Difficult Task Force
José has been appointed chair of a steering task force to design the primary product line for a new joint venture between companies from Japan, the United States, and South America. The new joint venture company will make, sell, and service pet caskets (coffins) for the burial of beloved pets, mostly dogs and cats. One month earlier, each company had assigned personnel to the task force: From the Japanese company, Furuay Masahiko from Yokohama, assistant to the president of the Japanese company; Hamada Isao from Tokyo, director of marketing from its technology group; and Noto Takeshi from Tokyo, assistant director of its financial management department. From the United States company, Thomas Boone from Chicago, the top purchasing manager from its lumber and forest lands group; Richard Maret from Buffalo, the codirector of the company’s information systems group; and Billy Bob "Tex" Johnson from Arizona, the former CEO, now retired and a consultant for the company. From the South American company, Mariana Preus from Argentina, the head of product design for that company’s specialty animal products group; Hector Bonilla from their Mexico City division, an expert in automated systems design for wood products; and Mauricio Gomes, in charge of design and construction for the plant, which will be located in southern Chile to take advantage of the vast forest there.
These members were chosen for their expertise in various areas and were taking valuable time away from their normal assignments to participate in the joint venture.
As chair of the task force, José had scheduled an initial meeting for 10:00 A.M. José started the meeting by reviewing the history of the development of the joint venture and how the three company presidents had decided to create it. Then, José reviewed the market for the new high-end, designer pet coffins, stressing that this task force was to develop the initial design parameters for the new product to meet...
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