Technical and Business Analysis of Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Guitar String Products (Spring 2002) IPRO 306
Alaniz III, Jesus
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Gibson USA, Nashville, Tennessee, is a recognized leader in the design and manufacture of acoustic and electric guitars for the entertainment industry. Gibson has a rich and respected history that began with the design and manufacture of mandolins in 1894. Its innovations in guitars have generated tremendous market loyalty, and have helped to transform the music industry in partnership with generations of musicians. A great deal of interesting information about Gibson USA is available at http://www.gibson.com. Gibson USA is also a prominent manufacturer and marketer of aftermarket guitar strings and accessories through its dedicated facilities in Elgin, Illinois. At this time, the Gibson Strings & Accessories division of Gibson USA is interested in supporting an IIT IPRO team that would study the complex relationships between its products, manufacturing operations, marketing strategy and competitive position. Gibson Strings & Accessories, located in Elgin, Illinois, manufactures strings, amplifiers, pickups and other accessories. This IPRO project will concentrate on issues related to the acoustic and electric guitar strings manufactured under the Gibson or Epiphone brand names. This initial IPRO project for Gibson will give students great experience in working closely with its young and energetic management to review current operations and select an appropriate initial focus for the project. This may include developing test and measurement methods and equipment to analyze string performance across product lines and competitive offerings, observing manufacturing operations to identify factors that affect product performance, evaluating marketing and competitive issues that offer opportunities or challenges, and developing an understanding of the user purchase decision process associated with the aftermarket for guitar strings. Projects could also include fine-tuning an integrated Internet strategy for marketing guitar strings and accessories and supporting the dealer network.