Case 15.2

Glaser Machine Works

Glaser Machine Works has experienced a significant change in its business operations over the past 50 years. Glaser started business as a machine shop that produced specialty tools and products for the timber and lumber industry, this was a logical fit, given its location in the southern part of the United States. However, over the years Glaser looked to expand its offerings beyond the lumber and timber industry. Initially, its small size coupled with its rural location made it difficult to attract the attention of large companies that could use its products. All of that began to change as Glaser developed the ability not only to fabricate parts and tools but also to assemble products for customers who needed special components in large quantities. Glaser’s business really took off when first foreign, and then domestic, automakers began to build automobile plants in the southern Unites States. Glaser was able to provide quality parts quickly for firms that expected high quality and responsive delivery. Many of Glaser’s customers operated with little inventory and required that suppliers be able to provide shipments with short lead times.