Traeger Pellet Grills: Cooking up the Competition
(6 pages of text)
In spring 2018, the chief supply chain officer of Traeger Pellet Grills, LLC, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, was visiting a supplier in in Changzhou, China. He was meeting with the supplier the next day but had not fully decided how to manage the meeting. The supplier was responsible for a large portion of the company’s supply of grills but was also positioning itself as a competitor by tooling, designing, and producing knock-off products that were then directly marketed to consumers in the company’s strongest market—the United States. Although the supplier denied any involvement in the knock-off grills, the chief supply chain officer knew the tooling and styling were impossibly similar to his company’s products and there was no other facility in that supplier's area with the capability to make look-alike grills at that level. The chief supply chain officer had to decide how to deal with the rebellious supplier.
This case is designed for use in global supply chain, international business, international business culture, or international negotiation classes at the undergraduate level. All discussions and assignments could also be used at the graduate level, if approached with greater scrutiny. The case complements a discussion of supply-chain risk, contract enforcement, cross-cultural negotiations, and supply-chain management. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will understand
- the complexities associated with managing an international supply chain;
- how culture and negotiation work in the context of supply management; and
- the needs of various stakeholders in a supply chain, and how to manage expectations and respond to unethical business partner behaviour.
United States; China, Medium, 2018
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