through its unique design and expansive sales network. Its sales grew from $4.65 million in 2001 to $16.36 million in 2011. With a number of promising new designs under production, sales were projected at $18.0 million for 2012. However, the ultimate success of the

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