Case Study # 04
C.F. Martin Guitar Company
EMBA-503 : “Management and Organization”
Faculty of Business Studies
East West University
Date of Submission: March 11, 2011
Table of Contents
Brief History “C. F. Martin Guitar Company”03
Key decisions over the years05
Key decision taken in recent days 08
Question and Answer10
Established in 1833, C. F. Martin & Co. is the oldest surviving maker of guitars in the world. Currently the largest producer of acoustic guitars in the United States, the company is highly regarded for creating some of the finest instruments and introducing innovations that have become industry standards in the music products industry. Current Chairman and CEO Christian ("Chris") Frederick Martin IV took the helm of the company in 1986. Under his leadership, the company has experienced unprecedented sales and production growth, maintained an extraordinary level of quality, introduced many new technologies, expanded the factory to nearly three times its prior size, integrated the model lineup with the introduction of many affordable guitars and has fortified the higher end with artist signature editions and vintage inspired recreations of historical Martin guitars.
Brief History C. F. Martin Guitar Company:
For well over a century and a half, the C. F. Martin Guitar Company (established in 1833) of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, has been producing acoustic instruments considered to be among the finest in the world. Like a Steinway grand piano, a Rolls Royce automobile , a Buffet clarinet, or a Baccarat crystal vase, a Martin guitar—which can cost more than $10,000—is among the best that money can buy. This family business has managed to defy the odds and survive through six generations. Current CEO Christian Frederick Martin IV—better known as Chris—continues to be committed to the guitar maker's craft. He even travels to Martin dealerships around the world to hold instructional clinics. Few companies have had the staying power of Martin Guitar. Why? What are the keys to the company's success? A primary one has to be the managerial guidance and skills of a talented leader who has kept organizational members focused on important issues such as quality.
From the very beginning, quality has played an important role in everything that C. F. Martin Guitar Company does. Even through dramatic changes in product design, distribution systems, and manufacturing methods, the company has remained committed to making quality products. The company's steadfast adherence to high standards of musical excellence and providing a product to meet the needs of a demanding customer base permeates everything that happens in the organization, top to bottom and in all work areas. Part of that quality approach encompasses a long-standing ecological policy. Since the company depends on natural wood products to manufacture its guitars, it has embraced the judicious and responsible use of traditional natural materials and encouraged the introduction of sustainable-yield alternative wood species. Based on thorough customer research, Martin introduced guitars that utilized structurally sound woods with natural cosmetic defects that were once considered unacceptable. In addition, Martin follows the directives of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
C. F. Martin Guitar Company is an interesting blend of old and new. Although the equipment and tools may have changed over the years, employees remain true to the principle of high standards of musical excellence. Building a guitar to meet these standards requires considerable attention and patience. Family member Frank Henry
Martin explained to potential customers in the preface to a 1904 catalog, "How...