Bat’a the shoe maker
Not many people would know the origin of the company Bat’a, a company logo that any person could identify and find in front facades of many shoe retail shops. Tomáš Baťa was the founder of the “T. & A. Bat’a”, as a small shoe manufacturer from a small town: “Zlin” (former Czechoslovakia). It was created in 1894 by three siblings: Thomas, Antonin and Anna. As a small start-up it had grown up quickly, mainly to the fact that Bata produced shoes that were cheap, of good quality and offered ample choice in terms of styles. Despite the situation in the 1900s with the lack of manpower and material shortage, the company prospered with high revenue increase. Since then it became a big company that has worldwide brand awareness. During World War I, taking into account the circumstances it expanded its production into a manufacturing facility for military shoes and opened sales to institutional business (hospitals, airlines, etc...). Bata as a brand had been already a name in the shoe manufacturing industry, as it had been the tradition in the family for over 8 generations. Tomas had a clear vision of making business as he was not manufacturing only for his own home town but started business with distant retail merchants. The main trait of the enterprise Bata, was a revolutionized treatment of employees and labour conditions. Tomas consistently maintained a human focus, creating opportunities for development and advancement, and added compensation for employees based on achievement. “The Bata System” designed by the Zlin team, and later applied in other Bata shoe organizations, was structured, enabling autonomous workshops and departments, allowing employees to contribute ideas and stimulate production, and contributed significant breakthroughs in footwear technology. Baťa also exhibited his business acumen, with his initiatives towards producing low-cost shoes for the general public, whose purchasing power had been significantly reduced in the aftermath of the war His factories were made self-sufficient and autonomous in their design, production and distribution strategies, in a path to catering to the local population. By the early 1930s, under Tomas Bata's leadership the Baťa enterprise in Czechoslovakia was one the world's leading footwear exporters. Bata expanded, opening facilities in diverse part of the world, in order to be able to respond to the unique needs of local customers Strategic Design Lens
After the World War I and sustainable headquarter in “Zlin”, Tomas decided to extend his business in new places mainly in Europe, such as UK, Holland, Denmark, Poland, and former Yugoslavia (now Serbia, Montenegro,…) where he created subsidiaries/factories. His entrepreneurship had no limit, he even opened a subsidiary in the US. By doing so Tomas wanted to secure the delivery of raw materials he was lacking in Czechoslovakia and reach new markets. In 1938, during World War II, the political situation in Europe was not good, with a German neighbor that was claiming expansibility, the son of Tomas Bata, Tomik, was sent to Canada to establish the Bata Company. In that time Bata’s industry owned 63 subsidiaries operating in 33 countries of the world and the production of shoes were exported into more than 80 states in the world. As anticipated Germany occupied Czechoslovakia, converted the factories to produce shoes for German military. Tomas idea of creating a new HQ in the US failed as he was not well welcomed in the US (as his factories were producing military equipment for the Germans). This again led him to flew and establish a new company in Brazil. From all this aspects, it is obvious that the company went through rough time from an organizational perspective, it was a company mainly led by one person and reacting based the situation of the day. This surely made the company very flexible and agile, but did not allow a strong structure with a clear strategy. The...
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