Lego Group: An Outsourcing Journey
(10 pages of text)
The last year's rather adventurous journey from 2004 to 2009 had taught the fifth-largest toy-maker in the world - the LEGO Group - the importance of managing the global supply chain effectively. In order to survive the largest internal financial crisis in its roughly 70 years of existence, the management had, among many initiatives, decided to offshore and outsource a major chunk of its production to Flextronics. In this pursuit of rapid cost-cutting sourcing advantages, the LEGO Group planned to license out as much as 80 per cent of its production besides closing down major parts of the production in high cost countries. Confident with the prospects of the new partnership, the company signed a long-term contract with Flextronics. This decision eventually proved itself to have been too hasty, however. Merely three years after the contracts were signed, LEGO management announced that it would phase out the entire sourcing collaboration with Flextronics. This sudden change in its sourcing strategy posed LEGO management with a number of caveats. Despite the bright forecasts, the collaboration did not fulfill the initial expectations, and the company needed to understand why this had happened. Secondly, what could LEGO management have done differently?
The case examines the organizational, contractual, managerial and learning challenges of outsourcing a large part of production. The case is suitable for use in both undergraduate and graduate courses in international corporate strategy, organizational learning and design, supply chain management, and theory of the firm, as well as international business studies in general.
Denmark; Czech Republic, Medium, 2004-2009
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